Sebastian K heads Maple Leaf Trot eliminations

12:56 PM 09 Jul 2014 NZST
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Sebastian K, harness racing
Sebastian K tied world record with 1:50 mile
Photo by Chris Tully

The world's fastest trotter is set to make his Canadian debut this Friday as Sebastian K is one of 12 horses entered in the 2014 Maple Leaf Trot.

Sebastian K drew Post 6 in the first six-horse elim, Race 3 on Mohawk Racetrack's Friday night card. The European-bred superstar, owned by Knutsson Trotting of Vero Beach, Fl., has been unbeatable in his four North American starts, two of which have been in world record speed. Trained and driven by Sweden's Ake Svanstedt, Sebastian K's most recent effort was a scintillating 1:49 effort at Mohegan Sun Pocono -- the fastest trotting mile in harness racing history.

Svanstedt's hope that Sebastian K could get another week's rest with no elimination divisions needed was not to be had with 12 entered in the rich stake.

A number of O'Brien and Dan Patch Award winning trotters will look to knock off the top-rated horse in North America, including two in his elimination race. Wheeling N Dealin (PP1, Jody Jamieson), 2012's top two-year-old trotter looks to be returning to form and 2013 three-year-old O'Brien winner Flanagan Memory (PP5, Chris Christoforou) has solid recent form. Both, however, will have to up their game to knock off the Swedish superstar.

In the second elim, back-to-back O'Brien Award winning Older Trotting Horse Mister Herbie (PP5, Steve Condren) is the fastest trotter ever on Canadian soil by virtue of his 1:50.4 effort in the 2012 edition of the Maple Leaf Trot. Another O'Brien Award winner, Intimidate (PP1, Sylvain Filion) is no stranger to big stage heroics. His 2012 Breeders Crown win (over Market Share, also entered in this race) helped propel him to divisional honours two seasons ago at age three.

Race 3 -- 1st Maple Leaf Trot Elim - Purse: $40,000
1. Wheeling N Dealin - J. Jamieson - L. Blais
2. Creatine - M. Lachance - R. Stewart
3. Wishing Stone - To Be Announced - R. Burke
4. Archangel - To Be Announced - R. Burke
5. Flanagan Memory - C. Christoforou - R. Dion
6. Sebastian K - A. Svanstedt - A. Svanstedt

Race 8 -- 2nd Maple Leaf Trot Elim - Purse: $40,000
1. Intimidate - S. Filion - L. Blais
2. Market Share - Ti. Tetrick - L. Toscano
3. Modern Family - D. Palone - D. Bier
4. Dws Ny Yank - To Be Announced - R. Burke
5. Mister Herbie - S. Condren - J. Gillis
6. Undercover Strike - D. Miller - T. O'Sullivan

Friday's card also features Canadian Breeders Championship elimination races for three-year-old trotters as well as an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg for two-year-old pacing fillies.

(With files from Mohawk Raceway and Standardbred Canada)

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