Vivid Wise As Vicious In International Trot

Vivid Wise As
Published: September 9, 2023 04:37 pm EDT

Vivid Wise As, representing Italy in Saturday's $1 million MGM Yonkers International Trot at MGM Yonkers Raceway, took advantage of a quick start to get the lead from post one, repelled multiple challengers throughout, and drew off in the closing stages to win the race in 2:23.1 over the distance of 1-1/4 miles.

Driven by Matthieu Abrivard and racing without shows, Vivid Wise As stepped out quickly from the pole position but was faced with immediate pressure on the outside from Fashion Frenzie (Louis-Philippe Roy), and they would trot to the quarter like that in :28.3. Meanwhile, Etonnant (Anthony Barrier) had not had a quick beginning from post two and then elected to drive on three-wide to take up the first-over position from Fashion Frenzie prior to the :57.3 half-mile point.

The expected and hoped-for confrontation between Vivid Wise As and Etonnant was on from there, and Vivid Wise As used his rail position to keep Etonnant parked through three-quarters in 1:26.3. Etonnant then began to tire past that pole as Its Academic (David Miller), hoping to bring the International Trot title to the U.S., made a three-wide charge from fourth-over that carried him into the first-over slot and alongside Vivid Wise As at the mile, which went on the board in 1:55.2.

Its Academic could not sustain his bid, though, and Vivid Wise As accelerated away from him and pocket-sitter Jiggy Jog S (Dexter Dunn) in the final quarter en route to the victory by 2 3/4 lengths. Jiggy Jog S, who started behind Vivid Wise As in the trailing post nine, was the runner-up, and Bengurion Jet, driven by Vivid Wise As's trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro, made it a memorable day for that barn by rallying to finish third. Its Academic had to settle for fourth and Australia's Aldebaran Zeus collected fifth.

"He went really fast today. He wanted to see if anyone made any moves and if anyone was going to attack, but nothing really happened, so after the first turn, he really controlled the race and did what he wanted to do all the way," Abrivard said via interpreter Kristin Riise Ødegård. "On small tracks like this, he's a horse that's very difficult to get around. He knew that after he got a good post position and he got a good start that the other horses had to do a lot of work on the outside to catch him. He knew it was going to work out for him pretty quickly."

Vivid Wise As, a nine-year-old Yankee Glide stallion bred by Atlantic Trot Inc. and owned by Bivans SRL and Bruni Racing Team AB, picked up his 35th win from 86 career starts and has now earned $3,626,866. He paid $7.50 to win as the 5-2 favourite and led a $56 exacta and a $646 trifecta.

"He's very happy because he's done this job for a long time and now all of his dreams are coming true," Gocciadoro stated via Ødegård.

Vivid Wise As and connections in the International Trot winner's circle

Trainer Ake Svanstedt was pleased with Jiggy Jog S's performance, as well, saying, "I thought we would have a chance to win coming down the backstretch but when Its Academic came at the leader the pace accelerated too fast. Still, it's good to be second in this race." 

Canadian entrant Fashion Frenzie faded to ninth.

Bythemissal blows away his rivals in the Aria Invitational Pace

Bythemissal and driver Yannick Gingras bounced back from a narrow defeat in the Canadian Pacing Derby seven days ago to dominate in the $250,000 Aria Inviational Pace, a co-feature of MGM Yonkers Raceway's International Day program, winning the mile and one-quarter event in a track record 2:21.2 clocking.

Bythemissal, a gelded son of Downbytheseaside, left patiently from post six as None Bettor A and Jason Bartlett left alertly from the pole position and yielded the lead to second choice Allywag Hanover (Todd McCarthy) before the :27.2 opening quarter. Gingras moved Bythemissal with purpose to secure the front on the second turn, and from that point, despite a field of 10 horses, few were interested in taking on the prohibitive favourite.

Bythemissal was able to carve out soft fractions of :55.4 and 1:26.2 as only Poseidon Seelster and George Brennan were willing to advance without cover. Whichwaytothebeach (Mark MacDonald) followed in the second-over position, with Linedrive Hanover (Brian Sears) third-over in a limited outer flow. The added distance saw Bythemissal cruise past the mile marker in 1:54 with Gingras allowing him to pace on his own. Linedrive Hanover made a move wide on the backstretch but wasn't gaining on the leader at any point.

In the homestretch Byethemissal, sprinted off effortlessly, completing the record mile with a :27.2 final quarter. Allywag Hanover — making his first-ever appearance on a half-mile track — was a distant second, with Leonidas A (Austin Siegelman) rallying sharply late for the third spot. Linedrive Hanover held on for fourth with early leader None Bettor A finishing fifth.

"Today he was definitely on his game," said Gingras following the victory.

Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Eric Good, Rich Lombardo and Weaver Bruscemi and trained by Ron Burke, Bythemissal was a winner for the seventh time in nine starts as a four-year-old and has now won 21 of 26 career races. As the 1-5 betting favorite Bythemissal paid $2.60 to win and keyed a $5 exacta and a $28.40 trifecta.

M Ms Dream captures Robert Miecuna Invitational Trot

M Ms Dream and driver David Miller ignored the rain and sloppy surface and went on to easily capture the $250,000 Bob Miecuna Invitational Trot. The race contested at 1-1/4 miles was completed in 2:24.4 over the off going.

Miller was cagey at the start behind the second choice, leaving from post two as he waited for the dust to settle in the early sprint. Credit Con and Joe Bongiorno wrestled command while Nows The Moment (Siegelman) left but went off-stride into the opening turn. Amigo Volo (Dexter Dunn) protected the pylons and held firmly from the pole position early as Southwind Tyrion (Ake Svanstedt), the public choice at 3-2, remained parked with Hillexotic (Yannick Gingras) through the initial bend. Miller waited for Amigo Volo to regain command before the :28.3 opening quarter before sending his four-year-old mare to the lead on the second turn.

Once in front, M Ms Dream was able to cruise to the half in :57.3 as Southwind Tyrion elected to take a tuck after Credit Con broke and opened up a spot on the rail, and Hillexotic went up to pursue the pace, followed intently by Take All Comers with Tim Tetrick. While Hillexotic was able to gain onto even-terms with the leader, Miller didn't have to stress his mare at all, hitting three quarters in 1:27 and the mile in 1:56 while under a firm hold.

In the homestretch M Ms Dream was comfortably handled, with Miller kicking out the ear plugs and his horse responding in kind to finish the distance with a :28.4 final quarter. Amigo Volo remained glued to the pylons and finished second, with Take All Comers winning a tight photo for third ahead of Southwind Tyrion in fourth and Hillexotic bravely holding down the final cheque.

"Anytime you've got trailers there's going to be action," said Miller in his post-race interview. "After I got her around the first turn I knew she was going to be fine. She's pretty sure-footed."

Trained by Ron Burke for owners Eleven Star Stables, Frank Baldachino and Hillside Stables, M Ms Dream was a winner for the 24th time during her career. As the second choice she paid $5.40 to win and keyed a $28.40 exacta and $91.50 trifecta.

Three upsets in four New York Sire Stakes finals for pacers

Huntinthelastdolar was the lone pacer to win a New York Sire Stakes championship as a favourite Saturday, capturing the $225,000 final for three-year-old colts and geldings by three-quarters of a length over Thunder Hunter Joe in 1:52 over a surface labeled "good" at MGM Yonkers Raceway. Its A Me Mario finished third.

Huntinthelastdolar, who was a New York Sire Stakes runner-up last year, scored at odds of 4-5. The remaining $225,000 NYSS pacing champions Saturday were three-year-old filly Dame (at 17-1), two-year-old colt Boston Rocks (4-1) and two-year-old filly Peace Talks (39-1).

In the final for three-year-old male pacers, Huntinthelastdolar and driver Doug McNair went for the lead from post five and cleared Hurrikane Hunter for the top spot at the quarter-mile point, reached in :27.3. From there, the gelding hit the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:23.2, all while fending off pressure from Thunder Hunter Joe.

Huntinthelastdolar and Thunder Hunter Joe, who was the 7-5 second choice, continued to battle through the stretch, but Huntinthelastdolar would not be denied the victory.

A son of Huntsville-Eighthunrdolarbill, Huntinthelastdolar is owned by trainer Gregg McNair, George Kerr, and Brad Grant. He was bred by Crawford Farms. He has won six of eight races this season and eight of 17 in his career, earning $474,807.

"He raced great," Doug McNair said. "Those were pretty good fractions for today. That was a good mile he went; he had a lot of pace at the wire. He's got high speed and he can carry it, that's his best quality."

