Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 26

YONKERS, N.Y. – Although it’s been over two months since Twister Bi stormed to a 5 ½-length victory in the Yonkers International Trot, harness racing trainer Jerry Riordan is still processing what the win means to him. The history and lore behind the International means Riordan sees himself reexamining and reliving that moment for years to come. “It does take time and it’s something that as the years go by, we’ll reflect on it. Probably even in a different way each time,” Riordan said. “Races like that, as the years go by they still keep giving you that pleasure and that satisfaction. “The International, it comes up every now and again,” he continued. “Legolas, who was second in the International Trot – he didn’t even win, he finished second – and they were showing a clip at the racetrack when he was second in the International and he was a big hero. I was thinking to myself, ‘we won it.’ Only for the biggest races will stuff like that happen.” Twister Bi not only won the $1 million stakes, he blew the field away. After pouncing on defending champion Resolve with one circuit to race, Twister Bi raced to a 7-length advantage on the backstretch through a mile in 1:53.2 before completing the 1 ¼-mile race in a world record 2:22.1. After his stateside triumph, Twister Bi flew from New York to Liège, Belgium. The 5-year-old son of Varrene made a stopover at a nearby stable for quarantine before completing a 10-hour road trip back to Sweden. “He was fine, he got home, he was happy. Even when he was aggressive on the racetrack, he’s always been a really cool horse in the barn as far as taking care of himself, traveling, that sort of thing,” Riordan explained. “He always eats well, he’s got a really good constitution, so that was no problem at all.” Upon returning home, Twister Bi enjoyed a few weeks off from training before resuming his work. Naturally, Riordan is targeting the €1 million Grand Prix d’Amérique at Vincennes Jan. 28 for his star trotter. This Sunday (Dec. 24), the Group 2 Prix Ténor de Baune will serve as a stepping stone to France’s biggest race. “We just started him back doing his normal thing, twice a week doing some speed. He’s at the point where I pretty much let him decide what he wants to do,” the conditioner said. “I put him in the sulky one time (last week), let him train himself basically. He’s sound, relaxed, so I’m pretty confident in him.” Unlike the four “B” races – the Bretage, Bourbonnais, Bourgogne, and Belgique – Prix d’Amérique prep races which are open to 4- through 9-year-olds, the Prix Ténor de Baune is restricted to 5-year-olds. Still, this year’s edition attracted a strong field as the winner earns a place in the Prix d’Amérique. Twister Bi will face Swedish champion Readly Express, who rides a 12-race winning streak including a victory in the Group 1 Grand Prix de l'U.E.T., his last Vincennes appearance, and in the Group 1 Jubileumspokalen at Solvalla where Twister Bi was the runner up. Carat Williams, the champion French 5-year-old, Charly du Noyer, champion French 4-year-old last year, and Traders, who beat Bold Eagle in the 2016 Prix Marcel Laurent, are all signed on in the 15-horse field. Riordan will also send out last year’s Criterium Continental winner Treasure Kronos. “It’s a tough race, tougher than usual. There’s going to be some horses like Readly Express. He wants to win because he’s the Swedish horse, Swedish bred, a lot of following up there, people have big expectations for him and he’s a very good horse. I think they’re going to want to win this race and be considered one of the contenders for the Prix d’Amérique,” Riordan said. “I think ‘Twister’ is as good or better than any of them, I really do,” he continued.” He feels as good as he ever did. We’ll know for sure how he took the trip to Yonkers on Sunday.” Riordan would relish a victory over Readly Express on Sunday. Although the Swedish phenom bested Twister Bi in the Jubileumspokalen, he did so while racing on the lead while Twister Bi was parked without cover the entire 2,140 meters and was still coming on at the finish, losing by only a head. “I said Readly Express got saved by the bell because Twister Bi was coming back at him at the finish line and he was all out driving him to the wire,” Riordan recalled. Although Christoffer Eriksson drove Twister Bi to victory in the International Trot and many of Twister Bi’s other successes this year, French driver Alexandre Abrivard will take the lines Sunday. Riordan stressed the change is necessary to help Twister Bi navigate the standing start from the 2,700-meter chute, the same configuration as the Prix d’Amérique. “The standing start, just being able to get your horse in position, get him out of there good. They almost always have recalls and if you don’t know the system, you can end up being a quarter-mile down the track and all the French guys are still up there walking in circles,” Riordan said. “If it was a starting car, it would be one thing, but with the standing start, I’m just more comfortable with a French guy driving.” Abrivard drove Twister Bi to a third-place finish behind Aubrion du Gers and Bold Eagle in the Group 1 European Trotting Masters Series Final at Vincennes September 9. After racing 18 ½ lengths behind the pacesetter in that start, Twister Bi finished just a half-length behind Bold Eagle. The Ténor de Baune will be Twister Bi’s fourth attempt at the standing start. In one prior try, he didn’t handle it well. Another time, he started well, but came away last. In his latest try in the Trotting Masters Final, Twister Bi came away in mid pack before losing ground. For Riordan, Twister Bi’s handling of the start Sunday is critical. “In this type of race, I don’t want to give away a possibility of winning by leaving last,” he said. “It’s really important that he gets away at least in the middle of the group. He’s a really good horse, but nobody’s going to make up 6 or 7 lengths on a top horse, it just doesn’t happen.” If Twister Bi qualifies for the Prix d’Amérique Sunday, he will join stablemate Ringostarr Treb, who earned a berth in the French classic by finishing third in the Prix du Bourbonnais Dec. 10. Riordan emphasized what starting two horses in the Prix d’Amérique would mean to him. “The progress Twister Bi has made, last year at this time, I thought it would be a stretch to get Twister Bi in the Prix d’Amérique. The horse has made tremendous development,” he said. “Ringostarr Treb, he was kind of a surprise because when he came to the stable, I thought he was probably on the downhill side of his career with his best races behind him. Instead, he turned out to be this dynamic horse. Everything we’ve asked him to do, he’s done it better. “He’s a cool horse, he’s a smart one. The standing start, if they have five recalls, that’s going to destroy Twister Bi, but the more recalls the better for Ringostarr Treb because he’s so cool in a race,” Riordan continued. “He’s got the right kind of characteristics for the Prix d’Amérique. I’ve always thought you need either a horse that’s super powerful or a horse that’s really smart and just strong enough and he’s like that. Twister Bi gives you a little stress because he gets a little aggressive. Ringostarr Treb is just a pleasure to race. “It would be surreal. There’s a lot of guys out there who are really, really good horsemen who have never even raced in it. It’s not wasted on me that I’m lucky enough to possibly have two in there.” By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

