Trainer Jimmy Takter’s dream of life has come true as he drove the winner of the prestigious $1,006,125 Hambletonian Trot with Trixton Saturday afternoon at the Meadowlands for three-year-olds.
It was a bitter-sweet victory for Takter, who trained the three favorites in the race. Trixton’s stable mate, Nuncio, with John Campbell, was second but the undefeated Father Patrick (Yannick Gringras) made a break at the very start of the race and was never in the hunt, finished dead last in eleventh place.
It was Nuncio and Campbell who was on the lead early with Resolve (Corey Callahan) grabbing the two-hole spot. Then floating on the outside but unable to find anywhere to tuck in was Royal Ice and driver Ron Pierce. So with no place to get cover, Pierce pushed to try and take the lead away from Nuncio as they went to the opening quarter mile in :26.3 and then to the half mile in :54.
Trixton and Takter were second-over behind Royal Ice and before the three-quarters in 1:23, Takter took Trixton three-wide and was able to loop around Royal Ice but lost precious ground to Nuncio.
As they started down the stretch it became a two-horse race to the finish, stable mates Nuncio with Campbell and Trixton with Takter. With every stride to the wire Trixton was able to gobble up more ground than Nuncio. Trixton was able to collar him before the finish and go on to win by a half-length in 1:50.3. Harper Blue Chip and driver Brian Sears.
“This is something I just would dream about,” Takter said. “I have been here before as a trainer, but this is special. It is going to take me a day or so to really sink in. I have had a great day, we just won the Oaks, I am so happy.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Trixton,” Takter explained, “Trixton is great and so is Nuncio, but Father Patrick is, in my opinion, the best of the three. It is so special today. I handle this horses since day one in my barn.”
The highest priced yearling of 2012 at $380,000, Trixton was a slow starter at age two, winning just four starts in eight tries and $53,687. This year he has now won seven times in nine starts and has lifetime earnings of $840,542.
Sired by Muscle Hill, Trixton’s time of 1:50.3 was just two fifth of a second from the world record set by his sire, Muscle Hill, back in 2008. Trixton paid $10.60 to win.
"This is probably the best day I have ever had racing horses," said Father's Patrick's driver Yannick Gingras. "But it is the most disappointing day that that happened. I scored him down pretty hard because I had not left with him before and I wanted him to pay attention and be ready for it. When the gate opened I just touched him with the whip and it happened and he started running. It is unfortunate because knock on wood, I will have another chance but he never will."
By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com