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Timoko Takes 2014 Elitopp

Published: May 25, 2014 9:58 am ET

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Timoko and Björn Goop captured the 2014 Elitlopp with an impressive performance Sunday at Sweden's Solvalla Racecourse.

Goop went right to the front with first heat winner Timoko from Post 2, parking out Digital Ink (Johnny Takter) and leaving the other elim winner -- Panne de Moteur (Örjan Kihlström) in the pocket.

Raja Mirchi (Lutfi Kolgjini) was situated second-over and Maven (Yannick Gingras) carried North America's hopes into the final from the third over position.

Digital Ink continued to pressure Timoko from first-over but was unable to get past the leader. On the backstretch, Raja Mirchi was tipped three-wide and Gingras followed that move with Maven.

As the field neared the top of the stretch, Raja Mirchi made a break in stride and took himself out of contention. Digital Ink had enough and that allowed Panne de Moteur to get out for the stretch drive but Goop kept Timoko to task and hit the wire first in a mile of 1:51.4. Panne de Moteur finished second with Delicious U.S. (Daniel Redén) getting the show spot. Maven finished just out of the money in sixth.

"It's a wonderful dream," said trainer and co-owner Richard Westerink after the win. "It's the biggest day of my life."

The first heats for the 2014 Elitlopp took place with mixed results for the North American-connected hopefuls.

The first elim featured eight trotters, including last year's winner Nahar and 2013 O'Brien Award winning trotting mare Maven.

Maven was taken back off the gate from Post 6 by driver Yannick Gingras, then raced in third over for the majority of the mile. The mile was cut by Shaq Is Back and Daniel Redén.

Gingras tipped Maven three-wide around the final turn and kicked home with trot but couldn't out-kick winner Timoko and driver Björn Goop, who won in 1:52.2.

Digital Ink and Örjan Kihlström finished second with Maven sealing her spot in the second heat with a third place finish. Reven d'Amour (Erik Adielsson) also advanced to the final.

Gingras reported over Twitter that Maven "was great in the 1st elim" and "she will be even better in the final."

Uncle Peter carried the hopes of Canadian owners Jim and John Fielding of Toronto, Ont. After a recall, Uncle Peter was settled down to the rail by driver David Miller and landed into fourth as Raja Mirchi (Lutfi Kolgjini) forged to the front over Panne de Moteur (Örjan Kihlström).

Miller made the move to come first up and pressure the pacesetter but was not able to collar the leader. Around the final turn, Uncle Peter started to lose momentum and eventually faded to last.

With room opening up, Kihlström guided Panne de Moteur off the pylons and urged him for the stretch drive. Raja Mirchi stayed strong but just got nipped by Panne de Moteur in the final strides. The time of the mile was 1:50.4, matching Commander Crowe's Swedish record as the fastest mile ever in the country.

Delicious U.S. (Daniel Redén) finished third with Pascia 'Lest (Enrico Bellei) also qualifying for the final.

The field in post position order for the 2014 Elitlopp Final is as follows.

1. Panne de Moteur
2. Timoko
3. Digital Ink
4. Raja Mirchi
5. Delicious U.S.
6. Maven
7. Pascia 'Lest
8. Reven d'Amour

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