East Rutherford, NJ ---- Breakfast with the babies at The Meadowlands took place on a perfect Saturday morning under cloudless skies with temperatures in the low 70s and little to no wind. A nice gathering that grew with Belmont Stakes early customers anticipating the Triple Crown attempt by California Chrome enjoyed the races.
|Two-time defending Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous prepped for his seasonal debut in next Friday's Meadowlands Maturity pace.|
Along with the youngsters poised to embark on their racing careers, two-time defending Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous prepped for his seasonal debut in next Friday’s Meadowlands Maturity pace. In the day's final race, the champ set all the fractions, then drew well clear late in a 1:50.1 tightner for regular driver Tim Tetrick under his own power. Captaintreacherous looks like he’s ready to return to the racing wars for Team Treacherous.
Trotting fillies opened the card and the prodigious Jimmy Takter freshman force picked up right where they left off last week -- winning. The Donato Hanover daughter of Hambletonian Oaks winner Southwind Allaire named Sarcy impressed with a powerful six length, 1:58.3 win. She sat just off the lead and ended the mile with a :28.2 close for Yannick Gingras with plenty in reserve. She is a $37,000 graduate of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale owned by Christina Takter and John and Jim Fielding.
Wild Honey cut the mile and won race two effortlessly for the Gingras/Takter combination in 1:59.4/:28.2. She’s a Cantab Hall from U Wanna Lindy, bought from the Lexington sale for $35,000 by the partnership by Mrs. Takter, Herb Liverman and John and Jim Fielding.
|Freshman trotting colt Canepa Hanover qualified in a time of 2:01.|
Canepa Hanover is the Muscle Hill half-brother to Glidemaster who brought a bid of $300,000 at Harrisburg last fall from Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical Ab, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld and today he looked like a bargain. Gingras brushed him to the front from third as the half went by in a dawdling 1:04, then opened a long lead before finishing in 2:01, a final half of :57. He’s big, fast and pretty as well as being trained in the Takter barn, a recipe for success.
The fourth race was won by the Broadway Hall-Orange Pekoe colt The Bakers Choice in a forwardly placed effort for John Campbell in 2:01.2/:29. He is trained by John Berger for Barbara Berger and John Siena, who bought him from the Harrisburg sale for $30,000.
Takter and Gingras returned to victory in the fifth with the Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover filly Lilu Hanover. She sat in and split horses late like a veteran for Yannick to score in 2:02.3 into a :29 final panel. She cost Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld $130,000 at Harrisburg last fall.
Pacers opened in the sixth and Perry Soderberg’s sharp looking Western Pioneer popped from the pocket and streaked home in :27.2 on the end of a 2:00.3 trip for Gingras. He was a $15,000 bargain Western Ideal-Up Front Fire at Harrisburg and is trained by Nancy Johansson.
|Divine Caroline was an easy winner in 1:56.4 for driver Corey Callahan.|
Divine Caroline impressed the considerable crowd with her recovery from a final turn break and won easily in 1:56.4 for Corey Callahan. Still a touch unsure of her gait, she flashed unusual speed a few times in the mile. From the first crop of Rock N Roll Heaven out of Loving Caroline, Divine Caroline brought $75,000 at Harrisburg and is trained by Joe Holloway (who is clearly quite handy with the ladies) for Val D’Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, Rojan Stables and Michael Ouriel.
Holloway spun right back with a nice Bettor's Delight filly out of Two Steppin Sally who won in 1:57.2/:28.1 with David Miller aboard. She set most of the pace and was a handy winner. A $70,000 Harrisburg grad, she counts Val D’Or Farms, Rojan Stables and Ted Gewertz among her owners.
Takter pacers were one-two in the ninth and final freshman race with Bet You edging Franzo (Rockin Image) in 1:56.2/:28. This one is a son of Bettor's Delight from the stakes winning Armbro Amoretto who cost Christina Takter, Joyce McClelland, John Fielding and Jim Fielding $75,000 at Lexington. Jimmy Takter trains and Gingras drove Bet You in his successful career debut.
|USTA/Ken Weingartner photos|
|Designed To Be crossed the finish line in 1:53.1.|
The later qualifiers featured some stakes stars with two freshman world champion trotting fillies hooking up in the 11th race as sophomores and Designed To Be outkicked Cooler Schooner to the wire in 1:53.1. Brian Sears drove her for trainer Julie Miller and owners Al Libfeld and Marvin Katz.
Older trotter Waiting On A Woman scorched the track in 1:53 for new connections, now residing in the Ron Burke barn.
Big night Saturday at The Meadowlands with the simulcast of the Belmont Stakes, Seafood Fest and comedian Gilbert Gottfried scheduled to appear. Post time is 7:15 p.m.
The Meadowlands reminds those horsemen racing Saturday night to expect traffic and add travel time to their plans.