Columbus, OH --- Twister Bi assumed control from fellow world champion Resolve, then put on a trotting showcase in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. The 5-year-old stallion stopped the clock in a harness racing world record 2:22.1 at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Oct. 14) many lengths in front of the field. Trainer Jerry Riordan said, "I just wanted everyone to see how good he really is." They most certainly did. Defending champion Resolve (Åke Svanstedt) assumed the lead as the field of 10 very established rivals left the gate with Italian representatives Oasis Bi (Kim Eriksson) and Twister Bi (Christoffer Eriksson) following his lead. Oasis Bi made a menacing move to take command, but it truly was all Twister Bi. Once the stallion was provided his cue, the other nine horses were only trotting for minor awards. As Twister Bi continued to roll home unopposed in any way, 2016 Triple Crown victor Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) advanced to head off Oasis Bi as they crossed the wire. There was clearly no doubt who the best horse was in this contest today, despite Jerry Riordan's comment relating to Twister Bi as only the second Italian-bred equine to capture this event. “The guy that won, (driving Delfo in 1977) was Sergio Breghenti and he’s a legend in Italy. When the Italians look at the results of this race and they see Breghenti and they see Gougeon (Jean-Rene of France) and they see my name, they’re going to ask what the heck happened that day?" A son of the incomparable Varenne, Twister Bi is owned by Pasquale Ciccarelli and now possesses 21 triumphs in 50 career trips to the post after competing with the best Europe has to offer. He is also the latest millionaire on American soil. “He’s my horse, so I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging but of the elite horses in Europe – Timoko - came over and he’s certainly one of the all-time elites of this generation. To build this race, you have to have one of them at least," Riordan, a Rhode Island native who conditioned for Chuck Sylvester, said. "If there had been Bold Eagle out here or Nuncio on his best day he wouldn’t have been all alone at the wire; there would have been a fight to the end. "That’s what gets people excited, that’s what makes the huge handles we have in Europe. I just think it’s going to take a little time (to grow the race). The racetrack was really good; they had it perfect, we love racing out horses without shoes.; it’s very important that the surface was good. But it’s still a half-mile track, there are half-mile tracks in Europe, but nowhere where they have important races. Half mile tracks, unfortunately, they were created back when the average winning time was 2:05 or something. These horses are at a whole new level nowadays. That’s the difficult part – getting the horses to race on the half mile track, but $500,000 will convince people of a lot of things.  "He’s a lefty, it doesn’t bother him at all to handle these turns. He’s one of the toughest horses I’ve ever been around, the way he can live there on the outside." Eriksson, understandably, was elated his charge displayed his talent while initially echoing Riordan's thoughts on Twister Bi's ability to transfer his form to this continent and distance. He also expressed his joy in relation to what is a now a highlight of his career. “He was feeling unbelievable," he said. "He was a little bit aggressive in the stretch the last time, he was fighting a little but he was ready to race. He has really good technique in the turns and he had never done it before (raced on a half-mile track). I didn’t want to push him too much in the beginning, in the first turn, to see a little bit how he’s working the first time. I wanted to stay close to the front so I can see how he was feeling. It’s one of the biggest races in all the world, so of course, it’s the biggest race I have won." Twister Bi will return to familiar surroundings to prepare for a 2018 European campaign, but another journey to this nation is not out of the question. "He’s going to go home, he’s going to get a nice rest and prep him for the winter meet in Paris, yes, Prix D’Amerique," Riordan said. "Italians are a little superstitious, we don’t like to think too far ahead of ourselves." Twister Bi paid $2.90 to win while Marion Marauder provided $3.40 to place and Oasis Bi was $5.60 to show. Twister Bi & C Eriksson/J Riordan wins 1 million International Trot in WR 2:22.1 (1.10,7) at Yonkers by the USTA Communications Department 

A twister is about to hit harness racing at Yonkers Raceway at approximately 4:00 p.m. this afternoon. That would be the Italian trotting tornado known as Twister Bi, our pick in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. Batten down the hatches! Italian tornado and Jerry Riordan This five-year-old stallion has post four, and will be sitting in a cozy spot to storm home first at the wire for driver Christoffer Eriksson in the 1 ¼ global test. Warwick, Rhode Island expatriate Jerry Riordan trains for owner Pasquale Ciccarelli.  The caretaker is Heli Tarrimaa. The Riordans  It was a whirlwind week spending time with the contingent, catching up with the Riordan – now training out of Sweden after two decades in Italy: over a Manhattan at the ‘21’ Club on Tuesday as he explained the Italian-imported cherry accoutrement to the owners and his wife Lisa following the press conference; and on the World Yacht dinner cruise on Thursday night, sharing a laugh as I pulled out my shaky Italian idiom from Mr. Romeo’s Nazareth H.S. class, chuckling about la “chiacchierone” (chatterbox) journalist as we sailed away from a majestic view of the Statue of Liberty. Italian contingent cruising to victory Twister Bi becomes Italy’s second flag-carrier to take home the International, the first ironically was Delfo, my first live International at Roosevelt in 1977 for the brilliant Sergio Breghenti, known simply as The Driver. Delfo won in typical Breghenti wire-to-wire style, and the kid from Brooklyn made a winning bet on the $20 longshot. Lightning, or I should say, a twister, strikes again. Here’s the full analysis: Twister in forecast Twister Bi (4): Half million earner doubles his career bankroll with win today; has the speed to lead and tractability to sit right off it, has missed the board only twice in 11 starts with 4-2-3 record. Molto Buono! On Track Piraten (10): Nine-year-old warrior in his third Yonkers International gets the big driver switch to Johnny Takter. Was fast closing fourth, just missing the show, last year from the dreaded eight-hole. The $2 million earner on the strength of 27 wins in 116 start would have been the pick with better draw (second tier is tough spot). Bad drive, bad luck in first two. Can reverse at a price. Veteran class master can turn tables Marion Marauder (1): Draws the coveted rail for driver Scott Zeron, who won Yonkers Trot elimination and final here en route to the Triple Crown, so the four-year-old stallion relishes the oval. Canadian stalwart true family affair connections for owners Devin Keeling and his grandmother Marion J. Wellwood, and husband wife training combo of Michael Keeling and Paula Welwood. Marauder flashy over course in Yonkers Trot In Secret (8): Horse for course at Yonkers had captured six straight at Empire City, including for Open Trots in a row. George Brennan will have to get the U.S.A. flag-carrier involved from the get-go with the dreaded eight-hole draw. Acid test today. Trainer Ron Burke time and time again has won the big races. No Secret: In Secret relishes the half mile oval Resolve (6): Defending champ will be deserving favorite for expert trotting conditioner Ake Svanstedt. Apparent tick-bite threw wrench into Maple Leaf Trot elimination, connections say he’s ready to roll despite five-week layoff. Dismiss the pride of the United States at your own risk, but we’ll try to beat him. Resolve ready for repeat? Dreammoko (3): son of the legendary Timoko, who was second in 2015 renewal of Yonkers International. Second or third in last five, four-year-old French-bred may be the up and comer, otherwise trainer Richard Westerink wouldn’t be here. Italy’s Gabriele Gelormini drives. Oasis Bi (2): Post two has won last two Yonkers Internationals (Papagayo E. and Resolve), so this nine-year-old from Italy has some history on his side. Another $2 million earner, regular pilot Christoffer Eriksson tries to reign veteran back into form after three lackluster efforts. Midnight Hour (7); Shadow Woodland (5) and Tripolini VP (9) are the outsiders and would all be shockers.

