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Freehold, NJ --- Off an impressive harness racing win in last week's elimination, expectations were high for Incommunicado in Saturday's $115,583 Dexter Cup final at Freehold Raceway. He lived up to all of them, cruising to an impressive 3 1/2 length win.   Just like he did in his elimination, Incommunicado drew post position seven in the field of eight. That did not deter the betting public, who made him the 3/5 favorite.   At the start, driver Yannick Gingras immediately pushed the gas pedal, sending his drive up to the front. Without much trouble, Gingras got him to the lead and the inside at the opening quarter, trotting that split in 28 2/5 seconds.   Incommunicado slowed things down in the second quarter, trotting the opening half-mile in 58 4/5 seconds, but soon encountered first-over pressure from Believer. Believer moved up to Incommunicado's throatlach around the third turn, but Incommunicado held firm and would not let his rival by. Turning for home, he pulled clear and left his rivals in the dust. The final time was 1:56 3/5.   INCOMMUNICADO REPLAY       Incommunicado is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc, Little E LLC, Arthur Geiger, and David Stolz, and trained by Ake Svanstedt. He made waves last year by sweeping the Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge Park, winning the final by 17 1/4 lengths. Subsequently, he was second in the Matron at Dover Downs by half a length. For his career, he's won six times from twelve starts, with earnings of more than $250,000.   "I wanted to get him in the race and when (Credit Con) made a break in the first turn, it made things a little easier for me." said Gingras, who won his second straight edition of the Dexter Cup. I knew (starting from post seven) wasn't ideal. I knew it was going to be harder than last week, there wasn't going to be a hole or something like that, but he still did it pretty easy. The horse raced good and did the job. He's a nice horse. He does everything you ask of him.   Sunny Crockett, Fifty Ways, Ambassador Hanover, Believer, Chapolier, Credit Con, and Share the Wealth completed the order of finish.   Each of the two $36,000 divisions of the Lady Suffolk trot at Freehold Saturday featured an odds-on favorite. In both cases, the odds-on favorite went down in defeat, as Izzy Demsky and Spruce Creek prevailed in their respective divisions. In the first division, Illuminata, for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt, was the 3/5 favorite in the seven-horse field. Izzy Demsky, a three-time winner in the Excelsior A series last summer, was 7/2. Svanstedt put Illuminata on the lead early as she cruised through fast fractions. Although she looked clear turning for home, she grew leg-weary in the last eighth, and Izzy Demsky surged by her tired rival to win by two lengths in 1:58.4. IZZY DEMSKY REPLAY   Izzy Demsky is owned by Courant Inc, trained by Marcus Melander, and driven by Mattias Melander. In her career, she's now won four times from nine starts, with earnings of over $50,000. Jula Shines On, also trained by Svanstedt, got up for second, while Illuminata was third. The Queen B, Victoriana, Just Joshing, and Lilybet completed the order of finish in the first division. In the second division, Ron Burke trainee Hot As Hill was the overwhelming 2/5 favorite in the field of seven. However, while on the lead at the three-eighth point, she made a costly break. While Joe Bongiorno quickly got her back trotting, she was parked on the outside and lost precious ground. Julie Miller-trained Alpine, with driver Andy Miller, inherited the lead as a result, and turned for home with the lead. However, 15/1 longshot Spruce Creek, who was rated on the pylons the whole way by Dan Dube, stormed up the outside late to win by 2 1/2 lengths, in 1:58. SPRUCE CREEK REPLAY   Spruce Creek is owned by Robert Don and Yolanda Fellows, and Erna Corbeil, and trained by Ron Coyne Jr. She's now won four times from eleven career starts, with earnings of more than $60,000. Three of those wins have come at Freehold. Alpine, Insured Am S, Move Over Some, Hot As Hill, Presto, and Big Sky Suprise rounded out the order of finish.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Friday (May 7), starting at about 12:30 PM. For full race results, click here.   From Freehold Raceway      

Incommunicado exceeded expectations last season. On Saturday, he will try to meet them. Incommunicado is the 3-1 morning-line favorite in Saturday's $115,583 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old harness racing male trotters at Freehold Raceway. The gelding heads to the race off a season-opening 1:57 win in last week's single elimination and starts Saturday from post seven with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ake Svanstedt. Last year, Incommunicado won four of 10 races, hit the board a total of nine times, and earned $201,375 for owners Knutsson Trotting, Little E, Arthur Geiger, and David Stolz. Three of his victories came in the Massachusetts Sire Stakes, including the series final. His remaining score was in a division of the New York Sire Stakes. "He did better than we expected," Svanstedt said. "He's a good-gaited horse and he has a good attitude. He's a horse that always does what you want. He handles all tracks and he trained back good this winter. He qualified very good (in 1:54.3 on April 10 at The Meadowlands) and then he raced good also. I am happy with him." Svanstedt could have accepted a bye and advanced directly to the Dexter final but opted to race Incommunicado in the elimination rather than see the horse untested for three weeks following his qualifier. "He needed to race, and he raced good," Svanstedt said about the son of Chapter Seven - Gran Cavalla. "I hope he is even sharper this weekend in the final." Svanstedt also sends out Ambassador Hanover, the 7-2 second choice on the morning line, in