Hierro Boko, Bengurion Jet Join Yonkers International Trot Field

Harness racing at Yonkers Raceway
Published: August 20, 2023 01:10 pm EDT

The 2023 edition of the MGM Yonkers International Trot is just a few weeks away on Sept. 9, and two more European horses -- Hierro Boko and Bengurion Jet -- have accepted invitations to the $1 million race.

Hierro Boko is the fastest trotter in Europe this season and the second-fastest winner of all-time on the continent. He was bred in Sweden, but he will race for Finnish connections. Hierro Boko set his fabulous kilometer rate of 1:08.3 (mile rate of 1:49.4) in the St Michels Race at the Mikkeli track in Finland earlier this summer. After that, he finished third in Hugo Åberg Memorial in Malmo, Sweden. It has not yet been decided who will drive Hierro Boko, but it will be one of the top Finnish drivers who have sat behind him recently.

Bengurion Jet is pure Italian-bred, but he races for trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro's 40-head stable in Stockholm, Sweden. Gocciadoro also trains fellow invitee, the Napoli-owned Vivid Wise As, who races from the trainer's Italian barn. As Vivid Wise As will be driven by Frenchman Mattieu Abrivard, the trainer himself will drive Bengurion Jet, who has won this year's Sweden Cup over the mile and most recently finished second in the Aby Grand Prix over two miles.

They join three other Europe-based horses: Get A Wish (Denmark), Etonnant (France) and Vivid Wise As (Italy) in the MGM Yonkers International Trot field. In addition to them, Aldebaran Zeus (Australia) and Jiggy Jog S (Sweden) have been invited. Aldebaran Zeus has been in the U.S. since July 31, and Jiggy Jog S has spent her entire racing career in the States.

The plan is to fly at least six European participants to New York. A couple of interesting candidates have fallen out due to injuries, spells and other reasons, but the invites extended to Bengurion Jet and Hierro Boko leave one, maybe two, European candidates to be committed. The aircraft carrying all European horses will leave from Liege (Belgium) on Sept. 3.

The race for older trotters will be the marquee event on a blockbuster program that includes a pair of six-figure Invitationals and the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Day of Champions to honour the best two- and three-year-olds in the state. Post time for the special card is noon.

(Yonkers Raceway)

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