Your So Vain Wins Hambletonian Maturity
With a three-wide brush down the backstretch, Your So Vain and trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt swept to the lead and drew away in the stretch to win the inaugural $484,350 Hambletonian Maturity for four-year-old trotters, which was contested over a 1-1/8 mile distance.
Reigning Horse of the Year and the only mare in the field of 14, Bee A Magician (Brian Sears) got up for second with O'Brien Award winners Flanagan Memory (Brett Miller) and Wheeling N Dealin (Jody Jamieson) finishing third and fourth.
Last year's Hambletonian champion Royalty For Life (David Miller) left from post six with Spider Blue Chip (Ron Pierce) rolling up alongside and clearing to command during an eye-popping :25.4 first quarter.
Meanwhile, Svanstedt found himself away eighth caught behind Bambino Glide (Marcus Miller) and Creatine (Mike Lachance) in the outer tier and made his move with Your So Vain. He sent his charge three-high and cleared the early speedsters on the front past the half in :55 flat. First over Creatine continued to advance into the two-hole behind the new leader with Spider Blue Chip breaking stride.
Your So Vain led the field to three-quarters in 1:23.2 with Bambino Glide left first up and the parked Flanagan Memory moving up on his back. Race favourite Bee A Magician was spotted third over.
Flanagan Memory rallied wide off cover into the stretch with Bee A Magician also closing strongly on the far outside, but Your So Vain had hit the mile mark in 1:51.3 and opened up three lengths on top to seal the deal. He sailed home for the 2:05.3 victory and returned $16.60 to his backers as the 7-1 third choice.
“He didn’t leave so fast so I thought I must do something,” said Svanstedt of the three-wide brush that proved to be the winning move for the post one starter.
Reima Kuisla Stable of Finland purchased 90 per cent of the Donato Hanover-Tennis Lover trotter back in April with original owner Paul Van Camp retaining a 10 per cent share.
“I had faith in the horse all along, we staked him to everything," said Van Camp from the winner's circle. "Ole Bach approached us in April and it was like ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ so I agreed to sell, but only if I could retain a piece because I had faith that he’d be a world champion.”
Taking lessons from his world champion stablemate Sebastian K while training together at his new stable, Your So Vain stepped up for his biggest win in his four-year-old debut.
"He’s a very good training horse and he’s a very good race horse. He has a really good head for racing," noted assistant trainer Bernie Noren. "We knew he was ready to go. He was training very well and he’s a good horse."
Your So Vain earned his seventh career win in 19 starts and lifted his earnings over $680,000.
For a recap and replays of the eliminations for next weekend's Meadowlands Pace Night, click here.