the Dexter. The trainer accepted a bye for the colt, who qualified in 1:58.3 on April 17 at The Meadowlands and is making his seasonal debut Saturday. He starts from post two with Svanstedt driving. "He didn't need the race (in the elimination)," said Svanstedt, who owns Ambassador Hanover with Order By Stable, Howard Taylor, and Judith Taylor. "He qualified good. I just sat and had a lot of power left. I didn't want to go faster than (1):58. "I hope he is good also on Saturday." Ambassador Hanover, a son of Chapter Seven out of Angel Eyes Hanover, won his first four starts of 2020, all in the New York Sire Stakes, before finishing fourth in the final. Svanstedt said the colt lost a front shoe early in the race, which hampered his performance. He was beaten by three-quarters of a length. "He made a break for a couple of steps, but he found the trot again," Svanstedt said. "But he couldn't go so good. He had heavy shoes also, so it bothered him a lot when he lost the one. He was good to finish fourth with three shoes. "This year, he is different," the trainer added. "Last year, he had a lot of weight in the front. This year, he doesn't need so much weight in the front, just normal shoes. He has changed. He is better gaited now." Ambassador Hanover raced one time following the sire stakes final, finishing seventh in a division of the Bluegrass at Red Mile. He was scratched sick from his next scheduled start in the International Stallion and turned out. He finished the campaign with $123,425. "He had a long rest after Lexington and he has trained back good," Svanstedt said. "We'll race him and see if he is a Hambletonian horse. We will see." The Dexter Cup is the season's first Grand Circuit race for 3-year-old trotters on the road to August's Hambletonian Stakes, the sport's premier event for sophomore trotters. Ambassador Hanover is the lone Hambletonian eligible in the Dexter. In addition to the Dexter Cup, Freehold hosts two divisions of the Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old female trotters on Saturday. Svanstedt-trained Illuminata, a Matron Stakes winner last year, is the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the first division. Ron Burke-trained Hot As Hill gets the 8-5 nod in the second. For more on the fields for the Dexter Cup and Lady Suffolk, click here. For Saturday's complete entries, click here. Racing begins at 12:30 p.m. (EDT). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

Freehold, NJ --- The biggest day of the Freehold Raceway season is coming up this Saturday (May 1), with the 2021 editions of the Dexter Cup, for 3-year-old colt & gelding trotters, and the Lady Suffolk, for 3-year-old filly trotters. Both races were cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but both return with a flourish this year.   The $115,000 Dexter Cup drew a field of eight, six of whom competed in last week's elimination, while two received byes. Ambassador Hanover, for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt, makes his 3-year-old debut in this spot after receiving a bye. He was impressive in the New York Sire Stakes last year, winning four legs in a row before finishing fourth in the final at Yonkers Raceway last September. He qualified at the Meadowlands on April 17, trotting the mile in 1:58.3. He will leave from post position two.   Sunny Crockett, for trainer Julie Miller, also received a bye. He won six of eleven starts as a 2-year-old, including back-to-back wins in the Liberty Bell and the Simpson. In his lone qualifying mile as a 3-year-old, he went in 2:01.3 at Harrah's Philadelphia on April 6. Andy Miller has the drive from post position three.   Svanstedt is also represented by elimination winner Incommunicado, with driver Yannick Gingras. He won by 2 3/4 lengths at Freehold last Saturday, moving first-over to the lead just before the half and drawing off once he took charge, trotting the mile in 1:57. Once again, he'll leave from post position seven.   Fifty Ways, trained by Joe Columbo, Believer, for trainer Randy Taft, Credit Con, trained by Todd Buter, Trond Smedshammer trainee Chapolier, and Share the Wealth, for trainer Ray Schnittker, complete the field. It's scheduled as the 11th race, with a listed post time of 3:50 PM.   The Dexter is sandwiched between two $36,000 divisions of the Lady Suffolk, which attracted a total of fourteen entrants and was subsequently split.   The first division will go as race 10, with a scheduled post time of 3:30 PM. Svanstedt sends out a pair in there, including Illuminata, who won the Matron last November at Dover Downs in a 22-1 upset. This marks her first pari-mutuel start of the year, after two qualifying miles at the Meadowlands. Svanstedt has the drive from post position four.   The second division is the 12th race, which will go at about 4:10 PM. Svanstedt once again has one of the likely favorites, in Presto. She won a leg of the Bluegrass series at the Red Mile last fall, then finished second in her Breeders' Crown elimination at Hoosier Park. In her last start, she finished fifth in the Breeders' Crown final. Most recently, she qualified in 1:56 at the Meadowlands on April 17. Yannick Gingras has the drive from post position seven.   The field also includes Hot As Hill, the morning line favorite, coming off an impressive win in the Lady Suffolk prep last Friday. She won by two lengths in 1:58.2 as the 1-5 favorite. Last fall, she won two legs of the Kindergarten series at the Meadowlands. Joe Bongiorno has the drive from post position two, for trainer Ron Burke.   In addition to the great 14-race live card, fans at Freehold Raceway can also enjoy the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby card from Churchill Downs. Gates open at 9:45 AM, with the first race from Churchill at 10:30 AM.   The first live race at Freehold is scheduled for 12:30 PM.