With a $1 million purse and a field of 10 horses from all over the globe, the Yonkers Raceway International Trot is set to go off this Saturday.
Brought back last year by Empire Casino and raceway president Timothy J. Rooney, after a 20-year absence, the Trot is one of the largest harness racing purses in the world.
“We wish all (the participants) the success and thank them for being here,” said Rooney at the Post Draw.
In the field of 10 horses, the No. 2 horse Resolve is the favorite with 3-1 odds, while the only mare in the group, Hannelore Hanover holds the post position with 4-1 odds.
Obrigado has Mark MacDonald in the sulky, and drew post six as the 5-1 third choice. Paul Kelley trains the six-year-old.
Three leading Euros returning for a second try after failing in last year’s Yonkers International are Italy’s Oasis Bi(driver Erik Adielsson, post five, 5-1), Norway’s BBS Sugarlight (driver Vidar Hop, post seven, 6-1), and On Track Piraten of Sweden (driver Orjan Kihlstrom, post eight, 10-1). Last season’s winner, Norway’s Papagayo E., is injured and unable to defend his title.
The remainder of the field includes: Jonesy of Finland (Tuomas Korvenoja, post 3, 15-1); Canada’s Flanagan Memory (driver Brian Sears, post 4, 6-1); Tano Bork (driver John Campbell, post 9, 20-1); and Explosive De Vie of Sweden (driver Kevin Oscarsson, post 10, 12-1).
This will be the 38th running of the International Trot, which was originally run at Roosevelt Raceway in Garden City until it closed down in 1988.
After that it moved to Yonkers until 1995 and revived last year.
The Trot this year will feature horses from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway, and Sweden. Both favorites are American horses and Resolve driven by Ake Svanstedt and Hannelore Hanover has Yannick Gringras behind the reigns.
Historically, though, it doesn’t really matter where the horse is from to win this race. Last year winner Papagayo E hailed from Norway, although 13 times the winner came from the United States with France right behind with 12 winners.
The Trot has come a long way. It was first run in 1959 with a $50,000 purse, this Saturday, the winner will be coming home with a lot more.
Race time is at 3:30 pm at Yonkers Raceway Empire Casino in Yonkers.