08/27/2013 10:28AM

Meadows: Chantal Sutherland to try her luck with a trotter

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Benoit & Associates
Chantal Sutherland hopes to break the racing under saddle record on a five-eighths track of 1:59 1/5.

One of thoroughbred racing’s biggest stars, Chantal Sutherland-Kruse, will come to The Meadows Racetrack & Casino next month with one thought in mind: setting a new North American record.

Sutherland-Kruse, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, rose to fame as a jockey, actress and model.  Her list of accomplishments both on and off the track are extensive, and she will look to add to her resume when she attempts to break a North American record with a standardbred under saddle on Monday, September 23. 

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For the mile, Sutherland-Kruse will team with The Meadows’ – and harness racing’s – leading trainer, Ron Burke.  The Burke Stable will send Sutherland-Kruse to the track aboard DW’s NY Yank, an accomplished 4-year-old trotter that was won 10 of 17 starts so far this season.  The gelding’s fastest win time is 1:51 3/5, set on July 20 at Pocono Downs, also a five-eighths mile track like The Meadows.

The current U.S. record for racing under saddle on a five-eighths mile track is 1:59 1/5.

[Editor's Note: The U.S. record for Racing Under Saddle is 1:54 1/5, set in a time trial by jockey Julie Krone aboard Moni Maker at The Red Mile (a one mile track) in 1998.]

The event will follow traditional harness racing “time trial” standards, with two prompters staying just off the flanks of Sutherland-Kruse’s mount.

“I’m looking forward to riding a trotter in my ‘pink saddle’ which has taken me from Canada to the States, Hong Kong, Dubai, then England, and now The Meadows Racetrack in an attempt to break a world record,” said Sutherland-Kruse.  “This is an exciting time for me to experience the Standardbred equine after having been in the thoroughbred world for so long.  It will be a joy to get back to my roots, to the good old days when my dad would take me to the Standardbred farms and tracks all over Canada.  I used to jog horses sitting in the cart with him and also dangle my feet off the back of a pickup truck with a lead shank attached to a couple of young horses to drive them around our track to get them fit.”

The September event is sponsored by the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association.

“I’m grateful to the MSOA for giving me this opportunity,” said Sutherland-Kruse. 

Heather Wilder, marketing representative for the MSOA, added, “We are excited about the opportunity that this gives us to bring such a highly recognized name from the sport of thoroughbred racing to The Meadows.  With her beginnings nurtured in harness racing, and the success and notoriety that she has received throughout her accomplished career as a jockey, it just shows that we all share the common love of the animal and the enjoyment of competition.”

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Ron Burke, whose stable has led harness racing in both wins and purse earnings every year since 2009 and is prepping DW’s NY Yank, said, “This is a great opportunity for the two sports to meet.   I love the opportunity to get a chance to see if we can do something special.”

Additional details will come in the next few weeks, as Sutherland-Kruse, Burke and DW’s NY Yank all prepare for their upcoming race for the record.

-edited release (MSOA)