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- Rather than accept a bye and guarantee himself two Dexter Cup final starters, harness racing trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt decided to let Incommunicado compete in Saturday's (April 24) Dexter Cup elimination at Freehold Raceway. The gamble paid off, as Incommunicado cruised under the wire 2 3/4 lengths in front and established himself as one of the favorites for next week's Dexter Cup final.   When the entry box closed on Wednesday, ten horses were entered for the Dexter Cup. Svanstedt was offered two byes with his pair of Ambassador Hanover and Incommunicado, and while he accepted the bye with the former, he decided to race Incommunicado. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes champion was made the 8/5 second choice in the field of eight.   The complexion of the race changed dramatically in the opening eighth, when favored Ethan T Hanover and Royson's Punch both went off stride. Ethan T Hanover was pulled up by Todd McCarthy, while Royson's Punch got back trotting. Incommunicado stayed trotting and rated in fourth place in the early stages.   Just before the half-mile, Yannick Gingras pulled Incommunicado off the pylons and moved him first over after early leader Share the Wealth. The leader put up a good fight, but Incommunicado took charge entering the stretch and drew off. He trotted the mile in 1:57, a sharp time for his first pari-mutuel race of the year.   INCOMMUNICADO REPLAY     Incommunicado is owned by Knutsson Trotting, Little E LLC, Arthur Geiger, and David Stolz. He's now won five times from eleven starts, with earnings of almost $220,000. Along with his stablemate Ambassador Hanover, he gives Svanstedt a formidable pair for next week's final.   The following horses also advanced to the final: Credit Con, for trainer Todd Buter, Fifty Ways, trained by Joe Columbo, Believer, for trainer Randy Taft, Chapolier, for trainer Trond Smedshammer, and Share the Wealth, trained by Ray Schnittker. Sunny Crockett, trained by Julie Miller, also received a bye and will compete in the final.   The post positions for the Dexter Cup final, along with its filly equivalent, the Lady Suffolk trot, will be drawn next Wednesday.   Joe Faraldo and Tony Beltrami each reined a winner in their respective splits of the American Harness Drivers Club trotting series today at Freehold. Faraldo guided Always A Good Time to a 1:57.1 victory over seven others in his split while Tony Beltrami was victorious with Big Smoove in 2:00.1 the other 7-horse division. Both were raced for a purse of $9,000. Faraldo scored an easy victory with the 4-1 shot Always A Good Time. After getting away third he moved first- up as Bob Hechkoff showed the way as Pound Sterling got first call when he passed the quarter in :29.3. “Just as soon as I saw Hechkoff grab leather I was out and moving with Always A Good Time and when we passed the half we were heads apart. We were still side- by- side by the three quarters but on the final turn Hechkoff's trotter began to fade and my horse then got real brave and we cruised home an easy winner, “ Faraldo said. At the wire the margin of victory was opened to six lengths as Joe Pennacchio hustled Keystone Blade home second best. Masster Blue, the betting favorite, finished third for Tony Verruso. The winner is owned by Triple D Stables and trained by Scott Di Domenico. He paid $10.40 for win. In the first AHDC trot Tony Beltrami took no prisoners and sent Big Smoove immediately to the front from post three and once on top he had an easy time of it. Big Smoove showed the way by the first quarter in a soft :30.2 and was still in command as the Beltrami-driven trotter passed the half in 1:00.4. Then up the backside Southwind Frost (Bob Hechkoff) and Swipe Right (John Calabrese) began to move from far back. But Presidente Zette (Joe Faraldo) was still second best and he remained that way all to the wire. Swipe Right beat out Southwind Frost for the show dough. Big Smoove is owned by Joseph Scanio and Bart Fooden and trained by Williams Hernandez. He returned a $17.20 win payoff.   Live racing resumes at Freehold next Friday, April 30, with a first post time of about 12:30 PM.   For full race results, click here.   From John Manzi and Freehold Raceway      

Freehold, NJ --- The signature race at Freehold Raceway, and the beginning of the road to the Hambletonian, the Dexter Cup, is coming up next Saturday (May 1). This Saturday (April 24), Freehold will host the Dexter elimination, as eight 3-year-old harness racing colt and gelding trotters look to earn a spot in next week's final.   Ten horses entered the Dexter Cup on Wednesday. Two of them, Ambassador Hanover for trainer Ake Svanstedt, and Sunny Crockett, trained by Julie Miller, accepted a bye and will advance to next week's final. As a result, the top six finishers in the elimination will move on to the final.   Svanstedt will send out one starter, Incommunicado. He swept his way through the Massachusetts Sire Stakes at Plainridge last year, and finished third in the New York Sire Stakes final at Yonkers Raceway. He'll make his 3-year-old debut on Saturday, leaving from post position seven with driver Yannick Gingras.   The slight morning line favorite, at 5/2, is Per Engblom trainee Ethan T Hanover. He broke his maiden last fall at Harrah's Philadelphia, trotting the mile in 1:57 3/5 on an off track for his lone win to date. He finished third in the Matron last fall at Dover Downs, behind Incomunicado. This will mark his 3-year-old debut. Tim Tetrick has the drive from post position two.   Credit Con, for trainer Todd Buter, and Royson's Punch, for trainer Linda Toscano, are the co-second choices on the morning line at 9/2 each. Credit Con has been competing in the Weiss Series at Pocono Downs, where he won two weeks ago and finished second last week. He drew post position one, and will be driven by Tyler Buter. Royson's Punch won the Excelsior A final last year at Tioga Downs. He has post position five and driver Scott Zeron.   