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East Rutherford, NJ -There have been a lot of questions regarding the older trotters and just who would assume command of the division. After Saturday night, Resolve answered all those questions and jumped to the head of the class, winning the TVG Free For All Trotting Championship in 1:51.4 for Ake Svanstedt. In similar fashion to his win in the final preliminary leg last week, Resolve moved to the lead shortly after the opening quarter, which was reached in 27 seconds by longshot DW's NY Yank. Once on the lead, Resolve was allowed to relax. The same could not be said for E L Titan who got caught in some traffic down the backstretch and ended up three wide, trotting toward the half mile. Tim Tetrick guided E L Titan to the first over position after racing three wide, crossing in front of Obrigado with The Bank in the outer flow. But Resolve was able to back the field down with a 29.3 second quarter, reaching the half-mile in 56.3. E L Titan, in the final start of his career was applying pressure, but Ake Svanstedt had plenty of horse in front of him and Resolve began to edge away, trotting past three-quarters in 1:25. The stretch drive was a mere formality as Resolve began to pour it on, winning by three lengths in the end, trotting a final quarter of 26.4 to complete the mile in 1:51.4.  "He's a very good horse," said owner/trainer Ake Svanstedt. "He is getting closer and closer to Sebastian K with every start. He is just a four year old beating the older horses, he should be really good next year." Obrigado held the runner-up position while Flanagan Memory rallied from last to be third. The win was the fourth of the season for Resolve. He finishes his four year old campaign with earnings of $706,938 this season. Resolve was trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt for owner Hans Enggren. Boston Red Rocks takes Govenor's Cup Going into the Breeders Crown Final, Boston Red Rocks wasn't on anyone's radar in terms of the two year old pacing championship. It is safe to say that over the past month, that has changed. Sent off as the even-money favorite, Boston Red Rocks was allowed to settle mid-pack while elimination winner, Big Top Hanover established the pace through an opening quarter in 27-seconds. When the field straightened away in the backstretch, driver Tim Tetrick popped the plugs and Boston Red Rocks unleashed his turn of foot and flew to the lead, reaching the half-mile in a sharp 55-seconds. The outer flow was slow to develop, but that didn't prevent the race favorite from sprinting a 27.3 third quarter, with the 8/5 second choice Big Top Hanover on his back. Into the stretch, Boston Red Rocks got separation on the field and reached for the line, holding off the other elimination winner Katies Rocker to win in a lifetime best 1:50.3. The win was the fourth in nine starts for the two year old son of Rocknroll Hanover. Tim Tetrick has been impressed with the colt over his past few starts. "He doesn't do his best work on the front end, it's really not where he wants to be," said Tetrick. "But, I knew I had to go forward off the gate. He really likes to chase horses though." Looking ahead to next year, Tetrick said the upside is there. "He can shoot for the skies next year." Boston Red Rocks is trained by Steve Elliot for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks. Katies Rocker was second and Big Top Hanover held on to the show spot. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

EAST RUTHERFORD - Saturday night harness racing at The Meadowlands featured the final $50,000 preliminary legs for the TVG Free For All Pacing and Trotting Championships, to be contested for $400,000 on next Saturday night. Resolve, fresh off his runner-up performance in the Breeders Crown, was established as the 6/5 betting choice in the TVG Free For All Trot and he did not disappoint. Resolve was sent straight to the lead and was able to establish a methodical pace, reaching the quarter in 28.3 before coasting to the half-mile in 58.2. E L Titan mounted a challenge as the field moved past the half-mile pole, but Resolve had plenty in reserve and sprinted through the final three eighths of a mile to win in 1:53.3 for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt. E L Titan trotted well despite the first over trip and was able to land the runner-up spot with Melady's Monet third. For Resolve, the win marked the third of the season for the four year old by Muscle Hill. He is owned by Hans Enggren. Resolve A compact field of four contested the $50,000 TVG Free For All Pace after a pair of scratches. JK Endofanera was released as the 2/5 favorite and the William Haughton Memorial winner, Mach It So was sent off the 2-1 second choice. Neither of them made the lead as the Canadian, Arthur Blue Chip would establish the pace from his inside starting post, reaching the quarter in 27.2, before stealing a soft second quarter of 29.1. The cadence quickened into the far turn, but Arthur Blue Chip remained relatively unchallenged. Mach It So was riding the pocket as long as he could through three-quarters of 1:24.2 before ripping out of the pocket and launching a 25.3 final quarter to score in 1:50.1. Arthur Blue Chip held on for the runner-up spot while JK Endofanera hit his best stride late, but drifted in the stretch as a wide third. Mach It So is trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr for Bamond Racing L.L.C. Tim Tetrick was the winning driver. It was the sixth win of the season for Mach It So and he is closing in on $1.2 Million in lifetime earnings. Mach It So Fall Final Four The eliminations for the Fall Final Four continued on Saturday as well. First on the card was a $20,000 elimination for the $413,000 Governor's Cup with a field of eight. Boston Red Rocks, the Breeders Crown winner, was sent off as the 4/5 favorite, but he was left with a lot of ground to make up into the stretch. Big Top Hanover did not face the same obstacle as he sat the pocket behind the lone speed of Spider Man Hanover through swift fractions of 28, 55 and 1:22.4, before pulling the pocket and sprinting to the lead late. Boston Red Rocks made up as much ground as he could, but could not catch the winner and had to settle for the runner-up spot. Spider Man Hanover saved the show spot after setting strong fractions. Pretty Boy Hill and Show The Fashion completed the five that advanced to the Final. Big Top Hanover The other Governor's Cup elimination was a wide open race on paper with a competitive and well-balanced field of eight. Katies Rocker grabbed the racetrack right off the gate and never looked back. Sent to the lead as the 4-1 second choice from post eight, Katies Rocker reeled off fractions of 27.2, 56.3 and 1:24.2 before turning home with the lead where he faced a still challenge up the pylons from Jk Will Power. The pair hit the wire together, but it was Katies Rocker who held on by the slimmest of margins, a nose. Ideal Rocky was third, followed by Autotune Hanover and Check Six who all qualified for the final. Katies Rocker The first $20,000 Valley Victory elimination went to Waitlifter K in a wire to wire upset for Tim Tetrick who said in a post race interview that "he has always had talent, sometimes he is good and sometimes he makes you scratch your head and tonight he was really good." Waitlifter K completed the mile in 1:54.1, a new lifetime mark for the Muscles Yankee colt. The winner is a homebred of Bob Key and is trained by Chuck Sylvester. Milligan's School, Marion Marauder, Mavens Way and Mikkeli Hanover also advanced to the $489,400 Valley Victory Final. Chuck Sylvester wasn't done, as his Matron winner, Dog Gone Lucky scored in the second elimination in 1:55.2. with Corey Callahan. Dog Gone Lucky trotted up after Lagerfeld as the field turned for home and set sail for the wire while opening up willingly. The trotter that really caught the eye in the stretch was Make Or Miss who was far back at the top of the stretch and simply exploded through the lane to the tune of 27.1 final quarter to finish a fast closing second. The final quarter was a full second faster than the next fastest last quarter, which belonged to the winner, Dog Gone Lucky. Lagerfeld, Taco Tuesday and Treasure Keys K completed the five headed to the Final. The winner is owned by Amy Lynn Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley. Live racing returns on Friday, November 20th. Featured on the program are the $200,000 TVG Mare Pacing and Trotting Championships as well as the Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid Finals. Post time is 7:00 P.M. Darin Zoccali

