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HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It may be Father's Day on Sunday (June 17) but it is the ladies who will be front and center at Buffalo Raceway as the 3-year-old filly trotters prance into town to square off in four divisions of the New York Sire Stakes with each leg carrying a purse of approximately $30,000.   The defending 2-year-old filly champion of the New York Sire Stakes, Lucky Ava, is entered and will compete in the second division which will go off as the second race on the 12-race program. She is the even money morning line favorite.   Lucky Ava (Lucky Chucky-Ava Manon) is off to a great start already in 2018 with three victories in four tries. A pair of her wins have come in New York Sire Stakes competition as she has amassed a bankroll of $50,968 this season and $254,564 in her brief 14-race career.   In her last outing on June 4 at Monticello Raceway, Lucky Ava blasted the field in the Sire Stakes with an 11-length score in 1:58.4 for co-owner/trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt.   The bad news for the other four that drew into her bracket is the fact Lucky Ava rolled to an easy victory last season at Buffalo Raceway so she knows her way around the Hamburg half-mile oval.   The rest of the field hoping to pull off the upset includes Goddess Ofgoodness (Per Henriksen), Haulin Banc (Scott Zeron), Girl Talk (Drew Monti) and Red Reign (Jim Morrill Jr.).   The opener on the program, which begins at 12:30 p.m., has Somedew Somedont (Deweycheatumnhow-Someday) the top contender. Trained by Dale Lawton and with Marcus Miller scheduled to drive, Somedew Somedont has finished second in two straight Sire Stakes events and looks to break out of that runner up habit.   The main threat should come from the Svanstedt trainee Ciao Dolce (Credit Winner-Pizza Dolce) who is fresh off a length victory in the Sire Stakes at Monticello on June 4 in 1:59.4.   The first race also includes Arabella's Cadet (Mark Etsell), Sevenbuyeleven (Zeron), Cherry Peep (Dan Daley) and Firm To Stay (Morrill Jr.).   Lima Novelty, also a winner last season at Buffalo Raceway as a two-year-old, drew the rail in the third division with Zeron in the bike. A winner four times in 2017 and earning a spot in the Sire Stakes finals, Lima Novelty (Chapter Seven-No Pictures Please) has a pair of third place finishes thus far in 2018 in three tries.   The other six participants looking to knock off Lima Novelty include Jackie Newlands (Morrill Jr.), Pleaspleaspleas (Bryan Andersen), Logetta Hanover (Kevin Cummings), Exs And Ohs (Etsell), Natalie Hanover (Svanstedt) and Corrupt (Monti).   Finally, the last leg has Tribute To Seven (Chapter Seven-Southwind Confetti) topping the list of competitors with Zeron scheduled to be in the sulky. Last time out on June 4 in the Sire Stakes at Monticello, she bruised the field by notching a 6-3/4 score in a throttled down 2:01.   The field also includes White Cheetah (Morrill Jr.), Fury Road (Svanstedt), Perfect Summer K (Ray Fisher Jr.), Golden Muscle (Monti) and Supergirl Riley (Miller).   With hot and muggy conditions in the forecast on Sunday, the Buffalo Raceway track record for the 3-year-old filly trotters of 1:58.2 shared by High Rise (2015), Straight A Student (2016) and Fad Finance (2016) could be in serious jeopardy.   There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A Series and a pair of $6,500 Excelsior B Series races slated.   The Father's Day program will also feature the "Lucky Exacta Magnet" giveaway along with free sno cones and cotton candy for the kids. The trackside grill will also be open during the card.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Nichols, NY - The eyes of the harness racing world shift to Tioga Downs on Sunday afternoon when that New York venue hosts the third and last preliminary leg of the $1 million Graduate series for 4-year-olds and the New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old colt pacers.   The Graduate drew a strong response at the entry box, resulting in three $50,000 divisions of pacers and a pair of trotting races.   Trotters are up first, races 3 and five both sporting user friendly six horse fields.   Yes Mickey has been tabbed as the favorite in the third. The Muscle Hill gelding was third in leg #1, suffered traffic woes in the bulky 12 horse field at Mohawk in the second leg and gets Andy McCarthy to drive for trainer Ake Svanstedt and owner Melby Gard at Tioga.   Top Flight Angel, winner of the Yonkers Trot last season, is a slight morning line choice in division two. He was a good third in last week's leg and has drawn the advantageous rail position for Team Miller, driver Andy and trainer Julie who look after the son of Archangel for Legendary Standardbred Farm.   Ron Burke holds a very strong hand in the Graduate pacing events with a total of five going post ward over the three division of seven horses each.   The current scourge of the open ranks, Filibuster Hanover kicks it off for the "Burke Brigade in race 7. He's won all four of his 2018 starts including the 1st Graduate leg at The Meadowlands. He will begin from post six with Yannick Gingras driving for Ron Burke and partners Joe DiScala, J&T Silva Stable and Weaver Bruscemi.   The second division, race 9 includes a pair of contenders from the Burke barn but the favorite's role interestingly goes to a former Burke horse, Miso Fast, who now races out of the Virgil Morgan, Jr barn. Despite a remarkably poor run at the post position draw thus far in 2018, Miso Fast has weathered that storm and captured his division of leg two in Canada. Tim Tetrick has the assignment from post 5 on Sunday as the 9-5 choice from Winchester Baye Acres of Ohio.   The tenth race, Graduate pace number three, is a very contentious one. Maroma Beach (Gingras) won a Graduate division last week for Burke, Highalator (David Miller) equaled the fastest mile in all of racing with a 1:48.1 score in a Meadowlands overnight for trainer / owner Jenny Bier and her partner Charlie Dombeck and Donttellmeagain (Tetrick) looks for his second score in the series for trainer Jimmy King and Paton Racing Stable.   The NYSS split into four very contentious $40,000 divisions as races 4, 6 & 8.   The beautiful new Tioga Downs hotel offers a resort feel that was not previously available as well as packages for a spa, stay, golf trifecta that has been designed especially for horsemen. Call (607) 699-3900 to make your reservation for a few days of bliss.   Post time for the big Sunday card is 1:00 pm.   by Nick Salvi, for Tioga Downs

