Showing no rust after a six-month layoff, Resolve went parked for the final half-mile on the way to a determined win in the $200,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for trotters at the Meadowlands Saturday night.
“He raced well,” understated trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt. “He was a little bit lazy but he was strong.”
Resolve ($3.60), who won four-of-13 a year ago while earning $1.2 million, was unhurried in the early going and got underway at the five-eighths after sitting fifth. The six-year-old son of Muscle Hill went on a steady grind and got up to leader Crazy Wow’s wheel nearing the head of the stretch.
From there, Svanstedt’s star pupil continued to gain steadily, forging to the front inside the sixteenth pole before going on to a one-length win in 2:06.3 for the mile and an eighth distance. Crazy Wow held second with JL Cruze third.
In the winner’s circle, Svanstedt accepted an invitation for Resolve to participate in the May 28 Elitlopp at Solvalla, Sweden, a race in which he finished second a year ago.
Toronto invader Sintra destroyed five overmatched opponents in the first division of the first leg of the Graduate Series for four-year-old pacers.
The gelded son of Mach Three sat in the five-hole early before vacating the rail at the three-eighths, then sprinted up to engage leader Roll Away Joe. Sintra ($3.20) then powered clear of the field on the way to a six-length win in a lifetime-best 1:49.1 for driver Brett Miller and trainer David Menary. Western Fame was second with Awesomeness third.
“Hopefully, we are just getting started here,” said Menary, who indicated Sintra will be seen next in the May 14 Confederation Cup.
Check Six never had an anxious moment in the second Graduate division, winning in wire-to-wire fashion for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke.
The son of Somebeachsomewhere hit the quarter and half in tepid fractions of :27.4 and :55.4, respectively, which left plenty in the tank as the flow did not develop until the five-eighths.
After stopping the clock in 1:23 at three-quarters, Check Six ($8.00) sprinted home in :26.3 to complete the mile in a lifetime-best 1:49.3. Boston Red Rocks was a length back in second, while 3-5 favourite Missile J, who had live cover approaching the top of the stretch, went evenly from there for third.
“I was really happy with his effort,” said Burke. “He’s a very good horse. I don’t know if he’s a great horse but hopefully he’s one of those that gets better with age.”