The potent team of Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter flexed its muscles Tuesday at The Meadows, sweeping three divisions of the Hickory Smoke, a $163,309 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for three-year-old colt and gelding trotters.
The pair triumphed with Love Matters, Jimmy William and Reigning Moni. The victory by Love Matters probably was the most significant as he’s headed for Saturday’s Colonial at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and will enter that $500,000 event off a sharp performance.
Love Matters and Gingras were on top at the quarter when they released Cufflink Hanover and settled into the pocket behind him.
“I thought it was a two-horse race,” Gingras said. “There was no point getting into each other (at that point).”
Love Matters kicked by Cufflink Hanover in the Lightning Lane and downed him by 2-1/4 lengths, with Mac Deeno third.
Christina Takter, Brixton Medical, John Fielding and Herb Liverman campaign Love Matters, who soared over $300,000 in career earnings.
Gingras said racing in the Colonial off three days’ rest shouldn’t be a problem for Love Matters.
“He got a good trip and was full of trot in the stretch drive,” he reported. “I certainly don’t think this afternoon hurt him.”
Racing backsides teem with superstitions. Among the hoariest is that you never name a horse for yourself because the Racing Gods, angered by your hubris, will lay you and your unfortunate animal low.
Jimmy William Takter defied that old wives’ tale — “I named him for a very nice guy,” he deadpanned — with Jimmy William, a son of Cantab Hall-Solveig.
The colt’s credentials are impeccable. He’s a full brother to Dontyouforgetit, a half to Shake It Cerry and Uncle Lasse. Together, those three siblings have earned more than $4.1 million — and still counting, in the cases of Shake It Cerry and Uncle Lasse. For quite a while, though, it appeared that Takter had indeed visited a curse upon his namesake.
“He was my most promising colt last year,” Takter said, “but he got sick seven times. Every time I pushed him, he got a fever. He’s been better this year but not perfect.”
But Jimmy William began to live up to his pedigree in the Hickory Smoke when he erased a 3-1/2-length deficit in the stretch and captured his first career stake in 1:55.2. Hititoutofthepark, who’s also ticketed for the Colonial, was second, while Alexander Hanover completed the ticket.
Solveig’s Racing Partners own Jimmy William.
Reigning Moni had little trouble fashioning a front-end victory, defeating the rallying Truemass Volo by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:55. Bucketlist Hanover earned show.
“He had issues with his knees last year — he needed surgery on them,” Takter said. “He’s a good colt. He has very good speed. He was interfered with in his Hambletonian elimination; otherwise he would have made the final.”
The partnership of KR Breeding, Brixton Medical, Preferred Equine Marketing and Christina Takter owns Reigning Moni, a son of Donato Hanover-All Our Moni.