Celebrating the 26 previous editions of the Cutler Memorial with 26 fun facts

by Bob Heyden

Before they take to the track for the 27th edition of the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial on Saturday (May 18) at The Meadowlands, here are 26 fun facts about the race’s first 26 editions:

1. Twice Ake Svanstedt has set the Cutler stakes mark. In 2014 with Sebastian K in 1:50.2 in Svanstedt’s debut and then again in 2022 with Ecurie D (born in Denmark) in 1:49.1 which equaled The Meadowlands all-age record.

2. Svanstedt is the only trainer/driver to win the Cutler having four to his credit: the aforementioned pair and Resolve twice in 2016-17. He was the last driver or trainer to win back-to-back. Both Earl Cruise (2000-01, Magician) and Trond Smedshammer (2006-07, Sand Vic) had done it previously.

3. Muscle Hill has three Cutler credits and Hambletonian champs have sired seven of the 26 Cutler winners.

4. The last two winning sires in the Cutler were Infinitif (Ecurie D) and Love You (Venerate).

5. In 2009, Lucky Jim won the Cutler and became the first ever Meadowlands winner of 10-straight races locally (trotters).

6. The very first winner of the Cutler in 1998 was B Cor Pete, a returnee from the Amish.

7. Once, just once, a father-daughter combination each won the Cutler. Kadabra won in 2003 and Bee A Magician in 2015.

8. The 2002 Cutler Memorial runner-up was Pegasus Spur who was also the Hambletonian runner-up the year before. Oddly, Pegasus Spur never won a race at The Meadowlands but earned well over 400G locally.

9. Dave Miller’s very first stakes winner in New Jersey came with Magician in the 1999 Cashman. Miller then won the Cutler back-to-back with Earl Cruise’s Magician in 2000-01.

10. The fastest Cutler opening quarter was :25.4 in 2020 as Manchego was getting the lead in a race where her arch rival Atlanta would wind up besting her by a half-length in a new stakes-best 1:50.1 on July 4. That date was moved back due to COVID-19.

11. Walter “Junior” Haynes was second in 2021 to Manchego with Majestic Player A, an Australian bred. Haynes is Indiana based.

12. Speaking of Indiana, 2021 Hoosier freshman star Dover In Motion, now 5, was one of the 17 that had paid in to the Cutler as of March 15, 2024.

13. In 1997, the year Arthur Cutler passed, his Cyclone Annie won a New Jersey Sire Stakes race just prior to his passing. A year later, this horse-lover supreme had a race named in his honor which brought together the very best free for all trotters.

14. There was just a seven-horse field in 2016 Cutler, won by Resolve, but The Meadowlands track-record holder (1:49.4 from 2015) J L Cruze was one of them. Incredibly, the 13YO is still at it.

15) Females won it 4 times from 2015-2021-in the other three editions in that period of time there were no ladies entered.

16. Buck I St Pat was second in the 2011 Cutler. She was the three-time defending “Trotting Mare of the Year.” She competed for Team Burke, who were also second last year with yet another Dan Patch winner It’s Academic.

17. Brian Sears is a seven-time winner of the Cutler.

18. Trond Smedshammer won the Cutler back-to-back in 2006-07 with Sand Vic and was later second back-to-back with Arch Madness, who at $4.3 million was the richest ever Cutler performer. Arch Madness did capture the 2010 edition.

19. Cruzado Dela Noche, an also-ran in the 2015 Hambletonian, in 2019 had not raced since the previous November but still got it done at 8-1 for that same year’s Hambletonian favorite duo of Sears/Marcus Melander (Greenshoe). That year they went 1 and 1/8th miles in the Cutler in 2:07.3.

20. Cuatro De Julio was timed in 1:49.2 a strong pace-setting second in the 2022 edition. A temperature of 86 degrees sure helped. Easily the best time for any non-Cutler winner.

21. In 2000, Fern was eighth as the very first female to tackle the boys in the Cutler.

22. Mystical Sunshine, the first female to get money in the Cutler, was fifth for Chris Ryder in 2006. She would win consecutive Breeders Crowns.

23. May I? Nobody anywhere has ever trotted faster in May than Ecurie D’s 1:49.1 mile in the 2022 Cutler.

24. Sevruga in 2013 held on for Team Miller in no doubt the most thrilling finish in Cutler history. Guccio was in that photo, not unlike the year prior when he was a foot back of Market Share in the last of the $1,500,000 Hambletonians. Modern Family also right there.

25. Three geldings, likely the three best of the 21st century, were all factors in the Cutler with approximately $11.5 million in combined earnings: Mr Muscleman, Magician and Arch Madness.

26. The first Swedes to show the way in the Cutler were Berndt Lindstedt and Jan Johnson in ١٩٩٩ taking edition No. 2 with Kick Tail.