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Outsider wins the Italian Trotting Derby
Monday, October 09, 2017 - by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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The 29-1 longshot Valchiria OP, driven by Roberto Andreghetti, won the Derby Italiano del Trotto raced Sunday afternoon (Oct. 8) at the Capanelle track outside Rome.

The Italian Derby, which is the richest trotting race in the world carrying a total purse of $1.176 million, had a field of 12 3-year-olds behind the gate.

Gerard Forni photo
Valchiria OP, driven by Roberto Andreghetti, won the Derby Italiano del Trotto.

The favorite, Vivid Wise As, driven by Enrico Bellei, went off stride around the first corner and going into the stretch the second favorite, Vitrivio, driven by Pietro Gubellini, was in the lead, but he then became rough gaited and went off stride. That caused some interference, but out of the mess came the filly Valchiria OP to win the 1-5/16th mile event in 2:00.2(f). The second and third horses past the post were also longshots at 72-1 and 178-1 in the betting.

The purse for the winner was $492,000.

Valchiria OP, who tripled her winnings, is sired by Italian trotter Ideale Luis and out of Maya del Ronco, she by Toss Out. She is trained by Alessandro Gocciadoro, who had a banner day, as he also trains Vanesia Ek, who won the Oaks, driven by Pietro Gubellini.

The Gran Premio Turilli -- an open class trotting race -- was won by Timone Ek, driven by Enrico Bellei. Timone Ek, who is the best offspring of Mr Vic in Europe, won in 1:56.3f (mile rate).

In Germany the action was at the Bahrenfeld track in Hamburg. Grosser Preis von Deutschland -- a trotting race for 4-year-olds over the 1-3/8th mile distance was the main event, carrying a total purse of $175,000 and it attracted some of the best in this age group in Europe. For the first time ever, leading French trotter Django Riff, driven by Jos Verbeeck, raced outside France, but the favorite was the Swedish trotter, Diamanten.

Diamanten is trained by Robert Bergh, who was entered to drive the son of Adrian Chip, but as his flight from Sweden to Hamburg was canceled, Bergh had to find another driver for the top trotter. He called Kim Eriksson, who was in a taxi on his way to the track, and he was more than happy to get the drive. Eriksson directed Diamanten to the lead and stayed on to win handily in 1:55.4 (mile rate).

Next Saturday Kim Eriksson will be in the bike behind Oasis Bi in the Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino.

Behind Diamanten was Generaal Bianco, driven by Peter Untersteiner, who took second followed by Django Riff.

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