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 13, 2017-- If you can't find a seat at the track, find one in front of the TV. Saturday afternoon's (Oct. 14th) harness racing million-dollar Yonkers International Trot @ Empire City Casino shall be broadcast by SportsNet New York (SNY). The home of the Mets is also the home of the 39th edition of the trotting classic, picking up the Raceway's simulcast show from 3:30-4:15 PM. Prior to the International (9th race, post time 4 PM), fans can watch the $250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot (8th race, post time just after 3:30 PM). Both races feature 10 trotters at the mile-and-a-quarter distance. The 45-minute broadcast offers the insights of the author and Standardbred Owners Association of New York Vice President Peter Venaglia, while Empire City's Clare Galterio goes behind the scenes with some of the International Trot participants. First post for Yonkers' 11-race, all-stakes, $3.3 million (a New York harness record) program is 1 PM. The card also includes the $1.8 New York Day of Champions and a pair of the $250,000 Invitationals, the Harry Harvey Trot (see above) and Dan Rooney Pace (7th race). Frank Drucker

Larry Karr remembers fondly his days as a teenager when his father, Allen, raced horses in the New York metro area. The names of those horses would mean little to most people today, Karr said, but he still can recall his favorites, such as hard-knocking harness racing pacer Jester J. On Saturday, Karr will head to Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway to watch a trotter that he hopes people might remember in the years to come. Karr is among the owners of 5-year-old gelding In Secret, who will face nine rivals in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. In Secret is one of two U.S. representatives in the 39th edition of the invitational event, which also includes trotters from Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, and Sweden. The other U.S. contender is Resolve, who won last year's International Trot. The race was held from 1959 through 1995 before being resurrected three years ago by Yonkers President and CEO Tim Rooney. The race is at the extended distance of 1-1/4 miles. "This is actually my home track," said Karr, who grew up in Rockland County, N.Y., about 20 miles from Yonkers Raceway. "(My dad) used to race horses at Yonkers, the Meadowlands, and Roosevelt. To have a horse, when my dad owned cheap claimers, that can race in a race like this is a dream come true." In Secret will be driven by George Brennan, whose stepfather Joe Ricco Jr. sometimes drove horses for Karr's dad. "It's an interesting connection," Karr said. Trainer Ron Burke bought In Secret for $140,000 at July's Tattersalls Summer Mixed Sale at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The horse, a son of Deweycheatumnhowe out of the mare Secret Magic whose family includes million-dollar-earner Possess The Magic, is owned by Burke Racing, the partnership of Mark Weaver and Mike Bruscemi, J&T Silva Stables, and Karr. Following the acquisition, In Secret and Brennan won five consecutive starts at Yonkers, with four coming in the open handicap. For his career, In Secret has won 21 of 75 races and earned $358,385. "We talked about the possibility that this could occur," Karr said of receiving an invitation to the International Trot. "We were hopeful that it would occur and that Yonkers would recognize the great races this horse has put in against home-track horses. It will be very interesting to see how he stacks up internationally." In Secret will have his work cut out for him. He drew post No. 8, the outermost spot on the starting gate, which has produced winners in only three percent of the track's races at the standard distance of one mile. However, In Secret and Brennan have a victory at Yonkers from post eight in a race that was contested at 1-1/4 miles on Aug. 13. "That was against much lesser company," Brennan said. "I've raced him both ways (from the front and off the lead). In a race like this, you're definitely going to have to try to move forward and try to get involved somehow. He's versatile. But he's going to have to be real versatile." Brennan is a two-time U.S. Driver of the Year Award winner and has twice led the Yonkers driving colony in seasonal victories. He is one of two drivers to win the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks on the same day, with Broad Bahn in the Hambletonian and Bold And Fresh in the Oaks in 2011, and sat in for an injured John Campbell to guide Glidemaster to victory in the 2006 Yonkers Trot and complete the colt's sweep of the Trotting Triple Crown. "(Winning the International Trot) would be terrific," Brennan said. "I thank Mr. Rooney for carrying it on, the legacy. And Yonkers being my home track, it would be icing on the cake. It would be great." In Secret is 6-1 on the morning line. Resolve is the 3-1 favorite, followed by Italy's Twister Bi at 4-1, Canada's Marion Marauder and Italy's Oasis Bi at 5-1, and France's Dreammoko at 6-1. "There's plenty in there to beat, that's for sure," Brennan said. * * * * * Marion Marauder is no stranger to Yonkers Raceway. Last year, the horse went 2-for-2 at The Hilltop, winning both the elimination and final of the Yonkers Trot. The Yonkers Trot win resulted in an invitation to last year's International Trot, but his connections turned it down to focus on the Trotting Triple Crown (Hambletonian, Yonkers Trot, and Kentucky Futurity) and Breeders Crown. Marion Marauder completed his sweep of the Triple Crown by winning the Futurity a week prior to the International. "Turning it down last year was tough," said Mike Keeling, who trains Marion Marauder with wife Paula Wellwood. "We always put a lot of thought into everything we do with him," he continued, discussing the decision to accept this year. "We had a schedule mapped out and we always knew this might come up. Once we talked to a few of our friends that have done this, they recommended it highly. They said Yonkers does a wonderful job and treats you like a king. We decided, not many people get this opportunity so we're going to do it." Marion Marauder is one of only two 4-year-olds in the race. The other is Dreammoko. "This means the world to us," Wellwood said. "He's the horse of a lifetime. He is very special and we're honored to have him. "This would be as exciting as winning the Hambletonian, for sure," she added. "It's a very prestigious race that my family has been in before. It would be a great honor." Marion Marauder, owned by Devin Keeling and Jean Wellwood, won this year's Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-olds at the distance of 1-1/8 miles at the Meadowlands. He has won 14 of 35 lifetime races and earned $2.22 million. He starts the International Trot from post No. 1 with regular driver Scott Zeron. Zeron said he would spend this week taking a look at his competition, particularly from Europe. "That's what I have to do through this week, study those horses that are from overseas and figure out what kind of characteristics they have," Zeron said. "I know that so far I'm going to have the shortest distance to the wire, so I'm very happy with the draw and I'm happy with my horse." * * * * * Denmark's Tripolini VP comes to the International Trot with three wins in his last four races. The 7-year-old gelding drew post nine in the second tier, behind Marion Marauder, and is 15-1 on the morning line. He will be driven by trainer Jeppe Juel. For his career, Tripolini VP has won 21 of 56 races and earned $230,561. He is a son of stallion Archduke Kemp out of the mare Lady Magic D. His dam is by U.S.-bred Shane Scottseth and his sire, by Express Ride out of the mare Emilie Cas El, is a half-brother to 2014 Hambletonian winner Trixton. "He's a very tough horse, that's what makes him special," said owner Niels Juel, the father of Jeppe. "He is in good shape. He's not won any very big races, but he's won a lot of them and worked very hard to make his money. "We are excited and happy to be here." * * * * * Oasis Bi, who finished second to Resolve in last year's International Trot and is making his third appearance in the event, will start Saturday from post No. 2. That post happens to be the starting spot of the two most recent International champions, Resolve and Norway's Papagayo. "It is difficult to win this race; there are a lot of good horses," trainer Stefan Pettersson said. "We think we've got a very good number behind the gate and he's in good shape, so we'll do our best." Added owner P.G. Svard, "We say the third time gives us luck." 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 Ken Weingartner

