Saturday, July 8, 2023

One race after Jiggy Jog S strolled to victory in the final for the Graduate Series Trot, the tandem of driver Dexter Dunn and trainer Ake Svanstedt united on another odds-on promise in Stonebridge Helios and secured the spoils in the $240,000 Graduate Series Pace – for pacing 4-year-olds – on Saturday night (July 8) at The Meadowlands.

Dunn floated Stonebridge Helios forward in a first-turn skirmish led by I Did It Myway to a :26 first quarter. Dreamfair Arnie B edged off the pylons to the backstretch sweeping to the lead before Stonebridge Helios seized control just before a :53.4 half. Mad Max Hanover, the 3-1 second choice, followed the flow but then raced uncovered and pressed Stonebridge Helios to the final turn.

Though Mad Max Hanover only challenged briefly, and he began backtracking midway through the final turn. Stonebridge Helios meanwhile attempted to scoot clear through three-quarters in 1:21.2, but grew leg weary in the last eighth. Dunn held the 4-year-old stallion by Sunshine Beach together through the lane as he strolled three-quarters of a length in front at the finish of a 1:48.1 mile. Dreamfair Arnie B vacated the pocket and held second from a headstrong Trendy Teen charging for third with I Did It Myway back in fourth.

“I wanted to try and get him on the front – he was so good winning in [1:]47 on the front,” Dexter Dunn said after the race. “I had Timmy [Tetrick and Mad Max Hanover] inside of me that can go out with fast speed, too. But once we got out of the gate quicker than him, the plan was to keep going forward, get him on the front and get him churning on the bit. It worked out.

“Coming off the last turn, he was travelling pretty good, but I could still hear horses on my back – Toddy [McCarthy and Dreamfair Arnie B] was still travelling pretty good behind me. I just let him roll. He’s a big strong boy and he fought on really good.”

Ake Svanstedt trains Stonebridge Helios, who moved into their barn at the start of his 4-year-old season. He competes for owners John Fleischman and breeder Angie Stiller, and has now won 12 times from 21 outings while accruing $583,605 in earnings. He paid $3.40 to win.