08/27/2015 1:02PM

Yonkers: Two starters confirmed for International Trot

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After two decades, the return of Yonkers Raceway’s International Trot is within sight, thus it makes perfect sense that the field of world-class participants is beginning to take shape.

With just under seven weeks until the million-dollar event—Saturday afternoon, Oct. 10th, to  be precise—the connections of Bee a Magician and Magic Tonight have offered unqualified commitments.

Bee a Magician, the triple millionairess and 2013 Harness Horse of the Year, has found herself right at home in Westchester. In four Yonkers’ starts, the 5-year-old daughter of Kadabra won three of them, setting an aged-group track record each time.

“We’re honored to be invited,” said Richard (Nifty) Norman, Bee a Magician’s trainer. “She’s proven she gets around Yonkers very well and we have no reason to think that won’t continue.”

Magic Tonight has “2015 Elitlopp winner” stamped on his business card, so obviously, he means business. The 6-year-old son of Andover Hall has earned more than $1.3 million, taking into account his both-sides-of-the-ocean performances.

Yonkers’ International Trot Selection Committee (no relation to that of the NCAA) is continuing its due diligence, with further invitations/acceptances to be announced in the not-too-distant future.  

Again, this is a special Saturday afternoon card, with a proposed first post of 2 PM (pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission). As of this writing, the International—scheduled for 10 starters at a distance of mile-and-a-quarter—would go as the program’s fourth race (approximate post time 3:25 PM).

The International Trot would also be the main cog in a high-end, Pick 5 guaranteed pool (exact number TBA), while Yonkers is surrounding the event with an Oktoberfest on the track apron as well as a hat giveaway (while supplies last) and drawings for terrific prizes, including a vacation to the winning horse’s home country.

Purse distribution would be the same as all events (winner-50 percent, 2nd-25 percent, 3rd-12 percent, 4th-8 percent, 5th-5 percent). Non-cashing overseas entrants receive $37,500 via a purse supplement, while non-cashing North American entrants receive $10,000.  

“It’s our pleasure to bring back the International Trot,” Raceway president Timothy J. Rooney said. “It’s been a signature New York race since it debuted at Roosevelt Raceway back in 1959. We took over the race after Roosevelt closed, and it was very well received.

“With Yonkers now a major player in the overseas simulcast market, we feel this is the best time to showcase our track to the world by again inviting the best trotters in the world to race here. We have had tremendous cooperation from our horsemen, and all of us are looking forward to it.”