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2017 RACE DATES

MEADOWLANDS - Post Time 7:15pm
March 17 - August 5, 2017
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September 8 - September 16, 2017
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November 17 - December 2, 2017
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December 7 - December 30, 2017
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March 31 - May 6, 2017
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December 28 - December 30, 2017
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YANNICK HOPES FOR BIG SATURDAY AT MOHAWK

-- Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

MANALAPAN, NJ -- September 2, 2016 -- Yannick Gingras will head to Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday to drive the morning line favorites in both the She’s A Great Lady Stakes and Metro Pace, and the driver is impressed with both of the Jimmy Takter-trained horses.

Idyllic Beach is the 2-1 choice in the C$427,000 She’s A Great Lady for 2-year-old female pacers while Ocean Colony is the 5-2 pick in the C$661,000 Metro Pace for 2-year-old male pacers. Both horses won their respective eliminations last weekend, with Idyllic Beach posting her victory by three-quarters of a length in a career-best 1:51.1 and Ocean Colony triumphing by a head in 1:50.1.

Both horses were sired by Somebeachsomewhere, who won the 2007 Metro Pace and a year later enjoyed a magical campaign that culminated with Horse of the Year honors. Idyllic Beach’s dam, Idyllic, won the 2010 She’s A Great Lady on her way to an O’Brien Award and finished her career with $1.29 million in purses.

Idyllic Beach has won four of five races, all with Gingras in the sulky, and finished second once.

“She’s gotten better and better,” Gingras said. “She qualified really good, did nothing wrong, but I didn’t maybe have the idea she was going to be this type of filly. It’s hard to tell with pacers, that’s the bottom line. She was doing everything she had to do and she was winning. She’s gotten stronger and more mature every start.

“When I qualified her, she was a little bit grabby. Usually with these Somebeachs they get grabbier, they don’t start to relax. But Jimmy’s done a great job getting her to settle down and now I can race her any way I want. She always had the speed. Most of the Somebeachs can go so fast, and she’s definitely one of them. But her versatility and mannerisms are what I like best at this point. Now she can do it all and she’s very willing.”

Idyllic Beach was purchased for $100,000 under the name Lima Incredible at the Lexington Selected Sale. She is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Brixton Medical Inc., and Marvin Katz.

Ocean Colony was winless in his first three races, but has posted back-to-back triumphs heading into the Metro final. He won a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes at Tioga Downs, with Brett Miller in the bike, before capturing his Metro elimination last weekend with Gingras.

“Jimmy told me he thought he was the best colt he had,” Gingras said. “Brett told me that he’s a horse he babied when he first started racing, but the last couple starts he raced him he was really good. He said the horse is coming around at the right time. I was really impressed with him. He was good to drive.

“I think he can race any way I ask him to race. We’ll go behind the gate (in the Metro final) with an open mind and play it as it goes.”

Ocean Colony’s dam is Amora Hanover and his second dam is Armbro Romance, who won Nova and O’Brien awards in 1998 as best 3-year-old female pacer. Ocean Colony was purchased for $115,000 under the name OMG Blue Chip. He is owned by Christina Takter, Fielding, Hatfield Stables, and the partnership of Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband.

Here is the field for the Metro Pace:

PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line
1-Beyond Delight–Sylvain Filion–Tony O’Sullivan-8/1
2-Darling's Dragon–Donald Dupont–Marie Dupont-15/1
3-Windsong Napoleon–Phil Hudon–Carl Jamieson-10/1
4-Ocean Colony–Yannick Gingras–Jimmy Takter-5/2
5-Calvin K–Jody Jamieson–Tony O’Sullivan-6/1
6-Bobcat Bound–James MacDonald–Carl Jamieson-20/1
7-Classic Pro–Randy Waples-Ian Moore-12/1
8-Ideal Wheel–David Miller–Casie Coleman-3/1
9-Blood Line–Doug McNair–Jimmy Takter-12/1
10-Bettor's Dream–Tim Tetrick–Scott McEneny-5/1

Here is the field for the She's A Great Lady:

PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line
1-Candlelight Dinner–Matt Kakaley–Casie Coleman–4/1
2-That's The Ticket–Sylvain Filion–Chris Ryder–6/1
3-World Apart–Tim Tetrick–Linda Toscano–10/1
4-Idyllic Beach–Yannick Gingras–Jimmy Takter–2/1
5-Everyones Watching–Jody Jamieson–Tony Alagna–20/1
6-Agent Q–David Miller–Aaron Lambert–5/2
7-Awash–Phil Hudon–Tony Alagna–15/1
8-Obvious Blue Chip–James MacDonald–Mark Steacy–20/1
9-Blameitonthenight–Jonathan Drury–Tony Alagna–20/1
10-Happy Hannah–Randy Waples–Mark Steacy–8/1

In other stakes action at Mohawk on Saturday, Gingras will drive Pure Country in the C$215,704 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old female pacers. Pure Country, another Takter trainee, is the 2-1 second choice on the morning line behind 9-5 favorite Darlinonthebeach.

Saturday’s race will mark the first time anyone other than Brett Miller will drive Pure Country. Miller will be at Yonkers Raceway with Racing Hill in the Messenger Stakes.

“I know it’s only for one week, but it’s still exciting to get this drive,” Gingras said. “She’s a great filly.”

Pure Country won all 10 of her starts last year at age 2, earning the Dan Patch Award as her division’s best, and has won six of 12 races this season. She has earned $1.40 million for owner Diamond Creek Racing.

Darlinonthebeach heads to the Simcoe off a dominant 1:49.3 win in the Valley Forge Stakes. Pure Country, who started that race from post nine and was on the outside for most of the mile, finished fourth. In her two prior races, Pure Country took on male rivals in the Cane Pace (finishing fourth) and Carl Milstein Memorial (finishing second).

“She’s been in some tough spots (against the male pacers) and then drawing the nine hole the last time out at Pocono, it’s almost an impossible spot on that track with the quality inside of her,” Gingras said. “Now she’s got an inside post (No. 1) and I’m looking for her to bounce back.”

There also are two C$104,020 Simcoe Stakes divisions for 3-year-old male trotters on Saturday. Gingras will drive Takter-trained Reigning Moni in the first and Jimmy William in the second.

Jimmy William enters the race after picking up his second triumph in 11 races this season, a 1:55.2 score in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at The Meadows.

A son of Cantab Hall-Solveig and a half-brother to 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry, Jimmy William raced only once last year because of sickness.

“I told Jimmy after the race at The Meadows that you feel like he’s going on 50 or 75 percent of his ability; he holds back a little bit,” Gingras said. “He’s always had really good potential. He’s strong and he trots really nice, but I just don’t think he’s giving his all. The last time the way we raced him, with one move on the end of it, he was full of trot in the stretch. I’m hoping to probably do the same, not use him too much early and let him trot on the end of it.

“He has a beautiful gait. He definitely has got the ability. Maybe he will be a late developer. If you don’t get a lot of experience as a 2-year-old, it’s definitely something you’re lacking as a 3-year-old.”


Photos by New Image Media


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