The 10-year old French top trotter Timoko, driven by Björn Goop won the final in the Elitlopp on Sunday (May 28) at Solvalla in a new race record of 1.51. He was in front of Propulsion, driven by Johan Untersteiner, and Resolve, driven by Åke Svanstedt, by two lengths.
After Bold Eagle’s very impressive win in 1.50 in his elimination earlier, it was very difficult to imagine any other trotter should win the final, which is worth $335,000 to the winner, other than Bold Eagle. Björn Goop, however, had a plan; not to win, but to secure a top spot and that was to send Timoko to the lead from start. And so he did, but his plan failed.
From post position five Goop fired, but on the inside Resolve, Bold Eagle and Nuncio tried to hold him off. Timoko took the lead followed by Resolve, while Nuncio, driven by Orjan Kihlström, ended up outside Timoko with Bold Eagle and Franck Nivard trailing him.
Nivard made his move with 600 meters to go, but it was soon obvious Bold Eagle was not capable to advance as he had to trot three-wide. Down the stretch no horse was able to reach the 30-1 shot Timoko, who won the Elitlopp for the second time from his fifth appearance in the final. Bold Eagle finished fourth, just ahead of Nuncio.
Timoko is owned and trained by Richard Westerink, who was born in the Netherlands, but has been a trotting trainer in France for many years.
by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent