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Harness racing trainer Nancy Takter continued her training dominance by finishing first and second with Fortify and No Lou Zing in the $325,000 Progress Pace.   Overlooked in the wagering, Tim Tetrick left and settled in fifth behind Cattlewash.   It proved to be the perfect place to be.   Tattoo Artist and Yannick Gingras stretched out No Lou Zing, parking him through a sizzling 25.2 opening quarter.   No Lou Zing finally cleared before the half in 53 seconds.   Down the backstretch Tim Tetrick was able to coerce Cattlewash off the rail and was towed into a second over journey. Cattlewash inched closer but was unable to threaten No Lou Zing. They throttled up to the three quarters in 1:20.2, pacing a 27.2 quarter. Past the three quarter point Tetrick roused Fortify three wide.   However,the race fractions were not kind to No Lou Zing, the race favorite. He weakened in the stretch. Fortify (Sweet Lou) won by a half length in 1:48.2 and went off at odds of 10-1.     Fortify is owned by Diamond Creek Racing and was driven by Tim Tetrick. Nancy Takter is the trainer.   No Lou Zing finished a hard fought second for trainer Nancy Takter and driver Dexter Dunn.   Catch The Fire was third for driver Mile Wilder and trainer John Ackley.   After Tim Tetrick’s reaction was “ I liked the way he raced last week, I know I needed a trip in the final”.   “It all worked out because I was able to follow Cattlewash. However, I was disappointed he (Cattlewash) could not carry me further and I had to go three wide”.   Trainer Nancy Takter was overjoyed in the winner’s circle at finishing first and second. “He( Fortify) is a pleasure to be around and I got him this summer. The owners wanted to skip the Breeder’s Crown and I’m glad they did”. He will go back to Diamond Creek and return as a four old.”   Sunny Dee shines and wins the Fillies and Mares Open at Dover. Sunny Dee and Dexter Dunn enjoyed the perfect pocket trip as She’s Pukka N did all the heavy lifting, cutting all the race fractions as the field remained in single file throughout most of the mile. The fractions were 26.1 55.1 and 1:23.3. Dexter Dunn confidently moved Sunny Dee, the three to five wagering favorite, out of the pocket and attacked She’s Pukka N in the stretch.   Sunny Dee won by a measured neck in 1:50.1 as the three to five race favorite.  The last quarter was paced in 26.3. Sunny Dee (Sunshine Beach) is owned by Let It Ride Stables and Bottom Line Racing LLC.  Mike Hall is the trainer. She’s Pukka N. grudgingly, finished second, for driver Tony Morgan and trainer Brian Malone. Queen Of The Pride is trained by Kevin Lare for driver Pat Berry. Tim Tetrick won 5 races on the card including the $325,000 Progress Pace.   by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night saw a handful of horses lock up harness racing divisional honors Saturday night at The Meadowlands. It also saw the two most-coveted human awards more than likely cinched by a pair of the game's biggest stars. First up was Dexter Dunn, the 30-year-old native of New Zealand, who in his second year driving full time in America, left not much doubt whom the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year will be. Of the eight stakes races on the card, Dunn emerged victorious four times, guiding Manchego (TVG Open Trot), Kissin In The Sand (TVG Mares Pace), Always A Miki (Governor's Cup) and Bettor's Wish (TVG Open Pace) to victory lane. Add in the fact that Dunn won four Breeders Crown races and was the only driver in the sport with $10 million in earnings this year coming into the night, he better make room for a second DOTY trophy. Takter scored three times on the card, as her trainees - Manchego, Kissin In The Sand and Always A Miki - were all handled by Dunn. She entered Saturday with earnings of $7.3 million from just 397 starts. During 2020, in addition to the aforementioned power-packed threesome, Takter also had likely Horse of the Year winner Tall Dark Stranger - the Meadowlands Pace and North America Cup champion - in her barn. It's clear that Takter will more than likely raise the USHWA Trainer of the Year hardware again. A LITTLE MORE: Trainer Ron Burke and driver Dave Miller both reached an incredible milestone, as each pushed past the $250-million mark in lifetime earnings. Burke reached that lofty number when his Baklouva finished second in the Governor's Cup Consolation while Miller became a quarter-billionaire after scoring with Blue Diamond Eyes in the Three Diamonds. Burke is harness racing's leading all-time trainer in terms of earnings while Miller is second to John Campbell, who finished his career with $299 million in his bank account. ... All-source handle on the 13-race card was $2,744,397. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

East Rutherford, NJ - Kissin In The Sand took the lead at the half, fended off a challenge from Shartin N on the final turn, and pulled away from the field in the stretch to win Saturday's $150,000 TVG Series Mare Pace championship in a stakes-record 1:48 at The Meadowlands. Three-year-old filly Peaky Sneaky was second and Shartin N was third. It was the final start of Kissin In The Sand's career. The 5-year-old mare finished the season with a seven-race win streak and pushed her lifetime victory total to 27 in 58 starts. She earned $1.74 million for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables and trainer Nancy Takter. "She was outstanding tonight," winning driver Dexter Dunn said. "She's had an amazing career, she's an amazing mare, and I was lucky enough to get on for the last four or five starts to enjoy the last run home." Kissin In The Sand left from post nine and settled into third as Peaky Sneaky and Shartin N exchanged the lead in an opening :26.3 quarter. Kissin In The Sand made her move on the backstretch and got to the front just as she hit the half in :53.4. She remained on top to three-quarters in 1:20.3 and came home in :27.2 to win by 2-1/2 lengths over stablemate Peaky Sneaky.   "She kicked in the straight really good," Dunn said. "She knows when it's go time. Once we got the plugs out, she went to another gear and finished off a very strong mile." Sent off the 4-5 favorite, Kissin In The Sand paid $3.80 to win. Kissin In The Sand, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Kiss Me Kate, was bred by Christina Takter, John Fielding, R A W Equine Inc., and Concord Stud Farm. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3. Among her wins to close out this season were her first Breeders Crown as well as the Dayton Distaff Derby, Milton Stakes, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. "When she was 3, I actually took care of her myself because I had a much smaller stable, so I had a very close relationship with her," trainer Nancy Takter said. "That's why she's so special (to me). "She's matured so much through the years. She was a pain in the butt to break. I remember four years ago when she came into my barn, I called Marvin Katz and said she's either going to be great, or she's going to be terrible. So I'm happy she decided to be great. She was just tough from day one and her performance tonight just shows how tough she really is." Kissin In The Sand will be bred to another of Takter's recently retired stars, Tall Dark Stranger. "Hopefully, they're a match made in heaven," Takter said, adding with a laugh, "I already told Marvin and Bud (Hatfield) that I get to train the first baby." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Dover DE - The field for the $325,000 Progress Pace at Dover Downs has been drawn.  The race features three year old colt and gelding pacers.  The race is scheduled as the 12th of 15 races off the evening. No Lou Zing and  Cattlewash, who finished first and second in the elimination race, drew post seven and post eight respectively. Trainer Nancy Takter sends out two entries in Fortify and No Lou Zin, who was supplemented to the race. Trainer Tony Alagna sends out Captain’s Barbossa and Kirk.    Also scheduled on the pre Thanksgiving card will be two, $100,000 DSBF Finals and two $15,000 DSBF Consolations. Dover Downs Post Time is 4:30 pm The field is as follows:          Horse                                                Trainer Captain Barbossa                              T. Alagna Manticore                                           Br. Saunders Captain Kirk                                       T. Alagna Fortify                                                 N. Takter Catch The Fire                                   J. Ackley Tattoo Artist                                        I. Moore No Lou Zing                                       N.Takter Cattlewash                                         R.Burke by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs  

Harness racing trainer Nancy Takter will watch trotting mare Manchego and pacing mare Kissin In The Sand compete for the final time Saturday at The Meadowlands, but also will get another look at two 3-year-olds that will attempt to follow in their award-winning stablemates' hoof prints next season. Hambletonian Oaks winner Sorella will face five older foes in the $140,000 TVG Series championship for female trotters while 3-year-old filly Breeders Crown winner Peaky Sneaky will meet eight older rivals in the $150,000 TVG Series championship for female pacers. "They're both coming back next year, and they're both really sharp at the moment," Takter said. "I think they both deserve a chance." It is the second time 3-year-old fillies will take on mares in the TVG Series championships, which debuted in 2013. Last year, Warrawee Ubeaut finished fourth in the Mare Pace final and Beautiful Sin was fourth in the Mare Trot. Sorella's foes in the Mare Trot include 5-year-old Plunge Blue Chip, a world-record-holder and multiple Grand Circuit winner, and 4-year-old When Dovescry, who captured the 2019 Hambletonian Oaks and Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old filly trotter. She will not face Manchego or Atlanta, who will both race in Saturday's $320,000 TVG Open Trot final. Peaky Sneaky's rivals in the Mare Pace include 5-year-old Kissin In The Sand as well as 7-year-old Shartin N, who was the 2019 Horse of the Year; 6-year-old Caviart Ally, who is the event's defending champion, and 4-year-old Warrawee Ubeaut. The four TVG Series championships are among eight Grand Circuit stakes on Saturday's Big M card, along with the Fall Four for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EST). Sorella heads to the TVG Mare Trot off a win in last week's Matron Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. She has won eight of 14 races this season, hit the board a total of 12 times, and earned $713,049. In addition to winning the Oaks, she won a division of the Casual Breeze Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park in a Canadian-record 1:51.3 and the Reynolds Memorial in 1:50.2, which is tied for the season's second-fastest mile by a 3-year-old trotter. "The only way I was putting Sorella in was if Manchego ended up in the (TVG) Open," Takter said. "I knew it was going to be a little bit of a short field, and I think she belongs in there. I don't think she gets enough credit for what she's done this year. She's raced from the first weekend of June all the way through November. She broke a Canadian record, she won the Oaks; she's had a tremendous year." Peaky Sneaky won the Breeders Crown last month at Harrah's Hoosier Park, where she handed Party Girl Hill her only loss of the season. For the year, Peaky Sneaky has won six of 15 races, hit the board 12 times, and earned $482,622. Her 1:48 win in a division of the Glen Garnsey makes her the third-fastest female pacer of the season, behind only Party Girl Hill and Kissin In The Sand. "She's tough and gritty," Takter said. "I don't think she knows any different if they're aged mares or 3-year-olds." Kissin In The Sand heads to the TVG final with a six-race win streak. Her victories include the Breeders Crown, Dayton Distaff Derby, Milton Stakes, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. For her career, she has won 26 of 57 races and $1.66 million. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at 3. Manchego, coming off the third Breeders Crown title of her career, and 5-year-old mare Atlanta both take on the males in the TVG Open Trot. Manchego has won 32 of 55 lifetime races and $2.56 million. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at 2. In the TVG Open Pace championship, Bettor's Wish will make his final career start against a field that includes Breeders Crown winner Century Farroh. Four Breeders Crown winners also will be in action in the Fall Four: Lady Chaos in the $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, On A Streak in the $398,650 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, Summa Cum Laude in the $371,900 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, and Fire Start Hanover in the $323,600 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. For complete Saturday Big M entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

The record-setting career of Manchego will come to an end Nov. 21 at The Meadowlands. Barry Guariglia, who owns the 5-year-old trotting mare, said her final start will be in the TVG Series championship, either in the Mare Trot or Open Trot. Manchego has won 32 of 55 lifetime races and earned $2.56 million. Her victories include the 2018 Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown titles at ages 2, 4, and 5. She is the fastest female trotter ever thanks to her 1:49 victory in the 2019 Allerage Farms Mare Trot at Red Mile and also the fastest female trotter in history on a five-eighths-mile track, with a mark of 1:49.3 in this year's Spirit of Massachusetts at Plainridge Park. She is the only female trotter to win with a sub-1:50 mile in multiple years. She has been the sport's fastest trotter in 2019 and 2020. In 2017, Manchego won all 12 of her starts and became the first undefeated 2-year-old filly trotter in Breeders Crown history as well as the first unbeaten 2-year-old filly trotter to win a Dan Patch Award. With her Breeders Crown triumph two weeks ago, she joined Peace Corps and Grades Singing as the only female trotters with at least three trophies. Manchego was trained by Jimmy Takter at ages 2 and 3, and Nancy Takter at 4 and 5. Guariglia will keep Manchego, who is by Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic, as a broodmare. "For me, that (TVG) will be a rough one because it's been so wonderful, and I do like to race," Guariglia said. "It'll be a rough one, but the start of a new chapter for her. "She seems to be in good form, so hopefully we've got one more (win) in us." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

ANDERSON, Ind. -- Peaky Sneaky became the first filly to defeat Party Girl Hill -- and she made the most of it, capturing the $500,000 Breeders Crown sophomore filly harness racing pace on Saturday night (Oct. 31) at Harrah's Hoosier Park in rein to driver Yannick Gingras. Gingras and Peaky Sneaky left explosively to secure the lead before yielding into the opening bend to Rocknificent and driver Scott Zeron. The Nancy Takter trainee was quick to regain at the :26.2 opening quarter, and she then stung the 1-5 favorite Party Girl Hill before allowing her to pass at the halfway point in :54. Party Girl Hill and Dexter Dunn kept the tempo lively, hitting three-quarters in 1:21.3 while second choice Lyons Sentinel and Tim Tetrick crept into contention first-over and was on the leader's flank heading into the homestretch. Unlike in her 14 straight victories, Party Girl Hill and Dunn looked vulnerable on Breeders Crown night under outside pressure from Lyons Sentinel. And once the inside passing lane opened, Peaky Sneaky picked up the fight. The three fillies raced head-to-head through deep stretch, with Party Girl Hill fighting valiantly. Ultimately, Peaky Sneaky wore her down in the closing strides to prevail in a stakes record 1:49 mile. Lyons Sentinel edged Party Girl Hill for second. Peaky Sneaky is owned by Howard and Judith Taylor and Order By Stable, and was bred by White Birch Farms. The victory was her sixth on the season in 14 tries. The Bettor's Delight filly paid $16.20 as the third choice. "She was tremendous last week," Gingras said of Peaky Sneaky. "I thought she had a shot." Takter has believed in Peaky Sneaky all year long: "She was so good. I've been saying all along that she's going to win a big one. She won the right big one." by Jay Bergman, for the Breeders Crown

ANDERSON, Ind. -- Manchego became only the fourth trotter in harness racing history to win three Breeders Crown trophies by capturing Saturday's (Oct. 31) $300,000 Mare Trot in 1:52 at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Dispatched as the 4-5 favorite, Manchego won by 3-1/4 lengths over Plunge Blue Chip. When Dovescry overcame a break at the start to rally for third. Manchego joined Peace Corps, Grades Singing and Mack Lobell as the only trotters with at least three Crowns. Peace Corps holds the Breeders Crown record with four titles; Grades Singing and Mack Lobell each had three. In Saturday's final, Felicityshagwell S went to the front followed by Plunge Blue Chip, Weslynn Quest, and Manchego. The top four remained in that order through a :27.3 opening quarter and :56 half. Entering the last turn, driver Dexter Dunn put Manchego on a first-over march. She was third to three-quarters in 1:24.2, and she briefly followed Plunge Blue Chip (Ãke Svanstedt) -- who pulled the pocket in the stretch -- before powering past her rivals for the victory. "It actually worked out good because I got on (Svanstedt's) helmet for a while; he sort of beat me into the stretch there," Dunn said. "Once I moved her off Ãke's helmet, she really exploded. "She's an amazing horse. She really did it easy. It was a good performance tonight. It's a pleasure to sit behind her." Manchego's previous Breeders Crown triumphs came at age 2 at Hoosier Park in 2017 and at age 4 at Woodbine Mohawk Park last year. "It sure never gets old," said owner Barry Guariglia of Black Horse Racing. "She's an awesome mare. It's been a great ride." Manchego, a 5-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic, is trained by Nancy Takter. Manchego has won five of 12 races this year and 32 of 55 in her career, with earnings of $2.56 million. She was bred by Brittany Farms. Manchego paid $3.80 to win. by Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown  

Two years ago, harness racing trainer Nancy Takter accepted a bye for Kissin In The Sand and advanced directly to the Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old female pacers. By skipping the eliminations, though, Kissin In The Sand missed the chance to earn an inside starting position with a win. Kissin In The Sand ended up drawing post nine for the final at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, got parked out the entire mile, and finished second by three-quarters of a length. So, this year when Takter was once again offered a Breeders Crown bye for Kissin In The Sand, she declined. And Kissin In The Sand drew post nine for her elimination at Harrah's Hoosier Park. "I was like, what the heck," Takter said with a laugh. This time, however, Kissin In The Sand prevailed from post nine, winning the single elimination by three-quarters of a length and securing post-position safety for the final. Kissin In The Sand starts from post three in Saturday's $300,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace at Hoosier Park. Dexter Dunn will drive the 5-year-old, who brings a five-race win streak to the event and is the 7-5 morning-line favorite. "She's just been really good," Takter said. "She's a little cursed when it comes to the Breeders Crown, so I hope we can get this done. She's my girl." Kissin The Sand is making her fourth appearance in the Breeders Crown, and her third in a final. Last year, she drew post seven in a seven-horse Mare Pace final at Woodbine Mohawk Park and finished third. In 2017, at Hoosier, she drew post eight in an eight-horse elimination and failed to advance. For her career, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Kiss Me Kate has won 25 of 56 races and $1.51 million for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3. Saturday's Mare Pace field includes three previous Breeders Crown champions: 2019 Mare Pace winner Caviart Ally, 2018 Mare Pace winner Shartin N, and 2- and 3-year-old filly winner Warrawee Ubeaut. Shartin N, the 2019 Horse of the Year, is the 2-1 second choice. Caviart Ally will attempt to become the first repeat Mare Pace winner since Shelliscape in 2013-14. Warrawee Ubeaut will try to become the first female pacer to win three consecutive Breeders Crown finals and the first 3-year-old filly champ to win the Mare Pace as a 4-year-old. Kissin In The Sand is one of four morning-line favorites Takter will send out in Saturday's eight Breeders Crown finals. The others are 3-year-old colt pacer Tall Dark Stranger, 3-year-old filly trotter Spoiled Princess, and 5-year-old mare trotter Manchego. (To read a story on Tall Dark Stranger, click here. To read about Spoiled Princess, click here.) Manchego is a two-time Breeders Crown champion, with titles at ages 2 and 4. Only three trotters in history have won three or more Breeders Crown trophies. Female trotter Peace Corps holds the record with four. Grades Singing, another female, won three as did male trotter Mack Lobell. Manchego, a daughter of Muscle Hill-Secret Magic, has won 31 of 54 career races and $2.41 million. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 2 and is owned by Black Horse Racing. She will start the $300,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot from post seven with Dunn in the sulky and is the 8-5 morning-line favorite. She is the fastest female trotter in history, with a 1:49 mile in 2019, and the only female trotter ever with sub-1:50 wins in multiple years. Last Saturday, Manchego finished second to Gimpanzee, a stallion with two Breeders Crown titles to his credit, in an invitational at Hoosier. She was sixth for most of the mile before closing with a :25.1 last quarter. As a point of reference, the fastest last quarter by a trotter in Breeders Crown history is :26, shared by Greenshoe and Chin Chin Hall in 2019. "I was really happy with her," said Takter, a four-time Breeders Crown winner. "I made some changes on her just to keep her a little quieter. I changed her bit and put an ear hood on her, just so she could maybe be taken off the gate a little bit more and not go so hard the first three-eighths of a mile. She trotted really good. I changed her shoes up a little bit too. I think she'll be in good form this week. She needed that mile." Harrah's Hoosier Park hosts the four $600,000 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds on Friday. The remaining eight finals, for 3-year-olds and older horses, are Saturday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) both nights. The 2020 Breeders Crown, presented by the Libfeld-Katz Breeding Partnership, is the 37th edition of the $6 million event. Harrah's Hoosier Park will provide a free live high-definition streaming of the races on YouTube. Following is the field for Saturday's Breeders Crown Mare Pace. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-Sweet Lucy Lou-Brian Sears-Robert Cleary-30/1 2-Rockin Nola-Joey Putnam-Joe Putnam-8/1 3-Kissin In The Sand-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Takter-7/5 4-Caviart Ally-Andrew McCarthy-Brett Pelling-15/1 5-Warrawee Ubeaut-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-6/1 6-Shartin N-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr.-2/1 7-Philly Hanover-Scott Zeron-Robert Fellows-30/1 8-Treacherous Reign-David Miller-Tony Alagna-30/1 9-Trillions Hanover-Bob McClure-Tom Fanning-20/1 10-Stonebridge Soul-Brett Miller-Chris Ryder-30/1 Stonebridge Soul starts from the second tier. Following is the field for Saturday's Breeders Crown Mare Trot. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1-Weslynn Quest-Scott Zeron-Chris Beaver-20/1 2-Conway Kellyanne-Yannick Gingras-Daryl Bontrager-30/1 3-Pat Matters-Andrew McCarthy-R. Nifty Norman-8/1 4-When Dovescry-David Miller-Brett Pelling-7/2 5-Plunge Blue Chip-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-9/5 6-Felicityshagwell S-Andy Miller-Ake Svanstedt-15/1 7-Manchego-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Takter-8/5 8-Grand Swan-LeWayne Miller-LeWayne Miller-20/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA     

When it comes to online harness racing purchases, Spoiled Princess looks like a royal buy. The 3-year-old filly trotter is a nose from being undefeated in three races for trainer Nancy Takter since her father Jimmy acquired the horse for $90,400 last month in an onGait.com auction. On Saturday, she races in the $500,000 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old filly trotters at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Spoiled Princess heads to the race off a 1:53 win in her elimination this past Friday, when she defeated favorite Hypnotic AM by a neck. "It's 2020, the year of COVID-19, and everybody learned to shop online," Takter said, adding with a laugh. "Even Jimmy Takter learned how to buy horses online." Jimmy Takter, the Hall of Famer who retired from training following the 2018 season, and happens to be the winningest trainer in Breeders Crown history with 34 trophies, was interested in Spoiled Princess as a broodmare prospect. Five days before she sold online, Spoiled Princess won a division of the Buckette Stakes at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. Nancy Takter was at the track that day, watching her stable's Caviart Eva win the other division. "He called me and asked about her," Nancy Takter said. "He was really looking for a mare that he could breed to Ready For Moni later, that would cross well with Ready For Moni. She looked good, a nice-gaited filly, a nice big strong-looking filly. I knew she was sound. I didn't see where you could go wrong with buying her." Jimmy Takter made the buy, with Black Horse Racing's Barry Guariglia. The filly now races for Black Horse Racing and Christina Takter. Since joining her new group, Spoiled Princess finished second by a nose to stablemate Sorella in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes, won a 3-year-old filly open, and captured her Breeders Crown elimination. For her career, Spoiled Princess has won eight of 21 races and $171,136. The daughter of Trixton-Fashion Spooner was trained previously by Nifty Norman. Spoiled Princess will start the Breeders Crown final from post five with driver Dexter Dunn. "She was in really good shape when she got to me; she was sound and a well-mannered filly," Nancy Takter said. "She's beautifully gaited. We just made some bridle changes and stuff like that, and I put her on Lasix. She's maybe a little fresher than some of the other ones now. That plays to her advantage as well." Spoiled Princess is one of three finalists for Takter. Her others are Sorella, the Hambletonian Oaks winner, and Caviart Eva. Sorella finished third, beaten a half-length, in Spoiled Princess' elim. Caviart Eva was fourth in the other elimination, which was won by Next Level Stuff in 1:53.4. "I was happy with both of them," Takter said. "Eva is a game, honest filly. She's really an overachiever. She tries really hard. You can't help but like her. I was happy with Sorella too. She's not really as much of a sprinter as maybe Princess is. I think she raced good. She raced with shoes and she's better without shoes. She'll race without shoes in the final. She's been good all year. It's tough to maintain your form from May to November." Next Level Stuff rallied to win her elimination by a neck over tempo-setting Ab'sattitudexpress. She has won three of her last four races for trainer Jim Campbell and owner Runthetable Stables. Her only loss during that span was a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Filly Futurity. She will start the final from post one with driver Tim Tetrick. For the year, the daughter of Sebastian K S-Nantab has won six of 12 races and $231,361. "I couldn't be happier with her, the way she's been going," Campbell said. "She's been very consistent all year long. She had a real good race the other night and hopefully we can keep her going for the final. "She was really good in the Kentucky (Filly) Futurity final, she just had some bad racing luck. She was pinned in and didn't get out until late. But she raced really good there and she took advantage of a good trip Friday at Hoosier." Ab'sattitudexpress, trained by Lucas Wallin, and Hypnotic AM, trained by Marcus Melander, will start the Breeders Crown final next to each other, in posts six and seven, respectively. "I was very happy with how Ab's raced and she never gave up," Wallin said. "With an eighth of a mile left it looked like she would get beat by two lengths or so, but she tried her best. She hasn't disappointed me yet this year." Said Melander about Hypnotic AM, the Oaks and Filly Futurity runner-up, "I was very happy with her in the elimination. She got to the lead and just got beat by a neck. She's always right there in these races, she always shows up. She's never missed the board in her entire life. You can always count on her. She's a great horse and definitely one of the fillies that can win the race." Kentucky Filly Futurity winner Love A Good Story finished third in her elimination, beaten a length by Next Level Stuff. She will start Saturday from post 10, in the second tier. "I think she was really coming on for a good-closing third," trainer Julie Miller said. "I wasn't tickled with the 10-hole, but that's better than the eight or nine. We'll see what happens with her. I think she's really peaking right now." $500,000 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Filly Trot PP-Horse-Trainer 1-Next Level Stuff-Jim Campbell 2-Crucial-Ron Burke 3-May Baby-James Yoder 4-Sorella-Nancy Takter 5-Spoiled Princess-Nancy Takter 6-Ab'sattitudexpress-Lucas Wallin 7-Hypnotic AM-Marcus Melander 8-Caviart Eva-Nancy Takter 9-Rock Swan-Erv Miller 10-Love A Good Story-Julie Miller by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

DAYTON, OH. - Trainer Nancy Takter thought long and hard about giving Kissin In The Sand a week off after a convincing 1:49 win in the Milton Stake at Woodbine Mohawk outside Toronto last Saturday. But a change in plans, possibly caused by a realization that Hatfield Stables of Ohio co-owns the magnificent mare with Marvin Katz of Toronto, resulted in an epic battle with Shartin N and another 1:49 score in the $175,000 Dayton Distaff Derby on Saturday night (Oct. 3).   The 1:49 triumph equaled the Hollywood Dayton track record for older pacing mares, set three races sooner by Miss You N in a $25,000 Mares Open. Dexter Dunn was in the sulky behind both winning mares.   Shartin N (Tim Tetrick) set sail from the get go and cut all the fractions (:26.3, :54.2 and 1:21.2) before getting snapped by Kissin In The Sand a few steps from the finish line. The winner was content to get away fourth and stayed in that spot until past the three-quarters marker, despite moving into the outer flow in second over position before the halfway juncture. Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy) was third to cross the wire.       Kissin In The Sand was actually dispatched at odds of 4-5 over even money Shartin N and didn't disappoint. The five-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere now sports 23 wins in 54 lifetime starts and boosted her career bounty to $1,470,594.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway

Hanover, PA - It is with great excitement and pride that Hanover Shoe Farm’s announces the addition of three -year -old pacing colt phenom Tall Dark Stranger to its stallion roster for the 2021 harness racing breeding season. With a record of 1:49.1 at 2 and a current record of 1:47.1 at 3 and $1,741,645 earned thus far, Tall Dark Stranger has a remarkable slate of 16 wins and 1 second from 18 career starts.  Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin  and Lynn Katz, Caviart Farms, Marlene Taylor and Howard Taylor, trained by Nancy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras, Tall Dark Stranger is the only horse in history to win the Metro Pace and Breeders Crown as a two year old and return to racing as a three year old and win both the Meadowlands Pace and North American Cup. Tall Dark Stranger also won the International Stallion Stakes at 2 in route to being voted 2 -Year -Old Colt Pacer of the Year in both the United States and Canada. This year at three, in addition to the Meadowlands Pace and North American Cup he has also captured The Cane Pace and The Kentucky Sire Stakes Final. Tall Dark Stranger is scheduled to start next at The Red Mile and then go on to the Breeders’ Crown at Hoosier Park.  Seemingly destined for greatness from his birth, Tall Dark Stranger was a $330,000 purchase from the 2018 Lexington Selected Sale. He was considered by many to be the premier pacing colt offered at that venue that year. A stunning individual by the legendary stallion Bettors Delight ,Tall Dark Stranger hails from one of harness racing’s most prolific families. He is out of World Champion and Dan Patch and O’Brien Award Winning 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year Precocious Beauty p,2,1:50.1 ($838,004), she a sister to successful pacing stallion Sportswriter and out of a sister to Swinging Beauty P,1:49.4 ($893,268) and the grandam of Downbytheseaside P,2,1:49, 3.1:48.3f ($2,179,558) whose eagerly awaited first crop of yearlings sell this fall. “Russell and I are thrilled and honored to have been given the chance to add such an illustrious pacing stallion to our roster, we believe he is the most accomplished pacer to enter the stallion ranks since Captaintreacherous. This will be the our first partnership with Crawford Farms, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor ,which is exciting ,and  the third stallion we stand that Marvin Katz  owns part of, Captiantreacherous and Bar Hopping being the two others. It is a pleasure to work with Marvin ,he has vast knowledge of the breeding business and a  terrific band of broodmares to support his stallions”,  says Hanover Executive Vice President Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky.  Trainer Nancy Takter calls Tall Dark Stranger “One of the best pacers we have seen. A champion at two and three, he’s done things that no horse has ever done. He’s a pleasure to train and knows that his job is to win”. Driver Yannick Gingras says that Tall Dark Stranger is the best pacing colt he has ever driven. “He has all the tools needed for greatness. Speed, gait, and looks but above all his desire to win races is truly unbelievable to me. He’s a champion in every sense of the word”. Tall Dark Stranger will stand in Pennsylvania His service fee and details concerning the Syndication will be forthcoming. From Hanover Shoe Farms      

MILTON, ON -  August 29, 2020 - Harness racing three-year-old pacer Tall Dark Stranger looked like a million dollars in taking the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Trained by Nancy Takter, Tall Dark Stranger and Yannick Gingras were content to let Tattoo Artist make his mark on the lead, as the latter powered from post seven to strike front early in the proceedings. With Bob McClure in the bike, Tattoo Artist took his nine rivals through an opening mile carved out in a snappy :25.4, with Tall Dark Stranger settling in second. Longshots Moneyman Hill, in third, and Mayhem Hanover, sitting fourth, watch the pacesetting duo set the tone early. Soon after the quarter-mile mark, Gingras, contesting his ninth Cup, powered his 3-5 favourite to the outside and to the lead, as they cut a half in :53.3. It was Tall Dark Stranger still calling the shots as the field geared up for the stretch drive. McClure pulled Tattoo Artist to the outside looking to track down the frontunner. For a brief moment, it appeared as though they were cutting into the lead of Tall Dark Stranger, but he pulled away down the lane for another impressive score. Tattoo Artist was second, while 127-1 Moneyman Hill finished third. Odds on Osiris, leaving from post 10, rallied to take fourth. There was plenty of emotion in the aftermath of the victory, including a teary-eyed Gingras, and an elated Marvin Katz, who co-owns Tall Dark Stranger with Crawford Farms Racing, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. It was the second straight Cup title for Takter, who won last year with Captain Crunch. And it was also a historic triumph. "I'm overjoyed, I really am," said Katz. "I've been doing this for a very long time and I've been fortunate to have many great horses, but I think this guy really rates up with some of the greatest horses we've ever seen. This is historic. What he's done tonight has never been done before. He won the Metro as a two-year-old, he won the Breeders Crown - he's come back to win the Meadowlands Pace and he's won the North America Cup. Somebeachsomewhere, Captaintreacherous... they couldn't do it, but he's done it." The enormity of the accomplishment wasn't lost on Takter, who wasn't able to watch the race in-person. "This is an extra-special colt in extraordinary circumstances," she told Woodbine Mohawk Park. "I'm so proud of the horse and my team." Gingras had ample praise for the competitive spirit shown by the sophomore superstar. "I rolled him to three-quarters pretty hard but he just never quits. He's just a tremendous horse - the best pacing colt I've ever driven, there's no doubt in my mind. He's just an amazing animal. I feel awesome, there's no doubt about it. This means so much. I couldn't be any happier right now." Winning trainer Tony Alagna was also represented by Captain Kirk and Captain Barbossa. All of his starters were sired by Captaintreacherous, who won the NA Cup in 2013. A son of 2001 Cup winner Bettors Delight, Tall Dark Stranger, closing in on $2 millions in earnings, is now 14 for 16 lifetime. "I think he's just stronger than they are right now, and he can get them tired just by trying to keep up with him," said Gingras. Tall Dark Stranger paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.40, combining with Tattoo Artist ($4.30, $3.50) for a $16.20 exactor. Moneyman Hill ($20.70) completed a $2 triactor worth $476.40. Odds On Osiris rounded out a $1 superfecta worth $2,596.30. Saturday evening's Pepsi North America Cup card established a new Pepsi North America Cup handle record of $5,619,402. The handle was headlined by $1.1 million in new money wagered on the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout. by Chris Lomon, for Woodbine Communications  

Hightstown, NJ — No harness racing trainer has ever won the Meadowlands Racetrack’s top events for 3-year-old pacers and trotters — the Meadowlands Pace and Hambletonian Stakes — in the same year. Just being in the position to accomplish the feat is rare enough, but that is the spot in which Nancy Takter finds herself this year. Takter won the Meadowlands Pace in July with Tall Dark Stranger. On Saturday, she sends out Ready For Moni in the $1 million Hambletonian final at The Big M. The only other trainer this century to win the Pace and have a Hambletonian finalist was Ray Schnittker in 2010, when One More Laugh captured the Pace and Cassis was eighth in the Hambletonian. Schnittker is among seven trainers to win both the Pace and Hambletonian during their careers. The others are Billy Haughton, Ray Remmen, Chuck Sylvester, Blair Burgess, Steve Elliott, and Linda Toscano. “I think that would be pretty awesome,” Takter said about winning the Pace and Hambletonian in the same year. “That would be pretty cool.” Ready For Moni, with Yannick Gingras in the sulky, is the 3-1 second choice on the Hambletonian morning line. He won his elimination last weekend by three-quarters of a length over Threefiftytwo in 1:51.3. The colt is 2-for-2 this year, with his first victory coming in a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial in 1:51.4. Ramona Hill, one of two fillies taking on the boys in the Hambletonian, is the 5-2 favorite. The Hambletonian is the first jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. CBS Sports Network will air a delayed one-hour broadcast of the Hambletonian from 6-7 p.m. (EDT) Saturday. The stakes-filled card at The Meadowlands starts at noon. “Ready For Moni trained really good Wednesday morning,” Takter said. “He came out of the elim really good and seems like he’s gotten a step better. Maybe he’ll be a little sharper after training and he’s as close to peaking as we can get him off of two starts for the year. But sometimes less is more. I think he’ll be fine. “You want them to be fresh. Some horses do need a race, horses that are a little laid back. Horses that are racehorses, they show up on race day. As long as they have a foundation and conditioning, they don’t need a lot of racing.” Ready For Moni is a son of French star Ready Cash out of Nothing But Moni. For his career he has won six of 10 races and $374,020. He is owned by John Fielding, Lindy Farms of Connecticut, Herb Liverman, and Bud Hatfield. In addition to the Hambletonian, Takter has two horses in the $600,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters. Sorella is the 7-2 second choice and Panem is 6-1. Marcus Melander-trained Hypnotic AM is the 5-2 favorite. Only two trainers have ever won the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks in the same year, Takter’s father Jimmy and Jan Johnson. Sorella has won three of four races this year, including a division of the W.N. Reynolds Memorial in 1:50.2, and five of 13 races lifetime. She is owned by breeder Elmer Fannin, Crawford Farms Racing, and Brent Fannin. A daughter of Muscle Hill out of Kadealia, she starts the Oaks from post seven with driver Gingras. Sorella has won three of four races this year. “She trained really well; I was really happy with her, she looked awesome,” Takter said. “She looks like she could be in top condition for Saturday. I know Yannick is kind of happy with her spot behind the gate, so I think all systems are go with her. We just need some luck.” Panem, a daughter of Father Patrick out of Katniss, has a win and three seconds in four starts this year. For her career, the homebred filly has won three of 14 races for Diamond Creek Racing. She will start the Oaks from post 11, in the second tier, with driver Dexter Dunn. “She also trained very well,” Takter said. “The biggest obstacle is going to be the 11-hole, but it is what it is and I’m sure Dexter can figure out how to get her out at some point from there. If anybody can do it, he can. Panem has a win and three seconds in four starts this year. “I’m looking forward to that race. I think both my horses are very good; we tossed around the idea of putting them in against the colts (in the Hambletonian). I think they’re both in a good spot.” Takter has a total of 14 horses racing on Hambletonian Day, including Manchego in the Dr. John Steele Memorial, Tall Dark Stranger in the Cane Pace (the first jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown), Kissin In The Sand in the Lady Liberty, and Locatelli and Type A in the Peter Haughton Memorial. “That’s good, it’ll keep me busy,” Takter said. “There’s no time for nerves then, you just have to keep getting