Monticello, NY - Trackman Anthony Desimone worked hard the prior week and over the weekend to put the best possible racing surface together for the New York Sire Stakes first visit at Monticello Raceway on Monday June 1, but it was not to be. An overnight rain made the track slick for the first 3 races. As the day went on the track got better. The afternoon saw as Scott Zeron drive 3 winners, Ake Svanstedt and Trond Smedshammer each has 2 wins, Linda Toscano had 2 training wins and Ken Jacobs had 2 owner wins. Post time favorite Fury Road made an uncharacteristic break leaving the gate, in the short field of 6 and 2 others made miscues down the back side. Red Reign and Jordan Stratton inherited the lead and took the field thru soft fraction of 31,1:04, all the while Tribute To Seven was lurking in the 2 hole, at the 5/8 marker Scott Zeron had Tribute to Seven in high gear and had the lead at the ¾ in 1:31.0. From that point the son of Chapter 7 continued to open daylight on the field to win by 6 lengths in a pedestrian like 2:01. Tribute To Seven is trained by Linda Toscano for owner Richard Gutnink. Red Reign held on for second. The 2nd division of NYSS saw Lucky Ava destroy a field of her contemporaries as she cruised to an easy 11 length victory in 1:58.4 (LQ28.3) the fastest mile of the afternoon. The daughter of Lucky Chucky picked up her 3rd win of the young season for Co-owner - trainer - driver Ake Svanstedt and owners Little E LLC and Van Camp Trotting Corp, Lucky Ava was bred by co - owner Little E LLC. The win vaulted Lucky Ava over $250,00 in lifetime earnings, Jackie Newlands was second followed by Firm To Stay in the show spot Both Supergirl Riley (PP7) and Natalie Hanover (PP5) left the gate hard in the 3rd division of Sire Stakes, racing for a purse of $30,450, but it was Supergirl Riley who got there first, the duo cut fractions of 29.1, 1:00.2 1:29.2 and still remained 1-2 at the top of the stretch. Trond Smedshammer had Dew To Win in perfect position and overtook the leaders to prevail in 1:59 and returned $15.20. Dew To Win is owned by Purple Haze Stables LLC and picked up her 2 win of the year and is by Dewycheatumnhowe. Natalie Hanover hung on for second and Perfect Summer K was third. As Somedew Somedont cut the fractions of 30.4, 1:01.2, 1:31.1 Ake Svanstedt was content to sit the pocket with $300,00 yearling Ciao Dolce. The daughter of Credit Winner - Pizza Dolce popped out of the 2 hole in mid-stretch to notch the victory in 1:59.4, to score her maiden win, giving Ake Svanstead a driving and training double. Somedew Somedont finished a game second. The Excelsior A Abbie Hall (Conway Hall - Armbro Archer) made a hugh brush down the backside and won by 5 in 1:59.4 - $2.40 Pittstop Emerald tried to wire the field, but Girl Crush (Conway Hall) had other plans and won by a neck in 2:00 for driver Scott Zeron. Girl Crush is trained by the young Swede Lucas Wallin. Sassy Massy and Mark Whitcroft dodged traffic to take their division in 2:02.2 and returned a healthy $35.40 win ticket. The daughter of Muscle mass earned her 3rd consecutive win. Seven Karats went wire to wire in this field of 7 for trainer Linda Toscano in 1:59.1. The daughter of Chapter Seven is owned by Kenneth Jacobs and picked up her first pari mutual win of the year. Seven Karats was bred by Diamond Creek Farms LLC. Jordan Stratton and A Gift For You (Credit Winner) visited the winners circle after holding off White Cheetah in1:59.4, to give owner Ken Jacobs his double for the day Excelsior B Local Reisman Bruce Aldrich wired the field and skipped away by 4 lengths with Executive Decision (Conway Hall) in 2:02.2 for trainer Homer Hochstetler, she was followed by Byway and Coastie in the place and show position. Chasing Stardom (Deweycheatumnhowe) picked up her first lifetime win in 2:03.3, she is trained by Howard Okusko and was driven by Mark MacDonald. The Sire tally was Chapter Seven and Conway Hall both had 3 winners each on the afternoon. The 11-race card was well received as $689,836 was wagered on the afternoon. By Shawn Wiles, for Monticello Raceway

Vernon, NY - A sampling of top Hambletonian prospects will lead the charge to Monday's $500,000 Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) trotting finals at Vernon Downs as part of the Memorial Day matinee card beginning at 1:05 pm. The imposing Muscle Mass colt Six Pack (PP#2) equaled Market Share's track record of 1:52.1 in last week's elimination race and needed every bit of that strong effort to get past Helpisontheway by just a half-length on the wire for the win. He's won both of his seasonal starts at Vernon and heads into the $223,673 final (race 8) in top form for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt who owns the colt in partnership with Jeff Gural's Little E, LLC, Stall Kalmar and Lars Berg. Trainer Linda Toscano sends out a pair of leading contenders, both sired by her 2012 Horse of the Year Chapter Seven. The aforementioned Helpisontheway (PP#3 Tim Tetrick) did much of the work before succumbing very late to Six Pack. He's owned by the trainer (as Camelot Stables) and The Bay's Stable. Local owner Ken Jacobs will watch his colt Seven Iron (PP #4 David Miller) who won the second EBC elimination. He's a rock solid trotter who gives an honest effort every time he puts his nose on the gate, was a Grand Circuit winner at The Red Mile and second in the Kindergarten final last season. The route to the $238,613 EBC filly final (race 9) winners circle appears to go through Atlanta, not the city but Rick Zeron's wicked fast Chapter Seven filly. She absolutely cruised to victory in 1:53.1, fastest of three elimination divisions for driver Scott Zeron and appeared to have plenty left. Atlanta will leave from post 4 as she carries the hopes of HA Taylor, Holland Racing and Brad Grant who own her in partnership with trainer Rick Zeron. Svanstedt manages the other two elim winners in Natalie Hanover and Plunge Blue Chip (Svanstedt) who start from the inside most posts respectively on Monday. Plunge Blue Chip was the state's top freshman filly trotter last season and also won the Grand Circuit stake Goldsmith Maid final, earning more than $400,000 at two for the trainer and his partners Blue Chip Bloodstock and Tomas Andersson. Natalie Hanover (Mark MacDonald) took a lifetime mark with her 1:54.1 score last week and seeks her biggest payday for Van Camp Trotting Corp, Anders Olsson, Lars Berg and Bjorn Nasstrom. The supporting card includes consolations for both EBC finals and a $120,000 New York Sires stake divided into three divisions, it's the first battle of the year for the state bred 3-year-old colt pacers. Vernon and the USTA Strategic Wagering Initiative have joined to offer a $3,000 guaranteed pool on a Pick 4 wager on races 6-9 that includes both EBC finals. Free program pages for the races included in the wager will be available on the web. From the press box at Vernon Downs    

