Yonkers International Trot: History says beware of the mares

by John Cirillo, for Yonkers Raceway

The ladies have been champions of women’s rights to win in the famed International Trot, indelibly etching their names among the greatest performers in the history of the global classic.

The American standouts, two-time winner Delmonica Hanover and Classical Way; the French flag-carriers Une de Mai and Roquepine, both two-time titlists; and Canadian stalwarts Armbro Flight and Fresh Yankee, are all part of that history.

These mares dominated the boys, an assault on the best male trotters in the world by winning six in a row and eight of nine International titles from 1966-74, before the six-year gap to Classical Way in 1980.

Upon the move of the International to Yonkers Raceway in 1988, Kit Lobell (1989) and Peace Corps (1991) added their signatures to the ladies tour de force.

So, the stage is certainly set for another trotting tigress, Hannelore Hanover, the millionaire American mare sure to make her presence felt in the $1 million Yonkers International Trot on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 15), to be contested over the historic Yonkers Raceway half-mile oval.

The 4-year-old daughter of Swan For All, bred in Indiana, will be making her Yonkers Raceway and half-mile track debut in the 38th edition of this worldwide trotting affair against nine elite male horses from seven countries, including another pair of USA million dollar-earners in Resolve and Obrigado.

The $32,000 bargain purchase has already turned back the boys twice this season, first in the $471,200 Hambletonian Maturity at The Meadowlands, and then again in a $30,800 elimination of the Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk. She went toe-to-toe with Resolve for the entire second half of the mile in the $480,320 Maple Leaf finale before falling to the 5-year-old stallion in the gamest of efforts.

Hannelore Hanover has career earnings of $1,201,685, bankrolling $896,111 of that sum this season. She clocked her lifetime best of 1:51 at Mohawk in the $208,260 final of the Armbro Flight in June.

The Yonkers International is a 1-1/4 mile test.

In addition to defeating her distaff counterparts in the Armbro Flight, she was also victorious in the $188,350 Fresh Yankee (Meadowlands) and the $170,000 Muscle Hill (Vernon). She won the $220,000 Super Final of the Indiana Sire Stakes at Hoosier as a sophomore.

Hannelore Hanover has 15 wins and two seconds in 17 starts this season, and has won 24 of her 38 career starts for trainer Ron Burke (Burke Racing), who co-owns the diva with Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and J&T Silva Stables.

“She can do it any way,” says regular pilot Yannick Gingras. “She’s very slick-gaited. When she won twice at the 1-1/8 miles (Meadowlands), the extra distance wasn’t a problem, so I don’t think the mile and a quarter is a concern.

“I’ve loved her from the first time I sat behind her. Part of the reason she went to Mohawk is to showcase her. We’re glad Yonkers thought she was a worthy entrant, and I expect her to race well.

“She really is something though. To be able to continually dominate at this level and take on the boys week after week is pretty special. She’s a pleasure to sit behind.”

As Sinatra musically put it: “That’s why the lady is a champ!”

Hannelore Hanover will try to beat the boys one more time while carrying the American flag on Oct. 15. Beware of the mare!

Here’s the history of distaff champions in the International Trot:

Armbro Flight (CAN), 1966
Roquepine (FRA), 1967-68
Une de Mai (FRA), 1969, 1971
Fresh Yankee (CAN), 1970
Delmonica Hanover (USA), 1973-74
Classical Way (USA), 1980
Kit Lobell (USA), 1989
Peace Corps (SWE), 1991

Swedes have the steeds in $1 million Yonkers International Trot

Of the 10 drivers of world class trotters in the 38th edition of the $1 million Yonkers International Trot, the Swedes have the steeds, unless, of course, you’re a “Jersey Boy.” In that case you’ll get equal billing.

Four sulky stars were born in Sweden, while a second foursome make residences in New Jersey. Actually, Ake Svanstedt plays a dual-role as a Swedish-born driver who now calls Wrightstown, N.J., home. John Campbell, Yannick Gingras and Brian Sears complete the Jersey quartet.

Erik Adielsson, Orjan Kihlstrom and Kevin Oscarsson complete the triumvirate.

The Swedish reinsmen will drive a pair of horses from their homeland, and another duo from the USA and Italy. The guys from “Joisey” are behind two USA flag-carriers, and one each from Denmark and Canada.

Here’s the field:

Hannelore Hanover (USA): driver Yannick Gingras, originally from Quebec, resides in Allentown, N.J.

Resolve (USA): driver Ake Svanstedt, originally from Sweden, resides in Wrightstown, N.J.

Obrigado (USA): driver Mark MacDonald, originally from Prince Edward Island, resides in Middletown, N.Y.

Tano Bork (Denmark): Hall of Fame driver John Campbell, originally from Ontario, resides in River Vale, N.J.

BBS Sugarlight (Norway): driver Vidar Hop (Bergen, Norway).

Oasis Bi (Italy): driver Erik Adielsson (Hyby, Sweden).

On Track Piraten (Sweden): driver Orjan Kihlstrom (Bollnas, Sweden).

Explosive de Vie (Sweden): driver Kevin Oscarsson (Eskilstuna, Sweden).

Jonesy (Finland): driver Tuomas Korvenoja (Helsinki, Finland).

Flanagan Memory (Canada): driver Brian Sears (originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., now resides in Secaucus, N.J.

Article Courtesy of Yonkers Raceway

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