your job done.” For complete entries for Saturday’s card at The Big M, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Under most circumstances, trainer Nancy Takter would have watched the stretch drive of this past Saturday's Meadowlands Pace and been overcome with a sinking feeling. In those instances, though, she would not have been watching Tall Dark Stranger. Tall Dark Stranger and driver Yannick Gingras captured Saturday's $636,650 Meadowlands Pace in dramatic fashion, giving up the lead to rival Papi Rob Hanover in the stretch before fighting back to win by a neck in 1:47.2. Few people - including Gingras, co-owner Buck Chaffee, and Takter's father Jimmy - thought Tall Dark Stranger would be the winner as the horses began their battle on the final turn. Takter, however, was undaunted as the scene unfolded. "Usually when a horse kind of halfway clears, your heart sinks," Takter said. "I never got that feeling. I never had the feel that I was the loser. It was the weirdest thing ever. I watched the stretch and I had so much confidence in Tall Dark Stranger and knew he would come back. "What a champion he is. He just doesn't want to lose. He's just a great horse." Takter won her first Meadowlands Pace in her second try. In 2019, she finished fourth with favorite Captain Crunch. She also gave the Takter family its first Pace trophy; Jimmy sent out 10 horses in the event for 3-year-old pacers with a best finish of second with Vintage Master in 2009. As is a Takter tradition, the winner's blanket was placed on a bronze horse statue near the entrance of the family's central New Jersey farm. "There have been a lot of great blankets out there, so it was about time that one got on," the 39-year-old Takter said. "When I was growing up, a little kid, Meadowlands Pace night was always a big event. My dad didn't have a lot of pacers at that time, but I remember all these great horses and we would talk about them. I knew it was special to win the Meadowlands Pace." Tall Dark Stranger was the 2019 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer. For his career, he has won 11 of 12 races and earned $1.05 million for owners Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, and Howard Taylor. The colt, a son of Bettor's Delight out of Precocious Beauty, is Gingras' second Meadowlands Pace winner. Gingras got his first Pace victory with A Rocknroll Dance in 2012. "I have a connection with Tall Dark Stranger that makes it a little different than with A Rocknroll Dance," said Gingras, who has driven Tall Dark Stranger in all his qualifiers and races as well as spent time with the horse at Takter's stable. "Then, you have the expectations. A Rocknroll Dance was 9-2 and things worked out on that day, but you don't have the pressure. "Tall Dark Stranger, he's the champ, he's the one that has to be dethroned. He was 1-2 (odds), it was a lot of pressure. And I know Papi Rob Hanover is a great horse. I knew he would show up. Everyone saw Allywag Hanover, he's super fast too. You put all that together, to be able to get the job done, in that fashion too, is a great, great feeling." Papi Rob Hanover and Allywag Hanover both looked poised to defeat Tall Dark Stranger after the latter went for the lead in a :25.4 opening quarter-mile, then reached the half in :53.2 and three-quarters in 1:20.4. Around the last turn, Papi Rob Hanover pulled even with Tall Dark Stranger, with Allywag Hanover following Papi Rob Hanover's cover. "When Papi Rob came, I really didn't feel like I was a winner there," Gingras said. "I thought I was beat. I knew (Allywag Hanover) was in a perfect spot; I thought I was in trouble with both of them. I thought I would be second or third at that point. I just kept trying to keep my horse alive and he just fought. "Halfway down the stretch, I thought I had a chance. Maybe like a hundred feet before the wire, I knew I had (Papi Rob Hanover) even though I wasn't back in front of him yet. I knew I was getting to him and I had time to get him too. It felt pretty good then. "Tall Dark Stranger is a winner and he knows what he has to do to get the job done. He has the desire to dig down deep and give you that little more that's needed." After winning eight of nine races last season, Tall Dark Stranger is 3-for-3 in 2020 and has two sub-1:48 miles already this year. His 1:47.2 clocking in the Meadowlands Pace ranks tied for eighth best by a 3-year-old pacer in history. Gingras believes the horse's strong start this year is in part due to the way he finished last season. Tall Dark Stranger's connections decided to quit with the colt following his win in the Breeders Crown rather than pursue nearly $600,000 in purses in the Matron Stakes and Governor's Cup. "They could have kept on going last year, but they quit with him after having a great year with him," Gingras said. "They decided they were going to focus on trying to put all the chances on our side for his 3-year-old season, and it paid off. They got rewarded for their patience. I think the credit goes to them and Nancy for doing a good job bringing him back." Tall Dark Stranger's next start is expected to be in the Tompkins-Geers Stakes on Aug. 1 at The Meadowlands. Then comes the Cane Pace the following Saturday at The Big M. In the meantime, Takter will savor the Pace triumph. "I was a little disappointed about last year, so it was nice to come back and get it done this year," she said. "It's a very special accomplishment." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Elkton, MD -- Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA, is excited to announce their line-up for Thursday (July 16) at 10:30 a.m. Guests include Nancy Takter, Pat Woods, Tim Tetrick, and David Miller. Woods joins the harness racing program from Winbak Farm to discuss their Ontario yearlings that will soon be available for purchase this yearling season. Takter, Tetrick, and Miller will discuss their upcoming chances in the 2020 Meadowlands Pace, and talk about some of the other horses participating on the stakes laden program. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at https://www.blogtalkradio.com/ptmikeandmike. by Michael Carter, for Post Time  

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