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Ariana G Will Be Dangerous

Published: April 25, 2018 8:18 pm ET

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If trainer Jimmy Takter has an accurate assessment of trotting mare Ariana G, there will be plenty of tears left to cry for her competition in the older trotting ranks this year.

The double Dan Patch and O'Brien Award winning trotter, last seen demolishing her rivals in the 2017 Breeders Crown at Hoosier Park, will make her first appearance as a four-year-old during a star-studded qualifying session at The Meadowlands this Saturday (April 28).

"She's never felt better," Takter told Trot Insider during an interview earlier this month. "I just trained her today and I couldn't be happier."

A homebred owned by Ontario's Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, Ariana G (Muscle Hill - Cantab It All) boasts a record of 21-3-1 from 26 lifetime starts and $1.98 million in purse earnings. Her mark of 1:51.1 came in the second start of her sophomore season and she added four more sub-1:52 wins over the course of the campaign, including a stakes, track, and Canadian record 1:51.4 performance in the 2017 Elegantimage at Mohawk.

"I think Ariana is going to be very, very tough this year. Every year I get her back, she's like a size bigger and everything is just better," said Takter. "From two to three, and now three to four, it's a step up every time."

That step up from three to four and open competition isn't an easy one, but the veteran trainer Takter feels his star trotter has what takes to break free of the pack and stand out yet again.

"It's going to be an interesting year but the aged trotters, it's a very weak group. Marion Marauder ended up being the aged trotter [of the year in the U.S.] and he won just three races...not that he was bad, he wasn't great either. Hannelore [Hanover] is very good...but let's say this: I wouldn't trade her."

Ariana G will line up in the sixth qualifier of the morning on Saturday at The Meadowlands. One race later, 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover will set foot on the track for her second qualifier of the season and face fellow female trotting stars Broadway Donna and Caprice Hill.

On the pacing side, no less than 14 three-year-old pacing colts eligible to the 2018 Pepsi North America Cup are slated to qualify. That list includes four of the top five colts in the Trot Magazine North America Cup Spring Book -- Stay Hungry, Lost In Time, Pedro Hanover and Hayden Hanover.

In addition to the slate of sophomore colts, a pair of award winning female pacers will also be in action as 2017 U.S. Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year Youaremycandygirl and 2017 Older Pacing Mare Pure Country will make 2018 debuts.

To view program page proofs for Saturday's qualifiers at The Meadowlands, view the embedded PDF below. Document not loading below? Please refresh your page or click the link to open in a new window.

Meadowlands Qualifiers - April 28 -- Open in new window


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