Day At The Track

Cruzado Dela Noche wins $1m International Trot

09:22 AM 14 Oct 2018 NZDT
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Cruzado Dela Noche, harness racing Cruzado Dela Noche, harness racing Cruzado Dela Noche, harness racing
Photo finish shows that Cruzado Dela Noche beats Lionel by a head
Cruzado Dela Noche and driver Brian Sears beat Lionel to the wire
Mike Lizzi photo
Cruzado Dela Noche with driver Brian Sears, trainer Marcus Melander and caretaker celebrating in the winner's circle
Mike Lizzi photo
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Sweden’s Cruzado Dela Noche made a three-wide move on the final turn and the 30-1 long shot was able to nip Norway’s Lionel at the wire in a dramatic photo finish by a head in winning harness racing’s $1 million International Trot at Yonkers Raceway Saturday.

Driven by Brian Sears, Cruzado Dela Noche got away in sixth place as Arazi Boko (Alessandro Gocciadoro) took the early lead away from the USA’s Ariana G (Yannick Gingras) going to the first quarter in :28.2.

Race favorite and Elitloppet winner, Ringostar Treb and Pastore Bob both went off-stride going for the lead on the first turn.

Then Canada’s Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) came first-over and was able to clear to the lead and take the field to the half mile in :57.1 as Lionel and driver Goran Antonsen came first-over with Sears and Cruzado Dela Noche followed second over past the three-quarters in 1:27.

As they came to the final turn, Sears made the big move three-wide with Cruzado Dela Notche past the mile marker in 1:27 and the three-horses raced side-by-side around the turn and then the battle began down the stretch.

Marion Marauder began to tire, Lionel looked if he had the race won, but with every stride, Cruzado Dela Noche gained ground and then in the final strides to the wire, won by a head in 2:24.3. Up And Quick (Jason Bartlett) was third.

A six-year-old stallion by Muscle Massive, Cruzado Dela Notche was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms in the USA and raced in the states at age two before being shipped to Sweden. He trained by Marcus Melander and is leased by Courant, Inc. of Delray Beach, Florida. He paid $62.50 to win.

Also, of note is that Cruzado Dela Noche had not been in a pari-mutuel race since June 10. He did have two winning qualifying races before going in the International.

“I’m just so proud and happy to be here today,” said winning driver Brian Sears. “The trip I got, I could not have drawn it up any better. Maybe I should have tipped him three deep a little earlier than I did. When I did tip out it made the 9 horse (Lionel) worked a little harder. Perhaps if I had waited until the top of the stretch my horse would have gotten to him sooner.

“He just raced super,” Sears said. “He got the trip that he needed. It’s just awesome today. To win the International Trot is great. This was my fourth time in the race. You don’t get that many chances to compete at this level. To win this today is quite a thrill.”

“We did the qualifiers at Pocono,” said trainer Marcus Melander. “And we really did not know if they were enough for him to get ready for this race. He showed up today in good shape.

“We train our horses a lot,” Melander said. “He was use to the extra distance racing from Sweden.”

Warrawee Roo and Dube take $250,000 Harry Harvey Trot

With a huge three-wide move from fourth place, Warrawee Roo and driver Daniel Dube was able to collar pacesetter Gruden and go on to win the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot Saturday at Yonkers Raceway.

Gruden, at 22-1, and driver Tim Tetrick grabbed the lead away from In Secret (George Brennan) to start off the seven race one and one-quarter mile race and led the field past the opening quarter in :28.1 and the half mile in :57.

Yes Mickey and driver Jason Barlett had started up first-over with Warrawee Roo following the outside flow second-over as they past the three-quarters in 1:27.

Then at the one-mile mark in the race at 1:56, Dube moved Warrawee Roo three-wide, clearing by Yes Mickey and then collaring Gruden as they started down the stretch.

Warrawee Roo then has plenty of trot in the stretch, holding off Tap Flight Angel (Andy Miller) to win by one length in 2:25.2 with Gruden third.

Winless in his last seven starts, Warrawee Roo, a five-year-old stallion by Majestic Son, posted his fourth win of the year for trainer Luc Blais and the Determination Stable of Montreal, Canada. He paid $10.60 to win.

By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

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