Chapolier, trained by Trond Smedshammer, Share the Wealth, for trainer Ray Schnittker, Fifty Ways, trained by Joe Columbo, and Believer, for trainer Randy Taft, complete the field.   The race is scheduled as the 11th of 14 races on the Saturday card at Freehold, with a scheduled post time of 3:50 PM.   The first race at Freehold will be at approximately 12:30 PM.   From Freehold Raceway    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Three months have passed since When Dovescry and Plunge Blue Chip clashed at The Meadowlands in a Steele Memorial thriller. Saturday night (Nov. 21), both million-dollar mares returned to settle the score in the $140,000 TVG Series Mares Trot. The 2019 Hambletonian Oaks winner When Dovescry, a 4-year-old mare by Muscle Hill-Cedar Dove, set a career best mark of 1:50.0 in the Steele this past August. The Brett Pelling trainee entered off a second-place finish in her local prep race last week. She left from the outside post (6) as the even-money favorite taking on five rivals, with her adversary, Plunge Blue Chip, drawing post position three. Plunge Blue Chip, the daughter of Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato, finished second to When Dovescry when the two last met locally in the Steele. Ake Svanstedt, who trains, drives and owns the 5-year-old mare in partnership with Blue Chip Bloodstock, Inc., got away well at the sound of the bell, sending Plunge Blue Chip to the early lead. Around the first turn, she relinquished the top to long-shot, Felicityshagwell S, who made the opening quarter in :27.1. Sensing a slow pace, Svandstedt pulled the pocket and brushed to the point with Plunge Blue Chip as the field linked up with the backstretch. She progressed unhurried to the half-mile marker, catching a :29.1 breather, clipping the beam in :56.2. With plenty in reserve and no serious threats, Plunge Blue Chip showed the field her heels in the stretch, kicking clear to a 1½-length victory. Pat Matters advanced from last to finish second from When Dovescry who disappointed, settling for third.   Plunge Blue Chip stopped the clock in 1:51.4, matching a stakes record jointly held by Hannalore Hanover and Emoticon Hanover. She paid $5.80 to win as the 9-5 second choice. "The best position for her today was in the front, and she made it," Svanstedt said. "She came home fast and felt good." On a night that celebrated the retirements of Manchego, Bettor's Wish and Kissin In the Sand, Svanstedt revealed in a surprise post-race announcement, that Plunge Blue Chip has made her final trip around the Big M oval. According to Svanstedt, "[Plunge Blue Chip] sold as a broodmare and she is going to Anvil and Lace farm in Kentucky." With her win in the TVG Mares Trot, Plunge Blue Chip improved her record to 23 wins from 48 career starts. She retires with $1,576,251 in earnings. By Shades Demsky, for the Meadowlands

Delaware, OH — Plunge Blue Chip on Thursday trotted the fastest harness racing trotting race mile in history on a half-mile track, winning the $87,500 Miss Versatility Series championship for trotting mares in 1:51.3 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Pure Chance finished second, followed by Grand Swan and Manchego, the 3-5 favorite who went off stride in the second turn while in second place behind Plunge Blue Chip. Following Manchego’s break, Plunge Blue Chip was never pressured. She set all the fractions — :27, 54.4, and 1:22.3 — on her way to eclipsing Maven’s previous all-time race best on a half-mile oval, 1:51.4 set at Delaware in 2013. Plunge Blue Chip’s winning margin was 5-1/4 lengths.   “She did it on her own,” driver-trainer Ake Svanstedt said. “I didn’t feel her pick up the speed after the first quarter, but that’s good when you don’t feel the speed on a horse. She raced without shoes, and that made her faster.” Plunge Blue Chip was bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock, which shares ownership of the mare with Svanstedt and Tomas Andersson. She has won three of eight races this year and 22 of 46 in her career, with earnings of $1.43 million. Plunge Blue Chip is a 5-year-old daughter of Muscle Mass-Dunk The Donato. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The Cash Hall sophomore gelding Coventry Hall looks like he is finally growing into his pedigree, recording his second harness racing win in his last three starts with an effortless 1:54.4 triumph in a $10,400 trot at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday afternoon. Coventry Hall is out of the mare Canland Hall, which makes him a three-quarter brother to Hall of Famer Cantab Hall and a full brother to the half-million dollar winner Chin Chin Hall. The $210,000 yearling raced in stakes exclusively in his first ten starts at two and three, with a second in a Tompkins Stake and thirds in Reynolds, Currier & Ives, and Geers competition. Away from stakes company on August 14, Coventry Hall broke his maiden in 1:53.3 at Harrah's Philly, then followed that race up with a fourth in the Zweig, with only the likes of Ready For Moni, Back Of The Neck, and stablemate King Alphonso ahead of him. At Pocono on Tuesday he went right to the lead and never looked back, 3½ lengths ahead of his nearest competition at the wire for trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt and Enghavegaard Aalborg APS, and with that pedigree perhaps now he has enough confidence to be a factor in the late-season classics.   The track's winningest driver, George Napolitano Jr., and Marcus Miller each had three victories during the card - including one each in the same race: the camera could not separate Broadway Promise (Miller) and Striking Encore (Napolitano) at the end of an $8800 claiming trot that went in 1:55.3. There will be a carryover of $200,733.90 in the Rainbow Pick 5 (have a unique ticket with the winners of the last five races) when racing resumes on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. From the PHHA / The Downs

