Two-time Dan Patch Award winner and harness racing star See You At Peelers returned to the racetrack for the first time in four months and won a qualifier at the Meadowlands in 1:56.3 Thursday morning.
Brian Sears drove the Jimmy Takter-trained pacing mare over a track labeled "sloppy" on a chilly 37-degree morning in northern New Jersey. See You At Peelers, who won the first 22 races of her career and has earned $1.49 million in 25 lifetime starts, last competed on October 22 in a Breeders Crown elimination. She finished seventh.
Bred by Christina Takter, who owns the 4-year-old mare with brothers John and Jim Fielding, See You At Peelers was hampered by a virus that caused heart and lung issues toward the end of her 2011 campaign.
In the qualifier, See You At Peelers was third for much of the way before coming home with a :28 second final quarter-mile and edging Myluvmylife by a neck.
"It was not a fast qualifier, but she did it very nice," Jimmy Takter said. "I was very happy with her and so was Brian. The track was very sloppy, but when he tipped her out over the last eighth (of a mile) she came home very nice. We'll see if we can shake a little more speed out of her."
Takter, who said he has trained See You At Peelers in 1:53.3, will qualify her at least one more time before returning to action, most likely in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway. The series begins March 23.
"So far, so good," Takter said. "We'll qualify at least one more time and then go from there. When she's got to go under (1):50, that's when I'll know if we've got the real deal or not."
See You At Peelers won all 13 of her starts as a 2-year-old and was named the Dan Patch Award winner as the best filly in her age group. Last season, she won nine of 12 races and again captured divisional honors. Her 22-race win streak was harness racing's fourth longest in the U.S. over the last 20 years and done against primarily stakes competition.
by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications