Incommunicado Takes Dexter Cup Elim

Rather than accept a bye and guarantee himself two Dexter Cup final starters, Ake Svanstedt decided to let Incommunicado compete in Saturday's (April 24) Dexter Cup elimination at Freehold Raceway.

The gamble paid off, as Incommunicado cruised under the wire 2-3/4 lengths in front and established himself as one of the favourites for next week's Dexter Cup final.

When the entry box closed on Wednesday, ten horses were entered for the Dexter Cup. Svanstedt was offered two byes with his pair of Ambassador Hanover and Incommunicado, and while he accepted the bye with the former, he decided to race Incommunicado. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes champion was made the 8/5 second choice in the field of eight.

The complexion of the race changed dramatically in the opening eighth, when favoured Ethan T Hanover and Roysons Punch both went off stride. Ethan T Hanover was pulled up by Todd McCarthy, while Roysons Punch got back trotting. Incommunicado stayed trotting and rated in fourth place in the early stages.

Just before the half-mile, Yannick Gingras pulled Incommunicado off the pylons and moved him first over after early leader Share the Wealth. The leader put up a good fight, but Incommunicado took charge entering the stretch and drew off. He trotted the mile in 1:57, a sharp time for his first pari-mutuel race of the year.

Incommunicado is owned by Knutsson Trotting, Little E LLC, Arthur Geiger, and David Stolz. He's now won five times from eleven starts, with earnings of almost $220,000. Along with his stablemate Ambassador Hanover, he gives Svanstedt a formidable pair for next week's final.

The following horses also advanced to the final: Credit Con, for trainer Todd Buter, Fifty Ways, trained by Joe Columbo, Believer, for trainer Randy Taft, Chapolier, for trainer Trond Smedshammer, and Share the Wealth, trained by Ray Schnittker. Sunny Crockett, trained by Julie Miller, also received a bye and will compete in the final.

The post positions for the Dexter Cup final, along with its filly equivalent, the Lady Suffolk trot, will be drawn next Wednesday.


Joe Faraldo and Tony Beltrami each reined a winner in their respective splits of the American Harness Drivers Club trotting series on Saturday (April 24) at Freehold. Faraldo guided Always A Good Time to a 1:57.1 victory over seven others in his split while Tony Beltrami was victorious with Big Smoove in 2:00.1 the other seven-horse division. Both were raced for a purse of $9,000.

Faraldo scored an easy victory with the 4-1 shot Always A Good Time. After getting away third he moved first-up as Bob Hechkoff showed the way with Pound Sterling, hitting the first quarter in :29.3.

"Just as soon as I saw Hechkoff grab leather I was out and moving with Always A Good Time and when we passed the half we were heads apart. We were still side-by-side by the three- quarters but on the final turn Hechkoff's trotter began to fade and my horse then got real brave and we cruised home an easy winner," Faraldo said.

At the wire the margin of victory was opened to six lengths as Joe Pennacchio hustled Keystone Blade home second best. Masster Blue, the betting favourite, finished third for Tony Verruso.

The winner is owned by Triple D Stables and trained by Scott Di Domenico. He paid $10.40 for win.

In the first AHDC trot Tony Beltrami took no prisoners and sent Big Smoove immediately to the front from post three and once on top he had an easy time of it.

Big Smoove showed the way by the first quarter in a soft :30.2 and was still in command at the 1:00.4 half. Up the backside Southwind Frost (Bob Hechkoff) and Swipe Right (John Calabrese) began to move from far back, but Presidente Zette (Joe Faraldo) was still second best and he remained that way all to the wire. Swipe Right beat out Southwind Frost for the show dough.

Big Smoove is owned by Joseph Scanio and Bart Fooden and trained by Williams Hernandez. He returned a $17.20 win payoff.

Live harness racing resumes at Freehold next Friday, April 30, with a first post time of about 12:30 p.m.

(Freehold / AHDC)

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