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North America Cup Spring Book - #10

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Published: April 4, 2011 11:10 am ET

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"He did very well considering what he was like when I bought him. It was like he had been in a car wreck."

After a rookie campaign for trainer Jimmy Takter with a mark of 1:50.4 and earnings of $195,053, American Ideal colt Great Vintage is ranked at #10 in the Trot 2011 Pepsi North America Cup Spring Book with odds of 26-1. Trot Insider caught up with one of harness racing's top conditioners for an update on the colt's time away from the track and early season plans.

Great Vintage - Metro Elimination

Where did he winter?

“He wintered at Concord Stud Farm (in Cream Ridge, NJ). I don’t like to have them turned out on my farm because we have a lot of young horses shipping in here and it can get a little bit rowdy. There a lot of noise here and I want them to relax at a quiet place. It’s a nice vacation for them."

When did you start back with him?

“He started back in January."

Where are you at with him right now?

“I’ve been in 2:08 with him, he’s right on schedule and looking good."

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

“There aren’t really any changes with him from last year. He’s a pretty basic horse. I wish he would have grown a bit more. He’s not a big horse, but he’ll be fine."

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

“Hopefully, he’ll qualify at the end of April, and his first stakes race will probably be the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs (eliminations on May 22). I’m not sure yet if he’ll go in the Somebeachsomewhere (June 4) before the North America Cup (eliminations on June 11). It’s tough to race back-to-back up there. He’s eligible to basically everything."

What does his tentative schedule look like after the NA Cup?

“This colt made quite a bit of money as a two year old ($189,000+), so you have to see where the competition goes. There’s always managing as the season progresses.

“He did very well considering what he was like when I bought him. It was like he had been in a car wreck. He was off all over from Day One. I wasn’t even sure he was going to make it to the races. He basically grew and matured out of it, but he’s always going to be that type. He’s a really tough, game horse, and he’s a little bit like his brother Vintage Master (1:48, $1,846,233), but a little more aggressive. He did a lot better last year than I could even dream about."

Throughout the course of the week, the SC website will countdown to the Spring Book favourite, complete with updates from the trainers on the pacers that Trot staff assessed as the leading contenders for the richest prize in Canadian harness racing. Watch for the full list of Spring Book odds in the April issue of Trot Magazine.


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