Sebastian K, making his 2015 debut, after more than seven months absence, at the track where last year he trotted 1:49 for the fastest mile in harness racing history, appeared to fight off JL Cruze’s stretch bid but JL Cruze found one more gear in the final strides to get to the wire in front. Gural Hanover, who set the early fractions, finished third.
JL Cruze rallied in deep stretch to upend world champion Sebastian K by a nose in 1:51 in Saturday’s (July 4) $75,000 Sun Invitational at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The mile equaled the world record for a 4-year-old trotting gelding on a five-eighths-mile track set back in 2014 by Wind Of The North.
Gural Hanover led the field through an opening quarter-mile in :27.1 and was still on top by a nose over Sebastian K when he reached the halfway point in :55.3. Sebastian K, last season’s Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter, was able to complete his move to the front, but trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt said “I lost the race there.” “I went very fast in that turn, very fast,” Svanstedt said. “He was a little tired at the end. It was too tough in the second turn, too fast. But he did a good race.”
Interview with co-owner Michael Knutsson on The Meadowlands the evening before the race:
Interview with co-owner Tristan Sjöberg in Standardbred Canada before the race
The race on YouTube:
Article in USTA – United States Trotting Association
Pre-race article – Interview with Tristan Sjöberg – Standardbred Canada
Pre-race article in Harness Racing America