Vernon, N.Y. -- In addition to the annual Turn Back the Clock races and the Four One One for grey pacers, Vernon Downs hosted the harness racing finals of the Kindergarten Classic series--worth a combined $366,000--on Saturday (October 31) evening.   The $191,500 Kindergarten final for 2-year-old colts and geldings saw eventual winner Dog Gone Lucky ($4.80) vault clear from his post 9 dispatch, controlling a :57.2 half mile before yielding briefly to a rapidly-advancing Celebrity Express (John Campbell) before exiting the back straight. As Celebrity Express started to struggling upon exiting the far turn, Corey Callahan edged off the pegs with Dog Gone Lucky, pressing to the lead just past reaching the three-quarter mark in 1:25.3. Dog Gone Lucky, narrowly in front on his own accord, inherited two lengths clearance over the others when Celebrity Express broke stride off the far turn. The son of Lucky Chucky and Ebbtide Hall would hold that lead intact over a late-rallying Waitlifter K (David Miller) and Mavens Way (Ã…ke Svanstedt), prevailing in 1:54.2.   Chuck Sylvester trains Dog Gone Lucky for owners Amy Stoltzfus and Charles Stansley.   In the $174,500 Kindergarten final for 2-year-old fillies, the complexion of the race changed when both halves of the Jimmy Takter-trained 1-10 entry--Haughty and Hollywood Hill--broke stride on approach to the far turn. An extended duel between Sweet Ashley T (Homer Hochstetler) and Radiant Beam (David Miller), joined at the quarter pole by Lookin Sharp (Callahan), ultimately dissolved as 91-1 outsider Wildflower ($185.50) split foes in the final sixteenth to just prevail in 1:55.4. Trainer-driver Ã…ke Svanstedt shares ownership of the daughter of Muscle Hill and Lightning Flower with Douglas Sipple along with Mal and Janet Burroughs.   Earlier in the program, Artic Byrd ($22.40) took advantage of a ground-saving trip to take the Four One One for grey pacers, taking over late in 1:54.2 under trainer-driver Truman Gale. The pair of Turn Back The Clock races, contested clockwise at seven furlogns, went to trotter Mystical Con ($29.40, Claude Huckabone, III, 1:43.1), and pacer Sucrose Hanover ($17.40, Chris Lems, 1:39.3).   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (November 6) evening, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern standard time.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs   Attached: Dog Gone Lucky (Corey Callahan up) and Wildflower (#7, Ã…ke Svanstedt in white cap) take their respective Kindergarten Classic finals. Fotowon photos.

LEXINGTON, KY-- Night two of the Grand Circuit meeting at The Red Mile was highlighted by four divisions of the $289,000 Bluegrass Stakes for harness racing 2-year-old colt trotters, which were contested on Thursday, Oct. 1.   Milligan's School sat a pocket trip after failing to clear the lead into the first turn, and slid up a seam in the stretch to draw off to a 2-length win in 1:56.3 in the opening Bluegrass round. Holding the top spot through fractions of :29.3, :58.3, and 1:28 was Dominion Beach. Into the far turn, Waitlifter K supplied a challenge from first over, while Metatron had an opportunity to fan off the cones and prepare for a wide stretch drive. While in control, Dominion Beach drifted slightly off the pylons, which prompted Milligan's School to trot by to his inside. Metatron was the fiercest closer down the center of the track, but could not out-sprint Milligan's School and Andy Miller at the finish. Waitlifter K held on for third, while Make Or Miss got fourth.   Sent off the 6-5 favorite, Milligan's School, a $4.40 winner, is owned by Stroy Inc. and trained by Julie Miller. The earner of $128,494 in 10 starts this season was bred by Richard and Joyce McClelland.   "That's still pretty fresh on my mind, what happened the other night [his break on Sept. 11 at The Meadows]," Julie Miller said. "When we were sitting in the two hole here I said 'Come on, let's make sure we take advantage of this big opportunity.' It was a misfortune [the break], but we bounced back tonight. That's all you can do."   "I've been really pleased with this horse," Miller also said. "From the word go, he's just done everything I've asked. Andy [Miller] gets along with him great, and I expect a lot of good things from him."   The second split was claimed by Taco Tuesday, who benefitted from a patient drive and battled home to finish narrowly in front of Hollywood Highway in a 1:58.2 mile. Runner-up Hollywood Highway set the tempo for most the mile, putting up fractions of :30.2, :59.4, and a third-quarter in 1:29.1 thanks to the pressure of first-over Desert Runner. Taco Tuesday tracked Desert Runner two-wide into the far turn, tipping wide into the stretch. Desert Runner held the lead shortly during the stretch, while Hollywood Highway continued to battle for control, and Taco Tuesday edged into a length of the battle. Into the final sixteenth, he got a neck in front of Hollywood Highway to pull off a 12-1 upset. Finishing third was Desert Runner, and fourth was Honor Above All via disqualification of Coughlin for a lapped-on break.   Sired by Cantab Hall, out of the Yankee Glide mare Be My Baby, the James Wilhite-bred colt is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut, R. Rudolph, and F. Baldassare, trained by Frank Antonacci, and driven by Andy Miller. Taco Tuesday, in his maiden-breaking score, pushes his seasonal earnings to $39,565 in six starts.   "If you watch how we are with our two-year-olds, we don't race them very early," Frank Antonacci said. "This guy I had staked to the Peter Haughton, so I really thought a lot of him all winter. Then you fall into some bad grooves and make some baby mistakes, and it doesn't take long to be in October and have $7,000 on your card."   "He just got into a couple of bad spots where he got too aggressive," Antonacci said in response to the colt's history of breaking. "When you're trying to race horses and get them back mentally, it's a little challenging sometimes. But it was nice to have Andy [Miller] qualify him last week [at Lexington]. Obviously it paid off tonight."   The pocket trip resulted in victory again in the third division, with Lagerfeld stalking tempo-setter Southwind Flash before pouncing out of the pocket in progress to a 1 1/4 length victory in 1:57.4. Southwind Flash passed the quarter in :30.3 and the half in 1:00.4 before being challenged by Mavens Way, who broke into the first turn due to interference by Sutton, also off stride. Mavens Way broke before three-quarters, leaving a gap for Lagerfeld to edge out of the pocket. Timed in 1:29.4, Lagerfeld began his bid in the final quarter of a mile. By the final eighth, his nose emerged in front of Southwind Flash and the margin gradually grew as the 6-5 favorite hit the line in front. Claiming the third and fourth spots were Brownie Hanover and Kanthaka.   Trained by Jimmy Takter, the son of Yankee Glide, out of Yankee Paco mare Southern Senorita, paid $4.60 to win. He's owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Lagerfeld has now earned $279,709 in eight starts this season, with this win being his third.   "He got the perfect trip," Jimmy Takter said. "He got a little lucky with a couple of horses breaking in the first turn, but it's a tricky track tonight and last night was the same. It's maybe slightly better today, but it's very sticky at the rail and a lot of horses have a problem to find some legs there."   "It's normally like that when it's a very windy day with two-year-olds," Takter also said in regards to the benefit of coming off the pace. "It's always tough to cut the mile, and on the backside there's a very tough wind. We got a perfect trip, but I don't want to take anything away from this horse. He almost made $300,000 and he's a great potential colt."   In a wire-to-wire performance, 7-2 third choice Dupree was a winner in 1:57.3 over 1-2 favorite Bar Hopping, who began to challenge for the lead heading into the far turn. Dupree set fractions of :29.3 and :59.4 before being confronted by Bar Hopping first over. The two were stride for stride through a 1:30 third quarter before Dupree edged away from Bar Hopping after he drifted off the turn. Bar Hopping could not recuperate the lost ground off that turn and solely chased Dupree to the line while holding off third-place finisher Cloud Nine Hanover and fourth-place finisher Celebrity Pilatus.   Owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc. and Courant A B, the Andover Hall colt out of the Muscles Yankee mare Hustle N Muscle paid $9.40 to win. This was his second win out of seven starts this season, with the victory pushing his seasonal earnings to $114,031. He is trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt.   "He's a real nice horse," assistant trainer Bernie Noren said. "We've always had high thoughts for him and today he showed up as the horse we thought he was gonna' be. I think he likes the big track, but he raced really good last time [in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes final]. He was sick before that, but he's come back and we gave him two races, and now he's getting back to himself again."   Grand Circuit action resumes tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 2, with three divisions of the $243,000 Bluegrass 2-year-old filly pace and the $292,200 Bluegrass 2-year-old colt pace. Post time is 7:00pm.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile    

There were four divisions of the Liberty Bell for 2-year-old filly trotters at the harness racing meetings at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 23), each going for a purse of $35,000. In the first division, it was Erv Miller & Paymaq Racing's Maker A Yankee (Marcus Miller) scoring the come from behind victory.   The daughter of Yankee Glide sat off the early duel while maintaining striking position throughout the middle half.   She entered the stretch two lengths from a battle between race favorite Maeve Quaider (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) and Lookin Sharp (Mike Simons).   She out closed Lookin Sharp in the final steps winning by a nose, stopping the clock in 1:57 for her second career win. She returned $13.40. The second division saw Candy Lane (Ake Svanstedt) upset favorite Whitelake Hanover (Geo. Napolitano Jr.).   The daughter of Cantab Hall led the first quarter, but yielded to the heavy effort soon after.   They were one-two until the stretch, when Candy Lane drove out of the pocket to win by nearly a length, stopping the clock in 1:58.4.   Twice A Night (Jackie Ingrassia) finished third.   It was the second straight win for Candy Lane ($16.20), who is owned by Melby Gard Inc.   The Melby Gard / Ake Svanstedt connection struck again in division 3, as Gracie Hanover sprung the mild upset.   The daughter of Andover Hall followed the blueprint of the previous winner, leading the opening quarter, and yielding to race favorite Twill Be Done (Mike Simons) shortly after.   Gracie Hanover vacated the pocket, winning the sprint home by 2 lengths in the end, stopping the timer in 1:58.2. She paid $9.20.   The fourth and final division went to Jimmy Takter trainee Kathy Parker (Geo. Napolitano Jr.).   The daughter of Andover Hall drafted behind the determined speed of Windowshopper (Ray Schnittker) until three-quarters. At that point, she engaged the leader, and was able to sprint away to win by 3 lengths in a series fastest 1:56.3.   Hot Curry (George Brennan) rallied up for place, while Windowshopper held third.   Kathy Parker ($2.20) has now won four of her last seven starts for owners Christina Takter, Joyce Mc Clelland, Brixton Medical and R A W Equine. Mike Bozich