Freehold, NJ --- Common Sense S equaled the track record for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Freehold Raceway on Friday (September 11), winning the Garden State Trot by 21 1/2 lengths.   Driver Ake Svanstedt sent her out to the front early on, leading the four-horse field in the early going. Ab'sattitudeexpress, an impressive NJ Sire Stakes winner two weeks ago, kept her honest. She stayed right on her heels while drafting in the pocket, as Common Sense set fractions of 28.0, 57.0, and 1:26.2.   As they rounded the final turn, George Brennan pulled Ab'sattitudeexpress off the pylons, and it looked like she'd give Common Sense a challenge. However, she broke stride, leaving Common Sense all alone on the lead. From there, Svanstedt's filly crossed the wire well out in front, stopping the clock in 1:55.2.   For Common Sense, it was her second win in a row, having won here last week. Her time matched the track record, previously set by Bee Line during the 2006 New Jersey Sire Stakes. Ake Svanstedt also trains and co-owns the winner with SRF Stable.   Never Late Kait, Alyvia Deo, and Ab'sattitudeexpress rounded out the order of finish. There was no wagering offered on the race.   Later in the day, two divisions of the second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes- Standardbred Development Fund for 3-year-old male trotters was held. The first leg went to Gerard, who opened up a big lead early on and held on to win by two lengths. Eric Abbatiello drove him, for owner This N That Stable and trainer James DeLucia.   In leg 2, Kasha V won for the second week in a row, wearing down early leader Kixton Hanover and holding off late-charging Kyrie Deo to win by two lengths. He's owned by Theologos Moutafis, trained by Tom Corelli, and driven by Austin Siegelman. His final time of 1:57.0 was more than two seconds faster than Gerard's.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, with a 12-race card beginning at about 12:30 PM EDT.   From Freehold Raceway  

Ake Svanstedt liked everything about Southwind Tyrion when he saw the yearling prior to last fall's Lexington Selected Sale. After purchasing the harness racing trotting colt for $145,000 and getting him home, he was less enthused. At least temporarily. "He was terrible," Svanstedt said with a laugh. "Until around May, he was pacey and his front step was just up and down. I think he had growing pains. When he was done with the growing, he started stretching out and was good. "Then the first time he trained at The Meadowlands he was a different horse. And when he qualified, he was amazing." Southwind Tyrion won his only qualifier in 1:55.2 and has kept on winning through the first four races of his career. On Saturday, the colt competes in the C$535,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters at Ontario's Woodbine Mohawk Park. He is one of two undefeated colts in the Wellwood, along with Luc Blais-trained Macho Martini. Southwind Tyrion won his Wellwood elimination last week by a nose over On A Streak in 1:54.4 while Macho Martini triumphed by 1-3/4 lengths over Warrawee Whisper in 1:56 for his seventh victory of the campaign. The winner of the Wellwood receives a spot in the inaugural Mohawk Million, which will be held Sept. 26. Southwind Tyrion, this season's New Jersey Sire Stakes champion, is a son of Muscle Hill out of Taylor Jean. His third dam is Dan Patch Award winner Me Maggie and his extended family includes millionaires Lifetime Pursuit and Whiskey Tax, 2012 Goodtimes Stakes winner Beer Summit, and 2019 Ontario Sire Stakes champ Moon Bridge, who also was trained by Svanstedt. "He's a real racehorse," Svanstedt said about Southwind Tyrion. "He has been more serious since he started racing, at the racetrack and at home. He's not like a kid anymore. He was like a baby before, but now he is like an old horse. He likes racing. He really likes it. "Everything is good with him. He is a nice horse to handle. He can leave fast and he has never made a break. He can do everything." Svanstedt originally owned Southwind Tyrion with Lennart Agren's S R F Stable. The ownership group has since grown to include Knutsson Trotting Inc. and Brittany Farms & Riverview. Agren and Svanstedt teamed to win the 2017 Hambletonian with Perfect Spirit. Agren is enjoying the ride now with Southwind Tyrion. "He is a very talented and intelligent horse and he has tremendous speed," Agren said. "He is strong, powerful, and knows how to finish." Agren said he is "absolutely" hoping for a victory Saturday so Southwind Tyrion can grab the final spot in the 10-horse Mohawk Million. Nine starting slots were purchased earlier this year for C$110,000 and those slots can be sold, traded, or leased by their owners. Slot owners do not have to declare a horse for the Mohawk Million until Sept. 22. Determination, which owns Macho Martini and On A Streak, already possesses a Mohawk Million starting slot. One other slot owner, John Fielding, is among the owners of a Wellwood finalist. He co-owns Nancy Takter-trained Locatelli. "We'll see what happens," Svanstedt said. "We need luck. But I think Southwind Tyrion is as good as he can be." Saturday's Mohawk card also includes the C$335,000 Peaceful Way Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters as well as divisions of the Simcoe, Champlain, and Somebeachsomewhere stakes. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

