According to his regular driver, 2015 Hambletonian winner Pinkman was the best he's been thus far as a four-year-old in his first winning effort as an older horse.
Pinkman, the Dan Patch and O'Brien Award winner as a three-year-old male trotter last season, was 0-for-2 in 2016 before heading to Sweden with regular driver Yannick Gingras and competing on the Elitlopp undercard in a four-year-old open trot.
"He felt really good," Gingras told Meadowlands' Bob Heyden. "He was a different horse when he hit the racetrack over there. He'd been running out pretty good here but Jimmy got him fixed and he was so good. I knew he was on in the stretch, I knew Uncle Lasse would be coming but I just tried to keep him to his task and he did the rest. He's just a really, really great horse."
Gingras still gets chills when thinking about the crowd of nearly 30,000 people cheering after his win, but he noted that the reaction provided by Solvalla's fans is the same whether you're a Hambletonian winner or not.
"They were going crazy but they do it for every race, no matter what they are. Maybe there was a bit of something special having a Hambletonian winner there, that doesn't happen very often...obviously, we know most of them get retired and go to stud but thankfully for me this one's a gelding so he's going to be around for a little while. We were in the winner's circle and you get goosebumps even thinking about it now, you have so many people cheering and screaming and applauding...it was a great feeling."
Not only is the feeling a great feeling, it's one the accomplished driver cannot compare to anything he's felt while driving in North America.
"Unfortunately with the [Little Brown] Jug, a lot of people are trying to get out of there so you don't have the big crowd still. It's a little bit different than the Elitlopp and that weekend because it wasn't the last race so obviously the crowd was still around but it's a complete different feeling and I've never had it like this. It was really, really special.
"I've been there a couple of times and what a fun atmosphere it is. The whole weekend is very special..the crowd goes crazy. It's just the cheering part of it. You can have big crowds anywhere but that crowd over there...I was in the first race [around 10 a.m.] and they were already screaming and they never stopped until six."
To watch the full interview with Gingras, who also discusses Hambletonian hopeful Southwind Frank, click the play button below.