Kierkegaard K Equals Vernon Trot Record

Kierkegaard K winning at Vernon Downs
Published: June 16, 2023 07:59 pm EDT

Kierkegaard K, trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, equalled the track record for trotters during a great afternoon of racing at Vernon Downs featuring four Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) races for three-year-old trotters on Friday, June 16.

Kierkegaard K ($2.80) charged late off a perfect pocket trip to match the 1:50.3 trot record in the $97,022 EBC second division for colts and geldings. 

Chapercraz (Joe Bongiorno) and Kierkegaard K battled early out of the gate but Chapercraz took the lead through the opening panel in :26.1 and got a second quarter breather to the half in :54.3.  Tillios Action (Jordan Stratton) was first to make a move from third as Chapercraz raced past three-quarters in 1:22.2. As the trotters reached the stretch, Tillios Action wrestled the lead away, but Kierkegaard K went three-wide late and was flying in deep stretch to overtake Tillios Action and set a new mark for three-year-old colts and equal the overall track record set by Atlanta with his winning time of 1:50.3. Tillios Action finished 1-1/4-length behind in second while Chapercraz settled for third. 

Kierkegaard K is a homebred colt by Chapter Seven out of Gone Baby Gone S. He is trained by Svanstedt for owner Knuttson Trotting Inc. Following a successful season's debut last month at Vernon in the New York Sire Stakes, Kierkegaard K picked up his second victory this year and his third career win from 11 starts. He paid $2.80 to win as the heavy favourite.

Undefeated sophomore Sadie Hanover was the fastest of the EBC filly winners, dominating the field in the $104,371 second filly division for a career-best 1:51.3 victory in rein to Scott Zeron.

Sadie Hanover gunned out of the gate and led to the quarter in :26.1. She stole a :29.2 second quarter breather, reaching the half in :55.3. Instagram Model (Jason Bartlett) was first to make a move heading around the final turn, but stalled as Sadie Hanover led to three-quarters in 1:24.1. As they made the turn for home, Sadie Hanover put it in another gear and cruised to a two-length victory. Usosweet Hanover (Marcus Miller) finished second and Canterbury Hanover (Jeff Gregory) was third over Instagram Model.

Sadie Hanover is now five-for-five in 2023 for trainer Linda Toscano. The daughter of Chapter Seven out of Southwind Percy, who has won six of her 10 outings lifetime, is owned by The Bay S Stable, Blue Ridge Stable, Carmen Iannacone and Gary Coco. The popular filly returned $2.70 to win.

Royal Filly was a 1:52.3 gate-to-wire winner in the other $104,371 division of the EBC for fillies. 

Driven by Tyler Buter, Royal Filly surged to the front from post seven and led to the quarter in :27.4. She slowed things down in the second quarter to reach the half in :56.4 then breezed to three-quarters in 1:24.3. As the field reached the stretch, Royal Filly played 'catch me if you can.'  Second-place finisher Gigi Hanover (Ake Svanstedt), the bettors' choice, and third-place finisher Kayleigh S (Brian Sears) tried to do just that, but Royal Filly was too strong and prevailed by a quarter-length.

Another daughter of Chapter Seven, Royal Filly is out of Swinging Royalty. She is owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Tony Alagna.  Winless in seven freshman starts, she is now two-for-four to start her sophomore campaign. Sent postward as the second choice in the wagering, she returned $5.70 to win.

Kilmister delivered as the favourite off a pocket trip in the other $95,771 EBC division for colts and geldings, prevailing in 1:52.4 with Brian Sears in the bike.

Cecil Hanover (Ake Svanstedt) led the field through fractions of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:26. As he made the turn for home, Kilmister popped the pocket and went after the lead. Cecil Hanover and Kilmister battled all the way down the stretch before the latter surged to the front and won by 1-1/4 lengths. Cecil Hanover settled for second while Sevecheetah (Joe Bongiorno) finished third. 

Kilmister is owned by Courant Inc. and trained by Marcus Melander. After going five-for-10 as a rookie, the Chapter Seven-Treviso colt picked up his first win in three sophomore starts. The bettors' choice paid $4.20 to win.

Vernon Downs also hosted three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) on Friday for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. 

Favourite Thunder Hunter Joe and Tyler Buter held off a late charge by last year's NYSS divisional champion American Fling (Jason Bartlett) to win the $39,233 first event by a half-length in a lifetime-best 1:49.2.  Peppermint Man (Matt Kakaley) finished third. The Huntsville-Thunder Angel gelding, who is three-for-three in 2023, is trained by Nicholas Devita for owners Devita Racing Stable, David Hamm, Glenn Phillips and Christopher Giaccio. 

Canadian campaigned Huntinthelastdolar, driven by Scott Zeron, used a :25.4 final quarter to hunt down the favoured I Was Tricked (Braxten Boyd) in the final strides and win the $39,233 second division in a lifetime-best 1:49.2 by a head. Taste Of Honey (Joe Bongiorno) was 3-3/4 lengths back in third. Trainer Gregg McNair co-owns the Huntsville-Eighthunrdolarbill gelding, who was last year's runner-up in the NYSS championship and picked up his first victory of the season, with George Kerr and Brad Grant. 

Its A Me Mario (Brian Sears) also took a sub-1:50 mark, going first-over to win the $39,233 third division in 1:49.4 with Brian Sears aboard. Pacino Hanover (Matt Kakaley) finished one length behind in second and Goldin Greatness (Scott Zeron) closed from the backfield for third over the popular pacesetter Duval Street (Jason Bartlett). The American Ideal-NF Salsa colt, now perfect in five seasonal starts, is trained by Shane Tritton and owned by Joshua Graber.

Live harness racing continues at Vernon Downs on Saturday, with a 10-race card starting at 6:05 p.m. 

(With files from Vernon Downs)

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