Reijo Liljendahl is presenting a new acquisition on V86®.
Four year old mare Matter Of Fact has raced in the United States as a two and three year old and she is now ready to make her Swedish debut.
"She's a nice mare who has shown good qualities. I think she is good enough to race in some of the bigger races this summer" says Reijo.
This Wednesday's V86® is split between Bergsåker and Sovalla. At our capital's racetrack a fleet-footed American import will for the first time race in front of the Swedish audience. We're talking about the four year old American born mare Matter Of Fact who now will make her first start for her new trainer Reijo Liljendahl. She was trained over there by Marcus Melander but Reijo was the one who bought her at the yearling sale in Harrisburg. She sold for $25,000 and in her two seasons of racing in the United States she took two wins, two seconds and one third place and her total earnings are SEK 693,302.
"Matter Of Fact (V86-2) has been overseen by me since the day I bought her in Harrisburg. I've been over there training her at Marcus' farm, where we had a total of five horses. Matter Of Fact is a pretty nice mare who has shown some good qualities and who can leave fast" says Reijo Liljendahl.
"She didn't make that many starts as a two year old, but she was ok and she was even better last year as a three year old. She raced mainly on 5/8 mile tracks and she won on the lead, via the passing lane and when coming from behind".
"She was never among the best three year old fillies in the U.S. but she raced well. She came to me in September of last year and she has gotten a full winter of heavy training. I've also taken her to Solvalla to train twice and the fastest she's been is 1:22 over 2100 meters. Everything is good, she seems strong and tough and I'm pleased with her. It's time to start racing her".
"Conservative drive - not her most important race"
Matter Of Fact will start from post position eight behind the gate in the second leg of V86. The distance is 1,640 meters and she will be driven by Erik Adielsson. Even if trainer Liljendahl is pleased with his mare, it doesn't sound like we will get to see an aggressive drive.
"She drew a bad post and we'll go easy on her from there. It will be a conservative drive since this isn't her most important race of the year. I think she is good enough to race in some bigger races later this year but she hasn't raced in a long time".
"I expect a good effort from her but I don't know the opponents that well. Even if she hasn't trained any faster heats, I don't think you can count her out completely. She will race in an American sulky and with an open bridle as she has done in the States too" says Reijo.
"Hasn't raced up to her full potential"
The Solvalla trainer has one more starter on V86. Ti Amo Face will start in the sixth leg of V86 from post seven in 'volt' start with Erik Adielsson. She seemed to have things under control in her last starts but was surprisingly nipped right at the wire.
"Ti Amo Face (V86-6) raced well in her last start and she kept calm on the front over 3,100 meters. She got beat just at the wire and I think Erik was just driving to keep Örjan from getting out of the pocket. Instead she got beat by a horse who came flying on the far outside".
"She's in pretty good form but she hasn't raced up to her full potential. I hope it all will come together when she can start racing barefoot. She will race in an old style sulky instead of the American one, since it's 'volt' start this time. No other changes and I wouldn't call her chanceless in here" says Reijo Liljendahl.