New York, NY --- Defending champion Resolve on Tuesday drew post No. 6 and was made the 3-1 morning-line harness racing favorite for Saturday's $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway. The 6-year-old stallion will be driven by trainer Ake Svanstedt in the 1-1/4 mile invitational for older trotters. The 39th International Trot features a field of 10, with horses representing the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, and Sweden. The event's press conference and draw was held at Manhattan's 21 Club. Resolve, owned by Hans Enggren and one of two U.S. representatives, has won four of 10 races this year and earned $485,149. Two of his wins this season have come at distances greater than one mile; the Cutler Memorial and Cashman Memorial, both at 1-1/8 miles at the Meadowlands. He faced international competition in Sweden's Elitloppet, where he finished third. For his career, Resolve has won 18 of 62 races and earned $2.61 million. "I would rather have seen him draw from (post) one through four, but you could have four other bad numbers too," said Sarah Svanstedt, the wife of Ake Svanstedt, who missed the draw because of driving commitments elsewhere. "He's in the middle. He's a versatile horse, so it's not too big of a problem." The International Trot was contested from 1959 through 1995 before being resurrected three years ago by Yonkers President and CEO Tim Rooney. Resolve will attempt to join Roquepine (1967-68), Delmonica Hanover (1973-74), Ideal Du Gazeau (1981-83) and Lutin D'Isigny (1984-85) as horses to win the event in consecutive years. Resolve enters the International Trot off a seventh-place finish in his elimination for the Maple Leaf Trot on Sept. 8 at Mohawk Racetrack. He was found to be sick, possibly from a tick bite. "We trained him and everything looks normal," Svanstedt said. "He looks happy and fresh. He will do his best to defend it. He's a fighter. I'm looking forward to Saturday." In Secret, the remaining U.S. representative, drew post eight and is 6-1 on the morning line. George Brennan will drive the Ron Burke trainee, who has won six of his past seven starts, all at Yonkers. The 5-year-old gelding has won 21 of 75 career races and earned $358,385. He is owned by Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, J&T Silva Stables, and Larry Karr. "He gets around (Yonkers) really good," Brennan said. "It's unfortunate he's got the eight hole. That puts us up against it. I think he fits in real good, if he drew good. "But it's still a horserace. It doesn't matter where you draw, it matters where you finish." Canada's Marion Marauder, the 2016 Trotting Triple Crown winner and Dan Patch Award Trotter of the Year, drew post No. 1 and is 5-1 for driver Scott Zeron and the wife-and-husband training team of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling. "I looked over at Scott and he said anything but the one (post) was going to be a disappointment, so he's happy," Keeling said. "We're pleased. Our nose is on the gate and that's the most important part." Marion Marauder, owned by Devin Keeling and Jean Wellwood, won this year's Hambletonian Maturity at the distance of 1-1/8 miles at the Meadowlands. The 4-year-old stallion has won 14 of 35 lifetime races and earned $2.22 million. Last year he won his elimination and final of the Yonkers Trot in his only career starts at Yonkers Raceway. He heads to the International Trot off a 1:53.4 win in a qualifier Oct. 3 at Mohawk Racetrack. His most recent race was Sept. 8, when he was eighth in his elimination for the Maple Leaf Trot. "He's healthy now," Keeling said. "He's trained great and he qualified great. We're just hoping for some good weather and a good day." Italy's Twister Bi, who won this year's Oslo Grand Prix and is trained by New England native Jerry Riordan, drew post four and is 4-1. France's Dreammoko, a son of 2015 International Trot runner-up and 2017 Elitloppet winner Timoko, will start from post three and is 6-1. Oasis Bi, another representative of Italy, drew post No. 2 and is 5-1. Oasis Bi finished second in last year's International Trot and is joined by Sweden's On Track Piraten as a three-time participant in the event. On Track Piraten, who finished fourth last year, starts this year from post 10 and is 8-1. Midnight Hour, a Diesel Don-sired 6-year-old gelding with two Group 1 wins under his belt this year, drew post seven and is 10-1. He is one of two horses representing Finland in the race. The other, Shadow Woodland, will have Tim Tetrick in the sulky and starts from post five at 12-1 on the morning line. Denmark's Tripolini VP drew post nine and is 15-1. The International Trot is part of a New York harness-record $3.3 million card at Yonkers on Saturday. Racing begins at 1 p.m. and includes eight New York Sire Stakes championships plus two $250,000 invitationals, the Dan Rooney Pace and Harry Harvey Trot. Following is the field in post-position order for the International Trot with drivers, trainers and morning line odds. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1. Marion Marauder-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-5/1 2. Oasis Bi-Kim Eriksson-Stefan Pettersson-5/1 3. Dreammoko-Gabriele Gelormini-Richard Westerink-6/1 4. Twister Bi-Christoffer Eriksson-Jerry Riordan-4/1 5. Shadow Woodland-Tim Tetrick-Reijo Liljendahl-12/1 6. Resolve-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-3/1 7. Midnight Hour-Iikka Nurmonen-Ossi Nurmonen-10/1 8. In Secret-George Brennan-Ron Burke-6/1 9. Tripolini VP-Jeppe Juel-Jeppe Juel-15/1 10. On Track Piraten-Johnny Takter-Hans Stromberg-8/1 Note: Tripolini VP and On Track Piraten start from the second tier. For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com. Ken Weingartner

YONKERS, NY, Monday, September 11, 2017-- Plunge Blue Chip and harness racing trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt, returned to town Monday night (Sept. 11th), having missed 29 days with a scratch-sick in between. She was quite healthy, which in turn made her rivals very ill. Perfect 'Plunge' expunged Barn Bella from Yonkers Raceway's track records, highlighting the $157,000 New York Sire Stakes Pat Quaglietta Trot for 2-year-old fillies. Three divisions--at $52,000, $52,000 and $53,00, respectively--comprised the event, with the starlet also serving as the opening act. Away third from post position No. 2, Plunge Blue Chip watched as Perfect Summer K (Brian Sears) gave her backers an early (:29, :59) thrill. Moving toward the 1:28.1 three-quarters, 'Plunge' engaged the leader, who offered no resistance. Plunge Blue Chip slapped a six-pack of lengths entering the lane, gearing down to win by 9¾ lengths in that new Westchester standard of 1:56.2…a full second faster than ‘Bella’ from a season ago. A Thing Goin' On (Brett Miller) was second, with Sevenbuyeleven (Jordan Stratton) third. For Plunge Blue Chip, a Muscle Mass miss co-owned by her driver/trainer and (breeder) Blue Chip Bloodstock, she's now 5-for-5 to begin her career. The exacta paid $4.70, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $25.80. "She had a cough (reason for Monticello NYSS scratch) and the time off before this race helped her," Svanstedt said. Driver/trainer doubled-up in the second statebred soiree, but at least this was a fair fight. Lucky Ava, from post No. 5, went the distance (:30.1, 1:00.3, 1:29.4, life-best 1:59.2) She held off pocket-sitting Setntheworldonfire (Andy McCarthy) by three-quarters of a length. White Cheetah (Mark MacDonald) was a first-up third. For 'Ava,' a Lucky Chucky lass co-owned by Svanstedt, Little E LLC and Van Camp Trotting, it was her fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $12.80, with the triple returning $32 (the six starters finished in ascending wagering order). The final Quaglietta contest saw odds-on Supergirl Riley (Marcus Miller, $3.90) dispose of her six inside foes in a down-the-road (:28, :58.1, 1:28.4, 1:58), win-by-2¾-lengths efforts Fury Road (McCarthy) chased the winner around the oval, with Lucky Rainbow (Brian Sears) third. For 'Riley,' a daughter of Muscle Mass trained by Erv Miller for co-owners Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman and George Golemes, it was her fourth win in seven '17 tries. The exacta paid $17.60, with the triple returning $59.50. This race completed a very popular all-odds-on Pick 5, which returned a season-low $22.12 for every correct 50-cent wager. Frank Drucker

Resolve will defend his title in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot on Saturday afternoon, October 14, at Empire City Casino. Harness racing trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt, who steered the American flag-carrier to last year’s world record victory over Yonkers Raceway’s historic strip, has accepted the invitation to the 1-¼ mile global classic on behalf of owner Hans Enggren, according to Yonkers’ racing secretary Steve Starr.   France’s Dreamoko, the fastest from the first crop of standout Timoko, and Italy’s Twister Bi have also accepted invitations to participate in the 39th edition of the worldwide trotting affair. Resolve will attempt to become the first U.S.A. representative to win back to back Internationals since Delmonica Hanover in 1973-74.  Roquepine (1967-68), Ideal du Gazeau, the only three-time champion (1982-83-84) and Lutin d’Isigny – all of France – are the only other three to win consecutive Internationals. Starr also reported that he and his team have had discussions with representatives of Sweden’s Nuncio, the 2014 Yonkers Trot champion and last year’s Elitlopp winner; another popular Swedish trotter Spitcam Jubb; the French-bred Aubrion Du Gers; last year’s Hambletonian and Yonkers Trot champ, Canada’s Marion Marauder; and Tripolini VP of Denmark about entering the lineup. The winner of this Saturday’s $500,000 Yonkers Trot (September 2), the second jewel in trotting’s Triple Crown, will also be extended an invitation, and that a pair of two-time Yonkers International participants – Italy’s Oasis Bi and Sweden’s On Track Piraten– are under consideration. Starr added that major trotting stakes in September and October that will help to determine the Yonkers International Trot field also include: The European Trotting Masters Finale (Hippodrome Vincennes/Paris, September 9), the Maple Leaf Trot (Mohawk Raceway, September 16), the Centaur Trotting Classic (Hoosier, September 22), the Dayton Trotting Derby (Dayton, OH, September 29), and the Allerage Farms Open Trot (Lexington, October 8). By John Cirillo

A year ago, Yes Mickey might have caused his harness racing connections to cry out "Oh no Mickey" more often than his actual name. The trotter was an immature 2-year-old who started only once - and went off stride in the stretch. The outcome was not completely unexpected. He frequently made breaks when training and in two of his three qualifiers. Yes Mickey was gelded during the winter and, together with time to mature, came back to work this year a different horse. He has finished first or second in eight of nine races and earned $222,487 for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt and owner Mellby Gard Inc. On Saturday, Yes Mickey will compete in the first of two six-horse eliminations of the Yonkers Trot at Yonkers Raceway. He was supplemented to the event for $30,000 following his upset victory in last week's Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial at Vernon Downs. Yes Mickey is 2-1 on the morning line, the second choice behind 9-5 favorite Devious Man from the stable of trainer Julie Miller. Guardian Angel As, trained by Anette Lorentzon, is the 8-5 choice in the second elimination. The top four finishers from each elimination return Sept. 2 for the $500,000 Yonkers Trot final. "He just needed time to grow up a little bit," Svanstedt said about Yes Mickey, who was lightly staked this year because of his previous issues. "He has raced good every time (this year). I like everything about him. He has a nice gait, long step. He is nice to drive." Yes Mickey is a son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare My Favorite Chip. He was purchased for $65,000 at the 2015 Lexington Selected Sale and is a half-brother to millionaire Adrian Chip, who finished second to Donato Hanover in the 2007 Hambletonian and finished third in the 2007 Yonkers Trot. Last week, Yes Mickey won the Zweig by a quarter-length over filly Ariana G in a career-best 1:51.2. It was the gelding's second victory of the season and the winning time tied for the third fastest of the season by a 3-year-old trotter. Yes Mickey's trip to Yonkers' half-mile oval will be his first start of the year on a small track. "This is a hard track, but I hope he can race good," Svanstedt said. "I think he can handle the turns good. I don't think it is going to be a problem." Svanstedt also will send out New Jersey Viking in the second Yonkers Trot elimination. New Jersey Viking won five of 11 races last year and earned $146,138 for owners Knutsson Trotting Inc. and Little E LLC, but is winless in four starts this season. The colt, a son of Muscle Hill out of Hall Of Wishes, was slowed by a lung infection and missed more than two months of action. "I think he is on the way up," Svanstedt said. The Yonkers Trot is the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. The first jewel, the Hambletonian, went to Svanstedt-trained Perfect Spirit when What The Hill was disqualified for causing interference in the stretch. Neither Perfect Spirit nor What The Hill was eligible to the Yonkers Trot. Saturday's card at Yonkers also includes one nine-horse elimination of the Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers. The top eight finishers return Sept. 2 for the $500,000 final. The entry of Downbytheseaside and Blood Line is the 4-5 morning line favorite. Following are the complete fields in post order for the Yonkers Trot eliminations (with driver/trainer/morning line). Elimination One: 1. Enterprise (Tim Tetrick/Marcus Melander/3-1); 2. Another Chapter (Dan Dube/Per Henriksen/6-1); 3. Southwind Cobra (Matt Kakaley/Ron Burke/10-1); 4. Yes Mickey (Ake Svanstedt/Ake Svanstedt/2-1); 5. Devious Man (Andy Miller/Julie Miller/9-5); 6. Andy M (Jason Bartlett/Chris Beaver/12-1). Elimination Two: 1. Money Macintosh* (Andy Miller/Julie Miller/9-5); 2. DiOggi (Montrell Teague/Archie Kohr/9-2); 3. New Jersey Viking (Ake Svanstedt/Ake Svanstedt/6-1); 4. Guardian Angel As (Jason Bartlett/Anette Lorentzon/8-5); 5. Southwind Hydro (Marcus Johansson/Nancy Johansson/6-1); 6. Top Flight Angel* (Brian Sears/Julie Miller/9-5). * Money Macintosh and Top Flight Angel racing as coupled entry. Following is the complete field in post order for the Messenger elimination (with driver/trainer/morning line). 