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Smedshammer: "Everything Is Lining Up Right" For Elitlopp-Bound Arch Madness

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Published: May 26, 2011 11:57 am ET

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Arch Madness, undefeated in four races this year and coming off a stakes record-equalling win in the Oslo Grand Prix on May 15, is the favourite heading into Sunday’s prestigious Elitlopp in Solvalla, Sweden.

The seven-year-old gelded trotter is trained by Trond Smedshammer and owned by Marc Goldberg and Barry Goldstein’s Willow Pond LLC. He will be driven by top Swedish reinsman Bjorn Goop, who also was at the controls for the Oslo Grand Prix.

There will be two opening-round heats in the Elitlopp. Arch Madness will start from Post 2 in the second division. His heat also includes the defending champion, Iceland, and the Lou Guida-owned Lisa America, the Oslo Grand Prix runner-up. Commander Crowe was scratched from the heat because of ulcers.

The top four finishers from each opening heat will return for the same-day final. Arch Madness is the favourite in his heat, as well as the favourite to capture the final. Brioni is the favourite in the first heat, which also includes 2010 Kentucky Futurity winner Wishing Stone and Canadian entry Define The World.

“He seems to be doing very well,” the New Jersey-based Smedshammer said. “It couldn’t have been better as far as the draw. Everything leading up to this race couldn’t have gone better, as far as the trip overseas and the race in Norway. He came out of that race good. Everything is good.”

Arch Madness is history’s fastest trotter on a five-eighths-mile track, having won in 1:51 at Pocono Downs last year. Solvalla is also a five-eighths-mile oval.

For his career, Arch Madness has won 22 of 61 races and earned more than $2.7 million. In addition to his win in the Oslo Grand Prix, his victories include the 2007 Breeders Crown for three-year-old trotting males and the 2008 Maple Leaf Trot.

“We know that when he’s on his game he can go with any of them,” Smedshammer said. “It’s never been a question of that. If he’s feeling good Sunday, he should be tough to beat. He’s pretty versatile. Most likely Bjorn is going to want to be on the front end and I think he’ll get that pretty easy. Everything is lining up right, let’s put it that way.”


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit ustrotting.com.


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