No surprises today as Resolve, the even money favorite, led from start to finish to win the Yonkers International Trot and the $1 million purse.
“I was hoping to control the race, and was able to do so,” said trainer Ake Svanstedt in the winner’s circle. “I wanted to be aggressive. He did everything himself, I was just a passenger. Once he got the lead, he was very comfortable. He could have gone even faster.”
It was fast enough as Resolve won by a length and a half over Italy’s Oasis Bi, driven by Erik Idielsson. The 2:23:4 time is a world record for the 1-1/4-mile on a mile and a half track.
“It felt good to be second,” Idielson said. “I was happy with the horse’s performance. In a strange way, I was a little disappointed because we had such a good trip (second behind winner Resolve) the whole race, and thought we had a chance.”
Resolve was one of three U.S.A. representatives in the 38th edition of the International Trot. Svanstedt, a native of Sweden who now resides in Wrightstown, New Jersey, drove the American winner. Resolve paid $4.20 for a $2 win wager. Flanagan Memory of the Canada, with Brian Sears in the sulky, finished third.
Resolve left the gate from post position two, and carved out speedy fractions of 28:1, 57:1, 126, and 1:54:4 for the mile, with Oasis Bi sitting right behind him in second. Neither Oasis Bi, nor any of the other eight starters, were able to mount a threat to Resolve in the stretch drive.
“We made the best of the situation,” Sears said. “There was a horse blocking us early, and that made it tough to get out. We ended up three horses deep, but my horse is a closer. So we were able to make up a lot a ground to finish third. I’m happy we got third.”
In all, seven countries competed in the Yonkers International Trot, which was resuscitated last year after a 20-year absence by Yonkers Raceway and Empire City Casino president Tim Rooney. The International was inaugurated in 1959 at now defunct Roosevelt Raceway.
““The winner was fantastic, a world record for the mile and a quarter,” sears said. “Thank you to Tim Rooney for putting this race on. It was a really great week, end I’m proud to be a part of it.”