It was a bad weekend all around for American Elitloppet entrants. Last night at the Meadowlands, Lucky Jim found the wrong time to come up with a seemingly dull performance in the Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands finishing second, five lengths behind, to Arch Madness who won the race in 1:51. While Lucky Jim was parked out the entire mile, he seemed to never be in serious contention.
Of course things were no better for Enough Talk who has been prepping in Europe for the Elitloppet. In Sunday's Oslo Grand Prix, Enough Talk finished last in a race won by Italy's representative Lisa America (mile rate of 1:55.7 for the 2100 meter distance) who defeated Swedish sensation Maharajah. While Enough Talk finished last, he actually raced very good, all things considered, as Enough Talk started from the second tier and raced most of the 1 5/16 mile contest on the outside. As they approached the final turn, Enough Talk actually made a three wide brush. Once it became apparent he was not going to be able to get to the top, Luc Ouellette basically packed it away, allowing others to pass him. After defeating Maharajah, Lisa America was given an invite to the Elitloppet.
While American interests may not be feeling as confident, our Canadian friends must be feeling pretty good heading into the Elitloppet. We we would be wrong to ignore Define The World's chances in the big race. This Canadian trotter, driven by Paul McDonnell, finished a credible third in the Oslo Grand Prix, making him a legitimate contender on the last Sunday in May. When you further consider it was his first European start, a third place finish behind Lisa American and Maharajah is even more impressive.
So while the connections of Define The World must be feeling confident that their charge has a good chance to make a good account of himself on the last Sunday in May, Enough Talk's connections must be praying for a good post position in their elimination and thankful for the week off to give him a rest. No word from the Lucky Jim camp yet, but after suffering his second defeat of the season, they are likely feeling a little less confident of his chances.
As of today, here are the invitees to this edition of the Elitloppet: There are four more invitations forthcoming.
1. Lucky Jim (USA)
2. Define the World (Canada)
3. Enough Talk (USA)
4. Torvald Palema (Sweden)
5. Beanie M.M. (Sweden)
6. Nu Pagadi (Germany)
7. Quarcio du Chene (Sweden)
8. Brioni (Germany)
9. Copper Beech (Germany)
10. Iceland (Sweden)
11. Lisa America (Italy)
12. Nimrod Borealis (Frankrike)
Remember, the Elitloppet will have eliminations to see who advances to the second heat later in the day.
It promises to be an exciting Elitloppt on May 30.