Sevruga cut all the fractions in the Open Space Pace Day $20,000 Preferred Trot, setting a world record for a mile and a half on a half-mile track with a time of three minutes flat on Saturday, September 19 at Freehold Raceway.
The fourth edition of Open Space Pace Day, which begin with a parade down Main Street in Freehold, New Jersey, drew a family-friendly crowd of several thousand who took advantage of live music, a petting zoo, exhibitions, displays, food trucks and perfect weather.
To the best of anyone’s knowledge, this was the first time the distance -– three times around the track –- was ever offered.
Sevruga ($4), a seven-year-old gelding, was sent off as the even-money favourite in the featured seventh race and cruised the three times around the track on the front end. The anticipated challenge from 6-5 Gural Hanover never developed when that horse broke stride at the start.
Trained by Julie Miller and driven by Andy Miller, Sevruga won by a length and three-quarters over Pop I, with Silver Credit third by two and three-quarters in the field of nine veteran trotters.
“He is the same old grinder of races,” said Julie Miller, who signed autographs before the card began with Hannah Miller. “I knew if Andy could set the fractions, and with Gural Hanover breaking, it was ours to have.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with him,” the trainer added. “It was a beautiful day, and it was great for the Landy Family and Freehold to host this event. It’s very important to New Jersey racing.”
The previous world record for the distance on a half-mile track was 3:01.3 by Kash Minbar on July 30, 1977 at Roosevelt Raceway.
Sevruga, who is owned by Joe P Racing LLC of Delray Beach, Florida, picked up his sixth win in 20 starts this year, and it was his 36th win in 104 career starts. He has earned $1,159,326 lifetime.
Sponsors of the Preferred Trot were New Jersey-based trainers and owners Ross Croghan’s Dockside Stables, Joe Holloway, Linda Toscano, Mark Harder, Weaver & Bruscemi Stable, Ron Burke, Tom Fanning, Scott DiDomenico, Julie and Andy Miller, and Tony Alagna.