Day At The Track

Sebastian K ties world record at Meadowlands

09:22 PM 11 May 2014 NZST
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Sebastian K, harness racing Market Share, harness racing
Sebastian K and trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt equal the world record
Photo by Michael Lisa
Market Share won his Cutler elimination in 1:50.3
Lisa Photo


Sebastian K, a career winner of $2,290,000 and world champion trotter from Sweden, made his first start in the USA a world record tying performance Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Competing in a $40,000 preliminary round of the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt got away in third place at the start of the race with Sebastian K as race favorite Modern Family (Tim Tetrick) went to the early lead with Archangel (Yannick Gingras) sitting on their backs.

They raced Indian-style to the opening quarter mile in :26.2 and then to the half mile marker in :55.1 before the action began to heat up. In the backstretch Svanstedt moved Sebastian K first-over from third place and started to grind their way up towards the leaders and by the three-quarters in 1:23.1, had all but collared race leader Modern Family with Sweet Justice (John Campbell) following second over.

As they started down the stretch, Svanstedt asked Sebastian K for a little extra and without raising his whip, the Swedish world champion pulled away from Modern Family and went on to win with ease by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:50.1. Modern Family was second with Intimidate (Scott Zeron) third.

The time of the race tied with six other horses for the world record for older horses with Giant Diablo (mare) and Donato Hanover (2007); Muscle Hill and Lucky Jim (2009) and Chapter Seven (2012). The world’s fastest trotting race at a distance of one mile is 1:49.3 set by Enough Talk in 2008.

“We brought him to the USA back in December,” said second trainer Bjoren (Bernie) Noren. “And we have been training him in Vero Beach, Florida on a deep sandy track so he did not need much speed training. We will not be taking him back to Sweden to race in the Elitlopp. We came to race at the Meadowlands and set the world record. So now we tied the record at 1:50.1 so now we will go in 1:50. He was one of the best horses in Sweden for many years. So now the owner wanted to bring him here and set the world record.”

Because the rain held off and the track was dry and fast, Sebastian K raced barefoot without wearing any horse shoes.

Owned by Knudsson Trotting, Inc. of Vero Beach, it was the first start of the year for Sebastian K, an eight-year-old stallion by Korean. Over the years Sebastian K has made 64 lifetime starts with 27 wins. He paid $13.20 for the win.

The first five official finishers from the race will return next Saturday for the $175,000 Cutler Memorial Final. Finishing fourth was Archangel (Yannick Gingras) and fifth was DW’s NY Yank (Ron Pierce), who had made a short speed break after the start of the race and then regrouped to catch the field.

Market Share wins second division in 1:50.3

The second $40,000 elimination division of the Cutler Memorial was just as exciting as the first one, only three fifths of a second slower as the 2012 & 2013 Dan Patch Award winner, Market Share, made his seasonal debut an impressive one.

Daylon Magician (Mark MacDonald) was first to show and led the field with Sevruga (Ron Pierce) content to sit the pocket-trip through the opening quarter mile in :27.1. Then after the half mile marker in :55, trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer, who had been racing in third place, started to come out first-over with Market Share and driver Tim Tetrick following the outside flow. Then right at the three-quarters in 1:23.1, Ron Pierce decided to pull the pocket with Sevruga with Arch Madness having to tip out three-wide and that forced Market Share to go four-wide on the last part of the turn.

Daylon Magician began to fade but Arch Madness had a full head of steam and started to pass by Sevruga but then on the outside came Market Share and he was able to mow down Arch Madness in deep stretch to win by one and one-quarter lengths. Arch Madness was second with Undercover Strike third. Also making it to the final next week were Sevruga (fourth) and Possessed Fashion (fifth).

“I knew my horse came back strong this year,” said trainer Linda Toscano of Market Share. “I was real happy with tonight. I was glad he got the trip he did and he kicked home. I know it takes a good horse to beat Arch Madness after the trip he got. I could not be happier with him.

“I think he would do whatever we asked him to,” Toscano said when asked about taking him overseas to race in the prestigious Elitlopp race in Sweden at the end of the month. “I am more concerned with the long term than the short term. I would love to go over there. We have to have a conversation about this right now. I’ll rather see him stay home.”

It was the first start of the year for Market Share as the five-year-old son of Revenue posted his 22nd career win in 40 starts for owners Richard Gutnick, TLP Stable and Bill Augustine. He paid $3,00 to win and now has career earnings of $3.135 million.

By Steve Wolf, for

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