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Takter's Miller Drive Under Scrutiny

Published: July 15, 2014 4:15 pm ET

Last Comment: July 21, 2014 8:12 pm ET | 16 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

On Tuesday, Meadowlands' Chairman Jeff Gural issued a statement regarding Saturday's final of the Del Miller Memorial.

The race was won by Shake It Cerry, but social media made note of that horse's stablemate -- longshot Scream And Shout, driven by Jimmy Takter -- racing parked out while not appearing to make a concerted effort for the lead and keeping the favourite Designed To Be further from the pacesetter.

"As a result of several complaints that we have received and the fact that the judges are holding a hearing on Friday regarding Jimmy Takter's drive in the Del Miller Memorial where it appeared that he was "blocking" race favourite Designed to Be, The Meadowlands is considering a rule change that would prevent any trainer from driving against a horse that he or she owns part of," said Gural.

"No action will be taken until after the hearing and the facts are known," the statement continued. "Obviously this has put the Meadowlands in a difficult position and opened us up to criticism by customers who wagered on Designed To Be."

July 21, 2014 - 8:12 pmMr. Brown stated the key fact

Mr. Brown stated the key fact and it applies to all decisions by the authorities in Harness Racing. All forms of integrity take a back seat to "maintaining the handle"!!

July 19, 2014 - 8:00 amTo me the supreme irony of

murray brown SAID...

To me the supreme irony of this situation is that Takter is being taken to task and judged by the three groups that created the situation. The fact that the Commission, the judges and the racetrack allowed the horses to go uncoupled when there is about as clear a conflict of interest as is possible in a horse race allows for situations such as this one to occur. If the horses involved had been coupled as an entry, what conspired could have been anticipated. After all entry mates at the very least are not expected to do harm to their stable mates and are often involved in helping them.
When the so called "Black Swedes" were a big factor in racing, it was not uncommon for Hakan Wallner, Jan Johnson and Berndt Lindstedt to be a coupled betting interest in a trotting event. It certainly wasn't rare for Wallner and Johnson to be riding shotgun for Linstedt. Their competition in these races didn't like it, but the fans to some degree expected it. After all they were entry mates. This is why they were coupled. In my mind the bottom line is that the choice comes down to what is more important, maintaining the handle or avoiding the perception that the integrity is not what it should be.

July 18, 2014 - 12:16 pmInteresting!With the

john smith SAID...

Interesting!With the exception of the second quarter all the other
splits were the same,27.3.During that second quarter the pocket
sitting heavens door was all over pearce´s helmet,then suddenly at
the half he´s gapped by 3 and no urging of any sort.
Gingras is a much better driver than this,so why cut in and cut
off the 1 horse not just into stretch but yet again further in
the stretch.
Not every horse who´s the favourite is necessarally a leaver,there
have been many good horses who have won from off the pace.Perhaps
Jimmy should have tried to urge him on some in that second quarter,
however that didn´t happen and created a bit of a blind switch.
History has shown that pushing a bad position can be costly,1985
Little Brown Jug and Broadway Express against Nihilator,2008 ML Pace,
Bullville Powerful rather than taking a seat in behind Miller´s horse
pushed on to try and take Art Official in a 51.4 half and was cooked.

July 17, 2014 - 3:57 pmPersonally I don't think that

Joe Riga SAID...

Personally I don't think that a driver who is leading in a race should ever be disciplined for slowing a race down I don't care even if it's slow to a walk. In my opinion that is a strategy and nothing wrong with trying it. You try what you can to win a race. All I care about is that you are trying to win. If the guys behind you don't like the slow pace then do something about it and go get the lead or push me to go faster. What I do have a problem with is guys who won't move at all, or go to the back and sit there.

July 17, 2014 - 1:44 pmThe 1 got beat by 1 Q length

Norm Brunet SAID...

The 1 got beat by 1 Q length after dragging the 10, Takter's other stable mate half way down the stretch.
So out of Takter's 3 horses one driver is fined o/a suspended for a slow 2nd quarter( Pierce ) and the 2nd ( Gingras ) is fined o/a suspended for interfering with the 1 in the stretch and the 3rd horse's driver Takter is being interviewed by the judge's for his questionable drive. If you still think they are innocent and this is coincidental then I have land to sell you in Florida.

July 17, 2014 - 12:27 pmI went back and viewed the

I went back and viewed the race a few times and also took a look at the chart. As Tom pointed out, it's rather curious Scream and Shout didn't budge in a 30.1 second quarter, but the horse running second, Heaven's Door, didn't budge, either.

I'm not sure what any of this means, but no one moved in that 2nd Qtr.

July 16, 2014 - 8:18 pmThe 1 horse got all he could

The 1 horse got all he could get, maybe they should have made a hole for a 99 to 1 shot. takter ended in a bad spot after the other horse broke, well past the quarter before he could of took a shot for the front end with a 99 to one shot. i dont think so

July 16, 2014 - 4:14 pmIn a way, it doesn't matter

Allan Schott SAID...

In a way, it doesn't matter if it was a tag team or not. It is the perception which matters in this case. Like it or not, the future of harness racing depends on the perception the wagering public has of the events which took place. If they think it was rotten, it was rotten. Regardless, a rule change here is necessary.

I understand why we uncouple horses. That being said, we need to put whatever protection we can for the wagering public.

July 16, 2014 - 11:03 amIt's funny because i have

Joe Riga SAID...

It's funny because i have been complaining about this for years. If you really want to protect the game you need to be truthful and admit when there is something wrong with the game. It seems fairly obvious to me what Mr. Gural suspects Takter was doing. If your horse can't go a quarter in 30 seconds then what is he doing in a stakes race like that? Unfortunately Mr. Tatker's is not an isolated incident. I have seen many many drives in my 35 years of going to the races where I see a total lack of effort from a driver. At 3-5 they're nowhere. Next week at 5-1 they win by 5. And so it goes. People like me got fed up of throwing our money away. What is the point of laying down $100, $200 or $2 or $5 on a horse if he's going to go to the back or to the wood and stay there and not move? I'd rather take my chances on a football or basketball game. At least there I have a 50-50 shot of picking the right team. I am glad Mr. Gural is trying to do something about it. However unless all of racing picks up his lead and does the same racing will never recover to the exciting game it once was.

July 16, 2014 - 9:25 amThe facts are that the horse

Norm Brunet SAID...

The facts are that the horse driven by J Takter #3 Scream And Shout ( 102-1 ) Had just won a race at the Poconos on the front end with a 27.2 first 1/4 and 56 first half from the 7 hole yet was unable to advance in this race with a 27.2 first 1/4 and a pedestrian 57.4 half from the 3 hole. Calculations show that the Takter driven horse went the first 1/4 in 28.1 and hit the half in 58.1 which is a long way from where it could go. After reviewing the replay of the race several times it is obvious by the positioning of the horses head that she was restrained from advancing and certainly NOT urged on. Add to the fact that the other Takter horse was also parked behind the #3 eliminating any chance of another horse challenging for the lead which lead to an unheard of 30.1 2nd 1/4 . Horse racing is a sport that you bet on unlike bike racing which compete and help other team mates throughout the race or even car racing. Betters digest the information from the program and it is a given that ALL participants will abide by the rules of horse racing and NOT collude with other drivers to influence the outcome of a race. I have no doubt that the winner from Takter's barn Shake It Cerry was given an unfair advantage with the help of other stable mates.

July 16, 2014 - 7:41 amYour trying to tell me that a

Tom Turner SAID...

Your trying to tell me that a Takter trained trotting filly can't go forward in a 30.1 second split? Come on guys, it's not a hard call. Even Ray Charles can see that !

July 16, 2014 - 7:40 amwhat ever happened to the

what ever happened to the golden rule? any relationship,were not allowed to race in the same race including human relations or horse ownership. i witness the concern of any authority on this issue. not only is it relationships notable,but i thought this was a sport of kings, not the king and his court. whenever i am out there needless to say 6 to 9 others i have to overcome, with the experience of driving,this is a team sport amongst supposedly competitors,when all along my thinking was the team is the driver and horse when we are out there. is there anyone else out there that would agree to lets get back to competitive exciting racing . all in this game will only put a driver up who is on the team,that is guaranteed to get a good position in a race without question.

July 16, 2014 - 6:24 amThe announcer used the term

Phil Porter SAID...

The announcer used the term "blocking" a few times in his race call. It certainly looked like a tag team event.

July 16, 2014 - 12:18 amRoadblock with a capital R.

Roadblock with a capital R. Never even attempted to brush up to the leader in a 30 second quarter. Looked like a statue sitting out there. His horse has got to be able to trot a 2nd quarter fast enough to at least attempt to try and get to the front in that class. Its nice to see that someones actually paying attention to races like this because there is not just roadblcking that goes on, there are many non drives each night especially with young stock in the maidens and nw2 classes.

July 15, 2014 - 11:12 pmthis is ridiculous its a

this is ridiculous its a bloody horse race anything can happen. Mr Gural, he doesn't like the way a driver drives so he bans him and now hes going after Takter??? watch the race - the horse had no go! you know how many times I have been parked out or locked in and couldn't go anywhere and should have finished better then I did? lots of them!! its harness racing things happen! move on and see you next week! and further more if the favourite was the one to beat then he should have been going right from the get go! not to mention he got out in lots of time to win that!!

July 15, 2014 - 9:33 pmWell Mr. Gural in this case I

Well Mr. Gural in this case I absolutely support you. I reviewed the video for a considerable amount of time. The truth is it stunk. Not only did The 3 horse appear to have impeded the 1 horse, but, when he was all done it would seem the 10 horse picked up the slack in the stretch. If this was not intentional to allow the 7 horse an unchallenged racetrack, then why would the stretch drive also look so bad at the hands of someone who’s to be considered a top driver ???

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