Huntinthelastdolar paid $3.90 to win and led a $7.10 exacta and a $133.50 trifecta.

In the event for three-year-old fillies, Dame and driver Yannick Gingras started from post one, never moved off the pylons the entire mile, and overtook pace-setting favourite Earthwindfire just before the finish line to capture the championship by a head in 1:54.1. Turn On The Charm finished third.

Earthwindfire, sent off at odds of 1-2, left from post seven and was three-wide around the first turn in a battle for the lead with Vivians Dream and Turn On The Charm. She was a parked-out first at the quarter, reached in :26.4, and remained on top through fractions of :56.3 and 1:25.2.

Dame was fourth throughout most of the mile but found room inside down the stretch to launch her winning rally for breeder/owner Stephen Richard and trainer Kelly Lancaster-Dailey. The daughter of Dudes The Man-Seat By The Window, has won two of nine races this season and six of 19 lifetime, good for $351,407 in purses.

"I'm at a loss for words," Lancaster-Dailey said. "She's always been a nice filly, maybe a step behind the top bunch, but I think when I took her up to Saratoga (for a conditioned win on Aug. 27) it bravened her up, and Yannick gave her an awesome drive. Turning for home, I thought we were in for third, but when she kicked it in down the stretch, I was so excited. I was cheering like crazy. It's a very exciting day for us."

Dame paid $36.20 to win. The exacta was worth $88.50 and the trifecta $294.50.

In the final for two-year-old male pacers, Boston Rocks was parked out for the opening quarter-mile as he went to the lead from post six, but once there he never wavered on his way to a neck win over Avenger Force in 1:54.1. Vandiemen Bluechip finished third in the race, which was contested in a sudden downpour that afterward caused a 25-minute weather delay.

Jason Bartlett drove Boston Rocks to fractions of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:24.3 on the way to victory. The colt rebuffed a first-over challenge from 2-5 favourite Huntingforchrome as they approached three-quarters, then held off Avenger Force's rally in the stretch.

"That was a huge trip, a big effort," winning trainer Mike Deters said. "The horse has raced tremendously all summer. He hasn't gone a bad race. He's had a couple bumps in the road with trips, but never once put in a bad effort. He's a really, really good horse."

Boston Rocks, a son of Boston Red Rocks-Scirocco Sarah, is owned by breeders Peter Blood and Rick Berks. The colt has hit the board in eight of nine races, winning four and earning $303,422.

"He has a tremendous work ethic, and he loves his job," Deters said. "It's tough to find a horse that does that, especially a two-year-old. I'm thankful that Peter Blood and Rick Berks gave me the opportunity and it's worked out great."

Boston Rocks paid $10.80 to win and keyed a $128.50 exacta and a $662.00 trifecta.

In the final for rookie female pacers, Peace Talks and driver David Miller were able to manage a ground-saving trip from post eight before fanning out three-wide off the last turn to light up the tote board at 39-1 with a head victory in 1:55.4 over a sloppy track. So Well Dressed, the 5-2 favourite, finished second and Camerican was third.

Peace Talks got away last in the eight-horse field while So Well Dressed went to the front and set fractions of :27.2, :57, and 1:25.3. Miller scooted Peace Talks up the pylons when four horses moved to the outside after the half-mile point and was third at the top of the stretch, setting up her winning sprint home.

"I got away last, everybody pulls, I shoot the rail, and around the last turn the outer flow just died off," Miller said. "I was like, look at this. I moved her over at the head of the lane and she wins. That was great. That was pretty cool."

A daughter of American Ideal-Triple V Hanover, Peace Talks is trained by Chris Ryder for owners Henderson Farms, Jeff Bell, FAC Racing, and Robert Mondillo. The filly was bred by Donald Robinson, Michael Robinson, Steve Stewart, and James Daut. She has won two of seven races and earned $171,769.

Peace Talks paid $80 to win, the exacta returned $395,50 and the trifecta $2,684.00.

Chapercraz lowers track record in New York Sire Stakes finals for trotters

A track record performance by Chapercraz headlined the four $225,000 New York Sire Stakes finals for two- and three-year-old trotters that took place as part of Saturday's blockbuster program at MGM Yonkers Raceway.

In the final for three-year-old males, Chapercraz (Joe Bongiorno) left quickly from post four but would yield the front to Crown (Brian Sears) nearing the 27.3 quarter-mile marker. After Crown cleared, that left Cecil Hanover and trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt on the outside from post eight, and they would remain in that predicament through the 56 second half and 1:25 three-quarters.

