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Monday, October 26, 2015

Jimmy & Christina Takter Have a Problem ...

by Peter Lawrence, VFTRG Contributor

... a problem any standardbred owner or trainer would be thrilled to have.
Where to put all the blankets?
Some years ago, they - or the grooms, or an assistant trainer - established a tradition, a tradition of displaying blankets from big races won on the lawn in front of the Takter homestead in East Windsor, N.J.
The blankets are draped over a statue of a horse and an accompanying high-wheeled sulky, stay on display for a few days (or until it rains, I guess), and are especially striking when they're out there in multiples.
Hambletonian and Hambo Oaks last year, Hambo and Hambo Oaks THIS year, Kentucky Futurity and Futurity Filly this year - Pinkman and Wild Honey in Lexington (as well as earlier at Meadowlands) - shown here, photographed about two weeks ago.
But what Team Takter pulled off Saturday night in the Breeders Crown at Woodbine is unprecedented.
Six winning Crowns!
Pure Country in the 2YO filly pace, All The Time in the 2YO filly trot, Wild Honey in the 3YO filly trot, The Bank (upsetting Pinkman) in the 3YO colt trot, followed by a sweep of the free-for-all trot and pace with, respectively, Creatine - driven by visiting brother Johnny Takter - and Always B. Miki.
Talk about an embarrassment of riches.
And now where do you display half a dozen blankets?
The Takter brain trust has expanded its "barn area" with new stalls over the course of the past few years, to allow for more horse capacity.
(I think it's currently about 80.)
Now, it may be time to install a few more horse statues and sulkies on the front lawn for the blankets.
P.S. - Do race organizers and sponsors know that the fancy winner's circle blankets they award rarely stay on the horses very long, and susequently often never touch horses' hides again? Sometimes, if the grooms get to keep the blankets, they become treasured bedspreads.
PPS - Christina Takter came up with a novel use for those blankets a couple of years ago at her big birthday bash. Following dinner, after sunset, was a private fireworks display by the estate's lake, near the house. It was getting quite cool by then (September, I think), and guests each grabbed a blanket from a stack to keep warm.

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