Takter Talks Trotters; Family Fun Begins

Published: May 28, 2015 12:22 am EDT

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) announced the launch of 'Family Night' celebrations starting this Friday, May 29 and continuing through August.

To celebrate the long history of harness racing at The Meadows, the organizations are offering live racing, along with various interactive events and activities for guests of all ages.

Friday evenings will feature inflatable bounce houses and kid’s activities on the apron. Guests also will have the chance to ride on jog carts and inside the mobile starting gate, as well as an opportunity to interact with a racehorse on the apron. Admission is free, and the MSOA also will provide free hot dogs and ice cream vouchers to all kids 12 and under.

“After a long winter, the MSOA looks forward to an exciting summer filled with events each Friday night at the races,” said Kim Hankins, executive director of the MSOA. “The racing schedule is full of Pennsylvania Sires and Stallions Stakes, which attract the best horses in Pennsylvania, many of which are nationally ranked harness stars. The events also give our industry an opportunity to showcase the wonderful world of harness racing to our next generation of fans with our fun-filled family activities.”

“These weekly events are a great option for families looking for unique entertainment throughout the summer,” said Sean Sullivan, vice president and general manager of The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. “While most people know us for our casino, The Meadows in fact offers a complement of family-friendly activities including live racing, bowling and many other live entertainment options.”

This Friday, fans will enjoy three divisions of a $191,217 Pennsylvania Sires Stake, known as the Super Bowl and headlined by one of the marquee performers in the business. Pinkman was voted the best two-year-old male trotter in the U.S. last year. He captured the Valley Victory and Breeders Crown and has banked over $600,000 for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. He launched his sophomore campaign with an easy-as-you-please win in a PASS division at Harrah’s Philadelphia.

“That’s probably as impressive a three-year-old debut as I’ve ever had,” Takter said of the Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster gelding. “He was absolutely scary good that day. He’s coming back awesome. He’s kind of a laid-back horse, not flashy in his work. As soon as he sees the starting gate, he puts on his game face.”

Pinkman leaves from post one in the third division, race eight, with Yannick Gingras driving, and he won’t be Takter’s only shot in the stakes. The 2014 Trainer of the Year is sending out five horses; here’s his take on the others:

- Uncle Lasse (race one, post six, Brett Miller), a full brother to 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry: “He was vicious in his win at Harrah’s Philly. I expect him to do very well. Pinkman has been making the headlines. Over the next 30 days we’ll see which one develops more.”

- The Bank (race three, post one, Gingras): “He’s still under development, but I like him. He’s come back a much better horse this year.”

- Walter White (race three, post two, Miller): “He didn’t like the track at Harrah’s Philly, and he had a bad post. He’ll probably race better at The Meadows.”

- Whom Shall I Fear (race eight, post seven, TBA): “He’s a full brother to Father Patrick and meant to be a good horse. But he was very immature at two, so we took an easy path with him. I wouldn’t rule him out of any race.”

There are no coupled entries in the Super Bowl, so all Takter’s horses will race as separate wagering interests. First post Friday is 6:55 p.m.

(With files from The Meadows)