Cecil Hanover was done for the day before the field entered the final turn, giving Bongiorno the chance to bring Chapercraz to the outside on the bend. Once he was fed the clear racetrack, he sailed up to and around Crown, then drew off to prevail by open lengths in 1:53.4. Wild Bill Kelso (Tim Tetrick) pulled off the pylons from the three-hole and got up for second over a fading Crown.

That time of 1:53.4 knocked a fifth of a second off the previous record of 1:54 for a sophomore gelding trotter set by Ahundreddollarbill back on July 13, 2021, and was all the more impressive given the rain and sloppy track condition at that point. 

The victorious son of Crazy Wow was sent out by Ron Burke for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC., Weaver Bruscemi LLC. and Phil Collura. Bred by Purple Haze Stables, Chapercraz is now a five-time winner and has put away $453,854. Chapercraz paid $5.10 to win and keyed a $44.60 exacta and a $151.00 trifecta. 

Two-year-old fillies kicked off the card, and Senorita Palema (Svanstedt) overcame a parked-out journey to win in 1:58.1. She left from post six and moved up to engage leader Sadbirdstillsing (Tyler Buter) past the :28.1 opening quarter, but Sadbirdstillsing and Buter weren't in a yielding mood and left Senorita Palema on the rim through middle-half stations of :57.2 and 1:26.2.

Sadbirdstillsing maintained command around the final bend and into the lane, but Senorita Palema would not go away and forged her way by the tempo-setter in deep stretch before she edged away to score by a length and a quarter. Sadbirdstillsing had to settle for second and Sister Mary Maude (Bongiorno) watched the battle the whole way from third but couldn't advance out of that position.

A daughter of Chapter Seven bred by Winbak Farm, Senorita Palema is also trained by Svanstedt for owner Bender Sweden Inc. A $150,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Senorita Palema has three wins and two second-place finishes from five outings and has now earned $177,900. Senorita Palema was sent off at 2-1 and returned $6.20 to win. The exacta kicked back $28.60 and the trifecta was worth $93.00.

After a heavy thunderstorm delayed the card and caused the track to be downgraded to sloppy, the two-year-old colt and gelding trotters took to the track. Bargain (Yannick Gingras) fired to the point from post three and set a clip of :28.1, :58.4 and 1:28.4 while being pressured on the outside by a parked Titan Your Grip (Mark MacDonald) but put that foe away before they entered the stretch. However, when Titan Your Grip faded, that allowed Chaplind (Trond Smedshammer) to tip out from the pocket, and he had the best kick in the lane, getting up to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:58.3 at odds of 30-1. Bargain was second and Super Duper Cooper (Jason Bartlett) was third after a second-over trip.

Smedshammer trains and Purple Haze Stables LLC owns Chaplind, a colt by Chapter Seven, bred by Eli Miller and Peter Barbato. Chaplind, who sold for $160,000 at the 2022 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, has a record of 2-0-1 from six appearances and has now banked $172,030. He paid $62.50 to win and was atop a $370 exacta and a $1,105.00 trifecta.

Instagram Model (Bartlett) didn't disappoint at odds of 1-9 in the final for three-year-old fillies. She hit the front around Pride N Joy (Todd McCarthy) nearing the :28.1 quarter and would continue to show the way to the :57.1 half and the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Royal Filly (Buter) swung out first-up from fourth on the third turn and advanced into a striking position in second, but she broke on the far turn, allowing Instagram Model to cruise to the 3-1/2 length win in 1:55.1 over the 50-1 shot Pride N Joy. Canterbury Hanover (Jeff Gregory) closed well for third at 47-1.

Trained by Annie Stoebe, owned by R. Lynn Curry and bred by Steve Jones and Ray Schnittker, Instagram Model (Chapter Seven - Check Out Trixie) made her eighth stop in the winner's circle and has now pocketed $507,986 and returned $2.30 to win. The exacta was $60.50 and the trifecta $840.

"She's been a pleasure," said Bartlett. "She's an amazing horse. It's been an honour for them to put me on a horse like her. She was still flicking her ears a little bit (on the far turn), so I knew she was good. She was just a little bit warm to the half, but when they came to her, she did take off like she was supposed to. They weren't beating me, it didn't matter who was coming."


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