One-tenth of a second above the current world record. The Breeders Course 3 years old 2020 First Final continues to deliver topclass races.
Hell Bent for Am won at 1.11.9 – without ever being close to the inside track.
– He hesitated a little behind the gate, so I had to make sure he didn't gallop. Therefore, it was a tough start, the driver Örjan Kihlström said.
Hell Bent for Am always sat first in second track, Jorma Kontio drove fast in the lead with Bolero Gar and made it as difficult as possible for the favorite. But entering the homestretch Hell Bent for Am was still strongest.
– Normally he can open very well, but now he had to show how good he is instead.
Hell Bent for Am is Swedish-born, but has been over to the US and made four starts for Marcus Melander. Prior to this season he returned to Sweden and is unbeaten after three starts and has earned - much thanks to the million he got for the Breeders' Course win - 1.4 million on those starts.
– I can’t answer if it is an advantage that he started his career in the USA, I’m just the driver. But Marcus is a skilled trainer so he has certainly got the best possible foundation for the horse, Kihlström replied.
For Hell Bent for Am, more Swedish big races are now waiting and with the strength he now showed he sails up as a hot candidate for the Svenskt Travkriterium.
– Then I must try to get a little closer to the grind of any turn," Kihlström joked. Hell Bent for Am is being trained by Stefan Melander who now can add another big race victory to his heavyweight titles in the Prix d'Amerique (Gigant Neo), the Elitloppet (Iceland and Nuncio), the Hambletonian Stakes (Scarlet Knight) and the International Trot ( His Majesty) among others. Behind the winner was Bolero Gar very brave second and Natorp Bo showed good form as third.
The next series of eliminations will start in just under four weeks.
Save the date.
June 25: Åby
June 26: Wolvega
July 13: Solvalla
July 14: Jägersro
July 15; Milan.
July 28: Final at Jägersro