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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

WILKES-BARRE PA – In this era of specializing harness racing catch-drivers, the “trainer/driver” title is still proudly held by a few horsemen, mostly horsemen “past the half” and usually with those focusing on trotters.   Another thing these “old-time horsemen” also possess is an ability to adjust strategy in midcourse, and one of the best trainer/drivers, Ake Svanstedt, dropped two of his charges out of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes class to the Stallion Series and then won divisions of the second leg of StS action Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. First to take a win was the Yankee Glide gelding Limerence, a checkgetter in PaSS company but here a wire-to-wire winner in a personal best of 1:55.2 for Åke Svanstedt Inc., Mal & Janet Burroughs LLC, Myfab Inc., and Torbjorn Swahn. The native Swede came back an hour later and put a new mark of 1:56.2 on the Donato Hanover colt Coogan, withstanding closer Brand New Key by a head for owner Hakan Andersson. Another Sire Stakes refugee, the Explosive Matter gelding Explosive Ridge, lowered his record to 1:55.1 with an engine victory for driver Matt Kakaley. Trainer Nancy Johansson shares ownership of the winner of two straight with Kenneth Ross. The Cantab Hall gelding Monteverdi, who may or may be named for a former harness track in Vermont, pounced from the pocket to overhaul pacesetter Stealth Hanover past midstretch and go on to a new mark of 1:55.4 for driver Christian Lind and trainer/father Staffan. Staffan is also co-owner with Bender Sweden Inc. and Acadia Farms Inc. of yet another horse finding success dropping from Sires competition which likely accounts for the fact that there were no StS two-time winners after this second leg. Backstage Pass earned Donato Hanover another siring credit, and tied for the fastest winner at 1:55.1, when he went a first-over grind then held off Vodkancaviar, who had tailed his cover, by a neck. Pocono’s “Trot Man,” Mike Simons, guided the winner of 9 out of 18 starts lifetime, and also has local training duties for owner Jessica Smith. Yankee Glide also picked up a second sire victory when the interestingly-named Boinganator quarter-moved en route to a 1:56 triumph that lowered his mark by five full seconds, presenting Jim Marohn Jr. with one of his quartet of sulky wins on the night. Jill Roland conditions the steady youngster for Anthony Risi and Bernard O’Brien. Driver Corey Callahan and trainer John Butenschoen, winners of two of the three Sire Stakes divisions for this group on Saturday, took a blanket finish in the final division, earning a new mark of 1:57 while giving Cantab Hall a second winning son in the Stallion Series. The sophomore winner is owned by William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, and Eugene Schick, and finished off a “sweep” of setting new lifetime speed bests. The Stallion Series colts gathered around the paddock televisions for a glimpse of some of their heroes, who gathered at Pocono Sunday for a $25,000 winners-over trot. They saw the Yonkers invader Buen Camino put on a strong performance, going for early position, maneuvering for a position for the stretch, then trotting over a tough field to take a personal mark of 1:52 for driver Jim Marohn Jr. and trainer Trond Smedshammer. The Cash Hall gelding raised his earnings to $111,830 this year and $487,951 lifetime for the Purple Haze Stables LLC. PHHA / Pocono  

He started out his career racing in the New York Sire Stakes Fair Circuit and now J A T O has received and accepted the biggest invitation of his life. He is going to race in Sweden at Solvalla Racetrack the day before the Elitlopp Day this coming Saturday, May 27. He will be competing in what is called the "Little Elitlopp" for horses that nearly were invited for the big event. The Little Elitlopp is also raced in two heats.  The five-year-old gelding by Big Apple Deli from the Credit Winner mare, Highwaytoheaven, is currently being trained and will be driven by the world renowned Swedish horseman, Ake Svandstedt. J, A T O is co-owned by the Our Horse Cents Stable of Melville, NY with Rossie Smith of Greenville, NY. Longtime owner, Eugene Kurzrok, of The Horse Cents Stable, confirmed this morning that J A T O is leaving today for Sweden. “He (J A T O) will be racing in an undercard event for a purse of $180,000,” Kurzrok said. “and this is the first time I have ever had a horse race in Sweden. This is very exciting; the whole sport of harness racing is exciting. Unfortunately, I will not be going over to watch him race.” A career winner of $157,808 and a record of 1:54 at age four, J A T O has come a long way since the NYSS Fair Circuit. This year he already has two wins, three second place and two third place finishes in just seven starts. He recently won at the Meadowlands, beating Melady’s Monet in 1:54.1 and the week prior, won at Yonkers Raceway in 1:56.3. Growing up, J A T O was the stablemate with the top trotter, Dayson, and now travels to Sweden with the great Resolve as his new stablemate. At age two and three, J A T O was a terror on the New York Sire Stakes Fair Circuit, winning 25 of his 27 starts. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Showing no rust after a six-month layoff, Resolve went parked for the final half-mile on the way to a determined win in the $200,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for harness racing trotters at the Meadowlands Saturday night. "He raced well," understated trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. "He was a little bit lazy but he was strong." Indeed. Resolve ($3.60 to win as the 4-5 favorite), who won four-of-13 a year ago while earning $1.2 million, was unhurried in the early going and got underway at the five-eighths after sitting fifth. The 6-year-old son of Muscle Hill went on a steady grind and got up to leader Crazy Wow's wheel nearing the head of the stretch. From there, Svanstedt's star pupil continued to gain steadily, forging to the front inside the sixteenth pole before going on to a 1-length win in 2:06.3 for the mile and an eighth distance. Crazy Wow held second with J L Cruze third. In the winner's circle, Svanstedt accepted an invitation for Resolve to participate in the May 28 Elitlopp at Solvalla, Sweden, a race in which he finished second a year ago. SINTRA-LATING!: Toronto invader Sintra destroyed five overmatched opponents in the first division of the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers. The gelded son of Mach Three sat in the five hole early before vacating the rail at the three-eighths, then sprinted up to engage leader Roll Away Joe. Sintra ($3.20 as the 3-5 public choice) then powered clear of the field on the way to a 6-length win in a lifetime-best 1:49.1 for driver Brett Miller and trainer David Menary. Western Fame was second with Awesomeness third. "Hopefully, we are just getting started here," said Menary, who indicated Sintra will be seen next in the May 14 Confederation Cup. Check Six never had an anxious moment in the second Graduate division, winning in wire-to-wire fashion for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. The son of Somebeachsomewhere hit the quarter and half in tepid fractions of :27.4 and :55.4, respectively, which left plenty in the tank as the flow did not develop until the five-eighths. After stopping the clock in 1:23 at three-quarters, Check Six ($8.00) sprinted home in :26.3 to complete the mile in a lifetime-best 1:49.3. Boston Red Rocks was a length back in second while 3-5 favorite Missile J, who had live cover approaching the top of the stretch, went evenly from there for third. "I was really happy with his effort," said Burke. "He's a very good horse. I don't know if he's a great horse but hopefully he's one of those that gets better with age." A LITTLE MORE: All-source wagering totaled $2,805,426. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

