11/22/2014 10:38PM

Breeders Crown: Pinkman, Traceur Hanover dominate 2-year-old events

Nikki Sherman
Pinkman and Yannick Gingras coast home to victory.

Pinkman took the lead prior to the half-mile point and held off Muscle Diamond in the stretch to win Saturday’s $500,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters in a stakes-record-equaling 1:53 2/5 at the Meadowlands.

The margin of victory over Muscle Diamond was a half-length. French Laundry was third, followed by Habitat.

Uncle Lasse took the early lead from Guess Whos Back as the field reached the opening quarter-mile in :27 4/5. Yannick Gingras moved Pinkman to the front on the backstretch and led to the half in :56 3/5 and three-quarters in 1:25 3/5.

Muscle Diamond, who raced on the outside much of the way, charged through the stretch from fourth place, but was unable to get to Pinkman prior to the wire.

Pinkman, who was sent off as the even-money favorite, has won six of eight races this year and earned $566,960 for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. Pinkman is a son of Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster.

Gingras had selected to drive Pinkman over another of his regulars, Habitat, from the stable of trainer Ron Burke.

“Yes it was (a tough choice) just because it was Ron Burke and Jimmy Takter, so I tried to pick the best horse,” Gingras said. “Habitat had a great year, but Pinkman was coming into this race super sharp; he kept getting better and better every week. I just thought it was my best shot.

“I qualified him two starts ago and he was so good on the lead, last week in the eliminations, someone came at him, but tonight it was his race to lose on the front.”

It was Gingras’ third Breeders Crown win of the weekend and 10th of his career. It was Takter’s second trophy of the season and extended his record for a trainer to 20.

Pinkman, named after a character from the television series “Breaking Bad,” did not make it to the races until September.

“I always love the Breeders Crown,” said co-owner John Fielding. “We didn’t have much confidence in (Pinkman) early on, but, boy, has he ever come on since September. He’s just really turned into a different horse. We had him (entered) for sale (at Harrisburg) and the magic of Jimmy Takter got him figured out and he’s gone straightforward since then. He’s been a great surprise.”

The start of the race was delayed by a recall caused when Uncle Lasse, in post eight, went off stride behind the gate and interfered with the horse to his outside, Piercewave Hanover.

Traceur Hanover and driver Andy Miller won the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old pacing colts on Saturday at the Meadowlands by a half-length in a time of 1:51.

The early going was marred by breaks by Lyons Levi Lewis and Franzo in the first turn. Sicily was in front of them going to the quarter in :26 2/5, but the rest of the field had to re-adjust after the breaking horses.

In The Arsenal (Brian Sears) rushed to the lead past the first quarter-mile mark and kept that lead until Traceur Hanover came up to challenge on the outside with Go Daddy Go (John Campbell) three wide. Those two hit the half-mile mark together in :55 2/5.

Traceur Hanover and Go Daddy Go were still jousting for the lead at the 1:23 three-quarters and into the home stretch. Traceur Hanover closed strongest of all for the win, his fifth in 14 starts.

In The Arsenal tipped out from third along the rail on the turn and paced hard down the stretch late to take the second spot and Lyons Levi Lewis withstood an inquiry after leaving the course to finish third.

Traceur Hanover is owned by Richard Berthiaume of Quebec and trained by Corey Johnson. He is a son of Western Ideal-Transference.

“There were a lot of breakers, a lot going on there,” said Andy Miller. “We just had to bide our time and wait to get through it all. I was a little worried about making the move I did, but I beat (In The Arsenal) last week and he (Sears) knew I had a good horse and he was willing to follow me. He (Traceur Hanover) was good last week and came back with the same effort this week.”.

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com

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