Two-time divisional champion Enough Talk will make his second start off the bench in the $40,000 prep for the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial on Saturday night at the
Enough Talk won the Titan Cup and Breeders Crown en route to being named the 2010 Older Trotter of the Year in the United States, his second divisional title in three years. The eight-year-old gelding earned his first Dan Patch Award in 2008 after a campaign which included the fastest trotting mile in history, 1:49.3, at Colonial Downs. Enough Talk, trained by Peter Kleinhans, will make his second start of the season in the Cutler prep. The career winner of $1.8 million will start from Post 5 with his regular partner, Ron Pierce. The nine Cutler prep entrants will join Slave Dream in the estimated $220,000 final on May 14.
"I'm very happy with the way Enough Talk has come back this year at age eight." Kleinhans said. "Soundness-wise, he's as good as he's ever been. As far as talent goes, we'll have to see when he gets tested again."
Enough Talk made his 2011 debut in an open trot at Pocono Downs on April 22. He finished second after drafting behind the winner Arch Madness most of the way.
"He had a perfect comeback race at Pocono where he got covered up behind Arch Madness and didn't have to get used too much," Kleinhans said. "He finished with trot and was within himself. We were all very happy with that one."
Kleinhans is hopeful that a strong performance in the Cutler will lead to an invitation to compete in the Elitlopp, Sweden's most prestigious race, for the fourth straight year.
"I'm hoping we can go back to Sweden again this year, but we haven't been invited yet," Kleinhans said. "I think they're going to be watching him in the next few starts. This is the year I really feel he can show his best over there, and I certainly hope he can get invited.
"I think the best way to do it is to go straight into the Elitlopp without any prep races over there," he continued. "That way I can be around him right up until the race as opposed to having him with other people in different countries. There is still a lot of luck involved. I have a new assistant from Sweden, and he would go over with the horse."
Enough Talk struggled with soreness throughout his European campaign last season and failed to make the Elitlopp final, in which he had finished third in 2008.
"In Europe last year, he was hitting his knees, and we later determined that was caused by foot soreness," Kleinhans explained. "In the Elitlopp, it manifested itself to where the driver [Johnny Takter] had to grab into him and couldn't really ask him. Plus, he got boxed in. When he got back to the U.S. we put knee boots on him, and he was fine until he threw a knee boot in the Maple Leaf Trot, and that's what made him break. What happened was his knee was swollen up from the Elitlopp, and when the swelling went down the knee boot slid off."
Upon his return from Europe, Enough Talk swept the Titan Cup prep and $235,750 final at the Meadowlands.
"Those three European trips haven't affected him at all, and it seems his first start back from there is always his best race," Kleinhans noted. "Last year, his 1:51 mile in the Titan Cup Prep was a tremendous highlight. He sat behind the heavy favourite Arch Madness, and we were something crazy like 15-1. He was able to just sling shot out of the pocket. It was definitely a sharp effort. The Titan Cup final was slower (1:52), but it was such a tough, first-over trip, and I was extremely proud of his guts that night."
Enough Talk finished second in the Nat Ray Invitational on Hambletonian Day and sealed his divisional title with a smashing 1:52 victory in the Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs. He ended the season with a record of five wins, four seconds and a third from 14 North American starts, and $641,022 in earnings.
"In the Nat Ray, he kind of got boxed in until too late and finished second (to Slave Dream); although, I don't think he was at his best that day," Kleinhans said. "His feet were starting to bother him. We sent him down to Fair Hill, Virginia to have his feet worked on, and he came back great, but then we raced him twice at Vernon Downs and he was sick. He got healthy in time for the Breeders Crown, and he put everything together for a great race there."
The Cutler prep shares the spotlight with the $50,000 Graduate elimination for older pacers on Saturday night's 14-race card, which will get underway at 7:00 p.m. Gates open 9:30 a.m. for the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby Day card from Churchill Downs. Meadowlands Racetrack will operate on a Thursday-Saturday live racing schedule in May, with the addition of a 1:10 p.m. Mother's Day matinee on Sunday, May 8.