Day At The Track
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It's been six years since Wilhelm Paal competed in the U.S. and his return will not go unnoticed. Paal, a 58-year-old native of Germany, is back to drive European standout Ringostarr Treb in Saturday's $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway. Ringostarr Treb, the winner of Sweden's prestigious Elitloppet in May, is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line behind Marion Marauder at 3-1. An 8-year-old stallion, Ringostarr Treb, a son of stallion Classic Photo, has won 30 of 86 career races and $1.57 million. He is trained by New England native Jerry Riordan, who won last year's International Trot with Twister Bi, and will represent Italy for owners E.V.A.M. Racing. "It's always a big honor to have a horse invited to this kind of race," Paal said. "I think we have a shot. He is a hell of a horse. I'm really happy to be with him. Hopefully he can do good on Saturday. "We are just proud to be here. This is what makes life. Not only the sport, life. What they do here at Yonkers brings people together. We should do that much more often. It's unique. It's a big thing." Paal, who has enjoyed a 40-year career as a driver and trainer, is no stranger to the International Trot. He drove Every Way to a sixth-place finish in the 1987 edition of the invitational, which was won by Callit. It was the last year the race, which began in 1959, was held at Roosevelt before moving to Yonkers. The race was discontinued following the 1995 edition, but resurrected in 2015. In addition to their Elitloppet triumph, Ringostarr Treb and Paal won this year's Group 1 Olympiatravet. "He's stepped up in class every year," Paal said of Ringostarr Treb. "When he went to Jerry, he stepped up in class again. I must say, the horse is a very smart horse. He can handle every kind of track and can do it either from the lead or with cover. It doesn't make a big difference. If I have cover, and I have a horse that sets the pace where he can come out the last quarter (mile), I think he is best that way." Paal grew up on a farm near Dusseldorf and started riding ponies at a young age before going into show jumping. At the age of 15, he began working with trotters. He won his first race in 1977. "I grew up step by step with horses," he said. After working in Germany, he opened a stable in Italy in 1989. Four years later, he won the Gran Premio Lotteria and Gran Premio Renzo Orlandi with Embassy Lobell and in 1995 he won four Group 2 events in Italy with Toss Out. Following additional successes in Italy, Paal opened a stable in France in 1999. He moved to the U.S. in 2006, while maintaining stables in Europe, and remained a presence in the States until the middle of 2012. He has operated a stable in Sweden since 2015. "I enjoy coming back to the United States and New York City," Paal said. "I liked a lot being here. It was a good experience. I'm proud that I tried it because it gives me a good feeling to know how it works in the United States. Now I'm in Sweden and we have pretty good horses." Capturing Sweden's most renowned race, the Elitlopp, was a thrill for Paal, who competed in the race seven times prior to his victory with Ringostarr Treb. "For me it meant a lot," Paal said. "You know the best horses in the world are getting an invitation. I could make it thanks to a great horse and thanks to great work that Jerry did. We are proud. "I'm working three years now in Sweden and it helps a little bit when you win the biggest race in the country where you work," he added. All of his experiences have Paal feeling like a man half his age. "I'm 58, but I feel like 30," he said, smiling. "Things are going good right now." Racing at Yonkers begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. The International Trot is race No. 8 on the card and scheduled for 3:40 p.m. The day also includes the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot, featuring the fastest trotter in history, Homicide Hunter, plus the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace, featuring the continued rivalry between McWicked and New Zealand-bred Lazarus. Following is the field in post-position order for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-3/1 2-Up And Quick-Jason Bartlett-Antoine Lherete-10/1 3-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/1 4-Ringostarr Treb-Wim Paal-Jerry Riordan-4/1 5-Pastore Bob-Johan Untersteiner-Johan Untersteiner-8/1 6-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-12/1 7-Will Take Charge-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis-6/1 8-Arazi Boko-Alessandro Gocciadoro-Alessandro Gocciadoro-15/1 9-Lionel-Goran Antonsen-Daniel Reden-10/1 10-Slide So Easy-Flemming Jensen-Flemming Jensen-15/1 * Lionel and Slide So Easy start from the second tier. For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

