Southwind Tyrion storms clear in FanDuel Championship Trot

Saturday, November 25, 2023

On the heels of his Breeders Crown victory, Åke Svanstedt trainee Southwind Tyrion showed only dirt and dust to his pursuers with a blowout win in the $350,000 FanDuel Championship Trot at the Meadowlands on Saturday night (Nov. 25).

Trainer-driver Svanstedt sped to the lead with Southwind Tyrion to a :27 first quarter while It’s Academic settled into the pocket ahead of Rattle My Cage in third. Svanstedt snuck a slight breather as the field stayed stagnant up the backside and clicked past the half in :55.3 before a two-wide charge got underway.

Tactical Approach pulled first to the final turn and rushed along the rim. It’s Academic soon pulled the pocket and supplied cover while upping pressure on Southwind Tyrion marching towards three-quarters. Once past three-quarters in 1:23.4, with Rattle My Cage jumping stride at the inside and Alrajah One IT making a break from fourth-over, Southwind Tyrion fled the scene. He widened his advantage from stride to stride in the closing eighth to clock a 1:51 win by 3-1/2 lengths. Tactical Approach, in his final race, finished second. It’s Academic took third and Take All Comers finished fourth.

“He raced good last time in the Breeders Crown also, but he’s been becoming better and better the last two or three months,” Svanstedt said. “I am a little surprised he can beat the best horses. He did good.”

A 5-year-old stallion by Muscle Hill, Southwind Tyrion has now won 13 races from 25 starts and earned $984,623 for owners S R F Stable, Åke Svanstedt, Knutsson Trotting, Brittany Farms & Riverview Racing. He paid $7.60, and Svanstedt said the stallion will likely return to race next year.

Meanwhile, Tactical Approach will make his way from the racetrack to the breeding shed following his runner-up performance against older foes. Nancy Takter trained the millionaire son of Tactical Landing, who retires with 12 victories from 24 starts, including his surprise win in the $1-million Hambletonian earlier this year.

“I’m honestly proud of the way he finished off the year, even tonight’s race,” Tactical Approach’s driver, Scott Zeron, said. “He’s done it every which way. I learned the hard way putting him on front one too many times with such a great group of 3-year-old trotters to race against. After I stopped doing all the dirty work, he started respecting it and it paid off.

Tactical Approach’s trainer, Nancy Takter, said during his retirement ceremony, “Once he finally learned how to race, he was really starting to grow into his own. He’s about at 85 percent of his development still, so it would’ve been nice to see him next year. I don’t think we got to see the best of him. He has an amazing stride and covers so much ground, and then he just has the determination to win. He’s been in a lot of spots where horses shouldn’t win from … to be able to sprint with such a big stride in such a short amount of track and get it done is just amazing.”

Tactical Approach will stand stud at Diamond Creek Farm of Pennsylvania in 2024.