Day At The Track

Takter pupils emerge victorious in Wellwood

02:58 AM 11 Sep 2010 NZST
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Broad Bahn Pastor Stephen Leader Of The Gang
Broad Bahn - A son of Broadway Hall - Madonarail
Photo courtesy New Image Media
Pastor Stephen - A son of Cantab Hall - Gala Dream
Photo courtesy New Image Media
Leader Of The Gang - A son of Muscles Yankee - Fraulien Bluestone
Photo courtesy New Image Media
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Jimmy Takter pupils, Leader Of The Gang and Pastor Stephen, emerged victorious as well as Broad Bahn in a trio of William Wellwood Memorial Trot eliminations for harness racing rookie colts on Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack.

In the opening $30,000 split, Leader Of The Gang romped against his six rivals with a track-record equaling 1:55.2 victory for driver Ron Pierce. The son of Muscles Yankee - Fraulien Bluestone yielded the lead briefly in the backstretch to Blue Porsche before coming back around him at the top of the stretch and winning by open lengths.

Delcrest Julian finished a well-beaten second with Big Strike coming on to pick up the show spot. The winner returned $5.60 as the bettors' choice.

"This colt (Leader Of The Gang) was just two fingers in the pocket," said Pierce afterwards. "I could see that Blue Porsche was starting to tire, so I pulled my colt to the outside and he trotted strong. If there had to be more in the tank, there would have been, but there's no sense going faster than we had to."

The victory was the fifth in just seven tries this season for the Jimmy Takter trainee who is owned by Christina Takter of New Jersey, Brixton Medical of Alberta, Joyce McClellan of Ohio and R A W Equine of Ontario. The winner's share of the purse bumped his earnings to just over $246,000.

The 1:55.2 clocking matched the track trotting record for freshman colts which was established by another Takter pupil, Senor Glide.

Takter clicked again in the second elimination with Pastor Stephen who posted a hard-fought victory for driver Yannick Gingras in 1:56. The son of Cantab Hall - Gala Dream got up in the late stages to upend Big Rigs with Bruce The Brave landing the show spot.

The colt also survived an inquiry and objection which was lodged by Rick Beinhauer (driver of Ridgeandfamous) following the race. Gingras brought his colt out in a tight spot going into the final turn but the judges deemed he had sufficient room to do so and allowed the result to stand.

"I had some flashbacks there," said Gingras, in reference to his colt's disqualification from first to sixth in the $500,000 Peter Haughton Memorial final on August 7 at The Meadowlands. "I didn't feel too good there for a few minutes. I thought I was in the right and was out in time. But, I thought I was right at The Meadowlands too and got taken down, so you never know what's going to happen.

"When I got to drop back in on Big Rigs' back in the stretch, I was confident in my colt. That definitely bravened my horse up. He loves to win. He's never been beaten yet as far as I'm concerned."

The victory improved the colt's overall summary this season to five wins in six starts for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding and Brittany Farms. He returned $3.20 as the favourite while increasing his bankroll to just over $117,000.

The track record would be lowered and the Canadian record equaled in the final elimination by Broad Bahn who scored impressively for driver Jack Moiseyev in 1:55.1. The son of Broadway Hall - Madonarail made a quarter-pole move to the front after a :27.3 opener and then easily held all rivals at bay in the record-setting effort.

Race favourite Neal was able to narrowly hold the place spot over Whiskey Tax who was third. Broad Bahn returned $16.00 in posting the only upset of the three eliminations.

"After he made a break last week (in a division of the Champlain Stakes at Mohawk) he still caught the field and finished fifth, so I knew he was a good horse," said Moiseyev. "Once I got to the lead tonight and got easy fractions, he was just cruising. I was feeling confident around the last turn. He's a big, strong horse and he was strong at the wire."

The win was the third in seven outings this season for the Mike Vanderkemp trainee who now boasts just over $90,000 in earnings for owners Fam Alber Horse Racing Llc. of New Jersey.

The final time equaled the Canadian mark of 1:55.1 which was established by Lucky Chucky last season at Woodbine.

The top three finishers from each split advance to next weekend's final with the winner's getting to choose post positions. One lucky fourth-place finisher was drawn by lot and also advanced. That lucky competitor was Gotabgoodtoblucky. .

Here is a look at the entire field in post position order for the $500,000 Wellwood Memorial Final:

1 Bruce The Brave

2 Pastor Stephen

3 Leader Of The Gang

4 Broad Bahn

5 Big Rigs

6 Gotabgoodtoblucky

7 Delcrest Julian

8 Big Strike

9 Whiskey Tax

10 Neal

Greg BLANCHARD

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