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Muscle Hill mare wins Stochampionatet
Monday, July 23, 2018 - by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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Mellby Free, driven by Björn Goop, won the prestigious Stochampionatet at Axevalla Sunday afternoon (July 22).

The Stochampionatet race over the 1-5/8th mile distance is for 4-year-old mares and this was the 59th edition of the race, which carries a purse for the winner of $135,000.

Mllby Free, sired by Muscle Hill and out of a daughter to Windsong's Legacy, went into the race as a 12-1 shot, even though she had six wins from seven races.

The favorites had an off day as half of the field of 12 went off stride during the race, and after a pocket trip trainer/driver Goop would bring Mellby Free first past the post; she was timed in 1:58.1f (mile rate).

As mentioned, the purse for the winner was $135,000, but as Mellby Free was entered in the Premium Chance the purse was doubled. In Sweden every trotter can get either $2,250 (20,000 SEK) going a qualifier as a 2-year-old, or an owner can choose to enter his horse in the Premium Chance and get double prize money in certain big stakes races.

Also at Axevalla, the 5-year-old mare Double Exposure (sired by Donato Hanover), driven by Ôrjan Kihlström, won a mile event in 1:52.4f, which was a new track record. Double Exposure, bred by J&T Silva Stables, is trained by Daniel Redén and owned by the Zet Stable, who bought her at Harrisburg in 2016 for $65,000. This was win number three in a row for Double Exposure, who lowered her best time to 1:52f at Solvalla at the Elitlopp meeting. So far, she has earned $90,000 this year.

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