It’s taken two decades, but the International Trot, one of harness racing’s elite events, is returning.
Yonkers Raceway, which last hosted the spectacle in 1995 (won by Sweden’s His Majesty), is bringing it back, complete with a million-dollar purse.
It’s scheduled for Saturday afternoon, Oct. 10, and the seven-figure purse would be Yonkers’ second-ever million-dollar race (2007 Art Rooney Pace, won by Southwind Lynx).
The return of the International Trot has been discussed for years, gaining momentum with the success of last season’s International Trot Preview. That race, contested at a mile-and-a-quarter, was won by Natural Herbie (Verlin Yoder) in a world-record 2:24.4.
Here’s what has been finalized so far…
- Purse ($1 million)
- Distance (1¼ miles)
- Horses invited (10)
- Purse distribution (same as all events), winner-50 percent, 2nd-25 percent, 3rd-12 percent, 4th-8 percent, 5th-5 percent (non-cashing overseas entrants receive $37,500 via a purse supplement, while non-cashing North American entrants receive $10,000).
“It’s our pleasure to bring back the International Trot,” Raceway president Timothy J. Rooney said. “It’s been a signature New York race since it debuted at Roosevelt Raceway back in 1959. We took over the race after Roosevelt closed, and it was very well received.
“With Yonkers now a major player in the overseas simulcast market, we feel this is the best time to showcase our track to the world by again inviting the best trotters in the world to race here. We have had tremendous cooperation from our horsemen, and all of us are looking forward to it.”
Again, many of the details of the International Trot (invitees, post time, etc.) have yet to be finalized, so updates shall be sent when available.