Day At The Track

Sebastian K looks to rebound in Lexington Sunday

04:44 PM 04 Oct 2014 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Sebastian K, harness racing
Sebastian K hopes to rebound at Lexington Sunday
Lisa Photo

Freehold, NJ --- The fastest trotter in harness racing history, Sebastian K, visits The Red Mile on Sunday, but co-owner Tristan Sjoberg doesn’t need to see fast times to have a good time.

Sebastian K, an 8-year-old male trotter from Sweden in his first season of competing in the U.S., set the world record of 1:49 in June at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The previous mark was 1:49.3, set by Enough Talk in 2008, and no other trotter had gone faster than 1:50.1 before Sebastian K’s performance at Pocono.

On Sunday in Lexington, Sebastian K is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the $173,000 Allerage Farm Open Trot. Sebastian K will start from post No. 2 in the nine-horse field with trainer Ake Svanstedt doing the driving.

“We’re very much looking forward to the race,” said Sjoberg, who owns Sebastian K with his brother, Michael Knutsson. “It might not be the biggest purse of the season, but it is such a classic track and race, the money is secondary. Along with the Maple Leaf Trot and Cashman (Memorial) this is the élan of racing for aged trotters.”

Sebastian K has won eight of 10 races this year and is the No. 1-ranked horse in harness racing’s weekly Top 10 poll. His victories include the John Cashman Jr. Memorial, Crawford Farms Open Trot and Arthur J. Cutler Memorial. He finished second by a nose in the Maple Leaf Trot.

In his most recent start, Sebastian K finished seventh in the Centaur Trotting Classic.

The track was labeled “good” for the Centaur Trotting Classic and “sloppy” for the Maple Leaf. All of Sebastian K’s remaining races were on fast tracks. The forecast for Sunday in Lexington is mostly sunny and 64 degrees.

Two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Market Share is the 9-2 second choice in the Allerage Open Trot. The field also includes past Kentucky Futurity winners Creatine (2013) and Wishing Stone (2010) and Centaur Trotting Classic winner Master Of Law.

“Ake took Sebastian out for a training session on the track Monday and everything felt great,” Sjoberg said. “The (Red Mile) track surface is very much Sebastian’s kind of surface and the weather forecast, touch wood, is looking pretty good.

“It might be difficult to go under 1:50 if the temperature stays below 70 degrees, but the primary goal is to get back to winning ways.”

Sebastian K, who was Sweden’s Horse of the Year in 2012, has won 34 of 73 races in his career and earned $2.91 million. Svanstedt, Sweden’s five-time Trainer of the Year and three-time Driver of the Year award winner, moved his stable to the U.S. late in 2013 and Sebastian K’s owners decided to send the horse with him.

“We knew he was fast enough to compete against the best in North America and win races, but the real carrot was breaking the world record,” Sjoberg said. “His best time in Sweden was 1:51 flat and that was on a five-eighths-mile track that is medium fast. We believed he could go sub-1:50 on a fast mile track so after a lot of soul searching we decided to ship him to the States with Ake with the singular aim to break the world record.”

Following the Allerage Open Trot, Sebastian K’s schedule includes theInternational Trot Preview on Oct. 25 at Yonkers Raceway. The Breeders Crown in November also is a possibility, but Sebastian K would have to be supplemented to the race.

“After Lexington, we turn our attention to Yonkers and a long-awaited reunion with Commander Crowe,” Sjoberg said, referring to another standout from Sweden, who earlier this week accepted an invitation to race in the Breeders Crown Trot for the third time in his career and is expected to prep with the International Trot Preview.

“It is four victories apiece between them and their rivalry during the summer of 2012 was fantastic for the sport in Sweden. After that race, we’ll make a decision whether to supplement for the Breeders Crown or not.”

Sunday’s card at The Red Mile also features the $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters and the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old female trotters.

by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: