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Ström High On His Trotting Trio

Published: April 8, 2019 2:36 pm ET

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Anders Ström knows there are a number of talented three-year-old male trotters in North America. He also believes he owns three of them. Based on last year’s performances, led by his unbeaten Dan Patch Award winner Gimpanzee, it is easy to understand his enthusiasm.

Ström’s trio of Gimpanzee, Swedish-born Green Manalishi, and Greenshoe combined to win 16 of 23 starts and earn $1.17 million last year for Rising Star Award-winning trainer Marcus Melander. Gimpanzee was undefeated in nine races including the Breeders Crown, Green Manalishi won five of 10 and finished second in his five losses, and Greenshoe won two of four starts in an illness-shortened campaign.

Recently, in conjunction with Hoof Beats magazine’s previews of the three-year-old trotting and pacing divisions, Ström took time to share his thoughts about his “G Force” and the upcoming campaign.

Gimpanzee, pictured winning the Breeders Crown with Brian Sears.

Gimpanzee, owned by Ström’s Courant Inc. and Lennart Agren’s S R F Stable, led all two-year-old trotters in purses last season with $591,358. He swept through the New York Sire Stakes and capped his year with the Breeders Crown. He set track records for two-year-old male trotters at Saratoga (1:55.4) and Yonkers (1:56.3) along the way. The colt is by Chapter Seven out of Steamy Windows.

“He was obviously fault-free last season, and in hindsight we could probably have raced him harder,” Ström said. “But it was a deliberate decision to stay out of the Peter Haughton and I hope that will pay out well this season. The horse is very fresh and has trained without interruption all winter. He has filled out well and I am sure there is great development in him. We’re looking to Vernon Downs in May for his season debut.”

Green Manalishi won the William Wellwood Memorial and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes. He finished second in the Breeders Crown and Peter Haughton Memorial. The colt, named after a Fleetwood Mac song, is by Muscle Hill out of Naga Morich.

“He is a big horse and fortunately he has developed a lot of mass into that large frame during the winter training,” Ström said. “Realistically, Green Manalishi has a lot of development of strength in him, having around 10 per cent French bloodlines in his pedigree.

“We have obviously staked him with the Hambletonian in sight, but since he is Sweden and European eligible, he also has options in the late season, like, for example, the Swedish Kriterium, where he could race for around one million dollars, including breeders awards, in October.

“As a four-year-old he also has a very rich program in Europe, which is why we probably would play it slightly more cool with him on the North American circuit this season.”

Greenshoe, pictured victorious with Brian Sears at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Greenshoe won the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in 1:53.3, the fourth-fastest mark of 2018 for his division, but started only four times because of immaturity and sickness. The colt, by Father Patrick out of Designed To Be, is considered the fastest three-year-old in Melander’s stable.

“Maybe the most exciting in terms of the future,” Ström said. “Greenshoe has matured a lot. He was ill during the late season, but I think that could have been a blessing in disguise for him. He actually trained well in November, but then it was too late to come back. Now he will be well prepared for the season and if he gets his act together no one will be quicker than him.”

As for the three-year-old colt and gelding division as a whole, Ström was impressed last season with a number of horses, including Cantab Fashion, Dont Letem, Super Schissel, and Chin Chin Hall. Cantab Fashion and Dont Letem, who won the Peter Haughton, shared the fastest win time for a two-year-old, 1:51.4.

“It’s a very good year, and obviously there are several potential sleepers when I look at horses that were presented well in the yearling sale but didn’t really show up during their first season,” Ström added. “But, don’t ever think I would trade any of my three at this point.”


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