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, October 12, 2017-This Saturday afternoon (Oct. 14th), while there's a New York State harness racing-record $3.3 million of Yonkers Raceway purses up for grabs, there's also a fair chunk of change to be had by some wily handicappers. A pair of intriguing multi-race gimmicks figure to garner the bulk of the attention. Up first-chronologically-is a $10,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool (50-cent minimum wager), comprising the last five races during the 11-race, all-stakes card. We're talking a pair of $250,000 Invitationals, the $1 million Yonkers International Trot @ Empire City Casino and the final two of eight, $225,000 New York Sire Stakes events. The guarantee is a combined effort of the Raceway, the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and the U-S Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Program. Not to be outdone, the New York Racing Association has become a part of the afternoon, with two of its stakes races serving as the back end of the special 'New York, New York Pick 4' wager. The quartet of races are Yonkers' 8th ($250,000 Harry Harvey Invitational Trot) and 9th (million-dollar International Trot), then Belmont's 8th ($150,000 Futurity) and 9th ($200,000 Pebbles). Post time for the four races are 3:30 PM, 4 PM, 4:46 PM and 5:19 PM, respectively. This bet is hosted by NYRA and also has a 50-cent minimum, with program pages available in both track's live programs as well as off-track simulcast books. The wager is also available through Empire City Bets, NYRA Bets and other ADW portals. Advance wagering for Yonkers' stakes card is available Friday (Oct. 13th). Please be aware of these other Saturday changes to the Raceway's usual wagering format... --Add 6th and 9th race superfectas --Add Pick 3 beginning with 9th race --Remove Pick 3 beginning with 8th race to accommodate start of 'New York, New York Pick 4' --Late Daily Double races 10 and 11, both also with superfectas. A reminder that Saturday's first post is 1 PM, five minutes after Belmont's opener. (Pick 5 and Pick 4 program pages accompany this release) Frank Drucker

Twister Bi enters Saturday's $1 million Yonkers International Trot as Europe's top-rated harness racing contender in the invitational event and U.S.-born trainer Jerry Riordan believes his 5-year-old stallion is primed for a strong performance at Empire City Casino's Yonkers Raceway. A son of Varenne, Twister Bi represents Italy in the 10-horse field. Twister Bi has won four of 11 races this year, including the Oslo Grand Prix and Ulf Thoresen Grand International - both Group 1 events - and has finished off the board only twice this season. Twister Bi, owned by Pasquale Ciccarelli, is No. 4 in the European Trotting Union (UET) rankings, behind only Bold Eagle, Timoko and Propulsion. Twister Bi heads to the International Trot, which is contested at the distance of 1-1/4 miles, off a third-place finish in the UET Trotting Masters championship on Sept. 9. He drew post No. 4 for the International Trot and is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line behind favorite Resolve, the race's defending champion. He will be driven by 30-year-old Christoffer Eriksson, who ranks sixth in wins among all drivers in Sweden. "He has raced against the best, and he's raced really hard races against the best horses," Riordan said about Twister Bi. "He was arguably the best horse on the track in his last three races and he's been racing against Propulsion, Bold Eagle; the very best. We're confident. We really believe in the horse." Twister Bi has won 20 of 49 career races and earned $708,328. The bulk of his earnings - $528,768 - have come this season. He will try to become Italy's second International Trot champion, joining 1977 winner Delfo in the history books. The 39th International Trot features horses representing the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, and Sweden. The race was held from 1959 through 1995 before being resurrected three years ago by Yonkers President and CEO Tim Rooney. Riordan, a New England native based in Sweden after a long stint in Italy, is making his second appearance in three years in the International Trot. He finished eighth with Rod Stewart in 2015. His personal history with the event goes back to his days as a groom at Roosevelt Raceway, which hosted the International Trot before it moved to Yonkers in 1988. One reason for Riordan's optimism with Twister Bi is the horse's ability to handle racing on a half-mile track, such as Yonkers. "He's a lefty by nature," said Riordan, who received the 1990 Rising Star Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association. "He takes the left line, cocks his head to the left, and you can just send him into the turn. That's one of the reasons I was pretty confident about coming over to race him. "I think at this point with this horse, whatever the results are Saturday is the result of the last three months of work. What we're going to do at this point is try not to do anything dumb and just bring him in as fresh as we can possibly make him." Click here for a video of Riordan and Twister Bi. * * * * * The connections of Sweden's 9-year-old On Track Piraten, who joins Italy's Oasis Bi as a three-time International Trot participant, are hoping for better luck in this year's event. In 2015, On Track Piraten finished seventh after an early three-wide move left the gelding parked first over for a lengthy distance. Last year, On Track Piraten was the fastest horse by a full second over the race's final quarter-mile, but had too much distance to overcome after starting from post eight. He finished fourth, beaten by 2-1/2 lengths. "With a good trip I think he can beat almost anyone," said John Backlund, representing the ownership group of Stall Morkermasse and Stall CK HB. "He's a very tough horse. He just keeps going." On Track Piraten has won 37 of 116 career races and earned $1.99 million. He will start the International Trot from post No. 10, in the second tier behind No. 2 Oasis Bi. On Track Piraten, who will be driven by Johnny Takter and is trained by Hans Stromberg, is 8-1 on the morning line. "He was not as good this summer, he had some allergy problems, but I think now he is in good shape," Backlund said. "We are enjoying the hospitality. It's been amazing every year. We are just happy to be here." * * * * * With Timoko having retired earlier this year, France turns to his 4-year-old son Dreammoko in the International Trot. Timoko, whose career accomplishments include two wins in the Elitlopp, finished second in the 2015 International Trot. Dreammoko will start from post No. 3 with Gabriele Gelormini driving for trainer Richard Westerink, who also conditioned Timoko. Dreammoko, who has won three of 13 races and $293,802 this year, is 6-1 on the morning line. He is owned by Jan Stins. French horses have won the International Trot on 13 occasions. "I think he is a very fast horse and a very tough horse," Westerink said. "He likes tough races. We will see if he can take a little place. That will be nice. "He's not raced on a half-mile track. That's not a problem for him. He will take the turns good, I think." Click here for a video of Westerink and Dreammoko. 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 Ken Weingartner

