ANNIKE BYE HANSEN
Back to Sweden for big task
We Got the Boss runs at Bro Park
10 Nov 20: We Got the Boss is a thoroughbred that has been flying different flags, and he is truly an example of how international breeding and racing has become these days. Bred in the US, he began his career in Sweden, before he ended up with Annike Bye Hansen in Norway last year. That proved to be a good move, as the son of champion sprinter Street Boss soon climbed up to a new level under Annike's care. With two wins in 2019 and two more in 2020, he has been a success story for his aptly named owners, Champagnegaloppen. This coming Sunday, he will be back at Bro Park, where he raced in his younger days, to run in the valuable SGS Stockholm Høsthandicap, a really hot 15-runner affair over 2100 metres on the dirt track. We Got the Boss is coming off three straight second place finishes, most recently when partnered by Nora Hagelund Holm over 1600 metres at Øvrevoll Galopp in October. Nora will ride him again on Sunday and the combination has been put up as the second choice by Bro Park's form expert Ulf Zeider. Drawn in stall six, "the Boss" is clearly in with a chance.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Bro Park's November 15 fixture had to be cancelled.
Start to finish win over 1800 metres
We Got the Boss strikes again
16 July 20: Obliging for a second time this year, We Got The Boss stretched out to 1800 metres for a game, front-running, win under Ulrika Holmquist - who always rides him so well. We Got The Boss broke smartly to take command from the start. He raced with great zest throughout and ran on strongly when coming under pressure inside the final furlong to beat C'est la vie by 1 3/4 lengths. He has always shown great tactical speed but Annike now wonders how far this this four-year-old can go. "Perhaps he could stay even further?", the trainer commented, "remember, 1800 at this course is a tough distance". It is indeed, and We Got The Boss was not exactly tiring at the finish. He is a son of Champion US sprinter Street Boss, a stallion that has sired very smart winners at up to 1 1/4 miles, and We Got The Boss is out of the unraced mare We Got a Lemon, a daughter of Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Lemon Drop Kid, a stallion with a strong influence for stamina - and also a stallion who has given quite a few high class turf horses capable of winning big races over 10 and 12 furlongs. GS
Initiated a nice Bye Hansen double
We Got The Boss in full command
18 Jun 20: A lovely summer evening, and the first fixture with specators on course. Annike chose a good day for sending out two winners, as We Got The Boss and Aconcagua both ended up in the winners' circle. We Got The Boss got the ball rolling, running out a strong half-length winner of the Ihla Grande Handicap, a highly competitive affair over 1600 metres / turf. Ulika Holmquist was back on board and she gave the son of Street Boss a perfect ride. We Got The Boss captured the race by half a length from Cockney Cracker, with Match Maker back in third place. Champagnegaloppen's smart miler won twice in 2019 and, judged on this performance, he stands a good chance of repeating the feat this year.
We Got The Boss - a smart horse indeed
We Got The Boss joined Annike's team from trainer Lars Kelp in Sweden last summer. He had hinted at talent at Bro Park, but not found the right circumstances to fulfil his obvious potential with Kelp. After settling in at Øvrevoll, he began to find his feet in an efficient way during training and on Derby day, when it matters so much for a stable to do well, We Got The Boss produced an excellent performance to win a valuable mile handicap. He was in a competitive, big field, and racing in Norway, where the undulating track is quite different to the flat oval at Bro Park – in what was sure to be some streetfight – would also pose a challenge. We Got The Boss had raced twice over the course previously, finishing ninth in a sprint and fifth in a mile event, and he made full use of the experience. He had probably matured a bit too, as he gained a solid 2-length win over Good Eye in the Nordpool Spa Handicap. This was fine piece of training by Annike. She guided him perfectly to peak on the biggest day of the year. His win represented improved form for the stunning son of Street Boss. He travelled like a winner throughout and proved much the best in the 15-runner field. His Swedish trained runner-up, Good Eye, went on to win the Breeders' Trophy Mile at Bro Park later in September, and also followed up with yet another win there in October. We Got The Boss beat a smart horse when he won the Nordpool Spa.
