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Perfect Spirit wins another “Hambletonian”
Friday, July 06, 2018 - by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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Perfect Spirit, who last year won the Hambletonian at The Meadowlands, took another big win Thursday night (July 5) in the "Swedish Hambletonian," The Sprintermästaren at Halmstad.

 
Kanal 75 photo
Perfect Spirit won the "Swedish Hambletonian," The Sprintermästaren at Halmstad.

Sprintermästaren is raced just like the Hambletonian with eliminations and a final on the same day, but the race is for 4-year-old trotters.

Perfect Spirit with Ôrjan Kihlström went into the race as the heavy favorite, but for the first time in Sweden, he had to settle for second in the elimination behind Calle Crown driven by Christoffer Eriksson. Calle Crown won in 1:53f, with Perfect Spirit three lengths behind.

The two other eliminations were won by Hasard Boko driven by Per Lennartsson in 1:56.3f and Enterprise driven by Björn Goop in 1:55.4f.

In the final Calle Crown went off stride as the gate left the trotters. Enterprise, who last year finished third in the Hambletonian, was able to take command from post position one, while Perfect Spirit was placed third-over.

Daniel Redén, who trains Perfect Spirit, was not satisfied with the performance in the elimination, so in the final he put a headpole and a “Norwegian bridle” on Perfect Spirit.

However, when Kihlström was going to make his move with one quarter to go, Perfect Spirit went off stride, but Kihlström managed to get him back trotting very quickly.

Going into the stretch Enterprise was still leading, but under attack from Super War Horse driven by Kevin Oscarsson and Lucifer Lane driven by Johan I. Nilsson. Lucifer Lane seemed to be the strongest, but on the far outside Perfect Spirit came flying and though he was a little bit rough gaited 100 yards from the finish line, he just managed to catch Lucifer Lane to win by a neck in 1:53f.

Perfect Spirit, who is sired by Andover Hall and out of Good Common Cents, was bred by Hanover Shoe Farm and is owned by the SRF Stable.

The purse for the winner was $115,000.

Kihlström won another race with a USA-bred trotter, the 5-year-old mare Double Exposure (sired by Donato Hanover) who won a 1-5/16th mile event in 1:55.4f (mile rate). Double Exposure is also trained by Daniel Redén, but is owned by the Zet Stable.


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