10/07/2015 5:08PM

Yonkers: Many variables in play for $1,000,000 International Trot

Derick Giwner
Creatine winning the 2013 Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile.

Inspecting and dissecting Saturday’s $1 million revival of the International Trot at Yonkers Raceway with an afternoon first post of 2 p.m., there are more variables than has been the norm in races over the famed half-mile track’s history.

First and foremost, the collection of 10 of the finest trotters from around the world consists of a group with varied current past performances. Secondly, it includes horses unfamiliar with racing at a high speed over the half-mile surface. Thirdly, and perhaps most important, it includes drivers unfamiliar with each other. That last detail is crucial when you consider what’s on the line.

The International mix in this revived world class event is astounding.  Look no further than post one. The 5-year-old Creatine returns stateside after an ambitious campaign in Europe for trainer Jimmy Takter. While he now has experience racing on two continents, Creatine has no experience racing over a half-mile track.

“He’s never been on a half,” said Jimmy Takter. “He’s trained well here since arriving.”

[YONKERS RACEWAY: Watch the $1 Million International Trot and play the $25K carryover Pick Five--Live on DRF Saturday!]

Takter went on to suggest that rivals in the field are going to have to work quite hard to get around Creatine if they expect to cut the pace.

The first turn is always interesting when a new collection of racehorses attempts to race at Yonkers in key stakes action. What’s different in this one and one-quarter mile event is that the first turn is actually going to be the second turn, adjacent to the Yonkers paddock. Hopefully this collection of stars and superstars won’t be looking for an early exit.

While Creatine has never been on a half, history suggests this is his best time of year to race. Two years ago at this time of the season Creatine captured the Kentucky Futurity for then trainer Bob Stewart. Last year he was back in Lexington and surprised the incomparable Sebastian K at 31-1 odds capturing the Allerage Final.

Favored in the race on the morning line and likely at post time is the 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician. Brian Sears will guide her away from post five. In contrast to Creatine, Bee A Magician has a world of experience racing on all sized tracks and has the one driver in the race that makes Yonkers his home track.

Still, Bee A Magician’s impressive career record may entitle her to be post time favorite but in no way guarantees her a trip to the winner’s circle.

The French have had a lot to say in the past about International excellence and Timoko (post 4) is the lone representative carrying the colors of France. According to his connections, the more than $3.7 million winner with maternal connections to 1984-5 Roosevelt International winner Lutind’Isigny has been nursing a foot injury. Timoko last raced in June and last won a race in March. Still, there is always reason for optimism given the obvious class he has exuded throughout his European career.

Those on these shores that witnessed Commander Crowe’s impressive Breeders Crown triumph last year after a second-place finish in the $250,000 International Preview at Yonkers last year, know the value of class.

Speaking of last year’s preview, returning champion Natural Herbie has been asked to do the unthinkable again on Saturday. Last year from post seven driver-trainer Verlin Yoder was able to overcome an impressive group that included Sebastian K, Commander Crowe and Bee A Magician. Natural Herbie will be asked to do the same thing from that difficult post this year. The big difference however is not just the level of competition he must face, but the larger field that might make finding a tuck in the front group impossible.

From what can be gleaned from the International horses, BBS Sugarlight may be one of the more talented speed horses in the group. Unfortunately for him a second tier spot in post nine will limit his options in the early stages and may in fact keep him from ever seeing the top.

Mosaique Face enters the race in brilliant form. That said, he drew post eight and will need to show manners and speed to get through the first bend and have a chance at victory. What Mosaique Face does have on his side is a pedigree rich in International Trot history. One of two entries in the race from Sweden, Mosaique Face gets the benefit of early export of American trotting bloodlines to his country of birth. Mosaique Face is a direct descendant on his maternal side to 1973-74 Roosevelt International Trot champion Delmonica Hanover.

The International has been scheduled as race four with a 3:10 p.m. post time. The 13-race card offers a $75,000 guaranteed pick five pool with $25,000 of seeded money. The sequence starts in race two.