by Frank Carulli
October 8, 2019
Cruzado dela Noche, representing Sweden, sprung a 30-1 shocker in the $1 million International Trot at Yonkers Raceway last year and he’s back to defend the title this Saturday, Oct. 12, in a field that features two Hambletonian winners and multiple stakes winners from nine countries.
Cruzado dela Noche sat a good second-over trip for Hall of Fame driver Brian Sears and got up in the closing yards to edge Lionel (Norway), who was parked first-over a long way in the 1-1/4-mile test and forged to the lead in mid-stretch. Lionel is back for revenge and his versatility could come in handy in the crowded, speed-laden lineup.
Atlanta, the 2018 Hambletonian winner, and Guardian Angel AS, fresh off a victory in the $600,000 Maple Leaf Trot at Woodbine-Mohawk Park, carry the U.S. hopes. Atlanta prepped at half-mile oval earlier this month and “she did everything I wanted, especially around the turns,” according to driver Yannick Gingras. “I made sure to buzz her around the turns.” Guardian Angel AS benefits from a home-course advantage and Hall of Famer Tim Tetrick in the bike.
Marion Marauder (Canada) won the 2016 Trotting Triple Crown for driver Scott Zeron, ran second to record-setter Twister Bi in the 2017 International and set the pace until early stretch last year before tiring.
Slide So Easy (Denmark) is a 39-race winner at age 10 and was the first of the international contingent to arrive in the U.S.
Usa Josselyn (Switzerland) and Bahia Quesnot (France) finished 1-2 in the recent European championship for mares at Solvalia racetrack. Bahia Quesnot also boasts a recent runner-up finish to superstar Propulsion.
Zacon Gio (Italy) was visually impressive in his most recent stakes victory that improved his record to 20-28. He arrives with an 11-race winning streak.
Norton Commander (Germany) is a lightly-raced 5-year-old but has won half of his 24 starts.
The 41st running of the International will be the feature on the card this Saturday, Oct. 12. Post time is 1 p.m. and the International is scheduled to be in motion at 3 p.m. The special matinee program also features two, $250,000 Invitationals, the Dan Rooney Pace and Harry Harvey Trot.