It came as no surprise to see We Got The Boss do really well in all of his four subsequent starts in 2019. He went to run second to Holy Romance over 1800 metres 11 days after Derby day, then dropped back to 1600 metres for another win towards the end of September, when he beat Rue d'Argent by 2 lengths to add 31,680 kroner to the 52,200 kroner he picked up on Derby day. With just six runners, this was a different sort of contest, though it had some live contenders nevertheless. Admittedly, Rue d'Argent was a bit of a surprise, but the third placed Izakaya had won the Derby Mile on his previous start and King's Son, who was a well beaten fourth to We Got The Boss, came fresh from a win in the Racing Arena Champion Stakes in Denmark. Again, a race We Got The Boss captured was one that took some winning.
It's impossible two write about We Got The Boss without a mention of his very good riders after he came to Norway - all were of the so called 'weaker sex'. Ulrika Holmquist, who rode him in the Nordpool Spa, Willa Synnøve Schou and Nora Hagelund Holm, a pilot for his second win, all rode him extremely well. A female touch could well have be a crucial factor to his transformation.
He continued in fine form right to the end of the season, finishing third, second and second again before it was all over. His last two outings came on dirt. That he handled the sand was not all that baffling, after all he is a son of US champion sprinter Street Boss, but it is rare to see a horse perform equally well on turf and dirt. Such horses get more options, they make it easier for the trainer to hand pick races for them. If a turf race does not make much appeal, well, then one can take a look at an alternative on the dirt. It's a nice luxury to have. Champagnegaloppen's miler, one of the most genuine and consistent thoroughbreds seen in Norway last term, climbed up from handicap 71 to 80 after moving west, and he meets the new season on demanding terms.
Can he be as successful in 2020? The stiff handicap mark aside, something that also gives his connections well deserved bragging rights, there's no reason to doubt his prospects as a four-year-old. This gelding can certainly win more races. Bred by Keene Ridge Racing in the USA, We Got The Boss comes from a family that has produced durable horses like Majestic Empire, a stakes winner who won 19 of his 50 races and was placed second or third on 13 occasions, and Valid Miss Chain, a nice filly who managed 9 wins and 20 stakes placed efforts from 56 runs before she became a broodmare. These relatives were no superstars, but they kept on winning races as older horses. That's a good omen don't you think? GS 31 Mar 20
Champagnegaloppens 3-year-old won again
We really do have The Boss!
Øvrevoll 25 Sep 2019: Another raceday, another winner!
This time it was We Got The Boss, Champagnegaloppens handsome three-year-old son of US champion sprinter Street Boss, who ended up in the winners circle. Ridden by by Nora Hagelund Holm, he once more lived up to his name, bossing the field through the last two furlongs, to win the mile handicap by 2 lengths from Rue 'Argent. This win was worth 31.680 kroner. A nice addition to the 52,200 kroner he earned when winning on Derby day. Photo: Hesteguiden
We Got The Boss, Captain America
and Unwanted Beauty all in top shape
Øvrevoll 25 Aug 2019: Annike's tremendous run of success continued on Derby day. After three winners on the eve of the big racing feast, her stakes performers produced more excellent results. We Got The Boss (photo: Geir Stabell), owned by Champagnegaloppen, captured the Nordpool Spa Løp, worth 52,200 kroner. Unwanted Beauty, owned by Stall Lillemax, ran second in the prestigious Erik O. Steens Memorial, earning 100,000 kroner, and Espen Ski's top class sprinter Captain America pushed the odds-on favourite Duca di Como all the way to the line in the Polar Cup (G3). His runner-up effort was worth 150,000 kroner, increasing his seasonal earnings to an impressive 431,371 kroner. GS
We Got the Boss, Derby day 25 Aug 2019 Photos: Hesteguiden