This morning we had the pleasure of hosting Fox5NY’s Baruch Shemtov of Good Day New York who spent the morning with us and did three live segments promoting the coming $1m International Trot and harness racing this Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. Hope you enjoy these clips from the broadcast. Intro to Segment (10/9/2017 7:49:24 AM) First Segment (10/9/2017 7:53:09 AM) Second Segment (10/9/2017 8:43:44 AM) Third Segment (10/9/2017 9:39:27 AM) Joseph Faraldo

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 Ken Weingartner

Kim Eriksson's trip to the U.S. for Saturday's $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino will be different from the harness racing driver's previous experiences in the States. "I wanted to work there around six years ago, but since I wasn't good enough I didn't get to drive anything but the wheelbarrow," Eriksson said in an email. "So the return is definitely something I'm going to enjoy." Rest assured Eriksson will not be driving a wheelbarrow Saturday at Yonkers. The 33-year-old Swede will sit behind Oasis Bi, who finished second to Resolve in last year's edition of the International Trot. Oasis Bi, trained by Stefan Pettersson, is making his third appearance in the 1-1/4 mile invitational. He finished fourth in 2015. "It's a great honor as well as a privilege to participate in the International Trot," Eriksson said. "To drive in the race is amazing to begin with, and to do it with a gentleman and professional like Oasis Bi is even better. "He had a phenomenal season last year, when everything clicked. He hasn't had as much luck this year, but still has been racing on top level. Perhaps his biggest strength is his technique, which he has shown off the previous years at Yonkers." Eriksson's career started slowly, but he has become one of the top drivers in Sweden, where he is No. 10 in wins this year. On Sunday, Eriksson made headlines when he filled in for trainer/driver Robert Bergh to guide Diamanten, owned by former NHL star Peter Forsberg, to victory in the $176,000 Grosser Preis von Deutschland in Hamburg. "I started at a 'harness-racing school' when I was 16, but then I didn't know much about anything," Eriksson said. "I got my driver's license when I was 18, but didn't drive much at all the first years. In fact, I think it took about five years before my first win. "Despite that, I've never lost track of my dream, and that is to be able to compete at the highest level. And it doesn't get much higher than this. This year, especially, I've gotten to drive great horses that have raced for a lot of money, but this (International Trot) definitely tops it all." Oasis Bi, a 9-year-old stallion, has won 18 of 80 career races and $2.06 million in purses. Owned by Sweden's Frackstad Lantbruks AB, the Italian-born Oasis Bi is a son of Toss Out, a stakes-winner in the States, out of the Self Possessed mare Up Front JM. His family includes millionaire Million Dollar Bye and Dan Patch Award winner Firm Tribute. Last year, Oasis Bi's wins included the Group 1 Gran Premio Lotteria. He finished second to Nuncio in the UET Trotting Masters championship and finished third in the Prix d'Amerique. At ages 2 and 3, Oasis Bi was in the stable of Per Engblom. When Engblom moved to the U.S., eventually landing a spot as Jimmy Takter's top assistant, Oasis Bi was transferred to Pettersson. "During the last five years he's meant a lot to us," Pettersson said in a video produced by Kristin Riise Ødegård for the SOA of New York. "He's a great guy. He's a bit spoiled by his groom at home and he can be playful but once he knows it's time for work he becomes a true gentleman. He loves training and he's always happy and ready to go. He's a fantastic horse to work with. "This year hasn't been as good as last year, but that record is tough to beat. I think he's in as good from now as he was then but the competition is very tough this year and the races haven't really panned out to his advantage. The horse feels great and he still races well every time. I'm sure he'll do a great race in Yonkers." The International Trot was contested from 1959 through 1995 before being resurrected three years ago by Yonkers President and CEO Tim Rooney. Oasis Bi and On Track Piraten are the only horses in this year's field to appear in every Yonkers International Trot since its return. The draw for the International Trot, part of a New York harness-record $3.3 million card at Yonkers on Saturday, is Tuesday afternoon. Racing begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at Yonkers. "Our trips to Yonkers have been fantastic experiences," Pettersson said. "They're memories for life. We can't wait to go back. It's going to be good fun. We were ready to go before we even got the invitation." The complete field for the 39th International Trot (with country of representation) is Dreammoko (France), In Secret (U.S.), Marion Marauder (Canada), Midnight Hour (Finland), Oasis Bi (Italy), On Track Piraten (Sweden), Resolve (U.S.), Shadow Woodland (Finland), Tripolini VP (Denmark), and Twister Bi (Italy). For more information, visit  ‘INTERNATIONAL TROT DAY’ TO INCLUDES $10,000 GUARANTEED PICK 5 POOL Included in the wagering buffet for this Saturday’s (Oct. 14th) $3.3 million, all-stakes “International Trot  Day’ program, Yonkers Raceway—in conjunction with Standardbred Owners of New York and the U-S Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program—is offering a $10,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool. As usual, the sequence goes as races 7 through 11 (card is 11 races), with the order as such… No.-Race                                                                                             Post time             7-Dan Rooney Invitational Pace                                                         3:00             8-Harry Harvey Invitational Trot                                                        3:30             9-Yonkers International Trot @ Empire City Casino                         4:00             10-NYSS Morrisville Coll. Equine Inst. 3YO Colt/Gelding Trot      4:30             11-NYSS Allerage Farm 3YO Filly Trot                                            5:00             Note races 8 and 9 offer 10 horses and the mile-and-a-quarter distance. “The guarantee is just another reason for fans to watch and wager as we present the richest program ever in the history of New York harness racing,” Raceway COO Bob Galterio said. There is also a special ‘New York, New York Pick 4’ involving Yonkers’ 8th and 9th races along with a pair of Belmont Park stakes (8th race, $150,000 Futurity [post time 4:46 PM] and 9th race, $200,000 Pebbles [post time 5:19 PM]). A reminder of Yonkers’ special 1 PM first post, with the first six races (prior to the Pick 5) all $225,000 finals of New York Sire Stakes events.     Ken Weingartner

