Seven elite European trotters representing five countries landed safely Wednesday, October 4 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, ready to compete in the $1-million Yonkers International Trot taking place Saturday, October 14 at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway.
World class trotters from Denmark (2), Finland (1), Italy (2), France (1) and Sweden (1) were on board, and will join two of America’s best harness horses and one from Canada in the global trotting classic.
The European travelers departed from Liège Airport in eastern Belgium (close to the German city of Düsseldorf) and landed at JFK at approximately 7:20 a.m. ET after a nearly-nine hour transcontinental flight of 3,703.4 miles (5,960 kilometers).
Two-time International participants – Italian flag-carrier Oasis Bi and Sweden’s On Track Piraten – spearheaded the group of horses. A second Italian standout, Twister Bi, France’s Dreammoko, Denmark’s Tripolini VP and a pair from Finland – Midnight Hour and Shadow Woodland – completed the group that touched down on American soil.
Already on the continent, of course, are United States flag-carrier and defending champion Resolve, his “Team U.S.A.” counterpart In Secret, and Canada’s Marion Marauder.
The million-dollar event is 10 days away, plenty of time to get over any jetlag, before hitting the historic half-mile oval at Yonkers Raceway for the Saturday matinee card on October 14, featuring the 10 invitees racing 1 ¼ miles to the finish line and highly sought after title of Champion. First race post time will be 1 p.m. EST with the Yonkers International Trot slated as the ninth race with a post time of 4 p.m. EST.
The arriving group represents five of the seven countries that are vying for the attractive purse, which equals record bounty in the past two years as the highest purse in New York harness history. After arrival, the classy trotting septet was transported to Stewart Airport (Newburgh, NY) airport for a two-day quarantine. They will arrive at Yonkers Raceway this Friday, October 6.