V75®: The veterinarian in the spotlight both as trainer and driver

Her father Kari Lähdekorpi trained a big stable until 2012 when he unexpectedly closed down his business. His three children Pekka, Hanna and Maija has still been seen on the racetracks and during 2020 Hanna has taken big steps forward both as trainer and driver. On Saturday she drives three horses from her own stable on V75® at Halmstad.
"All three seem to be in open races where they should do OK and if someone is lucky with the trip we might get a win" says the successful trainer.

Hanna Lähdekorpi has been a sought after and often used amateur driver for several years and she has enjoyed great success, especially in the amateur races. In both 2018 and 2019 she had a win percent of 29 and last year her driver earnings almost reached SEK 900,000. She has had some horses in training all along but last year the family made a decision to change the concept of their horse ownership. 
"In September of last year we decided to take home all the horses we own in full to train them ourselves instead of having them with other trainers".
"When we started we didn't have a set training schedule, but things have worked themselves out and the horses have raced consistently all year" says Hanna. 

"Dad has a tendency of making a horse deal every now and then"
With 15 horses in training many people think that training horses is Hanna's main occupation, which is not the case. 
"My main job is being a veterinarian, so we have hired a girl who is responsible for the daily care of the horses".
"In Taru Hilaste we found a very good fit and she makes a terrific job together with a a few others in our team" says Hanna. 
If you follow racing closely you notice that sometimes there's a new horse in her barn and Hanna starts laughing while explaining why that is.
"My dad has a tendency of making a horse deal every now and then so some new horses come into our barn which of course is fun". 
"He is part owner of more than half of the horses in the barn but that's where his involvment stops. I take care of the training part together with Taru and I think it has worked out great this year".
"We need to keep the number at 12-14 horses to have control over all of them without having to hire more people" says the middle child of the Lähdekorpis. 

"Big difference in driving amateur races and driving on V75"
Hanna also often drives the horses and there's no doubt she has a talent for driving. 
"The high win percent previous years is thanks to the fact that I've driven mostly in amateur races where it has gone well".
"This year there's a new licensing system and the fact that I train 15 horses means that I've driven mostly in regular races. It has gone well but there's a big difference between driving in amateur races and driving on V75. The professional drivers are of very high class" says the veterinarian. 
The stable has earnings of SEK 1.9 million in 2020 and a win on Saturday would bring them very close to SEK 2 million. 
"Of course it would be fun to reach SEK 2 million but we'll see if we can. On V75 both the horse and the driver need to be on their game and you also need some luck - especially since all three our V75 starters drew in the second tier". 
"No matter how we do on Saturday we've had a good year and the plan is to continue for many more years - combining the job as veterinarian and training horses is a lot of fun" says Hanna Lähdekorpi. 

"9 Quantum Roc (V75-1) has been good and stable lately and we have taken one race at a time with him. He has also been able to race consistently which has helped and we have expectations of him since there seem to be room for further improvement. He is getting less time in between starts but that doesn't worry me since he wasn't really tired in his last start and he's been feeling fresh in training after that. He's a horse who can do the hard work himself if necessary but he's easy to drive and can race with any trip he’s given. He doesn't fit the class all that well as far as earnings go, but it looks like an even race with no standout. If we have some racing luck along the way I won't be surprised if he's right there at the wire. He will race with pullouts for the very first time but he's an intellegent horse so I don't know how much they will do for him. I think he has the best chance to win out of my three horses on V75 on Saturday". 
"9 Keegan Trot (V75-2) has made three starts for us and before his last start we had made some balancing changes which worked out well. It was a cheap race but the trip he got was far from easy. He was three wide for the last 1,250 meters but won in a good way. He's very strong but not safe and he has made some breaks in the past. It also shows in the start since he can't leave very fast, so starting in the second tier doesn't make much difference for him. From this post position we will be in the two path in the back of the field, which we would have been either way. He needs them to set a high pace upfront to have a chance and if the race is overpaced he could win. The balance was good in his last start so we won't make any changes this time, he will race with shoes, in a reagular sulky and with an open bridle". 
"12 Payet D.E. (V75-5) had only been in our barn for a short period of time before the start last Saturday and we didn't know much about the horse before the start. We had trained him lightly and he seemed to be in good shape which he proved to be. Stefan Persson who drove was happy with the horse and said that he felt good and behaved well. He wasn't tired so we decided to put him right back in for Saturday. He is used to racing back to back weeks and has done well doing so before on V75 so I'm sure he will be fine. He drew a bad post position but the long distance is an advantage for him. Tactically there's not a lot to think about, we have to play it by ear from that post position. He fits the class well and he has done well on V75 before so I haven't given up, but from post position twelve there's a risk of him racing great and still just finishing fifth. We have to be happy that it's December and not the Sprint Championship weekend in July - that increases our chances of winning V75 from post position twelve".
"6 Cute And Charming (race 12) raced first time for us last Saturday and was good. He had trained a lot before that start but no faster heats so I think that start will get him in better form. I don't know the other horses but I suspect it's a bit tougher than in his last start. I think that my horse at least will be better than in his last start".