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Takter: 'He Could Be A Serious Player'

Published: August 2, 2013 12:40 pm ET

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When Monticello's Thursday, August 1 program was drawn, it was anticipated to be the best racing program so far this year at the 'Mighty M.'

The card featured nine divisions of two-year-old colt and gelding pacers in the New York Sire Stakes and the Excelsior Series.

Unfortunately, the steady falling rains during the afternoon card damped the highly anticipated expectations. Nonetheless, the races were exciting and well contested, and racing fans, both on and off-track combined, poured over $878,000 through the betting machines.

Of the four divisions of the $130,000 NYSS, Brittany Farms, Joe Sbrocco and John Fodera’s Bakersfield turned in the fastest mile of the sire stakes tilts. Driver Yannick Gingras reined the son of American Ideal-Ride the Skies to a an easy 1:56.3, three-length triumph while defeating Im All Heart and driver Ray Schnittker over the muddy racetrack.

Equally impressive was Yannick Gingras’ 1:57.3 victory with Sheppard Pace winner Forty Five Red. The other NYSS winners were Western Conquest in 1:58 for Marcus Miller and Design Guru in 1:57.3 for George Brennan.

Bakersfield’s victory not only impressed the colt’s driver, but also the colt’s trainer, Jimmy Takter, who was on hand to view his pupil’s performance. Takter was joined by Myron Bell of Brittany Farms for the blanket presentation.

When asked about Bakersfield, Takter smiled and said, “He could be a real serious player,” which brought a smile to Bell’s face.

Bell then went on to tell a Bakersfield story.

“We (Brittany Farms) were divesting some of our broodmare stock and we sold Ride The Skies, a daughter of Four Starzzz Shark, at the mixed sale at Harrisburg a couple of years ago and an Amish man bought her and the colt she had in her belly for $1,500.

"That colt turned out to be Bakersfield, and when he was sent to auction we paid $75,000 for him. Go figure!”

Of the five $12,700 Excelsior Series races, the Arnold Marks-trained Big Boy Dreams turned in the fastest mile of the afternoon when driver Jim Morrill Jr. went along for a 1:56.1 ride.

“He [ran] off with me,” Morrill said, referring to the early fractions of :27.4, :55.4 and 1:25.4. “He acts like a good one and they’ll probably start him in the sires stakes next time.”

Big Boy Dreams, who won by 12 lengths, is owned by Dominick Rosato.

Other Excelsior Series winners included Hands Off Frank (1:58) for Ray Schnittker, Celtic Art (1:59.2) for Tim Tetrick, Memorial Day J (1:59.4) again with Tetrick, and Cabbies Delight in 2:00.1 for Jim Morrill Jr.

(With files from Monticello)

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