Lexington, KY - The Kindergarten Trotting series continued on Thursday evening at The Red Mile.   The colt divisions began the evening with Mavens Way scoring a $37.20 upset for young Oskar Florhed taking a nice record of 1:55.3 in the process. The son of Muscle Hill from Doris Deo sat close up early then wore down Dominion Beach in the shadow of the wire for the win. He is trained by Ake Svanstedt for his own interests along with partners al & Janet Burroughs and TLP Stable.   Charlie Norris worked out a perfect pocket trip for Cloud Nine Hanover in the next division for a huge $54.40 upset after favored Southwind Flash broke on the final bend. Charlie trains the son of Muscle Massive who was winning for the first time on behalf of his wife Carrie, Acadia Farms and G&B Racing. Celebrity Express rallied from well back for the place.   Hollywood Highway struck a blow for favoritism winning right back for Dave Palone in a new record of 1:55.2 in the third and last colt split. He's another by Muscle Massive who has found his best form here on the clay for trainer Staffan Lind. Marvin Katz and Al Goldband share the ownership.   Palone won the very next race with Haughty, who has clearly been the class of the Kindergarten filly races in Lexington. Jimmy Takter conditions the winner and had the second place finisher as well in Hollywood Hill. Haughty was well within herself tonight in a measured 1:55.4 tally. She races for the ownership group of Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband.   Howie Okusko, Jr steered Sweet Ashley T to yet another upset in the last of the Kindergarten races returning $38.60 to her small legion of backers. The Conway Hall filly took a 1:56 record in the process for trainer Homer Hochstetler who owns her with South Of The Tracks Racing.   The Kindergarten goes on hiatus until leg five set for October 23 at Vernon Downs with the finals the next week.   Red Mile racing resumes on Saturday before going dark for week. The Grand Circuit kicks off on Wednesday, September 30 racing at 7pm through Saturday, October 3 then matinee racing the following Wednesday through Saturday.   Find all the info you'll need on all things Red Mile on the website.   Nick Salvi

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 17, 2015 - An Ake Svanstedt trainee won the $50,500 Charles I. Smith Trot for three-year-olds, but it was not 2-5 favorite Southwind Mozart, who finished second, but rather 2-1 Crescent Fashion, who scored a length and three-quarters victory in the featured third race on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at Freehold Raceway. In the $35,000 Harold Dancer for two-year-olds, contested prior to the betting card, the Richard Johnson-trained Steed won with Daniel Dube driving. The Smith and the Dancer are both restricted to New Jersey-sired trotters and are sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. Crescent Fashion [$6.20], driven by Scott Zeron, rallied first over to pass the fraction-cutting Mountain Top, who hung on for third by seven and a half lengths, and out- brushed Southwind Mozart for his third win in 10 starts this year. All three top finishers are sons of Muscle Hill. The mile was clocked in 1:56.4. Svanstedt's third entrant, Natural Kemp, was fifth. Crescent Fashion has finished in-the-money in six of 13 career starts and banked $88,198 for owners Laura K. Noren of Eastampton, NJ; Order by Stable of Boras, Sweden and Howard Taylor of Philadelphia. PA. Steed, by Muscle Hill, was on the lead from gate-to-wire in the Harold Dancer, crossing the wire a half-length in front in 1:59.2, only two-fifths of a second off the stakes record of 1:59 established in 2010 by Chapter Seven. A pair of Julie Miller trainees battled for second and third with Inukchuck Chuck, driven by Julie Miller, finishing ahead of Stayin Strong, with Eric Abbatiello in the sulky. Both are sons of Muscles Yankee. Steed is owned by the partnership of TLP Stable of Florham Park, NJ; D'Elegance Stable IX of Florham Park, NJ; Vito Cucci of Belmar, NJ and Carmen Iannacone of Lyndhurst, NJ. The gelding picked up his first win in his sixth career outing, with two seconds to his credit, for earnings of $26,347. By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ  

Hans Enggren was unfamiliar with Resolve the first time he saw the trotter during the winter between the horse's 2- and 3-year-old seasons. He knew, though, at that very moment, he wanted to buy the colt. It was more than eight months before Enggren was successful, but it has proved worth the wait. Resolve has won four of 17 races and earned $414,446 since Enggren got the horse in July 2014. A son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Anikawiesahalee, Resolve has hit the board a total of 13 times during that span, including victories in this year's Vincennes Invitational and last weekend's Maple Leaf Trot eliminations. Only second-place finishes by a head to E L Titan in the Sebastian K Invitational and by a neck to JL Cruze in the Hambletonian Maturity have prevented Resolve from entering the C$680,000 Maple Leaf Trot final with a four-race win streak. "I think he's in real good form right now," said the 86-year-old Enggren, perhaps best known as the breeder and owner of 1985 Hambletonian winner Prakas as well as heading Meadowbranch Farms. "I'm thrilled with him. At my age to get a good horse like that again makes me feel awfully good. I kept him on my mind all the time." Resolve will start Saturday's Maple Leaf Trot for older trotters from post No. 1 at Mohawk Racetrack. Trainer Ake Svanstedt also will handle the driving. Natural Herbie, who also won a Maple Leaf Trot elimination, will start from post three for trainer-driver Verlin Yoder. The field also includes 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, who is attempting to become the first female trotter to win the Maple Leaf since Peaceful Way in 2006, and defending champion Intimidate. Mohawk's Saturday card also features the C$700,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old male trotters, C$410,000 Peaceful Way Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters, C$404,000 Elegantimage Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters, and C$373,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters. Post time is 7:25 p.m. for the night's first race. Enggren first spotted Resolve while walking around the South Florida Training Center in November 2013. The horse, who in his rookie season, equaled the track record for 2-year-old trotters at Tioga Downs with a 1:55.2 win in a division of the Kindergarten Classic Series, was then in the care of trainer Roman Lopez. "I happened to go by just as he was being washed," said Enggren, a native of Sweden who moved to the U.S. in 1952 and lives in southcentral Pennsylvania. "He caught my eye. I couldn't take my eye off of him. He had charisma. He looked absolutely gorgeous to me in every way. I tried to buy him right then. I tried many times. It took until July last year until they finally said yes. I ran like crazy to the bank to finish the papers. I just fell in love with him. "I know Roman, how he brings on a horse very carefully. He wants to know the horse is ready. It's worked out very well. He's an unbelievably nice horse; nice to be around, nice to drive evidently." Resolve's best race so far this year, in Enggren's eyes, was his triumph in the Vincennes. Starting from post 10, the horse was stuck five wide going around the first turn before settling into fifth place. He was forced to go three wide around the final turn, but kicked home in :26.3 to win by two lengths in a career-best 1:50.4. "I was very disappointed when he had the 10 post," Enggren said. "I figured this isn't going to work out real well. But it worked out absolutely beautifully against a really tough field. I think that was his most fantastic race. But it also was a fantastic race when he lost to JL Cruze and they set the world record for (the distance of) a mile and an eighth." Resolve, who has won eight of 35 career races and earned $452,345, captured his Maple Leaf Trot elimination by 3-1/4 lengths over Intimidate in 1:52.4. "Svanstedt said he's such a willing competitor," Enggren said. "They say he is very peppy and seems to love life." Following is the field in post order for the Maple Leaf Trot with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Resolve, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt 2. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman 3. Natural Herbie, Verlin Yoder, Verlin Yoder 4. Flanagan Memory, Tim Tetrick, Rene Dion 5. Lindy's Tru Grit, Scott Zeron, Julie Miller 6. JL Cruze, John Campbell, Eric Ell 7. Daylon Magician, Jack Moiseyev, Jack Moiseyev 8. Whiskey Tax, Randy Waples, Tom Durand 9. Intimidate, Sylvain Filion, Luc Blais 10. Obrigado, Mark MacDonald, Paul Kelley by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

