Day At The Track

Perlucky steps up to Yonkers Open Trot

02:57 AM 05 May 2019 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Perlucky, harness racing
Perlucky and driver/trainer Trond Smedshammer
Katy Gazzini Photo

YONKERS, N.Y. – Although harness racing driver / trainer Trond Smedshammer has always felt trotter Perlcuky possessed talent, the Lucky Chucky son developed a knack for making mistakes at unfortunate times. He jumped offstride in his career debut as a 2-year-old and after earning a spot in the New York Sire Stakes Final, made a break in the $225,000 championship. Perlucky also galloped in the Dexter Cup Final and the NYSS Final again as a 3-year-old. 

“There are easier horses to drive,” said Smedshammer, who’s been in the bike for 28 of Perlucky’s 34 races and qualifiers. “He can get a little aggressive at times and can get a little bumpy on the turns. He usually doesn’t make a mistake, but he’s not the easiest one to drive. Right now, we seem to have him rigged and set up in a way that is a little bit better, but at times, he can be tough to sit in a hole with and follow horses. That’s why I’ve driven him myself most of the time.”

Despite his mistakes, the $15,000 Harrisburg buy still earned $178,519 at 2 and 3 and now at 4, has started to put all it all together. Perlucky began his 2019 campaign with five wins in his first eight starts as he climbed the class ladder at Yonkers, winning out of the non-winners of 4, 6, and 8 conditions. 

Perlucky’s biggest win this year came against older horses at the non-winners of $30,000 last five level April 13. Smedshammer gave up the lines in favor of George Brennan in that start, and Brennan sent the gelding straight to the top. Perlucky opened a 4-length advantage past the three-quarters and maintained his lead in the stretch to win in a career-best 1:54.4.

“That’s the first time he’s really been let go,” Smedshammer said. “In the beginning, he had a few miles on the front end. Most of the times after that, I’ve been sitting back and racing the last half. He’s pretty strong, he can carry his speed a long way, so I wasn’t surprised. He won in 56-and-one as a 3-year-old and now this year, he’s a better horse. He can definitely go better now under the right circumstances.

“He showed talent both as a 2- and 3-year-old, but he wasn’t as fast as he is now” Smedshammer continued. “Another year, he’s just more mature. Mostly physically. He got bigger and stronger.”

Although Brennan’s aggressive tactics paid off, Smedshammer cautioned that it’s all or nothing when sending Perlucky off the gate.  
“If you fire him up leaving, you have to be prepared to go to the front,” he explained. “If you fire him up leaving, you’re not going to be able to sit in a hole with him, you’re not going to be able to let someone retake. That’s not his style. He’s not going to like that. Either you take him off the gate, or if you leave hard, you have to be prepared to go to the front.”

Off an impressive runner-up finish to Melady’s Monet in the same class last out April 20, Perlucky boosted his career tally to $272,349 and earned a spot in the $44,000 Open Handicap Trot Saturday, May 4. Paired with Brennan again, the duo will start from post four. 

The field includes Smalltownthrowdown, who will start from post five and looks to improve off a sixth-place finish last out when handicapped by post eight, and Eye Ofa Tiger As, who won last week’s trotting feature.

New Heaven, a winner of two Open Handicaps in March and the third-place finisher last week, drew post six while SOA Bonus Trotting Series runner-up Swansea drew post eight. Lord Cromwell, Fearless Man, and Mostinterestingman complete the lineup.

“It’s a decent spot. It’s not the toughest Open. A lot of times, the non-winners of $30,000 is tough. His last start, he faced one of the best Open horses there all winter, Melady’s Monet. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter too much. It’s not a huge difference between those classes,” Smedshammer opined. “I think he’s in a decent spot. He’s been training good this week. I think George is going to have a good run with him. I’m not saying he’s going to win, but he’s going to show a good race.”

Saturday night’s card also features a $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. First post time is 7:15 p.m. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. For entries to the races, click here.

By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: