04/18/2015 2:43PM

Harness: Takter stars shine in Meadowlands qualifiers

Shake It Cerry has won 23 of 28 career starts.

It was the Jimmy Takter show during qualifying action at the Meadowlands Saturday (4/18) morning. Among the winners for the Hall of Fame conditioner were 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry and Hambletonian hopeful Canepa Hanover.

Shake It Cerry sat the pocket through fractions of 29 1/5, 58 1/5 and 1:27 4/5 before pulling the pocket to engage the leader during the seventh of 15 morning trials. When trainer/driver Takter asked his now 4-year-old mare for speed she exploded through the lane with a 27 1/5 final kicker to win by over three lengths in 1:55.

“She has a stake next Friday at The Meadows (Meadows Maturity) if I want to go. I still have to decide whether to send her,” said Takter, who added that he wasn’t sure who would drive with regular pilot Ron Pierce on the shelf due to neck and back surgery. Regardless of whether Shake It Cerry goes to The Meadows, she will race in the Miami Valley Distaff on May 3.

Takter said he will take a wait and see approach before committing to racing his star mare, who has earned $2,058,180 in her career, against the boys this year.

“It’s still possible. We are going to play it by ear and see how she is doing,” said Takter.

Shake It Cerry has 23 wins in 28 career starts.

Canepa Hanover followed up an unsuccessful qualifier on April 11 in which he broke with an eye-catching 11-length win in 1:52 2/5 with Takter once again steering the ship. The $300,000 Harrisburg purchase went wire to wire while allowed to set strong fractions of 28 4/5, 56 1/5 and 1:24.

“He is kind of tough to get the gait right on him,” said Takter about his 3-year-old trotting colt. “If I get him right he has the ability to be the best, and I mean the best!”

Canepa Hanover’s mile looks even better when you compare it to Open trotter Melady’s Monet, who trotted 1:53 3/5 in victory one race earlier.

Perhaps Takter’s most impressive winner came with 3-year-old pacing colt Soto. The son of Rock N Roll Heaven blazed the way through fractions of 28 3/5, 57 and 1:25 1/5 before stopping the timer in an impressive 1:51 2/5 while under a very tight hold by driver Brett Miller.

Soto won two races in nine starts as a rookie and finished ninth in the Breeders Crown final for his division.

Takter’s other winners during the morning were Sarcy (1:55 2/5) and Blood Brother (1:52 2/5).

The trainer also reported that his 3-year-old trotting star from 2014, Father Patrick, was doing super and is expected to qualify next Saturday (April 25).

Another Takter Hambletonian hopeful, Whom Shall I Fear, won Friday night at the Meadowlands in 1:53 3/5 and the trainer was happy with the effort.

“I know the horse has it in him and he did it really comfortable yesterday,” said Takter. “He showed that 100 days from the Hambletonian he has a shot to be one of them.”