Takter drives Trixton to Hambletonian victory

Trixton, driven by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, trots to victory in the Hambletonian atthe Meadowlands. Takter trains both Trixton and Nuncio.
Trixton, driven by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, trots to victory in the Hambletonian atthe Meadowlands. Takter trains both Trixton and Nuncio. (MARK HALL / U.S. Trotting Association)
Posted: August 04, 2014

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter swept the top two spots in the Hambletonian, even though he was not in the winner's circle with the horse he anticipated.

Takter, known more for his training prowess, drove Trixton (4-1) to victory in the 89th edition of the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on Saturday. The 3-year-old trotting colt fought a heated battle in the stretch against stablemate Nuncio, who was driven by John Campbell. Nuncio finished a half-length behind in second, with Harper Blue Chip third.

Trixton and Nuncio are now the only two horses ever to beat 2-5 favorite Father Patrick, a Takter-trained horse who disappointed the crowd by breaking early in the race and finishing 11th and last after winning his last 15 starts.

"Patrick breaking today for the first time in his career, that was a shocker," Takter said.

Although Takter would have liked to have all three of his horses make the board, he was pleased with the results.

"It's going to probably take a day or two to sink in," he said. "I had a great day. I just won the Oaks [with Lifetime Pursuit], so it will take a while to absorb so much good. Our God gave it to me, I'm so happy."

Trixton won in a career-record 1 minute, 50.3 seconds and paid $10.60 to win.

Takter became just the second trainer in history to send out the winner of both the Hambletonian and companion Oaks on the same day when Lifetime Pursuit won the $500,000 event for fillies one race earlier. She beat 6-5 favorite Designed To Be by 21/2 lengths in a world record of 1:50.4 for 3-year-old fillies on a one-mile track. Driver Yannick Gingras ripped out of the pocket in the stretch and earned his first Oaks win and the fourth for Takter.

On the undercard, 1-5 favorite Sebastian K equaled a world record of 1:50 in the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Final. Trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt pulled the pocket and darted to a 41/2-length finish over Market Share, the 2012 Hambletonian winner owned by Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell. Sebastian K ($2.60) has won seven of eight starts this year.

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