MANALAPAN, NJ - September 15, 2015 - Southwind Mozart, one of a trio of entrants from the barn of trainer Ake Svanstedt, has been installed as the 7-5 favorite in the $50,500 Charles I. Smith Final for three-year-old trotting colts on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at Freehold Raceway. The Smith and the $35,000 Harold Dancer for two-year-old colts are both restricted to New Jersey-sired trotters and are sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. The Smith will also be contested on Thursday at 12:10 p.m., prior to the betting card. Svanstedt trainees Southwind Mozart [Muscle Hill], Natural Kemp [Muscles Yankee] and Crescent Fashion [Muscle Hill] are separate betting interests as are a pair of Ray Schnittker trainees, Switchblade Hall [Muscles Yankee] and Broken Record [Muscles Yankee]. Also entered is the Noel Daley protégé Mountain Top [Muscle Hill]. Southwind Mozart's performance in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot [third across the wire but placed second] in his last start on September 5 helped to elevate his status. He has now finished first or second in five of 12 starts this year and has a career bankroll of $200,540 for the Wolfgang A Stable Inc. of Vero Beach, FL. Carded as the third race, the Charles I. Smith's field of six, from the rail out with driver and morning line odds: Mountain Top, George Brennan, 4-1; Southwind Mozart, Daniel Dube, 7-5; Natural Kemp, Lucas Wallin, 7-1; Crescent Fashion, Scott Zeron, 5-2; Switchblade Hall, Steve Smith, 30-1 and Broken Record, Ray Schnittker, 6t-1. The Smith stakes record of 1:55.4 was set by Flex The Muscle [Muscles Yankee] in 2010. The four-horse Harold Dancer Trot features, from the rail out, Steed with Daniel Dube at the lines for trainer Richard Johnson; Inukchuk Chuck with trainer Julie Miller driving; Stayin Strong, also a Julie Miller trainee with Eric Abbatiello in the sulky, and Luv At First Site handled by Kyle DiBenedetto for trainer Ron Coyne Jr. Steed is by Muscle Hill with the other three by Muscles Yankee. The stakes record of 1:59 for the Harold Dancer was established by Chapter Seven in 2010. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ  

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 12 - The top older trotters in harness racing were on display Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack for the Maple Leaf Trot eliminations. A talented group of 13 older trotters, including two mares, were separated into two $40,000 eliminations. The top five finishers from each division punched their ticket to next week's $680,000 final. The underdog Natural Herbie came up with his best performance of the season, as he scored a 12/1 upset for owner/trainer/driver Verlin Yoder. Bee A Magician, the 3/5 favourite, was sent out to the front by driver Brian Sears and posted an opening-quarter of :27, while Natural Herbie dropped in fifth. JL Cruze made a second-quarter move to the front for driver John Campbell and took the field by the half in :56. Natural Herbie came first up for Yoder around the final turn and was 4¼ lengths off the lead, as JL Cruze reached the three-quarter pole in 1:24.2. In the stretch, Bee A Magician edged to the outside from the two-hole and trotted by the leader to take command with an eighth. It appeared that Bee A Magician was going to capture the first elimination, but Natural Herbie showed his determination trotting up a storm late to prevail in the final strides by a neck in 1:52.4. "I figured there would be enough speed on the front end," said Yoder following the race. "I was hoping I could be first up or second up, but it worked out pretty good and when I called on him he was ready." Lindys Tru Grit got up for third and Whiskey Tax finished fourth to round out the Superfecta. JL Cruze faded back to finish fifth, but did qualify for the final. A five-year-old gelded son of Here Comes Herbie, Natural Herbie burst onto the Grand Circuit scene last season and banked over $361,000. This season hasn't been nearly as productive for the Yoder trainee with just two wins from 14 starts, but the conditioner believes the horse gets better later in the season. "He's always been late showing up," said Yoder. "He's not trotting slower than he did last year, but he took his sweet time getting there." Natural Herbie now has 27 career wins and increased his earnings to over $849,000 with Saturday's victory. The Yoder trainee paid $27.70 to win. Natural Herbie In the second elimination, Resolve showed why his connections put up $45,000 to supplement the four-year-old to the Maple Leaf Trot. Trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, Resolve flashed good early speed to trot out to the front and post an opening-quarter of :27.4. Swedish trotting mare D'One, the 7/5 favourite, made a move in the second-quarter from fourth, but made a break taking her out of the race. After a half-mile time of :56.4, Resolve took the field around the final turn with Daylon Magician pressing first up. Obrigado, who trotted along second-over, put in a couple bumpy strides going to three-quarters, but quickly recovered to remain close. In the stretch, Resolve would not surrender his lead and trotted home in :27.3 for a 3¼ length 1:52.4 victory. Intimidate, who got a pocket trip, finished second, while Obrigado split horses late for third. Flanagan Memory and Daylon Magician finished fourth and fifth to advance to the final. A son of Muscle Hill, Resolve is owned by Hans Enggren and now has two wins from nine starts this season. The Svanstedt trainee has only missed the board once this season and has compiled earnings of over $243,000. Resolve's victory Saturday night was his eighth career score and pushed his earnings to over $457,000. The Svanstedt trainee paid $5.60 to win. Resolve Following the eliminations, the post positions were drawn for next week's $680,000 final with the elimination winners selecting their post. The $680,000 Maple Leaf Trot will be the co-feature next Saturday (September 19) along with the $700,000 Canadian Trotting Classic. Here is how the trotters will line up for next week's Maple Leaf Trot. $680,000 Maple Leaf Trot 1. Resolve 2. Bee A Magician 3. Natural Herbie 4. Flanagan Memory 5. Lindys Tru Grit 6. JL Cruze 7. Daylon Magician 8. Whiskey Tax 9. Intimidate 10. Obrigado AE: Market Share Mark McKelvie

Nichols, N.Y. -- Having taken her past four wins from pacesetting and pocket trips, Non Stick ($3.70) demonstrated increased versatility in her $36,566 New York Sire Stakes win at Tioga Downs on Friday (September 11) evening, sustaining a first-over bid on the backstretch en route to her 1:57.1 harness racing victory.   Lucas Wallin eased the 2-year-old daughter of Lucky Chucky and Meucci Madness just off the pace, drafting behind Pampered Winner (Mark MacDonald) and Love Crazy Love (Jim Marohn, Jr.) through a soft :59 half mile before commencing a bid on the backstretch. Non Stick progressed steadily without the aid of cover, forcing a :28.4 third quarter before working to a clear lead off the far turn. After collaring Pampered Winner, Non Stick held off a late rally from Love Crazy Love, who emerged from the pocket in the final yards to miss by three-quarters of a length. Royal Surprise (Dan Daley) chased her cover to take third.   Trainer Ake Svanstedt co-owns Non Stick, now undefeated through five career races, with Little E, LLC.   Subsequent $36,566 New York Sire Stakes events for 2-year-old trotting fillies on the evening's 13-race program went to Posterity ($4.40) and Dizzy Broad ($2.70), both of whom pushed to the lead late to push their respective career win tallies to five.   Posterity, a daughter of Lucky Chucky and Vintage Chip, had no part of the early pace, saving ground on the backstretch to pass a parked and beleagured Zette Starlet (Bob Moran) before vacating the pegs and launching a strong bid on approach to the far turn. Posterity collared pacesetter Goosebump Hanover (Jim Morrill, Jr.) in upper stretch, drawing off to a 2-1/4 length win in 1:57 with trainer Charlie Norris handling the driving duties as well. Carrie Norris, Janine Zito, and Buck Sprinkle share ownership of Posterity.   Dizzy Broad likewise worked to the lead late in the mile, but took advantage of a pocket trip behind Franniegetyourgun (Mark MacDonald) before turning up the pressure with just over a quarter mile to go. The two dueled through the far turn, but Dizzy Broad kicked clear with less than a furlong to go, wearing down Franniegetyourgun and staving off an explosive late charge from Dazzling Dollars (Marohn) for a 1:56.4 score.   Jim Morrill, Jr. drove the Ron Burke-trained daughter of Broad Bahn and Portia for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and Earl Smith.   The 2015 live racing season at Tioga Downs concludes on Saturday (September 12), with a 10-race card, car and television giveaways, and a fireworks spectacular on the docket. Post time is 6:15 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

Harness racing three-year-olds took front and center stage at Harrah's Philadelphia on Labor Day afternoon (Sept. 7th). The PA Stallion Series Championships each carried a purse of $40,000. In the 3-year-old colt and gelding trot, it was Courant A B and Knutsson Trotting's Colbert (Ake Svanstedt) getting the victory. The son of Cantab Hall settled in to an early pocket spot behind the speed of Julie Miller trainee Mesmerized (Andy Miller), by the opening quarter in :27.2. After a rated :30.2 second quarter (:57.4 half), race favorite Jackson's Minion (Tom Jackson) rushed up to challenge for the lead, with Colbert committing to the outside. The battle continued past three-quarters (1:26.1), and that's when Jackson's Minion went off stride. Colbert was able to move wide past the breaker, and out duel a game Mesmerized in the stretch to win by a neck, stopping the clock in 1:57. It was the 3rd career win for Colbert, who now has over $82,000 in career earnings. He paid $7.60 to win. The 3-year-old filly trot went to Chuck Sylvester trainee Murderers Row (Tim Tetrick). The daughter of Donato Hanover settled into an early third behind the speed of 9-time winner Sistas (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) who was first to the quarter in :28. After a rated half (:57.3) Murderers Row moved up to challenge for the lead. They were on even terms at three-quarters (1:26), and the battle continued all the way through the stretch drive. Murderers Row was able to get the neck out in front at the wire for the win, stopping the timer in a career's best 1:55. Sistas settled for second, while Wouldn't Itbesweet (Corey Callahan) finished third. It was Murderers Row's 3rd straight win, and 6th career tally, moving her lifetime earnings just shy of $150,000. She is owned by Steve Jones, Ted Gewertz, and Mary Kinsey. She paid $8.00. Owner Ted Gewertz was in the winner's circle once again, this time with Apricot Sour (Geo. Napolitano Jr.). The daughter of Well Said had a brief encounter with long shot Eloquently Stated (Yannick Gingras) at the quarter-pole (:27.2), but was able to steer past and rate the second quarter (:28.4). After sprinting away at three-quarters (1:23), she found herself all alone at the wire, winning by 6 lengths stopping the clock in a career best 1:52. Favorite Dobre Povedane (Corey Callahan) finished second, while Repeat Please (Dave Palone) was third. It was the 6th career win for the Anette Lorentzon trainee, who now has earnings just short of $85,000. She paid $6.80 to win. The upset of the day came in the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace, as Shirley Le Vin's Parklane Eagle was given a clever Brett Miller drive to win. The son of Somebeachsomewhere was able to establish early position behind the speed up front. Julie Miller trainee Badiou Hanover (Andy Miller) and race favorite Trading Up (Yannick Gingras) battled by the quarter in :26.4. After Badiou Hanover secured the lead from post 8, he had to deal with parked out long shot Techtor Hanover (Corey Callahan) at the half (:55.3). As Techtor Hanover started to fade, Jo Pa's Well Said (Dave Miller) drove aggressively three-wide up to challenge at three-quarters (1:23.3). As they came into the stretch, Brett Miller was able to weave Parklane Eagle through traffic, out sprinting Trading Up in the final 70 yards to win by a head, stopping the clock in 1:52.3. Badiou Hanover finished a game third. It was the 7th win for Parklane Eagle ($28.80) pushing his career totals to over $132,000. He is trained by Pete Foley. Michael Bozich