As a result of a hearing held on Nov. 30, the New Jersey Racing Commission has suspended harness racing trainer Ake Svanstedt 15 days and fined him $500 as a result of a positive test on Resolve in the $273,600 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot on Aug. 6 at the Meadowlands. Svanstedt also received a second positive on his trotter Blue Muse, who won an $8,000 amateur race on Aug. 5 at the Meadowlands with his wife, Sarah, driving, and received the same penalties. The positives were for Dexamethasone, which is a Class C violation as recommended by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. With Ake Svanstedt driving, Resolve won the Cashman in a career-best 1:50.2, besting Obrigado by 1-1/4 lengths. As a result of the positive test and subsequent disqualification of Resolve, Obrigado is now the official winner of the race. According to the New Jersey ruling, Svanstedt's two 15-day suspensions will be served consecutively, starting on Jan. 2, 2017, and continuing through and including Jan. 31, 2017. The ruling also states that "in addition to the penalty issued, a total of two Multiple Medication Violation points, as recommended by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, shall be assigned as a result of these Class C violations."   Resolve (Ake Svanstedt) John Cashman Memorial TVG FFA Trot     Courtesy of harnessracing.com 

Dublin, Ireland - It was a proud day for harness racing in Ireland as Trotter Francaise, Vichy de Moem, and driver Alan Richard put in a last half mile in :57.7 to rewrite the world record on a half mile track for two-miles at 4:05.7 Sunday at Portmarnock Raceway. The race was for the Barney Richardson Memorial Cup with five of the best trotter in Ireland going for the world record that was held by Ake Svanstedt's Clear Sign at 4:06.8 in Sweden in 2013. It was closing day at Portmarnock for the 2016 season and the world record attempt was the fifth race feature on the program. A huge crowd was in attendance to see if Ireland could own its first world record. It was Silvano Bello and driver Donal Murphy who took early commend and led the field for the first three laps, unofficially going to the first quarter in :31 as they raced Indian style to the half mile in 1:05, the three-quarters in 1:33.4. Then at the one mile marker in 2:35.7, the thought was that the record was out of reach, but once they passed the teletimer at the 1.5 mile mark in 3:08, Alan Richardson came charging to the front with Vichy De Moem for the final lap. Looking strong on the lead, Vichy De Moem was then challenged in the backstretch the final time by Twist Du Layon and driver Patrick Kane, Jr. of Miraculous fame, who came after the race leaders up on the outside. Those two made it a race to the finish as Vichy De Moem kicked in another gear coming down the stretch to win by one and one-half lengths. Twist Du Layon was second with Scoop's Team and driver Brenda Hudson grabbing third place. Driver Alan Richardson was beside himself as he brought Vichy De Moem back to the winner's enclosure amidst a roaring crowd cheering the world record holders on. There were nearly 100 family members, friends and well-wishers crowding the track. "What an amazing day." Richardson said as he got off the race bike. "He (Vichy De Moem) is a super horse and what a huge day this is for Ireland. We finally own a world record." A seven-year-old gelding by Viraldi De Chanu, Vichy De Moem has been one of the top Trotter Francaise in the LeTrot Series in Ireland and the UK this year. By Steven Wolf for Portmarnock Raceway  

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