10/10/2015 10:54PM

Red Mile: Takter sweeps Futurities with Pinkman, Wild Honey

Derick Giwner
Pinkman has won an impressive 17 times in 23 career starts.

When a top trotter steps into the winner’s circle you can be sure that trainer Jimmy Takter is not far behind. The Hall of Fame conditioner came away victorious with Wild Honey in the $262,500 Kentucky Filly Futurity and topped that when his Pinkman won the $527,000 Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile on Saturday afternoon.

All eyes in the Kentucky Filly Futurity were on 1-9 favorite Mission Brief as she was seeking her fifth straight win since finishing second to Pinkman in the second heat of the Hambletonian. The Ron Burke-trained superstar 3-year-old filly would trot around Wild Honey at the opening quarter in 27 2/5 and control the action uncontested throughout the mile.

The fractions were honest—54 4/5 and 1:23 2/5—though certainly not taxing for Mission Brief. Most in the stands likely expected her to power away from Wild Honey as she had done multiple times in the past, but the Hambletonian Oaks champion had a surprise for Mission Brief in the form of a 27 1/5 final quarter to win going away late by three-quarters of a length in 1:50 4/5.

“That was the way I was hoping it would fall when I first saw the (entry) sheet,” said winning driver John Campbell on the trip. “She really felt strong, my filly. She was right up on the bit, so I knew she was going to give me a good run.”

For Takter, the victory over Mission Brief was clearly special.

“She’s just an amazing animal and gives you everything she has. She got the perfect trip and she put [Mission Brief] away easy, too. I’m incredibly impressed with that performance,” said an emotional Takter, who called Wild Honey “his baby”.

Wild Honey won for the 16th time in 25 career starts for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and Jim Fielding. The daughter of Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy will try to increase her $1,256,385 lifetime earnings in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine in two weeks.

Derick Giwner     Wild Honey (1) passing Mission Brief.

With five horses in the 123rd Kentucky Futurity, Takter had many options and used the numbers to his advantage by leaving hard with The Bank from post four and forcing 9-5 favorite Crazy Wow from post five into the pocket.

Despite a strong opening quarter in 27 seconds, driver Tim Tetrick was not content with sitting second and was back on the move, clearing the front before the half in 54 seconds as Takter looked to extend Crazy Wow once again.

Hambletonian winner Pinkman came to the rim from third at the five-eighths and began the outer flow that would also escort stablemate French Laundry into the race. The champion trotter would look Crazy Wow in the eye and motor on to the front just past the 1:23 three quarter marker.

There would be potential stretch threats in the form of runner-up Crescent Fashion and third-place finisher French Laundry, but Pinkman did what he does best—win. With Yannick Gingras in tow, Pinkman would cross the wire 1-1/4 lengths ahead in 1:51 2/5.

“Going into the first turn I figured that was what Timmy (Tetrick) would be doing, but once Jimmy showed him his intention (with The Bank) and [Crazy Wow] got into the two-hole, I was surprised he pulled him again,” said Gingras about how the race shaped up early.

Despite amassing 11 wins in 15 starts this year and a 17 for 23 career record, Pinkman paid $6.20 to win. Known to be a bit lazy, he never seems to get the respect he deserves, but he does love to win.

“He just gets it done,” said Takter, who will send the horse to the Breeders Crown next.

Pinkman has now earned $1,750,465 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. He ranks second in North America just behind Wiggle It Jiggleit at $1,769,520 prior to his Saturday night start.