Saturday, May 20, 2023

Up Your Deo stunned a field scratched to 10 to win the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) second leg for sophomore trotting colts at 43-1 on May 20 at The Meadowlands. The Walner colt recorded his first victory defeating favorite Oh Well in a duel to the finish of a 1:52 mile.

The field left the gate swiftly with trotters three wide pushing for the lead. The trio of Dire Straits, Up Your Deo from the second tier and Kimmeridgian settled in a line past a :27.1 quarter. But, Oh Well demanded the top spot and soared through the backstretch to take control.

Oh Well went smoothly through a :56 half and looked well enough to motor home while posting three-quarters in 1:25.2 until Up Your Deo took after him to pose a serious challenge down the stretch. Up Your Deo lunged forward continuously in the stretch to overpower Oh Well by a head in the shadow of the finish pole. Tactical Approach, the crowd’s second choice in the wagering, finished third and Celebrity Bambino, off a first-over push around the far turn, took fourth.

Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt, Suleyman Yuksel Stables, Deo Volente Farms and Van Camp Trotting Corp own Up Your Deo, whose winning share of the purse upped his bankroll to $82,687. The colt’s first win was worth $89.60 to his backers.


Co-owner Mike Gulotta of Deo Volente Farms said he was not shocked that the colt’s first victory came in this race. “He won his qualifier,” Gulotta said, “and [went] his last quarter in :27.1. Sarah [Svanstedt] said he’s ‘really, really good and Ake said he’s easy to drive [and] it’s easy to look like a great driver when you have an easy horse to drive. We bred him. We bought the mare for like $35,000 and bred it to Walner and got lucky.”


Up Your Deo was sold at Lexington for $100,000 and Gulotta was offered to buy in as an owner for 20 percent? “And I said ‘Sure, why not?’ It’s not too often you can stay in on a horse you bred.”


The connections had high hopes for Up The Deo. At 2 he went in 1:52.4 and was competitive in the Valley Victory and Kindergartens but was winless at the end of his freshman campaign.


The first of two $30,000 divisions of the NJSS for the sophomore filly trotters went to Secret Volo. Brian Sears drove her to a 1:53.2 personal mark by a head over favorite Mambacita. Marcus Melander trains the Walner product. Heights Stable, Rick T. Wahlstedt and Kenneth Kjellgren share ownership. She paid $4.00 to win. Tactical Mounds finished third.


Special Way with driver-trainer Ake Svanstedt won the second filly division by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:53.4. The Walner filly’s ninth win in a row was worth $2.20 to win. Brittany Farms LLC, Marvin Katz and Al J. Libfeld are the owners. Walner Payton was second. Blonde Bombshell was third.