World’s Best Harness Horses Compete at Yonkers Raceway and Norway Outpaces Former Champion of Italy to Take Home $1 Million at the MGM Yonkers International Trot
The win by Cokstile, his 28th victory, brings total career winnings to more than $2 million
Two exciting undercards with rich $250,000 purses going to When Dovescry in the MGM Robert Miecuna Invitational Trot and None Bettor A who set a world record in the MGM Aria Invitational Pace
Yonkers, NY – The MGM Yonkers International Trot returned to Yonkers Raceway Saturday, October 15, 2022, bigger and better than ever. Cokstile, representing Norway sent off at odds of 20-1, rallied off a hot tempo and drew clear in the stretch to win the $1 million MGM Yonkers International Trot in 2:23 minutes for the mile and a quarter race. This was the first International Trot to take place at historic Yonkers Raceway at Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts since before the pandemic in 2019. The race was also the first International Trot since MGM Resorts invested more than $500,000 in the regrading and reconstruction of Yonkers Raceway to facilitate an enhanced racing experience.
Denmark’s Ecurie D was driven by Ake Svanstedt and raced right to the lead from post five and led his nine rivals by open lengths, with Tycoon Conway Hall driven by Kasper Foget gapped in the pocket and Cokstile driven byVincenzo Dell’Annunziata was behind him in third. The outer tier was led by Stoletheshow driven byFrode Hamre, but he couldn’t keep touch with Ecurie D and clogged the flow. Going to three-quarters, Tim Tetrick sent Back Of The Neck three-wide off the cover of Stoletheshow to take up the first-over position, giving Cokstile room to slide off the pylons to follow him. Back Of The Neck and Cokstile dueled around the last turn after overtaking Ecurie D, but it was clear late on the bend that Cokstile had more to give, and he showed that in the stretch as he powered away to score by a four lengths. Back Of The Neck was second, It’s Academic driven byDavid Miller rallied from well off-the-pace for third, and Lovedbythemasses driven byTodd McCarthy collected fourth. Kennedy S driven byJason Bartlett finished fifth.
"We believed he could win. In the Lotteria [his last race in Italy on October 2] he had a little problem with one of his feet," said co-owner Stefano Paladini. "He never lost to Ecurie D in Europe. In the first position, he is very strong. He’s an aggressive horse who likes to push and push and push. When he races in the front from the beginning, it is too much for him."
A winner of races around the globe, including the 2020 Elitlopp race, Cokstile is a 9-year-old stallion by Quite Easy and is trained by Mattia Orlando for owner Scuderia Santese SRL. Cokstile posted his 28th career victory, and has now earned $2,004,432. He paid $42.60 to win and keyed a $274.50 exacta and a $3,865.00 trifecta.
After the International Trot, two exciting supporting stakes were held on the historic day of racing and included a world record. In Saturday afternoon’s $250,000 MGM Aria Invitational Pace at Yonkers Raceway, the winner was None Bettor A, who rolled over the mile and a quarter distance in a world record 2:20.3.
In the $250,000 MGM Robert Miecuna Invitational Trot, a race named for the former long-time Racing Secretary Robert Miecuna who retired at the end of last year, When Dovescry showed the way through an easy clip and out-sprinted her rivals to the wire to score in 2:26.4 for the mile and a quarter distance.
“It was an exciting day of harness racing at Yonkers Raceway, and MGM Resorts is honored to support the legacy of the International Trot and the importance of the race to the sport. I congratulate everyone for such a successful event, and we look forward to next year’s global showcase,” said Ed Domingo, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts.
Since 1959, the International Trot has historically been a showcase of harness racing, hosting driver, trainer, and equine royalty from across the globe. The International Trot officially moved to Yonkers Raceway in 1988 and was contested as a mile-and-a-quarter event on the historic half-mile track for a few years before being revived in 2015 after a 20-year hiatus. Now officially rechristened as the MGM Yonkers International Trot and one of only two million-dollar races in the United States, along with the Hambletonian, it is one of the few stakes races fully funded by the host track and requires no financial commitment from owners.
Live racing continues at Yonkers Raceway Monday-Friday evenings with a first-race post time of 6:55 PM. Races are simulcast and available for viewing and wagering online at www.EmpireCityBets.com where racing fans can create a free account and view live racing at Yonkers Raceway and tracks across the country.
Empire City operates daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. For more information, along with the latest updates, please visit www.empirecitycasino.com.
About Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts
Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts is one of the largest entertainment and gaming destinations in the northeast, featuring nearly 4,700 of the hottest slots, electronic three card poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat and sic bo table games. Empire City Casino also offers guests year-round harness racing and international simulcasting. A selection of dining options will satisfy even the most discerning palate with fan favorite fare at The Pub, and convenient delicious options at Lil’ Cocina and the Big Kitchen International Food Court. Visit Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts located at 810 Yonkers Avenue (off I-87 at Central Avenue) Yonkers, NY, Westchester County, open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Empire City Casino is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM). For more information, visit www.empirecitycasino.com or call 914.968.4200.
Josh Knoller, firstname.lastname@example.org, (201) 294-9586
Nick Nicholas, email@example.com, (212) 938-0005