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Magic Tonight wins Elitloppet
Sunday, May 31, 2015 - by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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Stockholm, Sweden --- Magic Tonight, bred by Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz, won the prestigious Elitlopp in Stockholm, Sweden, Sunday afternoon. Maven finished unplaced.

Kanal 75 photo
Magic Tonight won both his elimination heat, and the final.

The 6-year-old trotter Magic Tonight, sired by Andover Hall and out of Miss Possessed, won his elimination and the final with top Swedish driver Ôrjan Kihlström in the bike.

In both heats Kihlström directed Magic Tonight to the front and stayed on to win. In the final, he was timed in 1:52.4f. It was a very close race as there were no more than three lengths from the winner to the last horse in the final.

Mosaique Face, driven by Lutfi Kolgjini, was parked outside Magic Tonight the whole trip, but stayed on to finish second, but perhaps more impressive was 4-year-old Nuncio, driven by Stefan Melander, who trotted three wide, but was only beaten a half-length in third.

Royal Fighter, with Jenny Tillman, who won the other elimination, was boxed in behind Magic Tonight and finished fourth.

Maven, with Johnny Takter, was third over and going around the last corner Takter made his move, but Maven never came close and finished seventh in the field of eight.

The winner Magic Tonight is trained by Norwegian-born Roger Walmann and is owned by his biggest owner, Ab Svensk Reklamfirma, who has close to 100 trotters in training by Walmann.

Magic Tonight was imported from the United States two years ago and last year he took his mark of 1:51.3f. This year he has raced six times, winning four races; the win in the Elitlopp was worth $350,000.

Ôrjan Kihlström won the Elitlopp for the second time, as he won in 2004 driving From Above.

The first elimination was won by outsider Royal Fighter driven by Jennifer Tillman in 1:53.2f, followed by Nuncio, Mosaique Face and Vincennes. Wind Of The North, driven by Dave Palone, did not qualify for the final.

Royal Fighter is trained by Per Eriksson, the three-time winner of the Hambletonian. Tillman is just the third woman ever to drive in the Elitlopp.

Magic Tonight was able to take command from post position five in the second elimination and even though Maven came up on the outside going into the stretch, Magic Tonight showed her off and won in 1:52.1. Maven was second followed by BBS Sugarlight and Timoko, who won the race last year. Timoko just made it to the final with a nose over On Track Piraten.

A crown of 26,842 followed the races at Solvalla.

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