Alrajah One IT debuts with a stunner in Crawford Farms

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Alrajah One IT introduced himself to North America in winning fashion, capturing Saturday’s (July 2) $147,000 Crawford Farms Open for older male trotters by 2-1/2 lengths over Lovedbythemasses in a stakes-record-equaling 1:50.4 at The Meadowlands. Ecurie D DK finished third and Forbidden Trade was fourth.

Alrajah One IT captured Saturday’s $147,000 Crawford Farms Open for older male trotters. Lisa photo.

The Italian-bred Alrajah One IT was a multiple Group 1 stakes-winner in Europe prior to joining the stable of Ake Svanstedt this season. The 6-year-old son of Maharajah-Mariu won 13 of 34 races overseas and earned $1.17 million.

Most eyes were focused on Alrajah One IT’s stablemate, Ecurie D DK, in the Crawford Farms Open. Sent off as the 1-9 favorite off a world-record win in May’s Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, the Svanstedt-driven 6-year-old was forced to battle through an opening quarter of :26.4 to get the lead Saturday. He remained on top through a :55.2 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters but could not maintain his advantage in the stretch following his six-week layoff.

Alrajah One IT was sixth throughout the first half of the race, then followed the first-over cover of Ahundreddollarbill around the last turn. Driven by Dexter Dunn, Alrajah One IT exploded through the lane, coming home in :25.3, to score the upset at odds of 18-1. Lovedbythemasses, who was second through much of the mile, nipped Ecurie D DK for second place at the wire.

“The race kind of came to him with those fractions,” said Sarah Svanstedt, the wife of Ake Svanstedt and the stable’s second trainer. “He had trained great; he had qualified quietly twice. I shouldn’t say I thought he could win the race right away, but I thought top three for sure. I’m very happy that he performed.

“It’s the best horse on the day that wins and I’m very impressed that he came like he did. I didn’t see him too much in Europe, but he beat some good horses over there. I’m happy he is showing up now.”

Alrajah One IT is owned by Scuderia My Horse Inc. and was bred by Luca Crosetti. He will be pointed toward the Breeders Crown and other Grand Circuit stakes this season.

“I’m happy that they took the chance,” Svanstedt said. “This is a great horse and it’s nice to have those coming overseas. I’m very happy for them.

“You never know before you start racing them, but he has been kind of uncomplicated from day one. He eats and drinks and likes to train. That makes the work easier for us.”

Alrajah One IT paid $39.20 to win.