WILKES-BARRE, PA - The best of the Pennsylvania-sired babies came in for their closeup on Saturday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, racing in four $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships, with a $50,000 consolation event also for the two-year-olds in each harness racing division of sex and gait. And after studying the sterling forms of the entrants, it turned out that all you needed to know about the Championships was this: bet Ãke Svanstedt in the trots, and bet the team of driver David Miller and trainer Ron Burke in the paces. Here is a summary of how all of the action went: TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS Svanstedt pupils were 1-2-3 early in this Championship, with Johan Palema (driver Dexter Dunn; not coupled with the other two because Ãke owns no part of him) on the lead, Fly Light (Andy Miller) second, and Captain Corey third under Svanstedt's control. They sat that way through fractions of :27.1 and :57, then Svanstedt pulled Captain Corey (a Googoo Gaagaa - Luv U All colt) out raw at the 5/8 to challenge, with second choice (and leading prelim pointwinner) In Range advancing to second-over. Past the 1:25 three-quarters Fly Light made a break in the two-hole, bothering several other horses; by this time Captain Corey had moved to within a head of his frontstepping stablemate, with In Range right behind. Through the stretch Captain Corey maintained his long and powerful strides, reaching the wire two lengths ahead of In Range in 1:53.3, with Johan Palema another length back in third. An inquiry was posted to look into the incident on the far turn, but Captain Corey was not affected.   The time eclipsed by a fifth of a second the record set by Real Cool Sam last year, and lowered his own season's record. Captain Corey is now undefeated in four lifetime starts, three PaSS elims and this Championship, and he boosted his earnings to $264,563. Svanstedt (as Ãke Svanstedt Inc.) co-owns the winner with S R F Stable, Knutsson Trotting Inc., and Midnight Sun Partners Inc. It would be surprising if more is not heard from this colt. Consolation: The Cantab Hall - Jolie De Vie gelding Jack Fire had bad luck in the first half, three-wide much of the first quarter, then going first-over, but then he had good luck when he was trying to clear favored pacesetter Bacardi and that one broke, letting him go to an easy lead and winning in a lifetime best 1:56.1 for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Nifty Norman, and the ownership of Pinske Stables and Curly Tall Curly Small. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES Like her stablemate Captain Corey, the Southwind Frank - Aleah Hanover filly Flawless Country found herself third early in the backstretch - but she took a very different route home, though producing the same result. Flawless Country actually had the lead at the ¼ in :27.3, but the second quarter saw first Gimme Shelter and then Anoka Hanover make their way to the top, the latter in front at the :56.1 half. Svanstedt kept Flawless Country inside as You Ato Dream, the leading prelim pointwinner with four PaSS seconds, attacked towards the 1:25.1 three-quarters, with pocketsitter Gimme Shelter following the first-over outside as she gained a small advantage nearing headstretch. This move gave Svanstedt room to maneuver Flawless Country to the Pocono Pike, and the baby filly responded to the challenge like a seasoned pro, quickly kicking in gear to beat out the unfortunate You Ato Dream (if a maiden with earnings of $157,556 can be considered "unfortunate") by a neck, with Anoka Hanover another 2½ lengths back in third.   Flawless Country started her career finishing second in photo decisions, and since has won four in a row, swelling her earnings to $263,496 for Ã…ke Svanstedt Inc., Wolfgang A Table inc., and Borje Nasstrom. Consolation: The Cantab Hall - Evermore filly May Karp was moved to the lead in front of the stands by driver Dexter Dunn and left her field far in arrears while taking a new mark of 1:55.4. Third in her only Sire Stakes start and coming off two Stallion Series victories, May Karp is at the peak form of her young career for trainer Lucas Wallin and Shermay Stables. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS Both of the Svanstedt winners were crowd favorites, as was the colt winner in the Miller/Burke sweep, the Always B Miki - Gambler's Passion gelding Southwind Gendry, who won in off-the-pace fashion in 1:51.3. Bayfield Beach led the field to the quarter in a sharp :26, with Always A Miki, the top pointwinner and second betting choice, going to the lead in front of the stands and slowing the half to :55.3. Chase H Hanover, who tucked fourth early from the outside post nine, came up to pressure the leader, passing the three-quarters in 1:23.4 and carrying the fight around the turn - until Always A Miki made a break nearing headstretch, briefly bothering Bayfield Beach. Chase H Hanover continued on after his rival's misfortune, but Southwind Gendry, who had been on his back most of the way, went wide and was the fresh horse late. Chase H Hanover was 1½ lengths behind the winner and a length ahead of a recovering Bayfield Beach.   So far Southwind Gendry's scorecard shows four wins, two breaks, and $217,144 in earnings for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phil Collura, Knox Services Inc., and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, with a lot of the stakes trail still to go. Consolation: Favored Whichwaytothebeach, setting the pace, looked like he might be under siege by a sweeping Sweet Angel Boy at headstretch, but that one ran in in early stretch and lost momentum straightening away, leaving the Somebeachsomewhere - Swinging Beauty colt able to retain his lead to the wire, stopping the clock in 1:52.1. Marcus Miller drove the winner for trainer Roland Mallar and owners Alan Johnston and John Craig. