07/21/2015 8:14PM

Harness: European duo ready to invade U.S.

Chris Gooden
The now 6-year-old Magic Tonight winning a leg of PASS at The Meadows as a 3-year-old in 2012.

With the career-ending injury to Sebastian K announced just last week, the older trotting ranks are in need of some new blood. Almost if on cue, Magic Tonight and D’One—North American born trotters who have been racing in Sweden—will qualify at the Meadowlands on Saturday with the hopes of competing in the John Cashman Memorial eliminations over the same oval on August 1.

While only Magic Tonight is actually listed to qualify on Saturday (race 12, post 4), Nancy Johansson, who is housing the pair for trainer Roger Walmann, said that D’One is expected to compete in the morning action.

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“He would have been entered but they are still waiting for the DNA test to be done,” said Johansson, who added that D’One will be added on later in the week.

Both Magic Tonight and D’One arrived in the U.S. in mid-June and despite being restricted to quarantine, have been able to jog and train according to Johansson.

“Roger (Walmann) makes all of the decisions. He’s going to log a lot of frequent flyer miles going back and forth to Sweden,” said Johansson, who was impressed with the conditioning of the pair. “They haven’t raced in over five weeks, but both look fabulous.”

Magic Tonight, a 6-year-old son of Andover Hall who last raced in the U.S. in 2013, won the prestigious Elitloppet in Sweden in May at Sovalla before shipping overseas. D’One, a daughter of champions Donato Hanover and Giant Diablo, was bred stateside but has never raced in North America. The 5-year-old mare finished third in her final start in Sweden.

A definite decision on their immediate schedules will be made after they qualify. Regular driver Orjan Kihlstrom is expected to be on hand to drive the duo in North America, but Marcus Johansson is listed to drive Magic Tonight in his initial qualifier.

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