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The Bank takes on older foes in TVG final
Thursday, November 19, 2015 - by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

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Ken Weingartner

Freehold, NJ --- The Bank will try to cash in Saturday (Nov. 21) when he faces seven older foes in the $400,000 TVG Free For All Series championship for trotters at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

A 3-year-old colt, The Bank was invited to the TVG final as a Breeders Crown champion. For the year, the Jimmy Takter-trained trotter has won five of 17 races and earned $994,652. He enters the TVG off victories in the Breeders Crown on Oct. 24 at Woodbine and the American-National Stakes on Nov. 7 at Balmoral Park.

According to the U.S. Trotting Association’s Information and Research Department, The Bank is seeking to become the first 3-year-old male trotter in recent history to win against older foes in a series final worth at least $100,000 since Before He Cheats captured the $120,000 Chester Late Closing Series in 2007. The only other instance since 1992 of a 3-year-old trotter winning a race worth at least $100,000 against older horses came on the female side, when filly CR Kay Suzie defeated seven mares in the Breeders Crown at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.

The Bank is 4-1 on the morning line, the third choice behind 9-5 favorite Resolve and E L Titan at 5-2.

USTA/Mark Hall photos
The Bank, shown here winning the American-National for 3-year-old colt trotters on Nov. 7, is looking to become the first 3-year-old in eight years to win a major race against older trotters.

“It’s the end of the year; it’s a long year,” said Takter, who trains The Bank for owners Christina Takter, Goran Falk, and Goran Anderberg. “Most of these horses are starting to get a little tired and this colt’s last two starts have been his best, almost. It’s a matter of how a horse’s form is. I think I have a horse going into the race in good form and that’s going to take me somewhere anyway.”

Takter will have a busy weekend at the Meadowlands. On Friday night, he sends three horses to the $409,950 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old female trotters – including 4-5 morning-line favorite All The Time – plus Katie Said in the $200,000 TVG final for female pacers and Shake It Cerry in the $200,000 TVG final for female trotters.

On Saturday, in addition to The Bank and Master Of Law in the TVG trotting championship, Takter has Lagerfeld in the $489,400 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, JK Endofanera and Somewhere In LA in the $400,000 TVG final for pacers, and Wild Honey in the $144,000 Continentalvictory for 3-year-old female trotters.

The Bank, a son of Donato Hanover out of the mare Lantern Kronos bred by Falk’s Falkbolagen AB, has finished first or second on 13 occasions this season. His other triumphs this year include the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. He finished second in the Colonial and Goodtimes stakes.

David Miller will drive The Bank in the TVG final, starting from post two in the eight-horse field. Miller guided The Bank to victory in the Breeders Crown – one of a record five winning Crown drives for Miller that night at Woodbine and one of Takter’s record six Crown triumphs as a trainer.

Also part of the TVG field is 4-year-old Resolve, who won last week’s final preliminary round of the TVG and finished second in the Breeders Crown and Maple Leaf Trot in his two previous starts. Resolve, trained by Ake Svanstedt, has finished no worse than second in his seven most recent races and hit the board a total of 11 times in 12 starts this year. He has earned $506,938 this season for owner Hans Enggren.

The field also includes Takter’s Master Of Law, who won the American-National Stakes for older trotters, Cashman Memorial winner Flanagan Memory, Crawford Farms Trot winner Obrigado, Sebastian K Invitational winner E L Titan, Melady’s Monet and DW’s NY Yank.

“Fortunately (The Bank) got a good seat; with the two post he can bust out of the gate," Takter said. "If the race sets up like it did last week, with Resolve going a (29.4) second quarter, that’s definitely not going to hurt our horse if he’s right up there. If he would finish in the top three I would be very happy.”

The Continentalvictory attracted only four starters, but features harness racing’s top money-earning 3-year-old female trotters: Wild Honey, with $1.11 million, and Mission Brief, with $929,317. Mission Brief defeated Wild Honey in last week’s Matron Stakes with a world-record 1:50.2 performance at Dover Downs. Wild Honey had won her two most recent previous encounters with Mission Brief, in the Breeders Crown and Kentucky Filly Futurity.

All The Time, winner of the Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Filly Trot, is in-to-go in the Goldsmith Maid for trainer Jimmy Takter.

All The Time is another of Takter’s Breeders Crown winners racing this weekend and heads to the Goldsmith Maid off a 2-3/4-length win in 1:56.2 in last week’s single elimination for the event. She has won seven of 11 races this year, including three in a row going into tomorrow’s race.

“I think All The Time is the best out of my three, and she’s the favorite, too,” Takter said, referring also to Haughty and Kathy Parker. “She’s been amazing all year basically and she stands out from my three.”

Shake It Cerry, last season’s Trotter of the Year, heads to her TVG championship off a 1:53.3 win in last week’s final preliminary round. She raced last week on Lasix for the first time, following second-place finishes to D’One in the Breeders Crown and Il Sogno Dream in the Dayton Trotting Derby, where she was the lone female taking on the boys. She is 7-5 on the morning line, second choice behind 4-5 Bee A Magician.

“We put her on Lasix and I think that’s going to make a big plus,” Takter said. “She is really, really good. I expect her to be right there.”

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