Guardian Angel AS has been part of Anna Lorentzon’s life for the better part of six years now, so it is no surprise she developed a special connection with her family’s homebred trotter. But their bond goes beyond mere success on the racetrack, where the stallion has won multiple Grand Circuit stakes and earned more than $1.5 million.
“He was my father’s favourite horse of the last 10 or 15 years,” said Lorentzon, referring to John-Erik Magnusson, who passed away in 2018. “As long as he’s racing, it’s part of my dad. Every ACL (farm) horse is going to be part of my dad, but especially him because he was his pride the last few years before he passed away. He means a lot to the whole stable, that’s for sure."
Guardian Angel AS was bred in Kentucky by the family’s ACL Stuteri AB and is trained by Lorentzon’s sister, Anette. The seven-year-old stallion, owned by ACL and Kjell Johansson, has won 25 of 65 career races and counts the 2019 Maple Leaf Trot and 2019 Spirit of Massachusetts among his top triumphs. He also won the 2019 Cleveland Trotting Classic with a world-record performance at Northfield Park and last year captured the Crawford Farms Open Trot.
On Saturday, he will try to add the $141,250 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at The Meadowlands to his credits. He heads to the annual event for older trotters off a fifth-place finish in the Charlie Hill Memorial on May 6 at Eldorado Scioto Downs. It was Guardian Angel AS’ first start of the year.
“Anette has been happy with him,” said Lorentzon, who assists her sister by handling the stable’s horses in New Jersey and has traveled with Guardian Angel AS to all but two of his lifetime races. “He always needs a couple of qualifiers and a start to get going. He’s proved that every year.
“He seems good. He trained good this week so we’re hoping for the best (Saturday) especially because we have a good draw. He’s a happy horse and still loves to do it. He doesn’t do much wrong. He might want his way a little bit more now, but other than that, nothing.”
Guardian Angel AS and driver Tim Tetrick will start the Cutler from post three. Guardian Angel AS is 5-1 on the morning line in the 10-horse field.
The Cutler morning-line favourite is seven-year-old stallion Lindy The Great, who is 2-for-2 this season for trainer Julie Miller and driver Andy Miller. A winner of $1.06 million lifetime, Lindy The Great is 3-1 and will start from post seven.
“I was happy with the draw; that was OK, the seven hole,” Julie Miller said. “We were prepping him for this race and he’s had two good starts to get tight. He trained well this week, so hopefully we can get a little racing luck and have some go.
“It seems like he’s grown into his own. With age, he just keeps getting better. I hope that continues for him.”
The race also features two award-winners making their first starts of 2021. Six-year-old mare Manchego, a two-time Dan Patch Award recipient, will start from post nine for trainer Nancy Takter and driver Dexter Dunn. She is 9-2.
Forbidden Trade, Canada’s 2019 Horse of the Year after winning that season’s Hambletonian Stakes, starts from post 10 for trainer Luc Blais and driver Bob McClure. He is 7-2.
Saturday’s card at The Meadowlands also includes two $50,000 divisions of the Graduate Series for four-year-old pacers. In addition, Dan Patch Award winner Amigo Volo makes his four-year-old debut in the $30,000 Preferred Trot.
Racing begins at 6:20 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at The Meadowlands. The Meadowlands and TrackMaster have teamed to regularly provide free past performances for each race card. Past performances can be found on The Meadowlands' website.