On Friday, October 24, world champion colt Centurion ATM travels to Vernon Downs to headline three divisions of the Simpson Stakes for two-year-old trotters.
Four other divisions featuring freshman filly trotters and colt and filly pacers make up the 13-race card. Racing will begin at 6:45 p.m.
This year, Centurion ATM has been carving his path to stardom. In just his fourth career start on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands Racetrack, the two-year-old son of SJs Caviar set a world record when he won the $355,500 Peter Haughton Memorial by more than three lengths in 1:53.2. Centurion ATM, trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, finished a close second and third most recently in a pair of starts during the Grand Circuit meet at the Red Mile in Lexington.
“He hasn’t raced in three weeks and we needed to get a race into him because we didn’t want to take him up to Canada,” stated assistant trainer Bernie Noren. “He’s our best two-year-old and we are pointing him for the Breeders Crown. We think Vernon Downs is a great track, especially for young horses.”
Owners Knutsson Trotting and Courant A B purchased Centurion ATM at the Harrisburg Sale last fall for $100,000. His siblings include Triumphant Caviar, a winner of nearly $800,000, and former Kentucky Sires Stakes champion Prayer Session.
“He has the right look, the right conformation, and we knew we’d have to pay that much for a horse as good looking and with as good of a family as he has,” continued Noren. “But his greatest asset is that he has the desire to win and a great set of lungs.”
While Centurion ATM’s stablemate and trotter of the fastest mile in history, Sebastian K, didn’t gain notoriety until he was an older horse, Noren said he sees at least one similarity between the two horses.
“Centurion ATM broke the world record at the Meadowlands and also raced in Lexington barefoot, just like Sebastian K does,” said Noren. Sebastian K has earned nearly $3 million in purses in his lifetime.
Noren said he looks forward to racing Centurion ATM this Friday at Vernon Downs to prepare for the $5.4-million Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event. After the Breeders Crown on November 21-22 at the Meadowlands, Noren said his young trotter will spend the winter in Florida to prepare for a run at the Hambletonian in August of 2015.