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Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #7

Published: April 11, 2018 3:05 pm ET

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The countdown to the 2018 Pepsi North America Cup is on, with Trot Magazine profiling the horses predicted to be the top contenders for Canadian harness racing's richest prize.

At 18-1, Nutcracker Sweet comes in at #7 in Trot Magazine's 2018 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book.

Owned by lawyer Howard Taylor, Sweden's Order By Stable, and Richard Lombardo of Ohio, Nutcracker Sweet justified his six-figure yearling price with a solid rookie season. A brother to a pair of world record holding multi-millionaires in Bettor Sweet and Sweet Lou, Nutcracker Sweet compiled a 4-3-1-3 record from 13 starts to bank $171,323 and take a mark of 1:50.2 at The Red Mile. Trot Insider caught up with trainer Jimmy Takter for an update on the regally-bred son of Bettors Delight.

Where did he winter?

"He wintered here in New Jersey, he was here with me all winter."

How did the winter weather affect your training schedule?

"We've been able to work around it quite a bit but realistically we're missing the fast miles. Everytime I was supposed to go a faster mile [with my horses] we'd get the bad weather. I'd say we have lots of good foundation in them but fast miles, I'd say, we're lacking right now."

When did you start back with him?

"We started in mid-January with him."

Have you noticed any changes from last year to this year?

"He grew quite a bit and filled out very well. He looks awesome, really good.

"Last year he slipped under the radar a bit. He was very immature mentally. He's more focused on what he's supposed to do now. I believe he's a real top horse, I really do."

Where are you at with him right now? (as of April 6)

"We've been in 2:02 with him."

When will he qualify and what will his early schedule look like leading up to the Pepsi North America Cup?

"I haven't set a date yet; hopefully it will warm up a little bit soon so we can start dropping time...he's feeling good. We're planning to race most likely in May in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Pocono."

Will he race in the Somebeachsomewhere before the North America Cup elims?

"I don't know yet."

What does his tentative schedule look like after the North America Cup?

"He's staked to everything."

At what point last year did you think this horse was North America Cup material?

"Pretty early; he showed pretty early that had the package."

You're also bringing back in Lost In Time. Any other three-year-old stablemates in the barn right now that are paid up and also looking promising?

"I have two more and I like both of them, too. Grand Teton, I like him a lot. He won in 50 and a piece but he was an extremely immature two-year-old so time with him will make him a much better horse. He's a brother to Pure Country so he's got a licence to play.

"I have Pro Beach, out of Darlins Delight. We liked him early but he was very much affected by sickness last year. We had a big problem with our two-year-olds getting sick, and he was sick off and on so many times. I don't think he had a really good shot but in between he actually showed that he had a license to play too. You never know how they're going to develop over the next 60 days."

The North America Cup is one of the few races that has eluded you over the years. Are you putting any more pressure on yourself to win it this year?

"No, you can't do that. I've been second in that race a couple of times and it hasn't worked out yet but at the same token I never really had really serious horses going into it. I think I have four really nice horses. So it's so tough, I think three-year-old pacing colts is the toughest division...because they can come from anywhere. And it's so tough to have a dominant three-year-old pacer, it's almost impossible today. Between winning and losing, it's a very fine line."

Previous Profiles:

Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #8
Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #9
Trot N.A. Cup Spring Book: #10

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