07/19/2014 2:52PM

Bergman: Takter's Del Miller decision

USTA Photo
Jimmy Takter trains top Hambletonian candidates Father Patrick, Nuncio and Trixton.

The problem with the “Jimmy Takter Affair” is that too many people are asking the wrong questions.

The focus should not be on what Takter was doing past the first quarter mile while driving Scream And Shout, an aptly named filly considering the ruckus surrounding her effort in the Del Miller Memorial, but on what he was doing before the quarter had been completed.

Separating Takter and his horse from the other two stablemates and putting Scream And Shout with another driver, the horse would still have been 100-1 starting from post three in an 11-filly field. With one win over two seasons, Scream And Shout hadn’t shown near the talent of the favorites in the field and two of them came from the Takter stable.

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At long odds on a mile track, some drivers take one chance during the mile. That is to out-leave the entire field and hope to get the front or near the front quickly enough so that someone lets you go or lets you tuck to get out of the way of traffic. The move, risky even for the best of drivers, can only be accomplished if the horse is swift enough off the wings and gets an instant advantage. For those who have witnessed thousands of miles at the Meadowlands, it’s obvious when a driver has the horse’s nose on the gate and leaves quickly whether the move is indeed possible.

That said, it’s hard to imagine that Takter, leaving from post three with a trailer in the field, could have come up with this scenario either before or after the start of the race. He had to know that Shake It Cerry and Ron Pierce had more instant speed to get around Scream And Shout at the start. I mean, that’s his horse and a champion at that.

The only right move Takter could have made once Shake It Cerry went around his horse was to take back and get out of the way. For those who have suggested in the not-so social media that Takter was a victim of being shut out of a tuck, that is only because he failed to pull his horse off the pace quickly enough, not that others got in his way.

While hindsight would appear to be 20-20, listening to some arguments made over the course of the last week would totally obliterate such an assessment. Scream And Shout in post three had world champions Designed To Be and Cooler Schooner directly to her inside left. She also had season’s leader Heavens Door and Shake It Cerry to her right. So what is it that compelled Takter aboard his 100-1 shot to believe he had any chance of seeing the rail going forward at the outset as opposed to going backward when the wings started?

It is the first quarter of the Del Miller at the Meadowlands on July 12 that needs to be looked at closely to more clearly come to an understanding. No one likes the finger being pointed in their direction, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or the World Wide Web, humans have a difficult time accepting criticism.

It’s hard to go through life without some bumps in the road. Even those with such enormous talent as Jimmy Takter hit a pothole now and then.

His came in the first quarter of the Miller at the Meadowlands on July 12.