by Thomas Hedlund
U.S.-bred Cruzado dela Noche won the $114,000 Copenhagen Cup Sunday (May 14) at the Charlottenlund racetrack in the capital of Denmark, but not without the judges’ help.
The field was fresh with many new members among the elite trotters in Europe. Cruzado dela Noche was the favorite from post five. The son of Muscle Massive out of Alidade — originally named Arusa Hanover and sold as for $28,000 as a yearling at Harrisburg in 2013 — sat first over in the early going as Nadal Broline took the lead.
The first five-eighths of a mile was relatively slow (1:58.1, mile time), but with a half-mile to go, five-year-old Cruzado dela Noche added speed and pressure on the leader. Driver Per Linderoth did what he could to break Nadal Broline and took the lead at the top of the stretch.
Behind Cruzado dela Noche, another five-year-old horse with a lot of progress shadowed. Revenue son In Vain Sund, driven by Örjan Kihlström, is well known as a strong finisher and his speed was also strong this time. The two horses fought hard and just before the finish line, In Vain Sund passed Cruzado dela Noche to reach the wire a nose ahead.
However, the judges noticed that the Daniel Redén trained horse made a short break just before the line and In Vain Sund was disqualified.
Cruzado dela Noche has raced particularly well since he arrived in Stefan Melander’s stable in Sweden and among his victories this one, in Copenhagen Cup, is one of the most impressive.
”I didn’t have to do so much in the race, it’s the horse that is doing the job. Cruzado dela Noche is a fantastic horse to drive, he’s rough,” said Linderoth said after the race.
The approximate mile time was 1:54.2 and the last five-eighths of a mile was fast considering the circumstances — an approximate mile time of 1:51.1.
The Copenhagen Cup win will earn Cruzado dela Noche a berth in the May 26 Elitlopp at Solvalla.
The owner of Cruzado dela Noche, Stall Courant, invests a lot in the trotting industry in Sweden, and Europe. Anders Ström, who represents Stall Courant, visited the track in Copenhagen for the first time in his life.
”It’s great to win a Group 1 race in this town, which is one of my favorites in the world,” Anders Ström told the Swedish website sulkysport.se after the victory.
Stall Courant also had a great chance to win another big race in Sweden on Saturday afternoon at Åby racetrack. The kings and queens among the four-year-old horses was to be crowned and Dominion Beach is one of the Courant stable’s stars.
But it was Adrian Chip son Diamanten, trained by Robert Bergh and owned by former hockey pro Peter Forsberg, who was the strongest in the $220,000 race for the colts and geldings in Kungapokalen. From number 12, in second line behind the gate, Diamanten showed extreme speed during the last half mile of the 2 5/8ths race.
Number 12 was not so bad last Saturday at Åby. In Drottningpokalen for the fillies, Petri Puro-trained Ready Cash mare Cash Crowe impressed when she passed her opponents from position seventh over! The last 5/8th of a mile was accomplished in an approximate mile time of 1:52.1, and the Cash Crowe was three wide most of the trip. Impressive!