1. Art Scene (Jordan Stratton/Tony Alagna/7-1); 2. Mac's Jackpot* (Jason Bartlett/Jim Campbell/9-1); 3. Downbytheseaside# (Brian Sears/Brian Brown/4-5); 4. Summer Side (Ray Schnittker/Ray Schnittker/7-1); 5. Blood Line# (Mark MacDonald/Jimmy Takter/4-5); 6. Henry The Dragon (Montrell Teague/Clyde Francis/20-1); 7. Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley/Ron Burke/6-1); 8. Funknwaffles (Corey Callahan/John Butenschoen/7-1); 9. Beyond Delight* (Dan Dube/Mark Silva/9-1). * Mac's Jackpot and Beyond Delight racing as coupled entry; Beyond Delight starts from the second tier. # Downbytheseaside and Blood Line racing as coupled entry. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager Harness Racing Communications

VERNON, NY-- Sitting off a contested front, Yes Mickey snuck up the pylons to edge past harness racing 6-5 favorite Ariana G and upset at 34-1 in the $320,000 Dr. Harry Zweig Memorial on Friday, August 18 at Vernon Downs. Long Tom grabbed the front from Yes Mickey before a :26.4 first quarter. Ariana G, sitting third, edged outside and brushed to the lead off a :55.1 half. Devious Man, behind International Moni stalled first over, loomed wide and trotted towards Ariana G's wheel, pressuring the leader through a 1:23.3 third-quarter while Long Tom drifted off the rail, giving room to Yes Mickey. Yes Mickey gradually approached the leader up the inside, getting his nose in front within the final sixteenth and edging away to win by a neck over Ariana G in a lifetime-best effort of 1:51.4. Devious Man finished third and International Moni finished fourth. A three-year-old gelding by Muscle Hill from the Pine Chip mare My Favorite Chip, Yes Mickey won his second race in ten starts, earning $223,087 for owner Mellby Gard Inc. Trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, he paid $71.00 to win. "He's a very nice trotter, but it has been hard for him to win races -- he always finishes second -- but today was the right race to win," Svanstedt said. "He was very good the whole race and when I [got] free on the inside, he did it easy." Yes Mickey Svanstedt completed a sweep of the Zweig finals when Evelyn shook loose off a pocket trip to win the $135,000 Filly Final in 1:54.1. Sitting behind a tempo of :27, :57, and 1:25.4 set by Feed Your Head and pressure from Sunshine Delight parked first-over, Evelyn managed to weave through the dueling leaders midway through the stretch to win by a length over Sunshine Delight, with Feed Your Head faltering to third and Glitzey Gal recovering from an early break to take fourth. Racing for owners Ake Svanstedt Inc., Little E LLC, Borje Nasstrom, and Silva Stable 45, Evelyn won her fourth race in 20 starts, pushing her career earnings to $192,166. Driven by Andy Miller, she paid $16.00 to win. "I felt really good except I was a little claustrophobic looking for a little room," Andy Miller said. "She felt really good, I was just kind of waiting, biding my time to get a little room there, and when she got room, she took off." Evelyn New York-sired freshmen colt pacers competed on the undercard of the Zweig Memorial, competing in three $37,266 New York Sires Stakes (NYSS) divisions as well as two splits of the Excelsior A and B Series. Lagging off a hot pace set by Courtly Choice, Hitman Hill struck around the far turn, brushing to a two-length lead over Keystone Tenacious and Topville Olympian rallying late in a 1:50.4 mile in the first NYSS division. Owned by Tom Hill and North Fork Racing Stable, trained by Chris Oakes, and driven by Brett Miller, he paid $12.80 to win. Casual Cool took the second NYSS split after taking the lead before the half, winning in 1:52.2 over Paprike Blue Chip and I Soar Him First. Owned by Kenneth Jacobs, trained by Linda Toscano, and driven by Jason Bartlett, he paid $6.70 to win. Mr Profeta snagged the final NYSS division, sitting off a slow pace set by odds-on favorite Jimtastic and rallying to a 1:54 score over American Vision and My Delight. Owned by Anatolia Farm LLC, trained by Roland Mallar, and driven by Scott Zeron, he paid $14.00. Rockapelo, by Rock N Roll Heaven from the Camluck mare Capelo Rose, won his division of the Excelsior A Series going wire to wire in 1:53.1, while Prophet Blue Chip, a gelding by Rock N Roll Heaven out of the Artsplace mare Weeping Wannabe, won off a pocket ride in 1:55.3 Rockapelo, owned by Enviro Stables LTD, trained by Linda Toscano, and driven by Jason Bartlett, paid $5.80 to win. Prophet Blue Chip, competing for trainer David Dziengiel with partners Robert Sholes and Edward Davis, was driven by Andy Miller and paid $16.80 to win. Brinks Job, by Roll With Joe from the American Ideal mare Exclamation, and Buckeys Brat, by Quick Pulse Mindale out of the Real Artist mare Artists Jewels, won their Excelsior B divisions going wire to wire, doing so in 1:54 and 1:54.1 respectively. Brinks Job, paying $3.60, races for owner Rick Berks, is trained Michael Deters, and was driven by Brett Miller. Buckeys Brat, returning $6.20, is owned by trainer Lawrence La Page and was driven by Jason Bartlett. Live racing at Vernon Downs resumes Saturday, August 19 with a 13-race program that kicks off at 6:45pmET. By Ray Cotolo, for Vernon Downs        

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - August 5, 2017 -- Perfect Spirit was the winner by disqualification in a chaotic Hambletonian Saturday afternoon at the Meadowlands Racetrack. It was a first time a horse first under the wire had his number taken down in the 92 editions of the $1 million trotting classic for harness racing 3-year-olds. What The Hill squeezed off the pylons in deep stretch and sprinted past the pacesetting Perfect Spirit as the crowd cheered what appeared to be the first Hambo winner for trainer Ron Burke and driver David Miller. But then the inquiry sign flashed on the tote board. The judges studied the replay and detected contact between What The Hill and Guardian Angel AS, who broke stride. After a lengthy review, the Hambletonian had it first DQ. "It was a tough break," Miller said. What The Hill was placed ninth and Perfect Spirit was stunningly on his way to the winner's circle. "Your horse raced great both heats," said Hall of Famer John Campbell, presiding for the first time as president of the Hambletonian Society as he handed the connections the cherished trophy. "It's unfortunate circumstances, but you can't take anything away from his performance today." Winning owner Lennart Agren, who races as the SRF Stable, chalked the victory up to the breaks of the game. "I know you have to be very lucky like we were today," he said. "It can end very quickly, so you have to live in the moment right now." The win gave international trotting master Ake Svanstedt, 58, his first Hambo win as both a trainer and driver in only his fourth year in the U.S. "It's very big," the Swedish horseman said. "I'm very happy." Perfect Spirit is by Andover Hall from a Kadabra mare. Perfect Spirit paid $17, $6.40 and $5.40 for his fifth win in nine starts this season. In the revised order of finish, Devious Man ($3 and $2.40) moved up to second and Enterprise ($4) was placed third. It was a tough race for the favorites. Devious Man, the 2-1 choice, had dead aim turning for home but could not sustain his bid. International Moni, the 5-2 second choice, broke stride in the first turn. By Mike Farrell

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - August 5, 2017 -- Ake Svanstedt followed his win in the Hambletonian with a come-from-behind triumph with Ice Attraction in a $30,000 division of the Duenna Stakes for harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies, the 14th race on Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack. She won by a nose in 1:53.1, with Glitzey Gal second and Broadway Concert third. Ice Attraction, a daughter of Muscle Hill-The Ice Queen, is owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc., Douglas Sipple, Mal & Janet Burroughs LLC and Little E LLC. She has won two of nine races this year and five of 18 lifetime. She pushed her career earnings to $162,602. Ice Attraction, sent off at 9-1, paid $21.40, $9.40 and $3.80. Glitzey Gal paid $4.00 and $2.60. Broadway Concert paid $5.60. By Ken Weingartner    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - August 5, 2017 - Resolve, driven and trained by Ake Svanstedt, won the $303,050 John Cashman Memorial for harness racing open trotters by four and a quarter lengths in a time of 2:04.2 for the mile and an eighth race on Saturday at the Meadowlands. The mile time in the sixth race distance event was 1:50.1. Resolve is owned by Hans Enggren of Abbottstown, PA. The victory was the third in 18 starts for the year for earnings of $335,995 toward $2,544,429 for the career of the six-year -old son of Muscle Hill. . The 12- horse field was led to the first quarter by Resolve, who hit the first quarter 26.3, with Crazy Wow (Yannick Gingras) behind them. Those two led the field to the 55.1 half when Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) came up to challenge on the outside, just before the 1:22.3 three quarters, around the final turn, and took the second spot away from Crazy Wow. Resolve trotted away from the field in the homestretch for the win. Resolve returned $7.00, $4.00 and $3.80. Marion Marauder, paying $4.00, $3.00, was second and Lookslikeachpndale returned $14.20 in third with Daniel Dube driving. The first three home are all by Muscle Hill. "[Marion Marauder] was the horse to beat before the race," said Svanstadt. "But Resolve was good enough." Asked if Resolve was as good as Sebastian K, "Not yet, It's hard to beat [1]:49," he said. By Ellen Harvey

Batavia, NY---Ake Svanstedt put on a training and driving clinic in the $108,600 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for harness racing 2-year-old trotting fillies at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (July 26) winning all four divisions he competed in, going wire to wire with each and even equaling a track record with one. In the first $21,800 division, Fury Road (Muscle Mass-Bar Ballad) opened up a sixth-length lead at the quarter and never looked back. After setting almost equal fractions through the first three-quarters, she trotted home in :29.3 to score a seven-length, 2:00.1 victory. It was the first lifetime win for Fury Road ($2.80) after two second place finishes for owner Knuttson Trotting Inc. Next Svanstedt sent Natalie Hanover (Chapter Seven-Nanticoke Hanover) off the gate to lead the entire mile unchallenged to eventually win by three-lengths in 1:59.4, which shattered her previous lifetime mark of 2:04. That was the second lifetime tally in three tries for Natalie Hanover ($3.60) who is owned by the Svanstedt-Nasstrom Stable, the Van Camp Trotting Corp., Anders Olsson and Lars Berg. Lucky Ava (Lucky Chucky-Ava Marion) was the next stable star Svanstedt sent down the road, going in :29.1, :58.4 and 1:29 before trotting home to win in 1:59.3, which was another lifetime mark for the winner. Lucky Ava ($2.40) is now a perfect three-for-three lifetime for owners Ake Svanstedt, Little E LLC and the Van Camp Trotting Corp. Svanstedt's grand slam came when Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass) followed the script and chased the car off the wings. She opened up a three length lead setting quarters of :29.3, 1:00 and 1:29.4 before turning for home with a widening gap, stopping the clock in 1:59, which tied her lifetime best as well as the 7-year-old track record at Batavia Downs. Plunge Blue Chip ($2.10) is also undefeated lifetime with three consecutive wins so far this year for owners Ake Svanstedt and Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc. In the only division Svanstedt did not start a filly, Missus Mia Wallace (Credit Winner-Upscale) overcame a break at the start to take the lead by the quarter and tour the facility unencumbered to win by two lengths in 2:02.2. It was the first lifetime win for Missus Mia Wallace ($12.80) that is owned by Connie Hochstetler, Robert Buddig and Allen Schwartz. Jim Morrill Jr. drove for trainer Homer Hochstetler. There were also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A series on the card. Barn Bliss (Credit Winner-Jupiter) won the first division in 2:04 to set a new lifetime mark. Barn Bliss ($5.90) is owned by Steve Pratt, Nancy Pratt, the Purple Haze Stable and the Out In The Country Stable. Jim Morrill Jr. drove for trainer Howard Okusko. In the second division, Miss Muscle (Muscle Mass-Pacific Edge) won by a mere head in 2:01.3 to win her first lifetime start for owners David Smith, John Stark Jr., James Gianuzzi and Daniel Gianuzzi. Miss Muscle ($13.80) was trained and driven by John Stark Jr. The final leg was won by Pittstop Emerald (R C Royalty-Nowerland Kristen) by a three-length margin in 2:00.2 which was a new lifetime mark in her second lifetime victory. Pittstop Emerald ($6.60) is owned and trained by Robert Gale and was driven by Chris Lems. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (July 28) with post time for the first race set at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia, NY---Ake Svanstedt has not raced often at Batavia Downs, but he will be well represented there in the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) on Wednesday (July 26) as his four starters are all morning line favorites as five divisions (races two through six) of harness racing 2-year-old trotting fillies vie for a total of $108,600 in purses on opening night.   In what looks to be the fastest of the divisions (sixth race), Svanstedt’s 8-5 early favorite Plunge Blue Chip (Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato) is undefeated in two starts this year, winning by open lengths in each outing. After going gate to wire at Buffalo Raceway in 2:00 and setting a new track record for age, sex and gait, she came right back with a mirror effort at Yonkers Raceway in a lifetime best 1:59 by nine lengths. Svanstedt will do the driving from post one. Her main rival will be Lima Novelty (Chapter Seven-No Pictures Please) who has also gone two for two this year and also both on the front end. In her last start at Yonkers she set a lifetime standard of 1:59.2 in handy fashion and comes in looking to extend her streak. Trained by Linda Toscano, the 2-1 Lima Novelty will leave from post two and will be driven once again by Jason Bartlett. In the first division Svanstedt will drive Fury Road (Muscle Mass-Bar Ballad) from post two and is listed as the 2-1 favorite. Fury Road chased Supergirl Riley (Muscle Mass-Crown Laurel) at Yonkers last week in a near track record time of 1:57.3. Finishing second by only two lengths, Fury Road comes into this race tight and confident and should be tough to beat. Despite drawing post seven, Electro Pump (Muscles Yankee-Cardio Pump) will be the one to try and is the only filly in this race that has a win this year. In her only lifetime start, Electro Pump eked out a nose decision at Yonkers in 2:00.4 and may have to step that up a bit to get the job done here. Mark Macdonald picks up the lines for trainer Casie Coleman and is listed at 4-1. The second division features Nifty Norman’s Lucky Rainbow (Credit Winner-Lady Rainbow) who is listed as the 2-1 track handicapper’s selection. Lucky Winner was an easy four-length victor in her last start at Yonkers and is the lone filly to hit the win column in this race. With post one and her front-running style, driver Jeff Gregory should make his 2017 homecoming a winning one. Missus Mia Wallace (Credit Winner-Upscale) put in a stellar effort at the Meadowlands in the Kindergarten series over a sloppy track, finishing fourth in a mile that went 1:56.3. She will be making her first start on a half-mile track and much depends on how she handles that. Trainer Homer Hochstetler has Jim Morrill Jr. up and they are listed at 3-1 from post five. Svanstedt has the 2-1 choice in the third division with Natalie Hanover (Chapter Seven-Nanticoke Hanover) from post two. After winning her first lifetime start at Buffalo, she couldn’t catch a strong Lima Novelty at Yonkers last week, but put up a great effort in defeat. With the inside post and not much early speed in the race, Natalie Hanover should pretty much get her way in here. Oooteeny (Credit Winner-Lindys Head Nurse) trotted a perfect mile at Buffalo winning gate to wire in 2:03.4 with a 1:01.1 back half. Last week she held her own chasing a runaway winner and was race timed three seconds faster than her first start. If she continues to improve, driver Mark Macdonald could give the favorite some stiff competition. Jim Campbell trains Oooteeny who will leave from post seven at 3-1.  And in the fourth division, Lucky Ava (Lucky Chucky-Ava Marion) rounds out Svanstedt’s quartet and is once again favored at 2-1 from post five. She has two wins in two starts this year and is in against a field that is collectively winless. She can leave and that may be the best strategy here in what could be a catch-me-if-you-can outing for her.   White Cheetah (Muscle Mass-Wheely Quick) had to deal with post seven and a lot of road trouble at Yonkers last week but still put in a solid effort, finishing second to Plunge Blue Chip. She moves inside to post three and gets Mark Macdonald again who got along well with her. That all makes this Paul Kelley trained filly a solid competitor in this race at 4-1. There are also four divisions of the Excelsior A series that go for $15,000 each in races seven to ten and the card opens with a $6,800 Excelsior B event in race one. Post time for the 13-race card is 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

HAMBURG, NY --- While Buffalo Raceway begins its final two weeks of the 2017 racing season on Wednesday night (July 12), many entered in the New York Sire Stakes for the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers will just be starting their year and their careers as well.   With 17 freshmen pacers entered in the three divisions worth $35,000 (approx.), eight are getting their first taste of pari-mutuel racing. The other nine have just a total of 12 starts between them with three getting wins.   It may be a lot to ask of these inexperienced fellas but they'll still be gunning at the track record of 1:55.4 set in 2013 by He's Watching.   The Sire Stakes will go off as the first, fifth and seventh races on the 12-race program scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.   Trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt returns to Buffalo Raceway for the Sire Stakes. He had a memorable trip on June 30 with his 2-year-old filly trotters winning three times including Plunge Blue Chip who set the track record with a 2:00.0 journey in her first start.   He's hoping for the same kind of luck on Wednesday as he'll be bringing in first time starters Liveonthephone (Art Major-Cinergy Hanover) and the $52,000 Harrisburg sale purchase Love Yourself (Rock N Roll Heaven-Armbro Bianca). They will be racing in the fifth and seventh races respectively.   The first division features five boys led by Cheese Melt (Betterthancheddar-So So Lucky), a $57,000 purchase at the Lexington Sales last season. He'll start from the rail for Daniel Dube. Cheese Melt has two starts under his belt with a third place finish at Mohawk on July 4.   Asiago Blue Chip (Bettertahncheddar-Nova Ruby) has a pair of 1:55.4 qualifier wins at Vernon Downs and drew the two post for driver Chris Lems.   