Day At The Track

Jimmy Takter hopes to keep streak going

06:44 PM 02 Aug 2012 NZST
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Uncle Peter Guccio romped to an easy 1:55.1 victory
Uncle Peter - Trained by Jimmy Takter
Lisa Photo
Guccio romped to an easy 1:55.1 victory
Lisa Photo

Hrness racing trainer driver Jimmy Takter hopes to keep his hot streak going in Saturday's Hambletonian final at the Meadowlands. And he'll have two chances to do it.

Takter trains the 5-2 morning-line favorite Uncle Peter and also trains and will drive 8-1 choice Guccio.

The recent Harness Racing Hall of Fame inductee is trying to become the 12th trainer to win harness racing’s most prestigious event at least three times.

Uncle Peter heads into the 87th running of the Hambletonian on a three-race winning streak, most recently taking first in his Hambletonian elimination last week by 1-3/4 lengths. He has won eight of 12 career starts and $533,967.

“Uncle Peter is most likely the most gifted 3-year-old trotting colt I’ve been around,” said Takter.

Expected to be nipping at Uncle Peter’s heels are Knows Nothing, who was made the second choice at 7-2, followed by Market Share at 4-1.

Market Share, a 3-year-old bay colt, poses as a potential upsetter after posting the fastest time of the three Hambletonian eliminations at 1:52.2. Knows Nothing, also a 3-year-old bay colt, has seven wins in eight starts this season.

Along with Uncle Peter, Takter also has the opportunity to win as a driver in this year’s event behind Guccio, whom he also trains. Although the fifth choice at 8-1 on the morning line, Takter would be the first trainer/driver to win the Hambo since 2008, when Ray Schnittker won with Deweycheatumnhowe.

“There are 10 horses in the field and you have two of them; that’s 20%. How can you complain?” said Takter.

Previously, Takter trained Hambletonian winners Muscle Massive in 2010 and Malabar Man in 1997.

Driving Uncle Peter is Ron Pierce, the second all-time leading money-earning driver in harness racing history, for a third consecutive race. Pierce is no stranger to the Hambletonian. He has won the Hambo three times, with Muscle Massive in 2010, Horse of the Year Donato Hanover in 2007 and American Winner in 1993. With a win, Pierce would become the sixth driver in Hambletonian history to win the event at least four times.

Even though Takter trains the favorite, Uncle Peter, and will be driving Guccio, a well rounded, competitive field proves to be the driving force to make this another historic race at the East Rutherford, N.J. mile oval.

by Corey ALEXANDER

Corey Alexander is a student at University of Maryland-Eastern Shore studying communications and is covering the Hambletonian as part of the Clyde Hirt Journalism Workshop.

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