Centurion ATM will try to build on his best start of the season, a harness racing victory last weekend in a consolation division of the Colonial Stakes at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, when he heads to Yonkers Raceway for Saturday's eliminations for the Yonkers Trot. And it was the colt's best start in more ways than one. A notorious slow starter, Centurion ATM moved quickly from the gate in his race last weekend, charging from post nine to land in second place after the opening quarter-mile. It was only the second time in 14 lifetime races that Centurion ATM was better than third at the first call. The other time came in the colt's career debut in July 2014. Centurion ATM posted a 1:53.3 win in his Colonial consolation for his first triumph of the season. Ake Svanstedt, who trains and drives Centurion ATM, credited the early speed to a change in equipment. "We took off the blind and he is a new horse," Svanstedt said. "Before he was a slow starter, now he can leave faster. He was good." Centurion ATM was among 11 horses entered for the Yonkers Trot, which is for 3-year-old trotters and is the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. Pinkman, who won the first jewel -- the Hambletonian -- on Aug. 8, also was among the horses entered. It is the first time the Hambletonian winner will compete in the race since Glidemaster capped a Triple Crown sweep and Horse of the Year season by winning the Yonkers Trot in 2006. Hambletonian champ Market Share competed in the 2012 Yonkers Trot, but the race preceded the Hambletonian that year. Two $40,000 eliminations will be contested Saturday, with the top four finishers from each division advancing to the $500,000 Yonkers Trot final on Sept. 5. Centurion ATM is in the second elim, along with stablemate Southwind Mozart, Billy Flynn, Massive Lightning, Habitat, and French Laundry. Pinkman is in the opening division, with Buen Camino, Crazy Wow, Workout Wonder, and Wings Of Royalty. Centurion ATM has won four of 14 lifetime races and earned $429,742 for owners Courant A B and Knutsson Trotting. He won last year's Peter Haughton Memorial Stakes with a world-record-equaling 1:53.2 performance. Prior to winning last weekend at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Centurion ATM finished eighth in his Hambletonian elimination and failed to advance to the final. "He was good before the Hambletonian elimination, but in the elimination he was bad, just bad," Svanstedt said. "I don't know why. But now he was good again." Centurion ATM's appearance at Yonkers will mark his first time on a half-mile track, but Svanstedt is unconcerned. "He is a good trotter so he should be OK," Svanstedt said. "I hope he will get to the final, that is the important thing. He is a good horse." Svanstedt's other Yonkers Trot hopefuls are Workout Wonder and Southwind Mozart. Workout Wonder has two wins this season, both on half-mile tracks in New York Sire Stakes action, including a 1:56.3 triumph ahead of Buen Camino and Wings Of Royalty at Yonkers on May 21. Crazy Wow, who won last year's New York Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male trotters at Yonkers, heads to the Yonkers Trot off a win in the Colonial Stakes main event. He is one of two Ron Burke-trained horses in the field, along with fellow multiple-stakes-winner Habitat. Buen Camino, from the stable of trainer Trond Smedshammer, enters his Yonkers Trot elim off three consecutive victories on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. Smedshammer captured the 2004 Trotting Triple Crown with Windsong's Legacy. Saturday's card at Yonkers also includes the $149,240 Hudson Trot for 3-year-old female trotters and the $116,430 Lady Maud for 3-year-old female pacers. Below are the fields for the Yonkers Trot eliminations, with listed drivers and trainers. Race 4-First Elimination PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Buen Camino-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer 2-Crazy Wow-Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke 3-Pinkman-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 4-Workout Wonder-Daniel Dube-Ake Svanstedt 5-Wings Of Royalty-Brian Sears-George Ducharme Race 5-Second Elimination PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Southwind Mozart-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 2-Centurion ATM-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 3-Billy Flynn-Jason Bartlett-Staffan Lind 4-Massive Lightning-Tyler Buter-Steve Elliott 5-Habitat-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 6-French Laundry-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA    

Vernon, N.Y. -- Four New York Sire Stakes events for 2-year-old trotting fillies headlined Friday (August 14) evening's harness racing card at Vernon Downs, and Lucky Chucky filly Posterity ($7.30) proved most impressive among the quartet of winners.   In the $27,250 seventh race, trainer-driver Charlie Norris floated Posterity into midfield from her outside post, rating well off odds-on favourite Dizzy Broad (Jim Morrill, Jr.) through a :27.4 first quarter before charging to the fore amid a slackening :58.1 half mile. Upon reaching the end of the backstretch, Posterity was able to clear down to the pegs, turn aside a mild challenge from the first-over Credit To Thelimit (Sam Schillaci), and draw clear of her rivals through a dazzling :27.4 final quarter. Her 1:56 mile was the fastest of the four Sire Stakes splits, and she defeated runner-up Dizzy Broad by 3-1/2 lengths.   Carrie Norris, Janine Zito, and Buck Sprinkle share the ownership of Posterity.   Ãke Svanstedt recorded a Sire Stakes driving double, teaming up with Jimmy Takter trainee Pampered Winner ($13.00) in the $27,250 fourth race for his first of two co-featured wins. The royally-bred daughter of Credit Winner kicked clear off a first-over effort, holding off a late charge from Monarchs Sequel (Mark MacDonald) in 1:56.2. Svanstedt also prevailed with his own pupil Non Stick ($6.30) in the $27,750 ninth race, kicking clear from the pocket to defeat Swinging Royalty (Chris Lems) by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:56.3.   The greatest margin of victory went to Goosebump Hanover ($6.10), who drew off for a 4-1/4 length triumph in the $ 27,250 sixth race. After brushing to the lead on the first half of the far turn, Goosebump Hanover gradually extended her advantage over Lucky Kristen (Marcus Melander) and I Will Take Credit (Dan Daley), prevailing ultimately in 1:57.2. Jim Morrill, Jr. drove the RC Royalty filly for trainer Ron Burke.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 15) evening. Post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs    

