With a full year of racing and learning under his belt, 25-year-old Lucas Wallin is looking forward to his second season training his own stable. And while Wallin is interested in seeing how his young horses develop through the remainder of this winter with an eye toward summer success, he is happy to have a seasoned veteran to watch right now.
Rossini, an eight-year-old gelding, will try to make it two wins in a row at the Meadowlands Racetrack when he competes against nine rivals in a conditioned trot Friday. Rossini, who won in 1:54.2 on February 3, is 9-2 on the morning line and will have the services of regular driver Eric Carlson.
The race will air as part of the ‘Meadowlands Harness Live’ broadcast from 9-10 p.m. on SNY (SportsNet New York).
Prior to the current Meadowlands meet, Rossini had made only 16 starts in his career, a span of 100 races, on a big track (either one mile or seventh-eighths). His past five starts, though, all have been at the ‘Big M’ and he has posted two victories as well as a third-place finish.
“He was racing well before, but he really seems to like the Meadowlands,” Wallin said. “He’s feeling really good. His last race when he won at the Meadowlands he raced really good. He feels the same right now. We gave him a week off and he’s training good into this race.
“It looks really interesting (Friday). If everything works out in the race and he has some luck, he will be there, I think.”
Rossini, a son of Classic Photo-Beverly Crusher, has won 29 of 105 lifetime starts and earned $457,552 in purses. He is owned by Steve Organ, who also bred the horse. He is a three-quarter brother to stakes-winners In Focus and Not Afraid. Rossini’s top win came in the 2013 Galt Stakes at Maywood Park.
“I enjoy his personality,” Wallin said about Rossini. “He’s eight years old, but he’s acting like a two-year-old. He’s playing all day. He really enjoys his life.”
Wallin grew up in Sweden, where he was driving ponies at the age of eight. Several years later, he began helping at his uncle Joakim Wallin’s stable. In mid-2014, he was alerted to an opportunity to work for Ake Svanstedt’s stable in the U.S. by childhood friend Oskar Florhed. Wallin spent two years with Svanstedt before deciding to go on his own.
Last year, Wallin’s stable won 18 of 110 races and earned $183,712 in purses. This season, he has 19 horses in training, with nine being two-year-olds.
“I learned a lot of things, that’s for sure,” Wallin said about his first full season. “It was an OK year. The horses that raced, they raced good, and we won a couple of smaller stakes races. Of course you always want to win more and bigger races, but I was happy with my first year.
“It’s a lot of responsibility and I have really good owners that trust me and tell me to do the best for the horses. They never rush.”
Wallin’s two-year-olds are Anniversary Magic (Lucky Chucky-Beach Magic), Bartolo (Muscles Yankee-Cameo Credit), Cotton To You (Trixton-Polyester Hanover), Death Bringer (Explosive Matter-Agenda Tom Ridge), Luisa (Andover Hall-Ashleys Carousel), Quiksilvr Bluechip (Credit Winner-Sea Raven), Rendezvous Kemp (Trixton-Smarty Had A Party), Tenacious Seelster (Trixton-Tara Seelster), and Valentin (Muscle Massive-Nirvana Blue Chip).
Another new addition to his stable is stakes-winner Signal Hill, a four-year-old trotter purchased for $95,000 at the Tattersalls January Select Mixed Sale at the Meadowlands.
“Of course every year you want to see the two-year-olds. Last year we had five two-year-olds and this year we have nine two-year-olds. We bought a little better breedings and we’re looking forward to them. They look good. We’re not in a rush. Some stick out a little more than the others, but all of them are doing good right now. I don’t want to say any names, but there are a couple that look really interesting. We’re hoping for a good season.
“I have a couple of three-year-olds, especially the fillies, that look really interesting. We took it easy with them last year; they only raced like five to seven times. They won some overnights and they did good. I think they can develop and be in a little bigger races this year.”