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Unbeaten Colt Steps Up

Published: June 6, 2014 9:25 am ET

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“He’s going to face a totally different group of horses this time. He’s only raced in overnights and this is his first stake experience. This is a big step, but I have faith in him.”

Jimmy Takter sends three contenders into Saturday’s Pepsi North America Cup eliminations. Amongst the Takter trainees is Lyonssomewhere, an undefeated pacer that has kept a low profile coming into the big event.

His two-year-old season was limited to two starts after a troublesome ankle issue. Trainer Ciaran Morrison chose to back off with him until it was resolved, giving the colt time before later shipping to Dover Downs for the Matron Series. Morrison believes the 14 to 16 hours on the truck was a stressful experience for the green freshman; three days before the race, the colt tied up. Vet scratched, he was shipped to the Lyons Mound’s farm in Burford, Ontario to be turned out for the remainder of the year.

Joseph Lyons Mound, son of owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound, spoke favourably about the pacer. After purchasing the colt for $55,000 as a yearling, Lyonssomewhere (sold as Minister Hanover) showed promising potential to then be nominated for a wide range of stake events.

“Down at Harrisburg when we bought him, we looked at a lot of different horses. He shone the most; we decided he was the one.”

The colt remained in the care of Morrison until he moved into Takter’s barn at the start of May. The colt’s development over the last two years impressed Morrison.

“As a yearling he wasn’t the prettiest, he toed in, had a bit of a Roman nose. Once the harness went on, he was all racehorse. He was very quiet and well behaved, great with my kids. After his two-year-old season, he grew to be very muscular with a longer body. He filled out nicely, he’s not a big horse either, probably stands around 15.1HH.”

Morrison prepped and trained down the colt for his three-year-old season. Geoffrey Lyons Mound felt Takter’s impressive stats made him the trainer of choice for the colt’s three-year old-season. Pennsylvania-Sired, he believed the pacer’s stakes engagements would suit an US-based trainer.

“I was really excited to have him in my barn this year; he has a lot of class and a lot of quality,” said Takter. “The colt has a beautiful personality. He is good and fresh and in races like this, that can make all the difference.

“In thirty days, we will find out if there’s really a top horse in the group.”

In two starts at The Meadowlands against non-winners-of competition, the son of 2008 Pepsi North America Cup winner Somebeachsomewhere has been flawless, winning both of his starts in the 1:51.1 range.

Corey Callahan, who has the most experience sitting behind the colt in 2014, will be back in the bike on Saturday night. Leaving from Post 6 in the first elim, Lyonssomewhere drew into a compact but robust group boasting three of the top-10 ranked colts coming into this year's N.A. Cup -- JK Endofanera (PP1 8-5 morning line), Western Vintage (PP3, 5-2) and Limelight Beach (PP4, 4-1).

"He's definitely a nice horse, he likes his job," said Callahan, noting that the colt's first start of the year was a mile in 1:51 over a track rated 'good' with a closing quarter of :26.4 "under wraps."

Neither owner nor trainer expressed any concern about his limited starts coming into Saturday’s card. Both feel the colt has shown remarkable fitness and athleticism, making him a contender. Morrison wondered about the colt’s lack of experience but wouldn’t rule out the colt surprising him with an incredible performance.

“He’ll give it everything he’s got.”

The future after the North America Cup looks promising for Lyonssomewhere. Nominated and sustained for multiple stake events, there are many opportunities ahead.

“We’re quite high on the colt,” said Joseph Lyons Mound. “We’ll draw up the plan for the future after we see how he goes with the big boys. We’ve paid him into everything; we’re excited for what’s next.”

Takter also sends out Capital Account in the 5th race and Tellitlikeitis in the 9th with three opportunities to make the final. He expressed confidence in his contenders when asked about their chances.

“Capital Account didn’t have a real chance in the Somebeachsomewhere with the 8 hole and unfortunately he has the same post again. He’s a very tough horse but it’s difficult to make ground in 26 second last quarters."

Also Canadian-connected, Tellitlikeitis is owned by Sue Grange's Lothlorien of Cheltenham, Ont. A son of 2009 Pepsi North America Cup champion Well Said, Tellitlikeitis is out of stakes star Kikikatie, making him a brother to a number of pacers also campaigned by Takter; Rockin Amadeus, Time To Roll, Grams Legacy and Rockin Image. Time To Roll finished second by a half-length in the 2012 North America Cup, the closest Takter has come to winning Canada's richest harness race.

Takter told WEG Media that Tellitlikeitis is "a little smaller than his brothers, but they all can go fast...He's a good horse, but he had a lot of problems when he was a two-year-old. We had problems with his front ankles.

"He's a tough horse. He's as fast as Hes Watching, that's for sure. He has quick speed. Does he have stamina like Hes Watching has? I don't know, yet."

To view the entries for Saturday night, click here.

For a free, printable program page of Mohawk’s Saturday card (courtesy of TrackIT), click here.


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