Day At The Track

Zacon Gio back to work in Italy

07:49 AM 26 Jan 2020 NZDT
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Zacon Gio, harness racing
Zacon Gio winning the 2019 Yonkers International Trot
Brandon Valvo Photo

YONKERS, N.Y. – After a three-month hiatus, 2019 Yonkers International Trot winner Zacon Gio resumed harness racing serious work last Friday, Jan. 17.

With trainer Holger Ehlert in the jog cart, Zacon Gio trained 2,000 meters in his first fast workout of the year.

Zacon Gio was timed in 2:49, trotting his final 400 meters in about 30 seconds, according a Facebook post by Ehlert.

“After three months of vacation Zacon Gio worked on the round track 2,000 meters (in) 2:49 with 30-(second) last 400 meters in the company of Vai Mo Blessed and Maine [ sic ] in about a month we are ready to run.”

To view a video of Zacon Gio’s workout, click here.

Zacon Gio is a 6-year-old Ruty Grif son out of the Yankee Glide mare May Galde Font Sm. The three-time Group 1 winner is 21-for-30 in his career with $996,834 earned for owner Giuseppe Franco. Zacon Gio’s last start came in the Yonkers International Trot Oct. 12. In his first start outside Italy, Zacon Gio romped to a 3 1/4-length victory in the $1 million stakes with Roberto Vecchione in the bike. Zacon Gio maintains a 12-race win streak dating to Oct. 25, 2018.

Zacon Gio’s first start of 2020 could be less than one month away, according to Ehlert’s post. The trotter’s main targets this year include the Group 1 Gran Premio Lotteria at Agnano in Naples this spring and a title defense of the MGM Yonkers International Trot this fall.

Slide So Easy Honored in Denmark

Slide So Easy, the 2019 Yonkers International Trot runner up, was honored in his home country of Denmark with year-end awards. After a 10-year-old campaign that saw the Quite Easy son win eight of 16 starts with another six placings and more than double his earnings to 4,464,884 kr, Slide So Easy earned Older Horse of the Year and Horse of the Year titles.

Slide So Easy won races at home and abroad in 2019. His biggest wins last season each produced lifetime marks. He trotted a 1:10.3 kilometer rating when besting Coktail Fortuna by a neck in a 1640-meter Gulddivisionen leg at Kalmar June 23. Slide So Easy lowered his mark again to 1:10.2 in a 1600-meter League 1 trot at Charlottenlund Aug. 25. Slide So Easy was only worse than second in two starts this year, including when seventh in the Group 1 Oslo Grand Prix at Bjerke June 9.

Slide So Easy came to the U.S. ahead of the foreign contingent for the Yonkers International Trot, staying with Åke Svanstedt. Slide So Easy took full advantage of his inside draw in the Yonkers International, staying inside and finishing second at odds of 22-1 and adding $250,000 to the trotter’s bankroll.

Slide So Easy raced four more times after his Yonkers International Trot bid, finishing his season with a victory in a 2,000-meter League 1 Final at Charlottenlund.

Slide So Easy is owned by Team Clemmensen & Christensen and trained by Flemming Jensen.

Slide So Easy


Cleangame Presented ‘Save the Date’ for 2020 MGM Yonkers International Trot

Yonkers Raceway Director of Racing Alex Dadoyan presented Jean Michel Bazire with a ‘Save the Date’ for the 2020 MGM Yonkers International Trot for his trotter Cleangame. At Hippodrome de Vincennes in Paris for this weekend’s Grand Prix d’Amérique, Dadoyan made the presentation after the Bazire trained and driven C D captured the Prix de Yonkers Raceway Thursday (Jan. 23).

Cleangame is regarded among the top trotters in the world. The 8-year-old Ouragan de Celland son went 13-for-16 in 2019, earning 628,750€. His biggest victories to date came in the Group 2, 150,000€ 42nd Grand Prix du Sud-Ouest Oct. 13 and the Group 2, 130,000€ Grand National du Trot Final Dec. 1. Most recently, Cleangame dominated his rivals in the 90,000€ Prix de Brest at Vincennes Jan. 18.

Cleangame’s appeared to be on the way to victory over Propulsion, Bahia Questnot, and Bold Eagle in this fall’s Group 2 UET Trotting Master’s Final at Vincennes, but made a break on the lead in deepstretch. In his career, Cleangame has earned 1,269,720€.

Cleangame is a gelding, excluding him from the biggest races at the Vincennes Winter Meeting.

Yonkers International Trot Veterans Line Up in Grand Prix d’Amérique Sunday

Three Yonkers International Trot veterans will start in the Group 1, 900,000€ Grand Prix d’Amérique at Vincennes Sunday (Jan. 26). Uza Josselyn and Bahia Quesnot, mares who started in the 2019 renewal of the International, and Ringostarr Treb, who came to New York in 2018, will each bid for France’s biggest race.

Uza Josselyn finished sixth in the 2019 Yonkers International Trot and prepped for the Grand Prix d’Amérique with fourth-place finishes in the Grand Prix du Bourbonnais and Grand Prix de Bourgogne and a seventh-place finish in the Grand Prix de Belgique. The 9-year-old Love You daughter made the field based on her earnings of 1,274,678€. Pierre Vercruysse will drive for Rene Aebischer. Uza Josselyn was seventh in the 2019 Grand Prix d’Amérique.

Bahia Quesnot made a break at start of the 2019 Yonkers International and did not finish the race. However, she rebounded at home for trainer and driver Junior Guelpa, finishing second in the Grand Prix de Bourgogne to punch her ticket to the Grand Prix d’Amérique. Guelpa will drive again on Sunday, Bahaia Quesnot’s second Grand Prix d’Amérique bid after finishing 10th in 2019.

Ringostarr Treb was favored in the 2018 Yonkers International Trot, but made a costly break in stride on the first turn of the $1 million stakes. The 2018 Elitloppet champion won two Group 1 races in 2019: The Hugo Åbergs Memorial and the Sundsvall Open Trot. The Jerry Riordan trainee made a break in the Grand Prix de Bourgogne, but qualified for the Grand Prix d’Amérique field on earnings of 1,648,631€. Ringostarr Treb’s Grand Prix d’Amérique bid will be his final start before going to stud.

The 2020 Grand Prix d’Amérique field is the richest ever assembled, with the 18 starters combined earnings standing at 25.9€ million. The race will be streamed on

Lionel Wins in Norway

Norwegian trotter Lionel, who finished second in the 2018 Yonkers International Trot at 11-1 odds and eighth in the 2019 renewal after making a break in deep stretch, found the winner’s circle in his home country Jan. 18. The 10-year-old trotter bested nine rivals at Bjerke Travbane with owner and trainer Gøran Antonsen in the sulky.

The 2020 edition of the $1 million MGM Yonkers International Trot is set for Sat. Sept. 12. For more information on the race and its participants, visit

By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

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