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES The Captaintreacherous - Aria Hanover filly Blue Diamond Eyes was the only non-favorite to win a two-year-old Championship, but at 4-1 she was hardly overlooked, and she opened some eyes with a victory in 1:51, equaling the stakes record of Pure Country and also the national season's record. As was the case in the other filly Championship, there was plenty of early activity, with Blue Diamond Eyes on top at the :27.3 quarter, but then having pointleader Marsala Hanover and then favored Grace Hill go by her before a :55.1 half. Continualou, one of four Burke entrants in the race went first-over and was within a length of the leader at the 1:23.1 three-quarters; after she backed off, Marsala Hanover moved outside, giving the room for Blue Diamond Eyes to go to the Pocono Pike. Blue Diamond Eyes took full advantage of the inner route, going past Grace Hill by ¾ of a length, with Thebeachiscalling gaining inside the winner in the Pike to take third ahead of Marsala Hanover.   Blue Diamond Eyes now has three wins and a second in six starts, a new record, and earnings of $191,542 for Thomas and Scott Dillon. Consolation: Trainer Nifty Norman, driver Dexter Dunn, and the Pinske Stables collected a second consolation victory when the Somebeachsomewhere - Fit To Frame filly Fire Start Hanover forced favorite Mackie Hanover to work hard to clear for the lead at the half, then came back in the lane to pass that rival and win while taking a new speed badge of 1:52.3. The Pinske Stables' partners in this filly are David Hoese and Lawrence Means. The three-year-old Pennsylvania-sired stars will be at Harrah's Philadelphia Sunday afternoon for their Championships and consolations. On Monday The Meadows will host the Stallion Series Championships, as Labor Day Monday afternoon will find no fewer than four Pennsylvania tracks in operation during the afternoon: pari-mutuel tracks Pocono, Philly, and The Meadows, and also the Bloomsburg Fair. From the PHHA/The Downs  

CHESTER, PA - A second purse start, a second win, a second divisional harness racing track record. The racing game must seem easy to Captain Corey, as he won his $103,361 section of the second preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, matching his divisional colt record of 1:55. Handled by trainer Ãke Svanstedt, Captain Corey ranged frontward after a :28 quarter, then with long strides the big colt stepped to the lead at the 3/8 and got a breather to the :58 half. Captain Corey came home easily on his own in :57 - :28.1, defeating stablemate Johan Palema by 1½ lengths while equaling the Philly track record for colts set by Rome Pays Off last year. That colt goes in the Hambletonian on Saturday; this one has already shown the talent to say that he would belong there. Captain Corey is a son of Googoo Gaagaa - Luv U All; ironically, Googoo Gaagaa's sire, the pacing-bred Cam's Rocket, died recently, as did Svanstedt's own world champion Sebastian K S. But Captain Corey is the kind of horse that will get people looking forward, especially his ownership - Ãke Svanstedt Inc., S R F Stable, Knutsson Trotting Inc., and Midnight Sun Partners Inc. In the other $103,361 Sire Stakes section, the Bar Hopping - Ilia colt In Range went an atypical Philly winning trip, coming from second-over in keeping in his record unblemished after three starts in 1:56.1. A name quite familiar as a trainer of top trotting colts, Marcus Melander, conditions In Range, who like Captain Corey was a repeat Sire Stakes winner; Tim Tetrick had sulky duty for AMG Stable Inc., Kenneth Kjellgren, Tomas Hans Asell, and Rick Wahlstadt. Bar Hopping also had two siring credits in the six $20,000 companion Stallion Series divisions. Tim Tetrick drove one, the gelding Mister Boinga (dam: Boinga), who was briefly wide around a first turn breaker, got to the lead and then equaled his mark of 1:58.2 in his second straight win for trainer Jill Roland and owner Bernard O'Brien. The other Bar Hopping StS winner was the fastest winner in the Stallion Series, the colt After Work (dam One Girl Show IT), who held off a monstrous closing move by New Legacy (who trotted his own last half in :56.1) to take a maiden mark of 1:56.3 for driver Yannick Gingras, trainer Nancy Takter, and owner Goran Falk. Team Orange Crush, trainer Julie Miller and driver/husband Andy, accounted for two StS divisions. The faster was with the Father Patrick - Moonlight In Miami colt Sunny Crockett, who is now 3-for-4 in his young career after lowering his mark a tick to 1:57.1 for owners Willow Oak Ranch. Also winning for the Millers was the Cantab Hall - Crazy In Lindy colt Lindys Goin Crazy, who joined his stablemate in being the only two-time Stallion Series winners in this section after a 1:59.2 win for the Andy Miller Stable, Gty Stable, Jean Goehlen, and L Berg Inc. Cantab Hall earned a second sire credit with the maidenbreaking colt out of Demoiselle Hanover, The Irishman, who was timed in 1:58.4 to driver David Miller, trainer George Ducharme, and the partnership of William Donovan, Thomas Dillon, Purnel & Libby LLC, and Joe Sbrocco. The other StS victor was the Andover Hall - Ardwin Hanover colt Ceffyl Dwr (named after a mythological Welsh horse), whose 2:00 first triumph was very real for trainer Frank Ingrassia and driver/wife Jackie, the latter sharing ownership with Donna Franchetti and Thomas Doran. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER, PA - The Muscle Hill - Order By Wish four-year-old Marseille, whose full brother Rome Pays Off goes in the Hambletonian eliminations tomorrow, set a good example for his "younger brother" with a commanding 1:53.2 victory in the $12,800 trotting feature Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Marseille, who posted a 50-1 upset holding off Greenshoe in the Beal Final last year at Pocono, had the top here in a matter of steps and put up fractions of :27.4, :57, and 1:25.2 for trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt, coasting home to win by three lengths while raising his lifetime bankroll to $509,678 for Ãke Svanstedt Inc., Order By Stable, and Howard Taylor. Svanstedt didn't have quite as good luck in one of two $10,400 co-featured events for baby trotters, as his filly Red Redemption made a break in her debut as the favorite. It was the Muscle Hill - Rarely Wrong colt Rare Muscle who rallied up the inside to just get by Mystical King for a new mark of 1:57.2. Tim Tetrick drove the Lucas Wallin trainee for Mazza Racing Stable LLC. Another late charger won the other baby co-feature - this style going against the pattern of recent racing at Philly. The Donato Hanover - Aunt Mae filly Anoka Hanover came home furiously for the second race in a row, closing with a :56.1 last half and making up four lengths from headstretch to decision favored DD's Diamond in the shadow of the wire in a new mark of 1:56.4. Andrew McCarthy had the timing just right with the filly for trainer Noel Daley, who is also co-owner with L A Express Stable LLC and Caviart Farms. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE PA - A pair of well-bred three-year-old harness racing maidens making their 2020 purse debut - the pacer coming off three qualifying wins, the trotter making his pari-mutuel bow - posted win times surpassed by nobody on their respective gaits on Monday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. First up was Party Whip, a Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Hedgie Blue Chip, a full sister to the $1.7M winner Hypnotic Blue Chip. The youngster was looped out of the gate then raced up to the lead, set a fast pace with pressure from odds-on Lou's Sweetrevenge, yet still was able to hold off that rival by a length in 1:51.4. The pairing of driver Corey Callahan and trainer John Butenschoen added another victory to their recent form skein as Party Whip won for William Wiswell, Jean Goehnlen, and Eugene Schick. Party Whip Trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt is known for having his charges ready to fire as soon as they get to the races, and such was the case here with Harley K, a colt by Sebastian K S (with whom Ãke set the world record for 5/8-mile tracks right here). Harley K went first-over, showed a touch of greenness drifting out a bit towards headstretch (where the Pocono paddock is), but was straightened out by Svanstedt to catch a tough Solar by a head in 1:54.2. Out of Caviar Session, a full sister to world champions Triumphant Caviar and Centurion ATM, the promising sophomore is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc., Little E LLC, and Kenneth Kjellgren. Harley K PHHA / Pocono

Hightstown, NJ - Harness racing trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt has only one favorite memory of now retired world champion trotter Six Pack. It covers roughly 950 days. "His whole career," Svanstedt said, smiling, while sitting in his office several days prior to Six Pack's final race in the TVG Open Trot last weekend at The Meadowlands. "When he was 2, he was big and not so fast in the beginning. But in April (2017) he started to feel like a good horse. So, from that April until now, it's a big memory. "I'm going to miss him. It's not so easy to find a horse like him." Six Pack and trainer-driver Svanstedt went out a winner in the TVG Open Trot, giving the 4-year-old stallion 19 wins in 35 career races and $1.93 million in purses. He was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3, when he became the fastest sophomore trotter in history with a time of 1:49.1 in winning the Kentucky Futurity. This season, he became the fastest 4-year-old male trotter with a 1:49.2 victory in the Allerage Open Trot. No other trotter in history has recorded sub-1:50 wins in multiple years. And his track-record 1:50 performance in the TVG gave Six Pack an unparalleled four lifetime wins of 1:50 or faster. In addition to the TVG, Kentucky Futurity and Allerage Open, Six Pack's wins included the Yonkers Trot, a Matron, a division of the Stanley Dancer, a New York Sire Stakes championship, and Empire Breeders Classic. "He's very good gaited," Svanstedt said. "He's a big horse and heavy but he has a very light gait. He handled the short tracks in New York very good. When he won the Yonkers Trot, I let him go the last quarter full speed. I think it was the fastest I ever drove in a turn on a half-mile track. He was always perfect gaited. Never took a wrong step. "Of course, he had a good head. He was very nice to handle and drive." This year, Six Pack won four of 12 races and hit the board a total of 11 times. He made seven starts from posts seven, eight, nine or 10 this season, and another from the second tier. He finished second to French star Bold Eagle from post 10 in the Breeders Crown and second by a neck to Atlanta from post nine in the Graduate Series championship, in 1:49.1. "It's unbelievable how bad the posts have been," said co-owner Jeff Gural, the chairman and CEO of The Meadowlands Racetrack, during Six Pack's retirement ceremony in the Big M winner's circle following the TVG. "Honestly, I think had he gotten good posts, we'd be looking at the Trotter of the Year. I don't think he would have gotten beat." He added, "It's been an amazing ride. I give Ake all the credit." Svanstedt owns Six Pack with Little E-Knutssontrotting (a partnership of Gural and Tristan Sjoberg), Stall Kalmar Inc. (Tomas Olofsson), and L Berg Inc (Lars Berg). Six Pack, by Muscle Mass out of Pleasing Lady, was bred by Brittany Farms and will now stand at Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey. "Everything has an end," Svanstedt said. "I'm happy to have him all these years." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Six Pack made the final harness racing start of his career a special one, setting a track record Saturday at the Meadowlands in capturing the $350,000 TVG Horse Trot Final with a track record 1:50 victory. Trained and driven to victory by Ake Svanstedt, Six Pack was able to gun down the filly, Manchego, at the wire. Guardian Angel AS was third. Six Pack paid 5.00 to win. Six Pack, a four-year-old stallion by Muscle Mass, is co-owned by Svanstedt, Little E Stable and Stall Kalmar & L. He will stand stud in 2020 in New Jersey at the Deo Volente Farm. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink 

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