Day At The Track

Owners aim high with 'underdog' Slide So Easy

03:16 AM 13 Oct 2018 NZDT
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Slide So Easy, harness racing
Slide So Easy and driver Flemming Jensen
Adam Strom photo

No matter the outcome for Denmark's Slide So Easy in Saturday's (Oct. 13) $1 million Yonkers International Trot, owners Soren Christensen and Thomas Clemmensen are going to enjoy the experience of participating in the event. Christensen readily admits his 9-year-old gelding is the race's underdog, but is hoping for a strong effort and a little luck.

Slide So Easy has won 30 of 78 career races and earned $286,054. He will start the 10-horse International Trot from post 10, in the second tier, with driver Flemming Jensen and is 15-1 on the morning line. The gelding is a son of stallion Quite Easy, whose nine victories included the 2007 Goodtimes Stakes at age 3 and divisions of the International Stallion and Champlain at age 2.

"This is our first time that we have a horse in an international race," said Christensen, who has been involved in racing for 30 years. "Denmark is a very small country in trotting. He will be the underdog in the field; he has not earned the money of the other horses. But we are proud to be here and start a horse in the race."

Denmark has had one winner in the International Trot, Habib in 1986. This is the 40th edition of the race, which began in 1959 and was contested until 1995 before a 20-year hiatus. The event, held at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway, was resurrected in 2015.

Canada's Marion Marauder, who finished second in last year's International Trot, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's race. Elitloppet winner Ringostarr Treb, representing Italy, is the 4-1 second choice followed by Ariana G, the U.S. representative and lone mare in the race, at 5-1.

Marion Marauder, who captured the Trotting Triple Crown in 2016 and was named Trotter of the Year, and Ariana G are both two-time Dan Patch Award winners. Will Take Charge, Canada's second representative in the race and 6-1 on the morning line, is a Grand Circuit winner.

Of the seven European horses in the race, all but Slide So Easy have at least one Group 1 win. Slide So Easy, though, enters the International Trot with six wins and nine on-the-board finishes in his past 10 races. The horse was sold in early 2016, at which time Jensen took over the training and driving. Slide So Easy has won 18 of 32 races and $211,628 since the beginning of 2016.

"He's a very complete horse, I think," said Christensen, who owns three horses with Clemmensen in their Team Clemmensen and Christensen stable. "He can do everything. He does not get stressed. He has a very easy way (of trotting). We hope to take off his shoes on Saturday. He's much better (with no shoes) than with shoes. I hope he will be able to race without them.

"I think it will be a very hard race; they will drive a lot of horses right from the start. We're hoping we can get a good trip and come on the latter half of the race. That would be fantastic."

And if Slide So Easy were to win?

"I can't say," Christensen said, laughing. "It's dreaming. But a horserace is a horserace, and we are one of the 10."

Racing at Yonkers begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. The International Trot is race No. 8 on the card and scheduled for 3:40 p.m. The day also includes the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot, featuring the fastest trotter in history, Homicide Hunter, plus the $250,000 Dan Rooney Invitational Pace, featuring the continued rivalry between McWicked and New Zealand-bred Lazarus.

Following is the field in post-position order for the $1 million Yonkers International Trot.

PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line
1-Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-3/1
2-Up And Quick-Jason Bartlett-Antoine Lherete-10/1
3-Ariana G-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/1
4-Ringostarr Treb-Wim Paal-Jerry Riordan-4/1
5-Pastore Bob-Johan Untersteiner-Johan Untersteiner-8/1
6-Cruzado Dela Noche-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-12/1
7-Will Take Charge-Tim Tetrick-Jeff Gillis-6/1
8-Arazi Boko-Alessandro Gocciadoro-Alessandro Gocciadoro-15/1
9-Lionel-Goran Antonsen-Daniel Reden-10/1
10-Slide So Easy-Flemming Jensen-Flemming Jensen-15/1
* Lionel and Slide So Easy start from the second tier.

For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com.

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

 

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