Western Vintage tries for second NJSS crown

08:30 AM 30 May 2014 NZST
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Western Vintage, harness racing
Western Vintage goes for second NJSS Crown Friday
Photo by Ken Weingartner
Trainer Nancy Johansson might keep an eye on the racing in Canada on Saturday night, but her primary focus will be on her own horse at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Johansson's Western Vintage, one of the most highly regarded 3-year-old male pacers in North America, is the 3-5 morning line favorite in his division's $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship at the Big M. Sire Stakes crowns also will be handed out to 3-year-old female pacers, female trotters, and male trotters.

If all goes well for Western Vintage, after the sire stakes final he will head to Canada's Mohawk Racetrack for the North America Cup eliminations June 7. The C$1 million North America Cup final is June 14.

The final Canadian prep races for the North America Cup, three divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, also are Saturday night. The first division will go to the gate approximately 30 minutes after Western Vintage's race at the Meadowlands.

"We'll be watching, but really the most important thing is that my horse does his work," said Johansson, who trains Western Vintage for owners Perry Soderberg and Marvin Katz. "I think I have the best one, so I just need to worry about him and let the others worry about themselves. I can only control what happens with my horse anyway, I can't control anything with the others."

A son of stallion Western Ideal out of the mare Major Harmony, Western Vintage was purchased by Soderberg for $7,000 as a yearling at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale.

Last season, he won five of eight races and earned $316,838. His victories included the $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile. He finished second in the $648,850 Metro Pace at Mohawk.

Western Vintage started his 2014 season by winning the opening round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes on May 17. He sat out last weekend's second round, which was won by Doo Wop Hanover.

"So far I can't complain about anything with him," Johansson said. "He's sound and happy and doing his work well. We're where we want to be with him at this point."

In the New Jersey Sire Stakes final for 3-year-old male trotters, Trixton is the 3-5 favorite thanks to winning the Simpson Memorial in a season-best 1:51.2 and exploding in the stretch to win the first sire stakes leg by 4-3/4 lengths with a :26.2 last quarter-mile over a sloppy track.

Trixton is trained by Jimmy Takter, who is Johansson's father. Takter also has the 8-5 favorite in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old filly pacers, Gettingreadytoroll. And he has the 5-2 second choice in the sire stakes final for 3-year-old filly trotters, Moonlight In Miami. Julie Miller-trained Cee Bee Yes is the 2-1 choice.

2nd Race - $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final - 3yo Colts & Geldings Pace

1-Doo Wop Hanover [Rocknroll Hanover], John Campbell, Steve Elliott, 8-5

2-Dancin Hill [Rocknroll Hanover], Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 9-2

3-Western Vintage [Western Ideal], Yannick Gingras, Nancy Johansson, 3-5

4-Rock Out [Rocknroll Hanover], Matt Kakaley, Steve Elliott, 15-1

5-Beat The Drum [Tell All], Brett Miller, Staffan Lind, 20-1

3rd Race - $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final - 3yo Colts & Geldings Trot

1-Well Built [Muscle Hill], Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder, 15-1

2-Skates N Plates [Revenue], Trond Smedshammer, Trond Smedshammer, 20-1

3-Trixton [Muscle Hill], Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 3-5

4-Martiniwithmuscle [Muscle Hill], Yannick Gingras, Joseph King, 12-1

5-Speak The Truth [Muscle Hill], Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 5-1

6-Resolve [Muscle Hill], Matt Kakaley, Roman Lopez, 20-1

7-Sumatra [Muscles Yankee], Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1

8-Odds On Amethyst [Muscle Hill], Howard Parker, Chris Ryder, 9-2

9-King City [Muscle Hill], Mike Lachance, Jonas Czernyson, 30-1

10-Lightning Force [Muscle Hill], John Campbell, Randy Beeckman, 20-1

4th Race - $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final - 3yo Fillies Trot

1-My Inspiration [Chocolatier], Trond Smedshammer, Trond Smedshammer, 6-1

2-Mistresswithmuscle [Muscle Hill], Matt Kakaley, Nifty Norman, 30-1

3-Ravine [Muscle Hill], Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart, 30-1

4-Yoga [Muscles Yankee], Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 4-1

5-Moonlight In Miami [Muscles Yankee], John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 5-2

6-Heaven's Door [Muscle Hill], Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 9-2

7-Scream And Shout [Muscles Yankee], Tim Tetrick, Jimmy Takter, 8-1

8-Cee Bee Yes [Muscles Yankee], Marcus Miller, Julie Miller, 2-1

5th Race - $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final - 3yo Fillies Pace

1-Blixtra [Rocknroll Hanover], Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 20-1

2-Atasallrite Hanover [Rocknroll Hanover], Brett Miller, Ron Burke, 8-1

3-Sayitall BB [Tell All], Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 4-1

4-Highland Rockstar [Rocknroll Hanover], Mike Lachance, Buzzy Sholty, 20-1

5-Ideal Helen [Western Ideal], Marcus Miller, Erv Miller, 30-1

6-Fanticipation [Rocknroll Hanover], John Campbell, Michael Forte, 15-1

7-Act Now [Western Ideal], Tim Tetrick, Nikolas Drennan, 9-5

8-Rockingham Park [Rocknroll Hanover], Howard Parker, Ron Coyne Jr., 12-1

9-Fiyonce [Rocknroll Hanover], Joe Bongiorno, Ron Burke, 20-1

10-Gettingreadytoroll [Rocknroll Hanover], Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 8-5

by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

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