From the coveted pole position, Vivid Wise As catapulted into an early lead. But, he faced immediate pressure from Fashion Frenzie driven by Louis-Philippe Roy. The two trotted neck-and-neck, clocking a quarter-mile time of 28 3/5. Meanwhile, Etonnant, guided by Anthony Barrier, struggled with a slow start from post two. But, then made a daring move to claim the first-over position, challenging the leader as they hit the half-mile marker.
As anticipated, the showdown between Vivid Wise As and Etonnant unfolded. Vivid Wise As skillfully utilized his rail position to keep Etonnant pinned on the outside through three-quarters in 1:26 3/5. However, Etonnant’s stamina waned beyond that point. This allowed It’s Academic, driven by David Miller, to mount a spirited three-wide charge from fourth-over, bringing him level with Vivid Wise As as they reached the mile marker in 1:55 2/5.
An exciting race with an expected end
It’s Academic’s challenge proved short-lived, and Vivid Wise As accelerated to victory over his rivals in the final quarter. Jiggy Jog S, who started from the trailing post nine and shadowed Vivid Wise As, clinched the runner-up position. Adding to the Italian celebration, Bengurion Jet, steered by Vivid Wise As’s trainer, Alessandro Gocciadoro, surged to claim third place. Meanwhile, It’s Academic settled for fourth, and Australia’s Aldebaran Zeus completed the top five.
Bred by Atlantic Trot Inc. and owned by Bivans SRL and Bruni Racing Team AB, the winner showcased his remarkable career record. This race secures his 35th win in 86 starts and surpassing earnings of $3,626,866. He was the 5-2 favorite, paying $7.50 to win, and led to a $56 exacta and a $646 trifecta.
The $1 million MGM Yonkers International Trot lived up to its reputation as an exciting and prestigious event in the world of harness racing.