YONKERS, N.Y. — Empire City at Yonkers Raceway will host one of the world’s single largest harness racing events on Saturday, October 14, 2017 as the annual New York Sire Stakes Day of Champions and the world-renowned Yonkers International Trot will be held together for the first time. The star-studded Yonkers card features a total of $3.3 million in purses buoyed by the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Finals or Day of Champions consisting of eight races, a pair of $250,000 Invitationals - the Dan Rooney Pace and the Harry Harvey Trot, and the $1 Million Yonkers International Trot. Post time for the Yonkers International Trot is at 4:00 p.m. First post for the matinee card is at 1:00 p.m. “This magnificent day of racing is unquestionably the finest in our long and storied history,” said Timothy J. Rooney, president and CEO of Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. “Not only is it the richest purse total ever in the state, which is historic in itself, but in bringing together the premier trotters in the world and New York’s best on one program, it will make for an epic day of racing.” The “International” – inaugurated in 1959 at Roosevelt Raceway and continued at Yonkers Raceway through 1995 — made a triumphant return after a 20-year absence in 2015, which was captured by Norway’s Papagayo E. Last year’s world record-setting winner Resolve, hailing from the US, will return this year to defend his title. The Yonkers International will be contested at 1¼ miles and has attracted the world’s elite trotters from the United States, Canada, Italy, France, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden. “The Standardbred Owners Association of New York is proud and privileged to participate in this historic day,” said Joseph Faraldo, president on the SOA of NY. “The New York Sire Stakes program is flourishing, and the Yonkers International gathers world class trotters from Europe, the United States and Canada for what will be a most memorable card.” The New York State Agriculture and Horse Breeding Development Fund administrates the New York Sire Stakes races across New York State each year, providing young horses with the opportunity to “earn as they learn”. Two and three-year-old colt and filly Standardbred horses are eligible to compete in both pacing and trotting. The New York Sire Stakes was the first program of is kind and has become the model for state-bred racing programs in North America "New York's Standardbred racing plays a vital role in our gaming industry," said Barry Sample, Chairman of the New York State Gaming Commission and Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund Trustee. "We are thrilled that so many people worldwide will enjoy the very best that New York has to offer.” "The quality of New York-bred horses and our Standardbred racing program are unmatched,” said Richard A. Ball, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets and Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund Trustee. “The Sire Stakes Day of Champions shines a spotlight on the excellence of our equine industry, which supports the agricultural economy across the State. With the addition of the International Trot, this exciting day of racing is the perfect opportunity to show the world what New York has to offer.” “I think it’s going to be very interesting since it’s something so new for the New York Sire Stakes competitors,” said Peter Arrigenna, Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund Trustee. “We’re thrilled that European viewers watching via simulcast will be able to see the quality of our Standardbred horses." “We are excited that combining these two events has given us the opportunity to showcase our New York-bred product on a world stage,” said Michael Kimelman, Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund Trustee. Horses must be entered for the New York Sire Stakes Day of Champions at Yonkers Raceway by the draw date (October 9th at 4 p.m.) for both the New York Sire Stakes and Consolation finals. Yonkers Raceway will be drawing the post positions on the same day. The official post position draw and press conference for the Yonkers International Trot will take place Tuesday, October 10th. About the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund: The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund (the Fund) is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through the breeding of Standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the state. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races. Additionally, the Fund provides assistance to county agriculture societies and contributes to the statewide 4-H program and to the Harry M. Zweig Fund for Equine Research. About Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway: Yonkers Raceway, founded in 1899 as the “Empire City Race Track,” is a one-half-mile Standardbred harness racing dirt track located less than two miles from the New York City border, offering live racing five nights each week and has been the home of the International Trot since 1989 and the New York Sire Stakes Finals since 1989. It features Empire City Casino, one of the largest entertainment and gaming destinations in the northeast with 5,300 of the hottest slots, electronic three card poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat and sic bo, Empire City Casino also offers live entertainment including top bands, comedy shows, New York’s hottest DJ’s, and more. A plethora of dining options include Italian cuisine at Nonno’s Trattoria; Dan Rooney’s, a high-energy sports bar; Alley 810, a craft cocktail lounge with retro bowling lanes; and convenient delicious options at the International Food Court or Lil’ Cocina. Located at 810 Yonkers Avenue (off I-87 at Central Avenue) Yonkers, NY, Westchester County, open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Visit or call 914.968.4200 for information.

Tune in Tuesday October 10 to the SOA of NY Facebook page where the post position draw for the harness racing $1 million Yonkers International Trot will be broadcast live ( The Press Conference begins at Noon from New York's famed 21 Club and the streaming of the post position draw should begin shortly after Noon. The ten trotters representing seven different countries compete for the $1 million purse Saturday October 14 at Yonkers Raceway. First post is 1pm and post time for the featured Yonkers International Trot is 4pm. Also on the card are eight New York Sires Stakes Finals, each carrying a $225,000 purse. Follow along with all the latest news and videos about the International Trot contenders at and on Facebook and Twitter (@soaofny) using the hashtag #International2017. Saturday's card at Yonkers Raceway also features an International Trot hat giveaway to the first 5,000 Empire Club Members and a $10,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool covering races seven through 11. Plus fans will have a chance to win an $8,000 International Trot vacation getaway.

