by Bob Heyden
Some of the most notable accomplishments from trainer Jimmy Takter’s brilliant Hall of Fame career:
• Takter is the all time earnings per start leader as a trainer with over $13,000 per start over 26 years.
• Takter is a six-time Trainer of the Year, with three of those awards coming in consecutive years.
• He is second in all-time earnings behind only Ron Burke since trainer records were first kept in 1991. Takter has nearly $130 million to his credit as a trainer.
• He has won a record 34 Breeders Crowns and 21 in a six-year period from 2012-2017, a six-year stretch in which he averaged 3.5 Crown wins a year.
• In 2015, Takter won a record six Breeders Crowns at Woodbine, twice as many as any trainer has ever had in a year.
• He won four Hambletonians with four different drivers — Ron Pierce, himself, Mal Burroughs and Brian Sears.
• Takter is the all-time record holder in divisional titles won by a trainer.
• Takter has won five consecutive Hambletonian Oaks. Nobody else has ever done that, nor has any trainer won the same $5000,000 or richer event five consecutive times.
• He won his Little Brown Jug debut in 2006 with Mr Feelgood.
• Always B Miki gives Takter the honor of having trained the fastest ever hose thanks to the pacer’s 1:46 world record. Miki also delivered Takter’s fourth Horse of the Year trophy.
• In 1997-1998-1999, Jimmy became the only trainer to win three straight Horse of the Year titles. Malabar Man won in ‘97, followed by Moni Maker in ‘98 and ‘99. Speaking of Malabar Man, Takter is the only trainer to ever win a million-dollar race with an amateur driver. The horse was driven to victory in the ’97 Hambletonian by his owner and breeder, Mal Burroughs, who also owned Takter’s first top filly, Gleam.
• Taker was second and third in the HOY balloting in 2017 with Ariana G and Manchego. Hannelore Hanover took home the trophy.
• Takter trainee Tactical Landing is the most expensive yearling sold at auction ($800,000) to ever win a Breeders Crown. Takter’s Muscle Massive is the most expensive yearling sold at auction ($425,000) to ever win a Hambletonian (2010).
• He finished first and second in the Hambletonian in 1997 with Malabar Man and Take Chances and was also first and second in the 2014 Hambletonian with Trixton and Nuncio. Takter had all three favorites in 2014 Hambletonian — Father Patrick made a break at the start as the big favorite, but Takter won driving Trixton, which stablemate Nuncio, with John Campbell in the sulky, was second.
• In 1987, Takter made his debut in the Hambletonian with Sir Taurus. Ben Webster didn’t get any money in the final, which was won by Mack Lobell.
• Hambletonian winner Pinkman is Takter’s richest single season horse ever with $1.9 million earned in 2015.
• Takter trainee Pure Country pulled off the unprecedented feat of winning the year-end award in her division three straight years — 2015, 2016 and 2017.
• In 2014, Takter horses received all but one vote in the year-end categories for sophomore trotters. His horses received 326 of the 327 votes cast, with Datsyuk receiving the lone dissenting vote.
• He set world records on the pace and trot on Labor Day Weekend in 2004 with 2-year-old pacing filly Cabrini Hanover in 1:51 and 3-year-old trotting colt Tom Ridge earlier that afternoon in 1:50.2.
• Takter won the 2009 Yonkers Trot with Judge Joe in his debut in the Takter barn
• The first set of brothers to each drive a Breeders Crown winner are the Tetricks (Tim and Trace) and Jimmy and Johnny Takter (both duos completed the feat in 2015).
• Takter was born 17 days apart from Per Eriksson in Sweden in 1960. Between them, they have seven Hambletonian victories.
• Oddly, Takter was not favored in any of his 21st century Hambletonian wins. In 2010, Muscle Massive was 6-1 while Lucky Chucky was the public choice and runner-up.
In 2014, Trixton was not favored, that honor went to stablemate Father Patrick. In 2015, Mission Brief was favored over Takter’s Pinkman, who won his Hambletonian elimination from post 10.