06/06/2015 5:33PM

Meadowlands: Takter dominates 2-year-old qualifiers

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Ken Weingartner/USTA Photo
Bar Hoping was the fastest 2-year-old trotting winner in 1:58 2/5 for trainer Jimmy Takter.

For trainer Jimmy Takter, one of his favorite days of the year is the first day he brings his 2-year-olds to their first qualifiers. After his stable captured seven of Saturday morning’s 11 events for the newcomers at the Meadowlands, it is easy to understand his enthusiasm.

Takter won with 2-year-old female trotters Sunset Glider and Twice Is Right, 2-year-old male trotters Earn And Burn and Bar Hopping, 2-year-old female pacers Pure Country and Sonoma Valley, and 2-year-old male pacer Youth.

“I love this,” Takter said. “When you’re sitting all winter and you develop these horses, it’s a little bit like a report card when you go out there. I know it doesn’t mean anything to win, but I like the horses to go out there and perform. Some horses you have to teach to race from behind, but I want them to go out there and stay on top of their game.”

Winning qualifiers among the 3-year-olds and older horses were star pacers Foiled Again and JK She’salady.

Bar Hopping (Muscle Hill-Cocktail Hour) posted the fastest time among the 2-year-old trotters, winning by a half-length over stablemate Jimmy William (Cantab Hall-Solveig) in 1:58 2/5 with a 28 3/5 last quarter. The colt was purchased for $190,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale. He is a full brother to 2014 New Jersey Sire Stakes runner-up Martiniwithmuscle and his family includes Dan Patch Award winner Jef’s Spice and stakes-winner Cumin.

Jimmy William is a homebred half-brother to Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry as well as Uncle Lasse, and full brother to stakes-winner Dontyouforgetit.

Sunset Glider (Cantab Hall-Highland Glider) won by a neck over Charlie Norris-trainee Stage Presence (Muscle Massive-Stage Fright) in 2:00 1/5. Twice Is Right (Donato Hanover-Think Twice) was a neck better than stablemate All The Time (Muscle Hill-Cantab It All), also stopping the timer in 2:00 1/5.

Earn And Burn (Donato Hanover-Borrow And Spend) won by five lengths over stablemate Dominus Hanover (Muscle Massive-Dornello) in 2:01 4/5.

Marcus Melander won two qualifiers for the 2-year-old trotters.

Filly Lucky Kristen (Lucky Chucky-Ms Kristin) benefitted when Takter’s Kathy Parker went off stride in the stretch. Lucky Kristen won by a half-length over Sharon’s Luck (Lucky Chucky-Southwind Flanders) in 2:02. Melander’s colt Brownie Hanover (Donato Hanover-Born To Love) needed no help, winning by seven lengths over Takter’s Ducci (Cantab Hall-Nothing But Moni) in 1:59.

“They both qualified great; I was happy with them,” Melander said. “I’ve got seven babies and the three that I had in here today have been training very good all winter. I think they’re pretty good horses. I think they’ll make some money this year.

“They’re staked to a lot of races. I think they’ll be there in some big final. The Lucky Chucky filly will be a great New York horse. She can go around half-mile tracks with no problem. The Donato colt just does everything so easy. Of course, there are many good horses, but he’s a good horse too.”

Also winning among the 2-year-old female trotters was Synonymous Hanover (Andover Hall-Sweetr By The Bone) in 1:59 3/5 for trainer Norris.

Takter’s female pacer Pure Country posted the fastest time of the day for the pacers, winning in 1:55 4/5. Pure Country (Somebeachsomewhere-Western Montana) won by two lengths over stablemate My Lady Love (Well Said-Trim Hanover).

Sonoma Valley (Rocknroll Hanover-Art’s Vintage), who was purchased for $325,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale, won by a nose over stablemate Ivy League (Somebeachsomewhere-See You At Peelers) in 1:56 3/5. Sonoma Valley is a three-quarter sister to $2 million-earner Vintage Master.

Youth (Western Ideal-Society’s Child) captured his qualifier by 1-1/4 lengths over Nancy Johansson’s Mac’s Star (Somebeachsomewhere-Knock Three Times) in 1:58 3/5.

“I was happy with most of them,” Takter said of his 2-year-olds. “All the trotting colts were very, very good; and the pacing fillies. Pure Country is scary. She’s a scary horse.”

Jeff Gregory’s colt Fast N Victorious (Art Major-Yankee Luck) wrapped up the day for the 2-year-olds by winning by 1-1/2 lengths over Joe Holloway’s Brooklynite (Somebeachsomewhere-Sunone) in 1:56 4/5.

Eleven-year-old male pacer Foiled Again prepped for his return to action by winning his qualifier by 14-1/2 lengths in 1:51. He will go to the Battle of Lake Erie on June 12 at Northfield Park.

“I was happy,” trainer Ron Burke said. “That’s a good mile out there today. Nobody is really pacing home good because of the wind. I think people will see all these qualifiers were better than they originally thought when the horses come back and race. Overall, I was very pleased with Foiled.

“On to Northfield.”

Three-year-old female pacer JK She’salady, the 2014 Horse of the Year, also prepped for a road trip. She won her qualifier by 1-3/4 lengths over Better Said in 1:51 3/5 and will head to Ontario’s Mohawk Racetrack for the Fan Hanover Stakes eliminations on June 13.

“Get your passports out,” trainer Nancy Johansson said with a laugh. “She’s coming into it good. She’s not very tired (from the qualifier). She’s only raced once, so she needed the work. She was good.”

In another anticipated qualifier, this one for older trotters, Swedish invader Mr Picolit finished third behind Handover Belle and Aggressive, timed in 1:55, in his first North American appearance. Mr Picolit, an 8-year-old trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt, was a stakes-winner overseas, earning $533,949. He will join Sebastian K in Svanstedt’s stable.

“He’s good,” Svanstedt said. “The only thing is he’s pulling too much. Maybe he was a little nervous; it’s his first race in a long time. That was the only thing that was bad; he just never relaxed today. But he feels good and he raced good. I don’t want to race fast today.”

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