I Soar Him First (So Surreal-Barry Blue Chip) is the lone competitor in the opener that has a pari-mutuel victory, that coming at Tioga Downs on July 4 in 1:55.4. Trainer/driver Mickey McNichol will guide him from the five post.   Others in the field include Cross My Mind (Michael Saftic) and Sammy's Lightning (Jim Morrill Jr.).   The second leg features driver/trainer Ray Schnittker's Major Sugar Rush (Art Major-Sugarcoated), a $75,000 purchase at the Lexington Sales. Starting from the four post, Major Sugar Rush has a pair of qualifiers at the Meadowlands that went in 1:55.4 and 1:56.4.   The major danger should be Ghost Dance, a length winner in his last start Mohawk in a throttled down 1:55.2. Saftic will steer Ghost Dancer (American Ideal-Epoxy Queen) from the five post.   Back To Motown (Drew Monti), Liveonthephone (Svanstedt), Delightful Joe (Billy Dobson) and So So Incredible (Jay Randall) round out the second division.   The top-priced 2-year-old pacer in the Sire Stakes comes in the final division where Casual Cool, a $165,000 Harrisburg Sales purchase, is entered for owner Ken Jacobs and trainer Linda Toscano. Casual Cool (American Ideal-Sight To See) will be looking to start making a return on the investment by beginning in his first race from the two spot with Lems.   Others ready to take on the challenge include Firewater Jake (Monti), Love Yourself (Svanstedt), Topville Olympian (Jody Jamieson), Daamericansky (Daniel Dube) and Rock Lights (Morrill Jr.)   There's also action in the Excelsior A Series on the main program while an Excelsior B Series race will go off at 4:30 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, results and upcoming promotions, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

YONKERS, N.Y. - Centurion ATM has been a familiar name to harness racing fans of top-level trotters for the past few years. The son of SJ’s Caviar can typically be found competing in Grand Circuit races across North America or racing in the Open Handicap Trot at Yonkers Raceway. Lately however, the Åke Svanstedt pupil has been stacking victories in the conditions at the Hilltop Oval. In his seasonal debut April 28, Centurion ATM captured a $32,000 overnight for non winners of eight pari-mutuel races lifetime. Despite his impressive earnings of $670,709, Centurion ATM only won six races upon making his 5-year-old debut; he captured the Peter Haughton elimination and final and the Simpson at 2, won the Colonial Trot at 3, and succeeded in a pair of overnights at 4. While his stakes wins and placings bolstered his bankroll, his low win tally allowed the dropdown. “He was a bit unlucky with a couple second and third place finishes, both in Lexington as a 2-year-old, so he didn’t actually win too many races as a 2-year-old,” co-owner Tristan Sjoberg of Knutsson Trotting explained. “And then he got sick and he didn’t win until he got into the 3-year-old season. He didn’t win too many. That’s why he got stuck into the non winners of eight.” Centurion ATM finished off the board in the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at The Meadowlands before returning to Yonkers to finish second in the conditions May 19. After a crack at Yonkers’ Preferred Trot and the Charlie Hill Memorial at Scioto, Centurion ATM returned to the non winners class to score his eighth victory last time out June 17. In doing so, he equaled the season’s fastest trotting mile at Yonkers, stopping the timer in 1:54.2. “He did really well two weeks ago when I was there,” Sjoberg remarked. “He showed that he’s in really good form. Åke’s been saying that since the second part of last year’s season, he’s become much more agile and he shows a lot more bounce in his step. He feels great now, he feels absolutely great.” Despite the recent class drops, Centurion ATM’s victories have not been walkovers as difficult post positions have tested him. His first victory came from post six while his second-place effort commenced from the eight hole. In his most recent outing, Centurion ATM again started from post eight. Driver Svanstedt encouraged him off the gate, racing in fourth early before grinding first-over. He drew away with a :28.4 final panel to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Centurion ATM’s ability to show speed off the gate came to the delight of his owner, as the bay horse has historically been a slow leaver. “We’ve experimented with different types of blinkers to make him a little bit faster at the gate. That has shown to be a positive,” Sjoberg said. “That’s always been his drawback is he’s a very slow starter and that usually puts him in a bad spot. In the higher classes, it gets very difficult to make up those lengths when everyone can do a :27 last quarter.” Having won out of the conditions, Centurion ATM will jump back to the open level in Sunday’s (July 2) $68,000 trotting feature at Yonkers. A tepid 7/2 morning line choice, Centurion ATM will start from post seven in a field of 12. As part of the French simulcast, the race will be contested at a mile-and-a-quarter. “There’s no question he’s got strength, he’s got stamina. Longer distances are definitely to his advantage. A mile-and-a-quarter will play to his strengths. He’s not a big horse by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s got wonderful technique. He very rarely breaks stride and he just keeps going,” Sjoberg said. Centurion ATM’s chief opposition in the crowded field includes Rubber Duck and Buen Camino, winner and runner-up of the Open Trot, respectively, on June 18, Hemi Seelster, the top earner in the field this season, and Melady’s Monet. That quartet however, were all handicapped with the second tier. “I’m happy to be in the first tier of horses,” Sjoberg said. “The worst opposition seems to be coming from the second tier, so he should have a couple of lengths advantage there. He’s a horse that needs to be driven aggressively. Sometimes if he’s too far back, he loses a little bit of his motivation, so I’m sure Åke will drive him quite aggressively and not be too far back come the halfway marker.” Yonkers Raceway’s new track configuration could aid Svanstedt’s efforts to leave the gate with Centurion ATM. The new finish line affords the field an additional 105 feet of straight track before entering the first of five turns. “I was there the day after they introduced it and I’ve been watching the races,” Sjoberg said. “I think it will be good for him because he needs to be involved early on and if it encourages movement early on, then that would be to his advantage. I’m hoping if he can be in front coming into the shorter stretch, that should certainly be to his advantage. I’m confident.” First post time at Yonkers Sunday is 12:30 p.m. To view entries for Sunday’s races, click here. by Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

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