By Bill Finley
Like everyone else, Jimmy Takter is playing a guessing game when it comes to which horse–Pinkman or Mission Brief–Yannick Gingras will drive in the Hambletonian, but he said yesterday he think the driver is bound to pick his horse. Gingras is the regular driver of Takter’s Pinkman and the Ron Burke trained star filly Mission Brief. He intends to drive both in the Hambletonian heats and then make a decision afterward.
“If (Pinkman) is good, which I think he will be, I think he’ll go with him,” Takter said. “I have a feeling. I definitely think the Hambletonian will be more than 13 horses, so there should be heats. My calculation is there will be 16. In the final, I think he’d rather have a laid-back gelding over a nervous filly.”
Takter said he has not picked a backup driver should Gingras land with Mission Brief.
“There’s too much else to think about for me to worry about things I don’t need to worry about,” he said. “Pinkman is easy to drive. I could put Mickey Mouse behind him. I’d love to have Yannick. He’s been Pinkman’s regular driver, he’s won a lot of races for me and I’d love to see him win the Hambletonian.”
Takter’s brother, Johnny, is one who could possibly get the drive in the Hambletonian.
“Who knows?” he said when asked of the possibility of his brother driving. “He is on a very good run. Still, it is race in the United States and it’s the same when our drivers go to Sweden, it’s a little different for them. But my brother, by the same token, has won a lot of races over here.”
Takter just returned from a triumphant trip to Sweden where he won the Group I, 1,000,000kr Hugo Åbergs Memorial with Creatine. Johnny Takter drove the winner. In the same race, stablemate Maven finished sixth with Gingras driving.
Creatine, based in the U.S. prior to this year, raced with Johnny Takter listed as the trainer, but brother Jimmy said the horse is definitely a member of his stable. Maven races under Jimmy Takter’s name as the trainer.
“It’s just a technicality,” he said. “When the horses went over there they listed Maven one way so far as an imported horse and Creatine another way. I don’t know why they did it that way. In order for me to be listed as the trainer of Creatine I would have to go to training school over there for two days. I don’t have time to go to Sweden for two days. Everybody knows I train the horse. It’s just how they put things down on paper.”
Takter said he is mulling a start in the Prix d’Amerique for Creatine.
“If I’m going to go to the Prix d’Amerique with Creatine I need to start thinking about it now,” he said. “He is a big, powerful horse. The Prix d’Amerique is not something you can start thinking about a month out.”