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In Harness: Khaosan Road Wins The Dexter Cup At Freehold

Vicki Wright/World Wide

Khaosan Road never relinquished the
lead on his way to a one-length win
over favorite Espresso in 1:57.4.

(Courtesy of USTA Media Relations)

Freehold, NJ — Khaosan Road went to the front from post one at the start of Saturday’s (May 6) $137,775 Dexter Cup and never relinquished the lead on his way to a one-length win over favorite Espresso in 1:57.4 at Freehold Raceway. Candy Bomber finished third.

Khaosan Road, driven by Scott Zeron, was making his seasonal debut for trainer Ake Svanstedt after a limited 2-year-old campaign. The gelding’s victory in the Dexter, the year’s first Grand Circuit event for 3-year-old male trotters, was his second in five career starts and increased his earnings to $81,697.

“Post one makes it easier for everyone on the half-mile track,” assistant trainer Sarah Svanstedt said. “He was fast, and he behaved. I was surprised he was so good gaited on this small track because he’s a big horse. He fought from the start to the finish, so I’m very happy and pleased with him.”

After taking the lead, Khaosan Road set fractions of :29, :59.1, and 1:28.1. He fended off a first-over challenge from Designer Drink and kept pocket-sitting Espresso at bay down the stretch.

“The trip was good,” said Zeron, who also won a division of the Lady Suffolk Stakes on Saturday at Freehold. “Once we got through the first turn, it looked like we were going to take command of the race. I just stayed with the first-up horse and when it came time down the lane, I asked him and he responded. He was great.”

Khaosan Road is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc. and Little E LLC. The son of International Moni-Jewels In The Sand was bred by Kelly Duval Lacaille. He is not eligible to the $1 million Hambletonian Stakes at The Meadowlands in August.

“He had some soreness issues last year, so he had fewer starts,” Svanstedt said. “But he’s trained back great. I think he’s grown into his big body and is ready for 2023.”

Khaosan Road, the 3-1 second choice, paid $8.40 to win.

Sadie Hanover won the fastest of the day’s two divisions of the Lady Suffolk Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters, breezing from gate-to-wire to defeat On The House by 10-1/4 lengths in 1:56.3. Rhiannon Hanover finished third.

Zeron drove Sadie Hanover for trainer Linda Toscano and owners The Bay’s Stable, Blue Ridge Stable, Carmen Iannacone, and Gary Cocco. The daughter of Chapter Seven-Southwind Percy, who was making her seasonal debut, was bred by Hanover Shoe Farms. She has won two of six lifetime races and earned $31,762 after adding her share of the division’s $28,725 purse.

Sent off as the 8-5 co-favorite, the Hambletonian Oaks-eligible Sadie Hanover paid $5.40 to win. The remaining co-favorite, Canterbury Hanover, was among three fillies to go off stride in the race.

The first division of the Lady Suffolk went to Italian-bred Emira Mil, who rallied in the stretch after dropping back from second in the last turn to win by three-quarters of a length over Ruth Honig in 1:57.3. Pembroke Moni was third in the $27,725 event.

Trainer Ake Svanstedt drove Emira Mil, a Hambletonian Oaks-eligible filly making her seasonal debut, for owner Pimpicks Inc. The daughter of Face Time Bourbon-Sunshine Bi was bred by Pimpicks SRL. She has won two of eight career starts and earned $48,397.

Emira Mil paid $4.60 to win as the 6-5 favorite.

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