08/26/2015 3:33PM

Yonkers: Centurion ATM leads Svanstedt trio into Yonkers Trot eliminations

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Derick Giwner
Centurion ATM shown winning last week at Pocono Downs.

Centurion ATM will try to build on his best start of the season, a victory last weekend in a consolation division of the Colonial Stakes at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, when he heads to Yonkers Raceway for Saturday’s eliminations for the Yonkers Trot. And it was the colt’s best start in more ways than one.

A notorious slow starter, Centurion ATM moved quickly from the gate in his race last weekend, charging from post nine to land in second place after the opening quarter-mile. It was only the second time in 14 lifetime races that Centurion ATM was better than third at the first call. The other time came in the colt’s career debut in July 2014.

Centurion ATM posted a 1:53 3/5 win in his Colonial consolation for his first triumph of the season.

Ake Svanstedt, who trains and drives Centurion ATM, credited the early speed to a change in equipment.

“We took off the blind and he is a new horse,” Svanstedt said. “Before he was a slow starter, now he can leave faster. He was good.”

Centurion ATM was among 11 horses entered for the Yonkers Trot, which is for 3-year-old trotters and is the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. Pinkman, who won the first jewel -- the Hambletonian -- on Aug. 8, also was among the horses entered.

It is the first time the Hambletonian winner will compete in the race since Glidemaster capped a Triple Crown sweep and Horse of the Year season by winning the Yonkers Trot in 2006. Hambletonian champ Market Share competed in the 2012 Yonkers Trot, but the race preceded the Hambletonian that year.

Two $40,000 eliminations will be contested Saturday, with the top four finishers from each division advancing to the $500,000 Yonkers Trot final on Sept. 5. Centurion ATM is in the second elim, along with stablemate Southwind Mozart, Billy Flynn, Massive Lightning, Habitat, and French Laundry.

Pinkman is in the opening division, with Buen Camino, Crazy Wow, Workout Wonder, and Wings Of Royalty.

Centurion ATM has won four of 14 lifetime races and earned $429,742 for owners Courant A B and Knutsson Trotting. He won last year’s Peter Haughton Memorial Stakes with a world-record-equaling 1:53 2/5 performance.

Prior to winning last weekend at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Centurion ATM finished eighth in his Hambletonian elimination and failed to advance to the final.

“He was good before the Hambletonian elimination, but in the elimination he was bad, just bad,” Svanstedt said. “I don’t know why. But now he was good again.”

Centurion ATM’s appearance at Yonkers will mark his first time on a half-mile track, but Svanstedt is unconcerned.

“He is a good trotter so he should be OK,” Svanstedt said. “I hope he will get to the final, that is the important thing. He is a good horse.”

Svanstedt’s other Yonkers Trot hopefuls are Workout Wonder and Southwind Mozart. Workout Wonder has two wins this season, both on half-mile tracks in New York Sire Stakes action, including a 1:56 3/5 triumph ahead of Buen Camino and Wings Of Royalty at Yonkers on May 21.

Crazy Wow, who won last year’s New York Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male trotters at Yonkers, heads to the Yonkers Trot off a win in the Colonial Stakes main event. He is one of two Ron Burke-trained horses in the field, along with fellow multiple-stakes-winner Habitat.

Buen Camino, from the stable of trainer Trond Smedshammer, enters his Yonkers Trot elim off three consecutive victories on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. Smedshammer captured the 2004 Trotting Triple Crown with Windsong’s Legacy.

Saturday’s card at Yonkers also includes the $149,240 Hudson Trot for 3-year-old female trotters and the $116,430 Lady Maud for 3-year-old female pacers.

Below are the fields for the Yonkers Trot eliminations, with listed drivers and trainers.

Race 4-First Elimination
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer  
1-Buen Camino-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer     
2-Crazy Wow-Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke     
3-Pinkman-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter     
4-Workout Wonder-Daniel Dube-Ake Svanstedt     
5-Wings Of Royalty-Jason Bartlett-George Ducharme

Race 5-Second Elimination
PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 
1-Southwind Mozart-Daniel Dube-Ake Svanstedt     
2-Centurion ATM-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt     
3-Billy Flynn-Jason Bartlett-Staffan Lind     
4-Massive Lightning-Tyler Buter-Steve Elliott     
5-Habitat-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke     
6-French Laundry-Brian Sears-Jimmy Takter 

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com

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