Day At The Track

Svanstedt ready to show off Six Pack

06:28 AM 22 Jun 2018 NZST
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Six Pack, harness racing Six Pack, harness racing
Six Pack with caretaker Luis Castillo
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Six Pack with trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt
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"He is a horse that wants to win," Svanstedt said about Six Pack, who is undefeated in three races this year and brings a six-race win streak to his Earl Beal Jr. Memorial elimination Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "He is a little bit lazy, but he wants to have his head before the other horses."

The Earl Beal Jr. Memorial is one of the stepping stones on the road to August's $1.2 million Hambletonian Stakes, the sport's top race for 3-year-old trotters. Svanstedt has trained seven Hambletonian starters, including last year's winner by disqualification Perfect Spirit, and said Six Pack is "the best" he's had heading to the event.

"I like everything about him," Svanstedt said.

Six Pack is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the second of three eliminations of the Beal. Six Pack and Svanstedt will start from post six in a seven-horse field. Five of Six Pack's foes are eligible to the Hambletonian: Missle Hill, Moosonee, Evaluate, Rich And Miserable, and Fashionwoodchopper.

The third elimination features three award-winners and a Breeders Crown champion. Manchego, unbeaten in 14 career races and the lone filly to enter the Beal, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite for trainer Jimmy Takter. She was the Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter in 2017. The elim also includes Dan Patch Award-winning 2-year-old male Fourth Dimension, O'Brien Award-winner Alarm Detector, and Crown winner Fiftydallarbill.

Manchego, Fourth Dimension, and Alarm Detector are eligible to the Hambletonian. The remaining Hambletonian hopefuls in the third elimination are Gemologist (another Svanstedt trainee), Crystal Fashion, and Fashion Forever.

Jim Campbell's Patent Leather is the 5-2 favorite in the first elimination. The colt is eligible to the Hambletonian, as are division rivals Lawmaker and Tito. Campbell also trains Fashionwoodchopper, Crystal Fashion, and Fashion Forever.

The top three finishers from each elimination advance to the $500,000 Beal final on June 30 at Pocono. Saturday's card also features eliminations for the Ben Franklin Pace for older male pacers, Max C. Hempt for 3-year-old pacers and James M. Lynch Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers.

Six Pack is a Brittany Farms-bred son of Muscle Mass out of Pleasing Lady. He was purchased for $30,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale and is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, Stall Kalmar FF, and Lars Berg. The horse's family includes 1969 Hambletonian winner Lindy's Pride.

Last year, Six Pack had one win and a second in four starts before undergoing throat surgery to correct a breathing issue. The colt returned to action with a second-place finish followed by his six-race win streak, which included the 2017 New York Sire Stakes championship and this year's Empire Breeders Classic. He won the EBC in a career-best 1:51.2, pushing his career earnings to $332,555.

"After the surgery he was a different horse," Svanstedt said. "He's raced very good this year. He's raced one second faster every time so his form is coming up.

"I hope he can go to the (Beal) final; he should go to the final. His training is good and he had a break for three weeks now after the Empire Breeders. He is feeling good the whole time. He looks good. He is a very big horse, one of the biggest I've ever trained, but he handles the short tracks good and on the big tracks he has picked up the speed good."

Svanstedt's other Beal hopeful, Gemologist, has won three of 11 career races and earned $37,478 for owner SRF Stable. He is a Diamond Creek Farm-bred son of Cantab Hall out of Formula Bluestone and was purchased for $130,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale. He battled health issues earlier this season, but enters his Beal elim off a win in a conditioned race at Harrah's Philadelphia.

"He is a nice trotter," Svanstedt said. "Last year he was too much colt and not easy to handle. We gelded him and he's a better horse as a gelding."

Racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono begins at 7 p.m. (EDT). For Saturday's complete Pocono entries, click here.

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

 

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