Busy Stakes Weekend Ahead For Takter

Published: July 7, 2010 07:11 pm EDT

Jimmy Takter will send three horses into Saturday’s $573,770 Yonkers Trot at Yonkers Raceway, but that’s just part of his busy stakes Saturday at the races

. In addition to seeing Senor Glide, Hard Livin and On The Tab compete in the first leg of the Trotting Triple Crown, Takter will have Costa Rica in the Hudson Filly Trot at Yonkers and – across the Hudson River in New Jersey – Rockin Image in the eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace.

Of course, busy summer days are nothing new for Takter. Last week, Takter’s stable won both divisions of the Historic-Harriman Cup for two-year-old male trotters (with Zooming and Leader Of The Gang) and both divisions of the Historic-Goshen Cup for two-year-old male pacers (with Grams Legacy and Rollwithitharry).

Rockin Image, who is Takter’s entry in this weekend’s Meadowlands Pace elims, won a division of the Historic-Jersey Cup for three-year-old male pacers while Senor Glide and Hard Livin won their Yonkers Trot elimination races.

Takter also hit the board with four horses in other Historic Series races at the Meadowlands: Capri Hanover and So Perfect in divisions of the Debutante, Muscle Massive in the Dickerson Cup and Global Desire in the Acorn Stakes.

“Everything has been going great,” said Takter, whose stable in 2009 won $6.2 million in purses, which was good for third place among all trainers in North America. “There are a lot of big races coming up in the next 30 days, so it looks exciting.”

However, even though Takter was piling up wins last week, it was a difficult time away from the track. Takter’s son-in-law, Marcus Johansson, was involved in a driving accident at the Meadowlands during July 1 baby races and required emergency surgery for a ruptured spleen. Johansson, who Takter called, “my first man,” is married to Takter’s daughter, Nancy.

“It was very tough for us,” Takter said. “He’s doing better now, but at one point it looked like he might not be with us. He’s my son-in-law; he’s family. [Nancy] is working for me, too, and she went through a tough time here. It was very difficult.

“But the show still goes on.”

Takter, who has 50 horses racing, credited his staff for the stable’s success. Takter has 34 wins and $1 million so far this season.

“Everybody knows I expect the best, no matter what,” he said. “The crew stepped up big time. We’ve got to keep going and dig in and work harder. I’ve got a good crew and that’s the key.”

As for Saturday’s $573,770 Yonkers Trot at Yonkers Raceway, Takter’s three-horse entry of Senor Glide, Hard Livin, and On The Tab was made the 6-5 morning line favourite. The Yonkers Trot is the first jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown, followed by the Hambletonian (August 7 at the Meadowlands) and Kentucky Futurity (October 16 at the Red Mile).

Senor Glide enters the race off a head victory over Take My Picture in 1:58.4. Carnegie was third while Big Stick Lindy was fourth.

Last year, Senor Glide won the New Jersey Sire Stakes final at Freehold and a division of the Champlain Stakes. This year, he has one win in five starts as he was hampered by a breathing issue that required throat surgery. His Yonkers Trot elimination win followed nearly a month layoff.

“He raced very good and I expect him to step up a little bit for the final,” Takter said. “I was very happy with his effort.”

The son of Yankee Glide-Yankee Senorita will start from post No. 1 with driver Cat Manzi.

“I love Yankee Glides; he was the type of horse we like, a medium-sized horse,” Takter said. “I have Perry Soderberg who does the job for me of checking out the [yearlings] in the field. He went out to Fred Hertrich’s farm, saw this colt and liked him and the price was right – $35,000.”

Hard Livin captured his elim by three-quarters of a length over On The Tab in 1:59.2. He drew Post 5 and will be driven by Ron Pierce while On The Tab got Post 3 and will be driven by David Miller.

Hard Livin was second to Pilgrims Taj in last year’s Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final and earned $210,640 for the season. He was troubled by a quarter crack in May’s Dexter Cup eliminations, where he went off stride and finished eighth, but has three wins and a second-place finish among his last five starts.

“He has been racing good in Pennsylvania,” Takter said. “He lives up to his name; you can race him twice a week, really, really a tough guy. He did a funny thing with me in the second turn [of the elims] he tossed his head, but he’s a nice little boy, actually. He always tries his best."

On The Tab is winless in seven races this year, but has finished second on six occasions.

“I’ve got to say, David was very excited about [On The Tab]. He sat in with him, the pace was slow, but he had plenty of ‘go.’ He could win this race. He’s raced well all over; he’s a player, this guy.”

Takter won last year’s Yonkers Trot with Judge Joe. It was his first victory in the Yonkers Trot.

“It’s one of those races I consider a big challenge to win,” Takter said. “I took a long time to do it. I had a lot of bad luck, but I kept trying. This is one of the classiest races we have in this country, one of the oldest and so many great horses have won this. It’s also a big value for a horse to win this race. It’s considered a ‘Group A’ race and it gives the horse a better chance of stallion duty in Europe.”

Takter is uncertain of the trio’s future after the Yonkers Trot.

“It’s hard to say whether they are Hambletonian level horses yet,” Takter said. “Of the horses I have in the Yonkers Trot, I think Senor Glide probably has the most potential to race maybe in the Hambletonian.”