As we head into the month of August, all of us at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono are keeping our eyes on the coming weeks, specifically the span from August 14th to the 22nd when we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the harness racing track with a series of promotions and events on and off the track. Until we get there though, we still have plenty of outstanding racing to enjoy. This week's action was particularly feisty and fine, as you'll be able to tell from this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: R GAUWITZ HANOVER Claimers often get an unfortunate and often inaccurate rap that they're somehow inferior to condition pacers and trotters. Week after week that fallacy is disproven, both by the comparable times between the two types of races and by the fact that several former claimers have moved on to be successful in condition and even Open races. And certainly there has been no horse in any type of race who's been as impressive as R Gauwitz Hanover, who competes in mid-priced claimers, has been the past few weeks at Pocono. In his last five races heading into a $15,000 claiming event on Saturday night, R Gauwitz Hanover had three second-place finishes sandwiched around a pair of wins. The 6-year-old gelding had achieved that streak while switching barns three times. On Saturday night, racing for trainer Paul Holzman, he was made the 1-5 favorite, and he had to respond when John's Polyview aggressively took the lead and burned off sizzling fractions. Driver George Napolitano Jr. never flinched though, and he began guiding R Gauwitz Hanover closer and closer on the back stretch until he blew by. The gelding didn't stop until he was eight lengths out in front of the rest for the victory. His winning time of 1:49 was not only his career mark, it was also the fastest mile of the week by anybody at Pocono. Don't let anyone tell you claimers are somehow a lower class of horse, at least not while R Gauwitz Hanover is there to prove otherwise in such convincing fashion. Other top pacers this week include: GD Airliner (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), who didn't let a month-and-a-half layoff stop him from picking up his second straight condition victory on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:52. Kiss Of Terror (Simon Allard, Dean Eckley), a 3-year-old who rallied at 10-1 on Sunday night for a condition win, his second straight, in 1:54:1. Spirit Of Desire (Anthony Napolitano, Timothy Lancaster), who captured Wednesday night's featured condition pace for mares in 1:52. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: PRAIRIE FORTUNE This 3-year-old gelding from the barn of trainer Mike Deters just knows his way to the winner's circle. After a 2-year-old campaign in which he won three of six races, he's been even tougher to stop in 2015. Other than an upset loss at Tioga, Prairie Fortune has been spotless, winning his other four races while splitting time between Pocono and Tioga. His last win at Pocono on July 28 came in a career-best time of 1:53:4, but it was with the non-winners of three. Wednesday night figured to be a tougher test as he stepped up to face the non-winners of five. After sitting fourth in the early part of the mile, driver Matt Kakaley started Prairie Fortune in motion on the straightaway of the front stretch and easily reached the lead. From that point on, nobody was even able to put a scare in the gelding, as he held a comfortable lead which he then extended once they turned for home. Prairie Fortune ended up handling his competition effortlessly by 4 ½ lengths in 1:54:3. That's what you call moving up in class in style, and it's what you call a horse that just doesn't plan on losing anytime soon. Honorable mention on the trotting side includes: House Of Cash (Joe Pavia Jr., Ron Burke), who captured the week's featured condition trot on Saturday night in a career-best 1:54. Uriel (Scott Zeron, Luca Derrico), who rallied for a tough condition win on Wednesday night in a career-best 1:53:4, which was the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono. Sonnyforall (Bill Mullin driver and trainer), who picked up a condition win on Wednesday night in 1:56. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: HOUSE OF CASH This trotter with Joe Pavia Jr. in the bike started Saturday night's racing off with a band, upsetting a condition field at 24-1 for a $51 payoff on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: AKE SVANSTEDT He's an outstanding trainer, but Svanstedt also drives a lot of his winning trainees, like he did on Sunday night when he guided three 2-year-old trotters to their maiden wins in his only three drives of the night. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: DEAN ECKLEY Eckley has been a name to watch all season long at Pocono, and three more wins this week, including a double on Sunday night, will ensure that continues to be the case. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. Jim Beviglia

Sebastian K is ready to begin his final season of harness racing and is returning to where he made history. The award-winning 9-year-old trotter will make his 2015 debut in Saturday's $75,000 Sun Invitational at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, the same track where he won in 1:49 last season to establish the record for harness racing's fastest-ever trotting mile. Sebastian K and trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt will start from post No. 3 in the seven-horse Sun Invitational field and are 3-1 on the morning line. JL Cruze, who has won 13 of 15 races this year, is the 5-2 favorite. He will start from post five with John Campbell driving for trainer Eric Ell. The remainder of the field is My Love Bi, Hot Shot Blue Chip, Daylon Miracle, Gural Hanover, and Classic Martine. Sebastian K, owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc., won eight of 13 races last year and received the Dan Patch Award as the sport's best older male trotter. He arrived in the U.S. last year after a record-setting career in Europe. The Swedish-born stallion trotted a world-record-equaling 1:50.1 in his debut at the Meadowlands and capped a record streak of four consecutive victories in 1:50.3 or faster with his world-record 1:49 triumph at Pocono. "It was a wonderful year and it was so pleasing to see how well Sebastian K adapted to the North American tracks and conditions," said Tristan Sjoberg, who with his brother Michael Knutsson makes up Knutsson Trotting Inc. "It was fantastic. We always thought it would suit him, but to see him come flying out of the blocks in (his 2014 debut) and win so convincingly was just great." Sebastian K had eight wins and one second-place finish (by a nose) in his first nine races last year. But prior to competing in North America, the horse never raced on consecutive weekends, which he did through last July and into August. Following that stretch, he had only one win and a total of two on-the-board finishes in five starts. "He is like a Thoroughbred and does not like to race too often, so I wished we would have closed out the season earlier than we did as he was showing signs of fatigue towards October and November," Sjoberg said. "For us and Ake it will be very beneficial to have that freshman year under our belts. We have learned a lot and have adapted to how things are done in the U.S. in comparison to over in Europe. "We will shorten the season for Sebastian and only really race him (July) to October as opposed to May to November last year." Sebastian K handled stud duty during his offseason, which he had done previously in 2012 but not in 2013 or 2014. "We decided to breed him this year for the European market as breeders had contacted us since he broke the world record last year," Sjoberg said. "We are delighted by the demand from Europe and we hope that North American breeders will be as enthusiastic when he retires at the end of this season." Sebastian K, who saw his 2015 campaign delayed because of ulcers, prepped for Saturday's debut with a 1:53.4 win in a qualifier on June 20 at the Meadowlands. "My expectations are modest as this is very much seen as a 'bonus' year for us," Sjoberg said. "This will be his last year of racing and while he is training very well and actually feels smoother and stronger in training, he is 9 years old and should not be at his peak. But he is in great condition and just look what (Breeders Crown champion) Commander Crowe did last year when he was 11 years old. "I am sure Sebastian K will be as competitive this year as last year. The competition has totally changed with many of last year's aged trotters retiring or shipped to Europe so he will face a new group of horses and that will be exciting for fans." One of the new faces Sebastian K will see is JL Cruze, who enters the Sun Invitational off two victories over Dan Patch Award-winner Father Patrick in the Graduate Series at the Meadowlands. His most recent triumph, on June 19, came in a career-best 1:50.4. Daylon Miracle, one of three female trotters in the field, along with Dan Patch Award-winner Classic Martine and My Love Bi, heads to the Sun Invitational with three wins in her most recent four starts while Gural Hanover arrives fresh off a 1:53 victory at Harrah's Philadelphia. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

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