Monday, June 30, 2014

Sebastian K. Sets World Record Mile for Trotters

By Ellen Harvey

Wilkes-Barre, PA ---- All age, all gender, all size track -- it was an “all everything” 1:49 world record for Sebastian K in the $100,000 Sun Invitational for open class trotters on Saturday night (June 28) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

The prior all age, all everything record was 1:49.3 by Enough Talk in 2008 and the five-eighths-mile record was 1:50.2 by Market Share at Harrah’s Philadelphia in May of this year.

In the waning moments of daylight, trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt hustled the 8-year-old stallion off the starting gate and to an unchallenged lead, clearing to the rail at the eighth, well before the :26.2 first quarter.

Archangel (Yannick Gingras) and Modern Family (Dave Palone) tucked in behind those two, following the leader to the :55.3 half. Market Share and Tim Tetrick tipped out from sixth just past the half and made a beeline for the top of the field, but could get only to fourth when the field hit the 1:21.4 three-quarters.

Archangel had enough at the head of the stretch and made a break, leaving open lengths between Sebastian K and the rest of the field. In deep stretch, Svanstedt pulled the ear plugs, tapped his horse five times and shook the lines and Sebastian K was all alone at the wire and now all alone in ownership of the world record. The margin of victory was seven lengths. Modern Family was second and Arch Madness was third.

“It’s an amazing mile for a horse,” said assistant trainer Bernie Noren, whose winner's circle interview English is better than Svanstedt’s. “To have a horse like this, come here and do the world record with Ake as trainer and the driver, he’s such a phenomenal animal.

“He really pushed him today to go for it and showcase harness racing. Next is the Maple Leaf in two weeks, hopefully, no need for an elimination and we can go right to the final.

“He raced very handily last time, he usually waits, but last time he didn’t, he just took off. He trained a mile Wednesday and he’s been in the paddock all week, just enjoying life. That’s what we do with all our horses, make sure they enjoy life.”

Dancin Yankee wins $100,000 Invitational Pace

In the $100,000 USTA Invitational for older pacers, Dancin Yankee and driver Tyler Buter made a three-wide move on the final turn on their way to a 1:47.3 win over Thinking Out Loud and Clear Vision.

The time was one-fifth of a second off Dancin Yankee’s world record for an older pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. The 6-year-old horse is trained by Amber Buter for owners Baron Racing Stable and Richard Lombardo. He has won 35 of 99 career races and $863,462.

Harness Racing Communications/USTA

Written by John Pricci of Harness Racing Update

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Meadowlands To Stream Baby Races/Qualifiers

Beginning with Friday June 27th, the baby races and qualifiers at The Meadowlands will be streamed live on the Meadowlands website,

These baby races will be streamed each and every day they are contested for the balance of the summer as a convenience for owners, horsemen and fans.

In order to access the live stream of the baby races and qualifiers, follow the same directions and procedures as live race streaming.

The direct link to The Meadowlands live video section is here: Post time for the baby races and qualifiers is 9:30 A.M.

Written by Darin Zoccali of Harness Racing Update

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Jeff Gural and Brian Sears Issue Joint Statement

Jeff Gural (Chairman, New Meadowlands Racetrack, LLC)

Brian Sears (Among the Leading Drivers in North America)

Earlier today Jeff Gural and Brian Sears spoke by phone and decided to issue a joint statement regarding the issues that were brought to light last week:

Brian Sears said:

"I’m pleased that Jeff and I had a chance to get together and talk about the issues that came to a head last week. I’ve known Jeff for a long time and so I’m comfortable speaking my mind with him.

"I may have said some things in our conversation that didn’t come across very well.

"I respect the many good things that Jeff has done for harness racing and I’m glad that we can put our differences behind us and get back to a great summer of racing."

Said Gural:

"Brian is a friend of mine and I am glad we had a chance to clear the air this morning. Brian is a very talented driver and one of the best I have ever seen.

"Brian made some comments to me that particularly did not line up with my vision for harness racing but we have spoken about them and are moving forward.

"I completely understand why Brian makes the decision to race at Yonkers and he completely understands why I wish he would still race at the Meadowlands.

"At the end of the day, Brian must make the decision that is best for him as I make the decisions that are best for my three tracks.

"I told Brian he is welcome to race at any of my tracks (Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs) and hope that he will race at them often.

"We are both happy to put this behind us and move forward."

Written by Darin Zoccali of Harness Racing Update

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