Jimmy Takter will be training nine of the 20 horses competing in the $360,650 Peter Haughton Memorial and the $330,800 Jim Doherty Memorial on Saturday’s Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
In the Peter Haughton for 2-year-old trotting colts, Takter will send an unprecedented six of the 10 finalists to the gate. In the filly counterpart, the Doherty, he trains three of the 10 starters.
Takter has much experience in training trotters having won the sport’s most prestigious race, the Hambletonian, twice in the last three years.
In the Haughton, his two most regarded colts are You Know You Do, who will start as the 2-1 morning-line favorite from post position 5 with Yannick Gingras in the bike and Samo Different Day. Takter himself will drive the latter from post 1, a 5-1 opening wagering proposition. Both colts won their elimination races last week.
“I loved him from the first time I raced him,” said Gingras of You Know You Do. “He’s a very willing colt. He’s quick. He’s ready to race. He’s already acting like a racehorse. I couldn’t be any happier with how he raced last week in the elimination. He was trotting real strong at the wire and if he’s not the horse to beat, he’s right there with them.”
The other four Takter trainees competing in the Haughton are Hill Street, Storming Mist, Maxus and Bautista.
“In order, I think You Know You Do is a little bit better,” said Takter. “Samo Different Day and Storming Mist I think are pretty equal. Maxus is probably the fourth. It’s probably tied between the other two [Hill Street and Bautista].”
In the Doherty, Takter trains the unbeaten Manchego, who will be driven by Gingras. The daughter of Muscle Hill has won all four of her lifetime starts, and twice won in 1:54 4/5, which is her lifetime best. Manchego, the 9-5 morning line choice, will start from post 4 as the likely overwhelming favorite come post time.
“She’s special,” said Gingras. “She can do it any which way. If you look at her races she’s won on the front, she’s won first up and last week she was second over. It doesn’t really matter which way the race goes for her.”
Takter agrees with Gingras. “She’s very, very special,” said the trainer who is seeking his fifth win in the Doherty, formerly named the Merrie Annabelle. “I love that filly, she’s been super racing at the start. I mean she’s just the best.”
Six is the most horses Takter has entered into a final. “Well, you know especially 2-year-olds, I enjoy them,” said Takter. “It’s a little bit of a learning process. Normally [with] older horses, everything is good and they are set to go.”
Live coverage of the Hambletonian Day card can be found on drf.com starting at noon and begins at 4 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network.
Julissa Ramirez, a junior at Rutgers University, is writing as part of the Clyde Hirt Journalism Workshop.