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Svanstedt "Not Satisfied" With 2014

Published: January 27, 2015 9:38 am ET

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Despite a season with two world record-setting trotters and a Dan Patch Award, trainer Åke Svanstedt feels his 2015 campaign can be even better.

In his first North American campaign, the transplanted Swede made harness racing history with Sebastian K. At the age of eight, the trotting stallion started his year with five straight sub-1:51 trotting miles. That streak was punctuated with the fastest mile ever on the trot -- an electrifying 1:49 effort over Mohegan Sun Pocono.

"We work hard for a better result than last year. Some think that the first year for me in the U.S. was okay with 68 victories (326 starts) and $2.4 million in earnings. But I was not satisfied because many horses got sick and did not get to show what they could. It bothered me a lot. But now we look forward to 2015 and we are all better prepared," Svanstedt said in an interview posted on his website.

That preparation will be key as he heads into 2015 with 85 horses, approximately double his stable's total from the previous year. Among those horses is Centurion ATM, who equalled the world record for a two-year-old trotting colt on Hambletonian Day with a 1:53.2 win in the Peter Haughton Memorial.

"Centurion is back in good shape. Unfortunately, he was a little sick during the fall and could not show his best. Now he is looking good and he is working well," said Svanstedt, noting that the son of SJs Caviar - Ens Tag Session will be pointed toward the 2015 Hambletonian.

Stable standout Sebastian K will start back in training this February. Now nine, the son of Korean - Gabriella K amassed a record of 8-2-0 in 13 starts last year with $674,750 in earnings. With his dominance trailing off at the end of the campaign, Svanstedt stated that Sebastian K has received "a well-deserved rest" and will have "the same training schedule as last year but the first race will probably be a little later."

Joining him in the older trotting ranks in 2015 will be another European-bred star, Mr Picolit. While not a household name in North America, he has 19 wins from 48 starts and ranks among his victories the 2013 Copenhagen Cup over a horse that dominated North America's top trotters in the 2014 Breeders Crown -- Commander Crowe.

"He has arrived from quarantine and begins to train with Sebastian in February," noted Svanstedt. "It will be interesting to see if he can get in shape to compete against the best in North America."

On the pacing side, White Bliss is returning for his three-year-old campaign. The striking son of Art Major has made headlines since birth, with his trainer complimenting his strength but hoping he increases his speed as a sophomore.

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