It’s been two years since Papagayo E. of Norway triumphed in the triumphant return of the Yonkers International Trot on a sun-drenched autumn afternoon at Empire City Casino’s historic Yonkers Raceway. Yet co-owner Tom Andersen has the same exuberance that he did during the week leading up to the harness racing $1 million global classic in October of 2015. Norway’s flag-carrier arrives at JFK It is a moment indelibly etched in the mind’s eye of the bespectacled Norwegian, as well as trotting fans world wide. “It is the greatest event we’ve ever participated in,” he states simply. Smiling Tom (right) and co-owner Claes Sojolin Throughout Yonkers International Week, be it at the Tavern on the Green press conference, the World Yacht dinner cruise for a glance at the majestic Statue of Liberty, on Broadway for Jersey Boys, whenever, wherever you were around them, the Andersen-led Papagayo E. contingent, 25 strong, was school boy-like gleeful, and oozing with confidence. Why? Ready for amazing training session over Yonkers’ half-mile turns “We knew very well we had a horse in top shape, so we knew if we had a good starting position we were confident we would be in the top three,” he recalled recently on the telephone from Norway. Statue of Liberty stands tall as backdrop “We had the most winning catch driver in Sweden (Ulf Ohlsson) driving,” he added. “We were very positive with the inside draw and post position two.  But on the Wednesday prior to the race, he had a great training session. On every curve (turn), he had really, really high speed. In fact, he trained several times with 26:4 speed on the turns at Yonkers three days prior to the race. The balance for the horse was perfect, everything was in top shape, nobody could beat him.” Andersen exudes confidence to media on dinner cruise It was by no means a quiet confidence, it was more like a siren. As this reporter and Mr. Andersen made their way down the metal stairs from the Empire Terrace toward the winner’s circle track side to watch the race, the bright, red flags of Norway waving, Anderson brimming with certainty, I told him: “Your positive attitude all week is contagious, Papagayo is going to win.” Empire City Casino CEO Tim Rooney and NY SOA president Joe Faraldo present  Yonkers International trophy to the winning connections Having already wagered on the French standout Timoko, I raced to the window to plunk a second bet on the Norwegian flag-carrier, and a cold exacta with Timoko. Thank you, Mr Andersen! The entourage waved the flags of Norway, and sang the anthem in perfect unison. Jan Waaler trained the stylish winner, the first from Norway to take the world wide classic, in superb fashion. Proud champ, proud trainer bask in spotlight Here’s Tom’s recollection of what transpired: “We knew Creatine (U.S.A) was very fast from the start, but I wasn’t sure if he or Papagayo would take the lead, but knew that they would be one-two. “Ulf drove him perfectly, sitting second the whole way. Then, it was like an explosion! I have some videos from the group when we crossed home, the last three hundred meters everything exploded. He was in such great shape, he could have won from outside the leader.” Victory never in doubt The balloon burst last year, as the racing game can be quite sobering, when Papagayo E. was injured, and was not able to defend his title. But Andersen, co-owner Claes Sjolin and trotting fans world wide can take heart with this report! The now six-year-old stallion sired by Cocktail Jet is back in training, and the hope is that he may make a return engagement to the premier trotting stakes in Europe and ultimately a return to compete in the Yonkers International. Andersen, far right, presented trophy to last year’s winner Resolve “He’s only had 30 races, so we think that he actually has two years of quality racing left in him,” reported Andersen. “We started back last summer. The first half year he was only walking, then he was jogging later, now he is training. The main thing is control, control, control. It has taken longer than we expected, we still think that he will be back. “Within the next four weeks, he will be moved to France, he is in Norway right now,” added Andersen. “Late winter or spring he should be ready for a full season. We will start with the big springtime races, and hopefully we will be back for the international. But we can’t have a setback. He will get all of the chances. “The great thing is that when you look at him, he’s stronger and looking better,” Andersen wraps up. Andersen’s enthusiasm and positive attitude is buoyed by his marriage to beautiful girlfriend Anne Kari, and his three-year-old trotting standout Victorio, sired by the same stud as Papagayo E., Cocktail Jet. Thoroughbred aficionados will call the legendary tale of turf star Da Hoss, the winner of the Breeders Cup Mile under Gary Stevens in 1996 at age four. In one of the most amazing training jobs in racing history by Michael Dickinson, after two full years on the sideline due to injury, Da Hoss won the Breeders Cup Mile once again in 1998. Papagayo hopes  to follow in enormous comeback hoof beats of Da Hoss As he crossed the finish line, track announcer Tom Durkin on NBC Sports exclaimed:  “Oh, my, this is the greatest comeback since Lazarus.” “We will do as Da Hoss & Lazarus,” smiled Andersen in a follow up email. Long shot? Of, course, but don’t bet against Tom Andersen and Papagayo E. Durkin (below), pictured with JC, roared Lazarus (above) had greatest comeback in Da Hoss call By John Cirillo

YONKERS, N.Y. – Although harness racing owner Hans Enggren jokes that he doesn’t remember much nowadays, when it comes to his horse Resolve, he has plenty of fond memories to share. Enggren attended the Yonkers International Trot last year when Resolve won and the experience is something he will never forget. “The service that we got, the people were absolutely marvelous to help me from beginning to end. The race was amazing and the audience was amazing,” he said. “We felt so welcome and the race was amazing and to see all these people with video cameras and regular cameras.” Enggren watched last year as Resolve led at every call in the $1 million International. With trainer Åke Svanstedt in the sulky, Resolve won the 1 ¼-mile stakes by 1 ½ lengths and stopped the timer in 2:23.4. Although his connections dreamt of defending their title in the race’s 2017 renewal, a freak incident in early September threatened their plans. Before Resolve raced in an elimination of the Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk Racetrack September 8, he suffered a snake bite. “He was turned out in a pretty large area and that’s when it must have happened,” Enggren said. “It’s such an amazing thing to be bitten by a snake when he went to Canada. I mean, gee whiz. That has happened to me once before in my life. I had a horse called Meadowbranch Ava. I liked her and I bred her and she was in foal and she was bitten by a snake. It’s just unbelievable. It’s the second time for me.” Resolve finished seventh in his Maple Leaf Trot elimination, beaten 6 ¾ lengths by Mambo Lindy. After the race, Resolve spiked a fever and the vet discovered the bite. “The vet had to give him some antidotes, which was pretty strong. I told my trainer to let him rest,” Enggren said. “In the meantime, he was rested, was treated. He has trained almost up to normality. He’s looking pretty good now and Mr. Svanstedt is very pleased with him and he said he’ll be alright for the race on the fourteenth. We are very, very careful with everything about the horse.” Although Resolve hasn’t raced or qualified since the Maple Leaf Trot elimination, Enggren and Svanstedt have pointed him for the International Trot. Enggren and Svanstedt didn’t want to rush their star back to the races after his incident. Enggren suggested they each develop a plan for the son of Muscle Hill’s fall season and reconvene to make a decision. “When he was hurt by the snake and I didn’t want him to race, I called Svanstedt up and I said, ‘why don’t you decide on what race you would love to be in more than any other race for the rest of the year,’ and I said, ‘I’ll tell you mine and we’ll call each other back.’ It was strange, we both picked the same race.” Enggren’s careful handling of Resolve this fall is understandable. He spent months trying to buy Resolve from his breeders Mike Pozefsky and Edward Wilson before a deal was struck in July 2014. Since then, Resolve has won a host of open stakes in North America, including the Mack Lobell, A.J. Cutler, and Maple Leaf Trot. Resolve has also enjoyed success overseas, finishing second to Nuncio in the 2016 Elitlopp Final and third to Timoko and Propulsion in this year’s edition. All told, Resolve is 18-for-62 with another 26 placings and has earned $2,743,033. “I fell in love with him when he was still a 2-year-old,” Enggren remembered. “I just fell in love with the horse and I didn’t give up. This was in October when he was 2 and it took till the sixteenth of July – it’s amazing that I remember that date because I don’t remember very many things anymore – and on that day, the very, very kind and nice owners and breeders of Resolve agreed on a price of which they would sell him to me." Enggren noted Resolve and trainer Svanstedt have developed a special bond in their time together. He credits this for much of Resolve’s success and it gives Enggren confidence heading into the International Trot October 14. “The horse is always doing his best and he wants to race. I think he’s getting up to that by the coming Saturday, I certainly hope so. Svanstedt seems to feel that everything is going to be fine,” Enggren said. “I understand that there are some very good horses and on paper, we know that we have beaten them before. I know the other horses in there, but I also know this horse has been so amazing on so many occasions that I think he’ll do fine. “I still say if he doesn’t pick up a check, I’ll be extremely surprised,” he continued. “I do know that he and Svanstedt are a team. It’s amazing how they are, both on the track, off the track, and when they just see each other in the barn. They just like each other so much. Everybody likes this horse. He’s just extremely kind and he’s amazing.” Although Enggren won’t be able to attend the International Trot this year – the 88-year-old recently spent a week in the hospital – he will be watching intently from home. Resolve has brought Enggren closer to his family and friends, who all convene on race days to root for the star trotter. “He’s a marvelous horse and I have made more friends because of him. We have a little theater here every time he races because my friends come and want to see him,” he said. “I think I will stay here and see the race and invite my kids and my friends and we’ll do it here.” More International Trot invitees will be featured as the race draws closer. The $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino will be raced Saturday (Oct. 14) at Yonkers Raceway. For more information, visit By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

