07/07/2017 11:12AM

Harness: Takter talks Ariana G, Pinkman and Nutcracker Sweet

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Peeo Ploff
2015 Hambletonian winner Pinkman hasn't won since late May (2016) in Sweden. He will qualify on Saturday at The Meadowlands.

Jimmy Takter had some time to reflect on the past and look ahead to the near future. He gave his thoughts on a few horses not racing this weekend.

“Ariana G came out of the Beal in good shape,” said Takter. “It was a tough trip for her but I’d rather see her race on the outside the way they did and hold on to third than to see her roughed up early and have horses pass her late.”

After drawing post eight for the Beal final, the lone filly in the race had a lot to contend with and it appeared as if driver Yannick Gingras was more cautious leaving the gate with her than he is at times with other post-time favorites.

“I think if Ariana G had drawn seven (where race winner Devious Man started from), I think Yannick would have driven her differently and she could have won,” said Takter.

“You saw what happened to horses like Idyllic Beach and Downbytheseaside on Saturday. Horses weren’t getting home well, the track was tiring,” said Takter. “I didn’t want her to finish like that.”

With the Del Miller (7/15 at The Meadowlands) next on her dance card, Ariana G will look to bounce back against female competition.

Takter seemed excited about the return of 2015 Hambletonian winner Pinkman, who is in to qualify this Saturday at The Meadowlands. “He’s had a lot of issues,” said Takter of Pinkman. “But I trained him a mile last week at The Meadowlands in 1:55 and he was very good. That’s an excellent mile for him because he’s usually a little sleepy training. He’s going to need a few starts but I’m very happy the way he’s come back.”

There were plenty of eyes on Nutcracker Sweet this past Friday at The Meadowlands and most were amazed with the performance of the 2-year-old full brother to Bettor Sweet and half-brother to Sweet Lou.

“He was very impressive,” said Takter. “He’s done everything right from the start.” Nutcracker Sweet paced a 1:52 mile coming first over on the back half and scorching his final quarter in 26 seconds for driver Tim Tetrick. “Tim likes him,” said Takter, who was more impressed with how Nutcracker Sweet won the race than the final time.

“He’s going to race at Harrah’s (Philadelphia) next Thursday,” said Takter of Nutcracker Sweet, a $150,000 Harrisburg yearling last fall.