01/22/2015 4:15PM

Harness: Maven preps for Prix d'Amerique

Nikki Sherman
Maven looks for her first European win on Sunday in France.

Maven trained solidly Thursday on the Vincennes racetrack just outside of Paris for trainer Jimmy Takter in preparation for her start in the Prix d’Amerique on Sunday, Jan. 25.  The weather was cold and dismal, with the temperatures slightly above freezing and a moderate wind blowing.

Maven has drawn post 14 in the Prix d’Amerique, which sports a purse of one million Euros. It is slated as the sixth race on the Sunday program, with a post time of 10:20 a.m. eastern time.

“She trained sharp and smooth,” Takter offered. “She’ll have two easy days now prior to Sunday at Vincennes.”

Maven entered the Takter Stable after being sold to Herb Liverman at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg for $750,000. Less than one month after the purchase, Liverman joined forces with John Fielding and Joyce McClelland in ownership of the trotting mare. Maven had previously been under the care of another Swedish-born trainer who now resides in the U.S., conditioner Jonas Czernyson. 

[DRF HARNESS: LIKE us on Facebook and get timely updates on the latest harness news]

Maven, a 5-year-old daughter by Glidemaster-M Stewart-American Winner earned more than $1.5 million and scored two Breeders Crown championships while in the Czernyson stable.

Takter is no stranger to the Prix d’Amerique, having won France’s biggest trotting event with Moni Maker in 1999.

Maven has had two starts on French soil since arriving in Europe on Dec. 8, 2014, first finishing out of the money in the Dec. 28 Prix de Bourgogne at Vincennes with Yannick Gingras in the sulky.  She next nabbed a seventh-place finish in the Prix Tenor de Baune on Jan. 11, amassing $1,600 and timed in 1:59 3/5 with French driver Jean Michel Bazire at the lines.

She has been faithfully attended to by her caretaker Tobias Gustafsson during her stay at the rural location of the Chamant Training Center, overseen by Jacky Beuthart, situated about an hour outside of Paris.

“The trip today opened up her lungs a bit,” said Takter about the training session (video below). “She’ll jog quietly Friday and Saturday, and I’ll warm her up on Sunday afternoon.”

Takter also plans on racing Maven barefoot for the first time on Sunday at Vincennes.  Czernyson had raced the mare barefoot several times in the U.S., but this will be the first that Takter will pull her shoes.

“I think the effect is never as good as it is for the first time,” Takter stressed. “We don’t pull their shoes often in the U.S., as the tracks are harder there.”

Gingras will be back in the sulky aboard Maven, and will have three starts on Saturday at Vincennes as well.

After the Prix d’Amerique, Takter plans to start Maven in the Grand Prix de France at Vincennes on Feb. 8, and then the Gran Criterium de Vitesseat Cagnes-sur –Mer on the French Riviera on March 8, much to her trainer’s delight.

“The weather is never that positive at Vincennes for us; it’s always cold,” Takter said. “But I love Cagnes; at least there the weather is warm!”

To be eligible to race in the Prix d’Amerique, a trotter must have earned at least 31,000 Euros from Jan. 1, 2014 to the present and have raced after Oct. 1, 2014.

[DRF HARNESS: Sign Up for the FREE newly designed DRF Harness Newsletter!]


1-Vulcain de Vandel - Franck Nivard
2-Tumble Dust - Jos Verbeeck
3-Voltigeur de Myrt - Gabriele Gelormini
4-Solvato - Örjan Kihlström
5-Olmo Holz - Christophe Martens
6-Linda di Casei - Alessandro Gocciadoro
7-Aladin d'Ecajeul - Mathieu Abrivard
8-Kadett C.D. - Robert Bergh
9-Mosaique Face - Pierre Vercruysse
10-Uhlan du Val - Cédric Megissier
11-Severino - Damien Bonne
12-Napoleon Bar - Enrico Bellei
13-Texas Charm - Julien Dubois
14-Maven - Yannick Gingras
15-Up And Quick - Jean Michel Bazire
16-Tiego d'Etang - Christian Bigeon
17-Timoko - Björn Goop
18-Roxane Griff - Eric Raffin