The many twists and turns, and a pinch of irony, make this year’s $1 million harness racing Yonkers International Trot (Saturday, October 14, Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway), well, “internationally intriguing.”   The trainer-driver, Ake Svanstedt, and the owner, Hans Enggren, of the UNITED STATES’ defending champion Resolve were both born in SWEDEN. Svanstedt now resides in Wrightstown, NJ, while Enggren calls Abbottstown, PA home.   The American expatriate originally from Rhode Island, Jerry Riordan, is the trainer of leading contender Twister Bi of ITALY. Twister Bi won the Oslo Grand Prix in Norway on June 11.  Confused or at least intrigued yet? There’s more, of course. Enggren was born on August 21, 1929, making him EIGHTY EIGHT years old. Devin Keeling, co-owner of CANADA’s flag-carrier Marion Marauder is just TWENTY! Juxtapose the two and you have a SIXTY EIGHT year gap in ages, that’s a wide gap. Meanwhile, Keeling’s co-owner is his GRANDMOTHER, (Marion) Jean Wellwood, who’s SEVENTY NINE (April 21, 1938), not as wide a gap.   More on Marion Marauder: The name came from Wellwood’s first name Marion, and that young Devin was a college football player at McMaster Universtiy (Hamilton, Ontario), nicknamed the Marauders.   The wife-husband team of Paula Wellwood and Mike Keeling, Devin’s PARENTS, train Marion Marauder; Paula is the elder Ms. Wellwood’s DAUGHTER.   Then, there’s Italy‘s Oasis Bi, driven by Kim Eriksson, and “countryman” Twister Bi, reined by Christoffer Eriksson. No, they’re NOT related! Oh, by the way, they are however both from SWEDEN.   Oasis Bi: Italian stalwart gets third crack at International And naturally, FRENCH standard-bearer Dreammoko will have Gabriele Gelormini of Turino, ITALY in the sulky.   Dreammoko wears the hood like his famous daddy Timoko Record-breaking USA star driver Tim Tetrick, who hails from Flora, Illinois, will be in the bike behind Shadow Woodland of FINLAND. In America, we call this a “catch drive.”   Tetrick, American made by way of Illinois, will steer Finland-bred Oh, finally, no “musical countries” here:  Tripolini VP of Denmark will be driven byJeppe Juel of Denmark; the Swede Johnny Takter will be in the bike behindSweden‘s On Track Piraten; and In Secret of the United States is guided byGeorge Brennan, from Monticello, New York.   The driving “colors” of Scott Zeron Marion Marauder’s driver, are RED, WHITE, AND BLUE, which of course are the colors of the UNITED STATES’ flag.   Tripolini is a tiny bow pasta that commemorates the Italian conquest of Tripoli, ask trotting maven, USHWA member and harness racing foodie Barry Lefkowitz just how good it is! But TRIPOLINI VP is DENMARK’s not Italy’s representative in this year’s global classic, very good too.   JC and old crony Barry Lefkowitz, the harness racing foodie,  await the start of ’15 Yonkers International, cookin’ with Tripolini! Twists, turns, irony, a million dollar purse on the line, not to mention some good pasta, that’s the intrigue of the Yonkers International Trot! By John Cirillo

YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 6, 2017 - Of the seven international entrants set to compete in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot @ Empire City Casino, four have found their way to harness racing Yonkers Raceway. After a couple of days in quarantine (Newburgh, NY), Dreammoko (FRA), Oasis Bi (ITA), On Track Piraten (SWE) and Twister Bi (ITA) made themselves at home in Westchester. It's the third visit for both Oasis Bi and On Track Piraten. The three other overseas horses-Midnight Hour (FIN), Shadow Woodland (FIN) and Tripolini VP (DEN)-are to be housed off-site at approved facilities. The Saturday, Oct. 14th world-class event finds those seven joined by defending champion Resolve (USA), In Secret (USA) and Marion Marauder (CAN) , the mile-and-a-quarter event highlighting New York harness-record $3.3 million purse program. Post position for the 39th edition of the International shall be drawn Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 10th) at a midtown press luncheon. Please note again it's a rare Saturday afternoon card, with Yonkers Raceway's first post at 1 PM and the International Trot (race No. 9 of 11) scheduled for approximately 4 PM. Race day schedule... 1-NYSS Genesee Valley Farm 2YO Colt/Gelding Pace 1:00 2-NYSS Winbak Farm 2YO Filly Pace 1:20 3-NYSS Crawford Farm 2YO Filly Trot 1:40 4-NYSS Cameo Hills Farm 3YO Filly Pace 2:00 5-NYSS Harness Horse Breeders of NYS 2YO Colt/Gelding Trot 2:20 6-NYSS Blue Chip Farms 3YO Colt/Gelding Pace 2:40 7-Invitational Pace (Dan Rooney) 3:00 8-Invitational Trot (Harry Harvey) 3:30 9-Yonkers International Trot@ Empire City Casino 4:00 10-NYSS Morrisville Coll. Equine Inst. 3YO Colt/Gelding Trot 4:30 11-NYSS Allerage Farm 3YO Filly Trot 5:00 Notes...all finals for NYSS are at flat mile with eight starters @ $225,000 each Invitational Trot is 1¼ miles with 10 starters @ $250,000 Invitational Pace is flat mile with eight starters @ $250,000 Races 8 thru 11 simulcast to French-hubbed audience. More information about this program shall be sent when available. Frank Drucker

1 to 16 of 26