Snyder, Riordan Eye Elitlopp

Published: May 27, 2021 04:35 pm EDT

Jeff Snyder is well known for his accomplishments as the owner of pacers, with Horse of the Year award winners in both the U.S. (Cams Card Shark and Rocknroll Hanover) and Canada (Michaels Power), not to mention holding or sharing the records for victories in the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace and Little Brown Jug.

And now for something completely different. Snyder will try to add one of the world’s great trotting races, the Elitlopp, to his résumé when Aetos Kronos competes in Sunday’s invitational event at Solvalla Racetrack in Stockholm, Sweden.

Aetos Kronos, a five-year-old son of French stallion Bold Eagle out of U.S.-born mare Will Of A Woman, is trained by New England native-turned-Sweden-based conditioner Jerry Riordan. He races in the first of two eight-horse Elitlopp eliminations, starting from post four with driver Magnus Djuse. The top four from each elim return later in the day for the final.

No spectators will be permitted at Solvalla because of COVID-19 restrictions. However, some track restaurants will be opened to accommodate a limited number of horse owners and guests. Snyder and his family will watch from the States because of travel restrictions.

“The horse is doing well and we’re looking forward to the race and seeing what happens,” Snyder said. “It looks like it will be a wide-open race. Just being in it, we’re very happy. It’s just too bad we can’t be over there. It’s such a great race, such a spectacle normally, and we were looking forward to getting over there.”

For his career, Aetos Kronos has won 13 of 32 races, hit the board a total of 24 times, and earned the U.S. equivalent of $1.07 million. He has captured a handful of Group 1 races in Sweden and is owned by Team Snyder (Jeff and son Michael) and Aetos Dios AB. He will represent the U.S. in the Elitlopp.

Among Aetos Kronos’ highlights was winning the Hakan Wallner Memorial with a world-record performance at the distance of 1-5/16 miles at age three. Last year, his victories included the King Gustaf V Trot and the Solvalla Grand Prix.

This season, he won the Group 2 Prix Bold Eagle in France before a third-place finish behind Delia Du Pommereux and Face Time Bourbon in the Group 1 Prix de France. After a two-month layoff, he returned to win his qualification for the Paralympic Trot in late April. He finished third in the Group 1 final, won by Delia Du Pommereux, on May 8.

“The Prix De France was his first race against the older horses; they race against their own as four-year-olds,” Riordan said. “So, he’s relatively young, just now kind of graduating into that group of older horses.

“I was happy with the effort (in the Paralympic Trot final) but it kind of puts things in perspective. To beat these horses, you can’t just overpower them. You have to get a trip. Aetos Kronos is a wonderful horse but he’s not going to be able to overpower these guys. Something has to work out a little bit in his favour.”

Riordan, who won the 2018 Elitlopp with Ringostarr Treb, has two horses in this year’s event, with Gareth Boko competing in the second elimination. The eight-year-old stallion has won 18 of 50 races in a career hampered by health issues.

“I’m very optimistic,” Riordan said. “There is no real standout. Vivid Wise As has beaten the best horses in Europe before and when he gets on the front he’s really a tough horse. But other than that, it is wide open.

“Both horses I have are very good horses. We have good post positions. It’s not like you feel you can go in and dominate, but you know if the race develops in the right way, they’re both good enough to capitalize on it.”

Online bookmakers have Vivid Wise As among the favorites to win the Elitlopp, with Don Fanucci Zet and Moni Viking. Aetos Kronos, Seismic Wave, Ecurie D, and Very Kronos are also receiving solid consideration.

“In the past, Aetos has shown he’s excellent at the mile-and-a-quarter races because he usually comes from behind,” Snyder said. “It will be interesting to see what happens at a mile. He’s a beautiful horse and he’s been no problem, right from day one. He’s a very sound horse, takes care of himself. We’ve had a lot of fun with him.”

Snyder credits his son Michael for getting the family involved with trotters overseas. Their first horse in Europe was Treasure Kronos, a mare who was trained by Riordan and counted a Swedish Breeders Crown championship at age three in 2015 and the prestigious Criterium Continental in France at four among her victories.

“The last few years we’re getting more into trotting,” Snyder said. “Michael has been following the French racing and the Swedish racing for a number of years. It’s exciting to have horses in Europe. We like the longer races. It makes for more interesting racing.

“Aetos has a lot of races against the best horses in Europe all summer, for the rest of the season. They’re a tough bunch, that’s for sure. Hopefully, he’ll be competitive.”

And what would it be like to win the Elitlopp? Riordan can provide an answer.

“It’s surreal,” Riordan said. “It’s one of those moments when you know you’ve accomplished the greatest achievement you can have in this game. Nothing is better than winning the Elitlopp. There are things as good as winning the Elitlopp, but there is nothing better than that.”

Following are the Elitlopp elimination fields, with drivers and trainers:

Elimination 1
1. Vivid Wise As – Alessandro Gocciadoro
2. Moni Viking – Björn Goop
3. Milliondollarrhyme – Fredrik B. Larsson
4. Aetos Kronos – Magnus A. Djuse – Jerry Riordan
5. Hickothepooh – Vidar Hop – Trond Andersen
6. Bahia Quesnot – Junior Guelpa
7. Cyber Lane – Johan Untersteiner
8. Don Fanucci Zet – Ôrjan Kihlström – Daniel Redén

Elimination 2
1. Cokstile – Vencenzo Gallo – Mattia Orlando
2. Heavy Sound – Kenneth Haugstad – Daniel Redén
3. Seismic Wave – Claes Sjöström – Reijo Liljendahl
4. Gelati Cut – Gabriele Gelormini – Romain Christian Larue
5. Gareth Boko – Mats E. Djuse – Jerry Riordan
6. Ecurie D – Ulf Ohlsson – Frode Hamre
7. Click Bait – Per Lennartsson – Stefan Melander
8. Very Kronos – Erik Adielsson – Svante Båth


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