Here is the field for the Yonkers Trot, in post position order, with named drivers, trainers and morning line odds:

1. Senor Glide -- Cat Manzi -- Jimmy Takter -- 6-5
2. Carnegie -- Stephane Bouchard -- Kathleen LaMontagne -- 4-1
3. On The Tab -- David Miller -- Jimmy Takter -- 6-5
4. Big Stick Lindy -- Ray Schnittker -- Ray Schnittker -- 3-1
5. Hard Livin -- Ron Pierce -- Jimmy Takter -- 6-5
6. Shaq Is Back -- Steve Smith -- Ray Schnittker -- 3-1
7. Take My Picture -- Jeff Gregory -- Taylor Gower -- 8-1
8. Waldorf Hall -- Jordan Stratton -- Per Henriksen -- 15-1

Costa Rica Favoured In Hudson Filly Trot

Costa Rica, who earned nearly $1 million last season as a two-year-old and was second to Poof Shes Gone for divisional honours, is the 8-5 morning line favourite for Saturday’s $299,050 Hudson Filly Trot at Yonkers Raceway.

Costa Rica, who was second to Spicy Wings in her 1:59 Hudson elim last weekend, drew post No. 1 and will be driven by Ron Pierce for Takter.

“I think Ronnie [driver Ron Pierce] fell a little bit asleep there; that’s what he said,” Takter said. “He didn’t see the horse coming on the outside. I think she should race good on Saturday too. We kind of pointed her to this race. I try to avoid racing her on big tracks. She’s not that big of a filly and I try to pick my spots with her. By doing that, I think I can have a good season with her.”

Costa Rica’s wins last season included the Goldsmith Maid, Peaceful Way and New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. She was second in the Merrie Annabelle. This year, she has one win in three starts.

“It’s better to manage her and not be greedy,” Takter said. “I’m fortunate to have quite a few horses, so it keeps me busy enough. If she was the only one, maybe you would be more aggressive. These horses, if you win one or two of the big ones, you have a good season. It’s possible she races in the [Hambletonian Oaks].”

Here is the field for the Hudson Filly Trot, in post position order, with named drivers and trainers:

1. Costa Rica -- Ron Pierce -- Jimmy Takter
2. Religulous -- Steve Smith -- Jeffrey Webster
3. Spicy Wings -- Cat Manzi -- Jeffrey Webster
4. Bramalea Hanover -- David Miller -- Robert McIntosh
5. Munis Blue Chip -- Ray Schnittker -- Schnittker
6. Show Your Lindys -- Frode Fladen -- Anthony Montini
7. Secret Credit -- Jeff Gregory -- Paul Kelley
8. Unefoisdansmavie -- Stephane Bouchard -- Peter Kleinhans

Rockin Image Completes Takter Line Up In Meadowlands Pace Elims

Eight of the 10 finalists from the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup, including winner Sportswriter and runner-up We Will See, are among the 23 horses entered in the upcoming Meadowlands Pace for three-year-olds. Eliminations will be held Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack and the $1 million final is July 17.

Joining Sportswriter and We Will See from the Cup were beaten favourite Rock N Roll Heaven (who finished fourth), Delmarvalous (fifth), Fred And Ginger (sixth), One More Laugh (seventh), Kyle Major (eighth), and All Speed Hanover (tenth).

Takter will send out Rockin Image, who finished sixth in the New Jersey Sire Stakes final on May 29, then had surgery to correct a breathing problem and was out of action (other than one qualifier) until the Jersey Cup on July 3. His 1:48.2 effort, winning by 1-1/2 lengths over Nova Artist, pleased Takter.

“It was a tremendous start,” Takter said. “I’m hopeful. I know [the Meadowlands Pace] is a tough race. The race has got to go our way, but ability wise I know he can race with these horses. I know he can beat these horses. You’ve just got to be a little lucky and have the race go your way. It’s a very compatible group. I could see five or six different horses winning that race. I’m happy I have a horse to put into it. Hopefully he can make the final and we’ll go from there.”

Rockin Image has won one of four races this year after notching three victories in eight starts last season. He has earned $315,711 in his career for owner Lothlorien stable. He is a son of Rocknroll Hanover, out of Kikikatie (who was the 2003 two-year-old filly division champion). Grams Legacy, who won one of last week’s Goshen Cup divisions, is a full brother to Rockin Image.

Last year, Rockin Image won divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes.

“Ability and gait wise, pedigree, the whole package is there,” Takter said. “If he can breathe good, he’s going to be right there. I think he stamped himself last year.”

Following are all the entries, in alphabetical order: All Speed Hanover, Delmarvalous, Foreign Officer, Fred And Ginger, Im Gorgeous, Iam Bonasera, Ideal Matters, Jo Pas Fod, Kyle Major, Nova Artist, OK Commander, One More Laugh, Razzle Dazzle, Rock N Roll Heaven, Rockin Image, Shoobees Place, Sportswriter, Superbad Hanover, Tobago Cays, Valentino, We Will See, Windfall Blue Chip, World Of Rocknroll.

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.