USTA Home > News Home > Not Afraid dons hobbles, wins the $138,300 Dexter Cup

Not Afraid dons hobbles, wins the $138,300 Dexter Cup
Saturday, May 5, 2012 - by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communicaitons, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association

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Freehold, NJ --- Not Afraid, making his first start in trotting hopples, led from gate to wire in the $138,300 Dexter Cup for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings this afternoon at Freehold Raceway, by a head, in a career-best time of 1:55.4. Ron Pierce drove for trainer Jimmy Takter. Frost Bites K was second and On The Podium third.

Wide World Racing Photos/Helene Gregory
Not Afraid (3), obscured on the inside, defeated Frost Bites K (4) in Saturday's afternooon Dexter Cup to gain early notice in the race for the 2012 Hambletonian
Winning driver Ron Pierce said the tenor of the race changed when the heavily favored (2-5) Market Share made a break on the lead at the quarter-mile mark.

“The whole key to the race was getting everybody behind us except for Jeffrey’s (Gregory) horse (Market Share),” Pierce said. “When he tipped over, that gave us the race more or less. He was kind of hyper; he relaxed just enough to where he kept a good hold of the bit, so I was able to get him around there.

“He’s maturing very nicely. Today, if you watched him outside the winner’s circle there, coming back and walking up the hill, he knows he did something. He’s got the idea. 1:55.4 -- that’s doing something on a half (-mile track) for a 3 year-old colt this early in the year.

Trainer Jimmy Takter said he didn’t think the change to hopples was a major element in Not Afraid’s win.

USTA/Ellen Harvey
Not Afraid and driver Ron Pierce return for their accolades following their Dexter win on Saturday
“I don’t think he really needs them,” he said. “I just put them on because the track is a little bit cuppy -- it was just to stabilize him. You want to play it safe a little bit.

“He’s a horse that didn’t race last year; he got hurt last year, he had a fracture in a hind ankle. So he has a couple screws in him (placed there by equine surgeon Dr. Patty Hogan), and he came back good. He’s a brother to In Focus, so he’s got a decent pedigree.”

Not Afraid, who is eligible to the Hambletonian, is expected to make his next start in mid-May in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes.

Not Afraid is owned by Takter’s wife, Christina, as well as John Fielding of Ontario and Goran Anderberg of Sweden. His winning time on Saturday was one-fifth of a second short of the stakes record, set by Anders Bluestone in 2009.

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