Two-year-old trotter headlines field in $109,940 Simpson Stakes Friday, October 24
VERNON, NY – On Friday, October 24, world champion colt Centurion ATM travels to Vernon Downs to headline three divisions of the Simpson Stakes for two-year-old trotters. Four other divisions featuring freshman filly trotters and colt and filly pacers make up the thirteen-race card that features purses totaling more than $140,000. Racing begins at 6:45 p.m.
This year, Centurion ATM has been carving his path to stardom. In just his fourth career start on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands, the two-year-old son of SJ’s Caviar set a world record when he won the $355,500 Peter Haughton Memorial by more than three lengths in a time of 1:53.2. Centurion ATM, trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, finished a close second and third most recently in a pair of starts during the Grand Circuit meet at The Red Mile in Lexington.
“He hasn’t raced in three weeks and we needed to get a race into him because we didn’t want to take him up to Canada,” stated assistant trainer Bernie Noren. “He’s our best two-year-old and we are pointing him for the Breeders Crown. We think Vernon Downs is a great track, especially for young horses.”
Owners Knutsson Trotting and Courant A B purchased Centurion ATM at the Harrisburg Sale last fall for $100,000. His siblings include Triumphant Caviar, a winner of nearly $800,000 and former Kentucky Sires Stakes champion Prayer Session.
“He has the right look, the right conformation, and we knew we’d have to pay that much for a horse as good looking and with as good of a family as he has,” continued Noren. “But his greatest asset is that he has the desire to win and a great set of lungs.”
While Centurion ATM’s stable mate and trotter of the fastest mile in history, Sebastian K, didn’t gain notoriety until he was an older horse, Noren said he sees at least one similarity between the two horses: “Centurion ATM broke the world record at the Meadowlands and also raced in Lexington barefoot, just like Sebastian K does.” Sebastian K has earned nearly $3 million in purses in his lifetime.
Noren said he looks forward to racing Centurion ATM this Friday at Vernon Downs to prepare for the $5.4 million Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event. After the Breeders Crown on November 21-22 at the Meadowlands, Noren said his young trotter will spend the winter in Florida to prepare for a run at The Hambletonian in August of 2015.
Vernon Downs is a 61-year-old harness racing track in beautiful Vernon, New York, 40 minutes east of Syracuse. The racing season continues on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through November 1. For more information please visit vernondowns.com.