The 5-year-old trotter qualified Friday at the Meadowlands, winning in 1:53.2 in her first trip since returning from a sixth-place finish in the Elitlopp in Sweden. Regular driver Yannick Gingras was at the lines for trainer Jonas Czernyson.
“I thought she went pretty good,” Czernyson said. “Yannick was happy with her. It looks like she took the Sweden trip pretty good, so it looks like all systems are go and hopefully she is ready to go.
“She seemed to come back (home) and just be herself. We gave her a couple extra days off when she came back and I think that really helped her. She didn’t lose that much weight going over there, so everything looks like it worked out pretty good.”
|USTA/Ken Weingartner photo|
|Maven qualified in 1:53.2 on Friday at The Meadowlands.|
Maven has started only once this year on North American soil, winning the inaugural Miami Valley Distaff Invitational on May 4. She finished third in her elimination for the Elitlopp, good enough to advance to the same-day final, where she was sixth.
“That was something else,” said Czernyson, a native of Sweden, about the journey overseas. “It was something else. That was an amazing trip. If we can do it again (next year), hopefully we could go back and do a little better.”
Last year, Maven won 10 of 14 races and $509,220 for Czernyson and owner Bill Donovan. Her wins included the Breeders Crown, Armbro Flight Stakes and Miss Versatility Series championship, and she was the unanimous selection for the Dan Patch Award for best older female trotter.
Maven trotted the fastest race mile ever on a half-mile track in winning the Miss Versatility in 1:51.4 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. For her career, Maven has won 26 of 43 races and $1.46 million.
The two first-round divisions of the Miss Versatility Series were held May 19 at Woodbine, with Perfect Alliance and Classic Martine posting victories. Classic Martine and Perfect Alliance then finished 1-2 in the Armbro Flight Stakes on June 14 at Mohawk.
Maven now appears ready to rejoin her rivals in the next 10 days.
“That’s the plan for right now,” Czernyson said. “I’ll talk with Yannick and see if he thinks she’s up to it. But it looks like we’re going in that direction.”