European Report: Sweden’s Sulkysport ranks the Top 50 trotters in the last 100 years

by Thomas Hedlund

Swedish harness racing magazine Sulkysport has recently presented a list of the 50 best trotters in the world for the past 100 years. It is an interesting list, in several aspects, and there are many American bred horses among the 50.

A horse that has showed its accomplishments on both sides of the Atlantic ocean earned more points when this list was made. But still, even if Greyhound never raced outside America, his 25 world records was something special and the fact that it took 31 years before Nevele Pride beat Greyhound’s world record is an almost unbelievable story in harness racing history.

The number one: Varenne (Waikiki Beach) raced 73 times, won 62 out of those starts and earned 6,038,408 euro.

Varenne won the Elitloppet twice, Prix d’Amérique twice, Italian Derby, Gran Premio Lotteria three times, Breeders Crown at Meadowlands, Trot Mondial in Montreal and the list can be much longer.

Today, Varenne lives at Scuderia Il Grifone, near Turin, Italy, where he still serves as stud stallion and the 23-year-old son of Waikiki Beach knows that he is the champion of all trotters in the world.

The Top 50

1. Varenne (Italy)

2. Ideal du Gazeau (France)
3. Greyhound (USA)

4. Roquépine (France)

5. Ourasi (France)

6. Moni Maker (USA)
7. Jamin (France)
8. Nevele Pride (USA)

9. Gelinotte (France)

10. Mack Lobell (USA)
11. Muscle Hill (USA)

12. Walter Dear (USA)
13. Ozo (France)

14. Bellino II (France)
15. Nuncio (USA)
16. Delmonica Hanover (USA)

17. Timoko (France)
18. Victory Tilly (Sweden)

19. Peace Corps (USA)

20. Commander Crowe (Sweden)
21. Ina Scot (Sweden)
22. Fresh Yankee (USA)

23. Armbro Flight (Canada)

24. Coktail Jet (France)

25. Bold Eagle (France)

26. Ready Cash (France)
27. Speedy Crown (USA)
28. Scarlet Knight (USA)
29. Frances Bulwark (Sweden)

30. Donato Hanover (USA)
31. Napoletano (USA)
32. Permit (Germany)
33. Une de Mai (France)
34. Dart Hanover (USA)

35. Maharajah (Sweden)

36. Savoir (USA)

37. Continentalvictory (USA)
38. Sebastian K. (Sweden)
39. Jag de Bellouet (France)
40. Mission Brief (USA)
41. Tornese (Italy)
42. Super Bowl (USA)

43. General du Pommeau (France)
44. Sugarcane Hanover (USA)

45. Copiad (Sweden)

46. Timothy T (USA)

47. Gidde Palema (Sweden)
48. Arch Madness (USA)

49. Grades Singing (USA)
50. Viking Kronos (Italy)

HRU columnist and Hall of Famer Bob Heyden also commented on Sulkysport’s list and produced his own Top 10 for them to publish.

“Obviously, I have no problem with Varenne being #1,” Heyden said. “That was the only time I can ever remember a horse and his connections toying with the field 6-7 hours before the race and then during the race in the 2001 $1 million Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands.

“Ideal Du Gazeau was a beast. I probably should have him on my list. Loved the Roosevelt surface, too… Rocquepine on longevity gets credits… and Ourasi held off Sugarcane Hanover in the 1988 March Of Dimes at Garden State Park and would have made the list. He beat our HOY fair and square that night — Mack Lobell — it was easy to see how he went past $4 million in his career.

“Jamin surprised me making the top 10. That artichoke story and the State Dept getting involved, the cover of Sports Illustrated, etc. in the 1959 RR International still carries weight. Love it.”

Here’s Heyden’s Top 10:

1. Greyhound

2. Muscle Hill
3. Mack Lobell
4. Varenne
5. Lutin D’Isigny

6. Twister B
7. Moni Maker
8. Mr Muscleman
9. Speedy Scot
10. Scott Frost

Last chance!

On Sunday, the last ”B-race” before the Grand Prix d’Amérique is held at Vincennes racetrack in Paris. The $144,000 Prix de Belgique over 1.7 miles has attracted 15 horses in the chase of a ticket to the big race.

Daniel Redén trained Propulsion will not enter the Prix de Belgique, but the Swedish trainer has three horses in the field of 15 — Lionel, Wild Honey and Call Me Keeper all come from the Swede’s stable.

Takethem, Blooma d’Heripre, Treasure Kronos, Call Me Keeper, Carat Williams and Booster Winner are the horses that must qualify for Prix d’Amérique. The other contenders have already qualified for the big race thanks to earnings or previous results in preparation races.

Prix de Belgique

Horse-Driver

1. Takethem – Alexandre Abrivard
2. Blooma d’Heripre – Louis Baudron

3. Treasure Kronos – Gabriele Gelormini

4. Call Me Keeper – Pierre Vercruysse

5. Briac Dark – Matthieu Abrivard
6. Charly du Noyer – Yoann Lebourgeois
7. Carat Williams – David Thomain

8. Booster Winner – Matthieu Mottier

9. Valko Jenilat – Eric Raffin

10. Readly Express – Björn Goop

11. Belina Josselyn – Jean-Michel Bazire

12. Lionel – Göran Antonsen

13. Wild Honey – Örjan Kihlström
14. Bird Parker – Jean-Philippe Monclin

15. Bold Eagle – Franck Nivard