August 26, 2017 - Ringostarr Treb (7m Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral-Supergill) raced second over for Wim Paal and then moved swiftly down the middle in the stretch to capture today’s harness racing €179,200 purse Sundsvall Open at Bergsaker, Sweden, over the 2140 meters autostart course. Race time was 2:32.15 (1.11.1kr; 1:54.39 mile rate) for the Jerry Riordan trainee, owned by Marco Scarton. Off the 6.4/1 in SWE (16/1 on the PMU) the winner bested 9/1 Nadal Broline (7g Yankee Glide-Aimee’s Promise-American Winner) and Ulf Ohlsson. 1.5/1 favorite (3/10 on PMU) Propulsion (5m Muscle Hill-Danae-Andover Hall) trailed throughout until a too late brush in the lane, a mysterious drive by Orjan Kihlstrom. On Track Piraten and Spitcam Jubb finished fourth and fifth.  Thomas H. Hicks

July 8, 2017 - Today’s V75 Gold at Halmstad (150,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) went to a very impressive Ringostarr Treb (7m Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral-Supergill) clocked in 1.10.5kr for driver Wim Paal and new harness racing trainer Jerry Riordan. Marco Scarton owns the winner, now with a slate of 26-10-14 in 72 career starts for 5,990,194SEK earned. Ringostarr left from past four, went immediately to the front only to go off stride in the first turn. Paal steadied his charge, caught the rivals and then started up three wide on the final lap backside. Off the last turn Ringostarr started “flying” said Pall on post race interview. Day Or Night In (5m Muscle Hill-Ellie America-Buvetier d’Aunou) was second for trainer/driver Johan Untersteiner with third to Cruzado Dela Noche (5m Muscle Massive-Alidada-Credit Winner) with Bjorn Goop up for trainer Stefan Melander. On the terrific card was the StoSprintern Final (Gr. II International, 1609 meters autostart, 677,600SEK to winner) for four year-old mares. 2.9/1 Caddie Lisieux (4f Ready Cash-Caddie Dream-Viking Kronos) scored timed in 1.10.6kr for Kenneth Haugstad. Roger Walmann trains this one for SRF Stable. Bugatti Brick (4f Andover Hall-Likeable Les-Yankee Glide) was next for Jorma Kontio and trainer Timo Nurmos. Third was Lavidaloca De Vie (4f Crazed-Bliss-Angus Hall) reined by Orjan Kihlstrom for owner/trainer Stefan Melander. The card also included the V75 Silver (125,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart, 12 starters). The 1.7/1 Tjacko Zaz (5g Crazed-Kinoras Zaz-Angus Hall) scored timed in 1.10.1kr for trainer Timo Nurmos, owner Kings Arms and driver Johnny Takter. Two lengths back was Bravo Navarone (6m From Above-Ocean Breeze-Turbo Thrust) for driver Adrian Kolgjini. Third was King City (6m Muscle Hill-Creamy Mimi-Conway Hall) for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Roger Walmann. Earlier the Summer Meeting Mares took place with ten aged mares traveling 1640 meters autostart for a 100,000SEK first prize. Italy’s Shadow Gar (5f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar-Varenne) scored for catch-driver Jorma Kontio for trainer Erik Bondo. She was timed in 1.10.9kr. Patricia Hastrup (10f Great Challenger-Isabella Hastrup-Sugarcane Hanover) was second for Carl Johan Jepson and third was Toohotforyou (5f Scarlet Knight-VasterboFromHeaven-Red Xing) for Ulf Ohlsson. Thomas H. Hicks

Two eliminations were raced today leading to the Oslo Grand Prix undercard feature Energima Cup Final, contested over 1609 meters autostart for 300,000NoKr first prize. The 100,000NoKr elims (purse in euro €21,061) were first won by Ringostarr Treb (6m Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral-Supergill) with Wim Paal up for trainer Holger Ehlert at 2.85/1 odds, over .85/1 favorite Tycoon Conway Hall (6m Conway Hall-Golden Sunday-Supergill) with trainer Steen Juul up. Third was 42/1 Rafolo (8g Love You-Farola-Speedy Herve) with Lars Anvar Kolle driving. The second elim went to 5/1 Rod Stewart (6m Love You-Valley Lane-Lindy Lane) with Bjorn Goop at the lines for trainer Jerry Riordan. 1.27/1 favorite Allaballakaitoz (8g Credit Winner-Southwind Sweetbay-Valley Victory) took second for trainer/driver Peter Ubtersteiner and 22/1 Royal Ice (5g Muscle Hill-The Ice Queen-Conway Hall) landed third for trainer/driver Frode Hamre. Gigant Slugger was scratched from this elimination. Earlier the Montelopp (1609 meters autostart, 100,000NoKr to winner) went to 3/5 favorite Nantucket (10m Viking Kronos-Malabar Lady-Valley Victory) for Sofia Adolfsson. Call Me Hanover and More Caviar were next across the line. Thomas H. Hicks  

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