Race Summary

Pinkman won the 90th Hambletonian on Saturday, giving trainer Jimmy Takter a fourth training victory in world-famous trotting classic.
Takter continued his domination of Hambletonian Day at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. He swept both the $1 million Hambletonian and the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for a second straight year.

In 2014, it was Trixton in the Hambletonian and Lifetime Pursuit in the Oaks.

This time it was Pinkman in the Hambo, and Wild Honey in the Oaks.

Brian Sears fell into the winning drive  with Pinkman when Yannick Gingras opted to handle the filly Mission Brief in the final.

Gingras steered both Pinkman and Mission Brief to victories in the eliminations earlier that afternoon.

Faced with a fateful decision, Gingras opted for Mission Brief.

That set up Sears for his third Hambletonian win.

“Opportunity knocked,” Sears said. “It was great they gave me the call. What a pleasure the horse was to drive. You’re always a little nervous the first time you drive a horse in race like that, but he was pretty much push button.”

Takter failed to convince Gingras that Pinkman was his best choice.

“I tried to tell him you’re making a great mistake,” Takter said. “And I was right. Pinkman is just such a fighter. He’s not impressive,  but he gets it done every time.”

Both Pinkman and Mission Brief were divisional winners last season. Fittingly, the Hambletonian came down to those two around the final turn.

Sears and Pinkman got the early jump, moving to the lead down the backstretch. That left Mission Brief with a prolonged first-over bid.

The filly was game but Pinkman prevailed by three quarters of a length.

“I knew I didn’t have enough at the top of the stretch,” Gingras said. “You have to give it to Pinkman. He’s a great horse and he’s a winner.”

Pinkman posted his 14th victory in 17 starts to cap another fantastic Hambletonian afternoon for Takter.

And it left Ron Burke, Mission Brief’s trainer, still looking for his first Hambletonian win. This was as close as the meet’s leading trainer has come.

“She raced really good,” Burke said. “If things shook out a little differently, the result might be different. She was the only one still going forward at the wire.  She really gave it her all.”

Pinkman paid $4.60 to win as the 9-5 second choice. The time was 1:52 2/5. The gelding is owned by Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman.

Uncle Lasse was third followed by The Bank as Takter horses finished first, third and fourth, good for $700,000 of the $1 million at stake.

Pinkman overcame post 10 to take first elimination in 1:51 2/5, equaling the world record for 3-year-old geldings on a mile track with The Bank second.

Donatomite, Habitat and  Jacksons Minion also advance to the final.

Pinkman paid $5.60 to win.

Mission Brief took the second elimination by 4 ¾ lengths over long shot Albebaran Eagle in 1:51 3/5.

French Laundry, Uncle Lasse and Wings of Royalty also made the final.

  • Bookmark and Share