Partnership between leading American and Swedish racetracks opens door for international cooperation
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (February 10, 2016) – The New Meadowlands Racetrack and the famed Solvalla Racetrack in Sweden have announced plans for an Elitlopp Playoff Free-For-All Trot with an automatic invitation for the winning horse to compete in the Elitlopp, one of the world’s most prestigious trotting events, on May 29th at Solvalla Racetrack.
The Elitlopp Playoff will be contested on a special Mother’s Day matinee card at the Meadowlands on Sunday, May 8th. The estimated purse for the race is $150,000. In accordance with the Elitlopp rules, horses in the Playoff will not be allowed to race with either the medication Lasix or trotting hobbles.
“We see this as the start of something new,” said Christer Haggstrom, a board member of Solvalla. “By cooperating with the Meadowlands, we think we can attract the best North American horses to attend the Elitlopp. We are really appreciative of the cooperation and all of the hard work the Meadowlands team have put in. We think by cooperating internationally it will be beneficial to the entire harness racing world.”
In an effort to attract even more North American participation, Solvalla is finalizing plans for a direct flight from the East Coast to Sweden, eliminating demanding day-long van rides in Europe which was the norm in past years. Solvalla is also encouraging North American trainers to enter trotters in the supporting stakes races on Elitlopp weekend including the Sweden Cup, the Harpers Hanover, and the Fyaaringselitin, all with purses well over $100,000.
Trainers such as Jimmy Takter, Ake Svanstedt, Richard “Nifty” Norman, Ron Burke and several others have all expressed interest in nominating horses to the race including top North American trotters such as World Champion JL Cruze, Horse Of The Year Bee A Magician, and possibly the TVG Series champion Resolve.
A large contingent of Swedish horsemen will be traveling to the Meadowlands for the Elitlopp Playoff weekend. Both parties are also working diligently in an attempt to make the Elitlopp Playoff Trot part of the V75 wager in Europe on May 8th which would be an historic ground breaking effort between the two continents. The V75 routinely attracts more than $10 million in wagers. ATG, Sweden’s on-line wagering company, is planning on simulcasting the Elitlopp Playoff and other selected trotting events on the Meadowlands Mother’s Day card to Sweden for wagering on a separate pool basis.
“We are excited about the Elitlopp Playoff idea,” said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. “Working closely with the Solvalla management on this project is a great step for international trotting. The wagering ideas we are discussing including the possibility of our Meadowlands race in the V75 is very exciting and can help open the doors for even more joint ventures in the future between the two countries.”
Nominations for the Elitlopp Playoff close February 15th. With the President’s Day Holiday, all correspondence must be postmarked by February 17th.
For more information, log on to www.playmeadowlands.com or contact the Meadowlands Race Office at 201-THE-BIGM.