Day At The Track

Denmark's Kasper Foget enjoying USA racing

04:54 AM 15 Apr 2021 NZST
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Kasper Foget, harness racing
Kasper Foget and the trotter Sermon
Ken Weingartner Photo

Kasper Foget has enjoyed success in Europe as a harness racing trainer and driver and now the 27-year-old native of Denmark is hoping to do the same in North America.

He is off to a good start.

Foget is working as second trainer for Per Engblom in New Jersey and also picking up drives behind some of the stable's horses. He has driven in 31 races since making his U.S. debut in 2019, winning seven and hitting the board on nine other occasions.

Last year, Foget's victories included a Grand Circuit score behind Sermon in the Circle City Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters at Harrah's Hoosier Park. The tandem also captured the Kentucky Commonwealth Series final at Red Mile.

"He's a great hand in my barn that's passionate about the business," Engblom said. "As a driver, he's patient and knows where the finish line is. He reads up well before the races and makes very few mistakes."

Foget made a name for himself as a top young driver in Europe prior to arriving in the States. His family owned racehorses and as Foget got older he began driving and working in a stable as a second trainer.

In 2018, Foget won the European Championship for Apprentices (under the age of 25) one year after finishing second in the competition.

"That was a thrill," Foget said. "And it was in Russia, so it was a new and exciting experience."

A vacation several years ago to Florida, where he spent time with trainer Paul Kelley, led to Foget beginning his new chapter at Engblom's 35-horse stable.

"At first it was just seeing the United States, and seeing how people do things over here, especially with the young horses," Foget said. "When I got the opportunity to work with Per, it was a big opportunity. I had no idea I was going to drive in races. Everything just turned out really nice."

Foget enjoys driving but at this point is in no rush to make it the focus of his career.

"I really like driving races and if I could be a big catch driver, why not," Foget said. "But I also really like working with the horses and training them. I like to watch them develop. That's what I fell in love with. For now, that's what I'm practicing more. I think we've got some nice horses and want to do good with them.

"Of course, if Per can use me (as a driver) with the right horses, maybe they need my point of view with the horse, then maybe he can use me. If anybody else asked me to drive, I'm not going to say no, but my job with Per is my first priority."

Foget's top moments so far in the U.S. have come with Sermon. In addition to winning the Circle City and Kentucky Commonwealth Series final, they were third in the Pegasus and a division of the Bluegrass stakes. They also were fourth in the Carl Erskine Trot.

"From only driving a couple of races to going to the (Grand Circuit) with all those good horses, that was a nice experience," Foget said. "That was exciting, for sure. When you are sitting behind amazing racehorses, I really like that.

"But," he concluded, "I enjoy it all."

by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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