Saturday, November 4, 2023

Breeders Crown champion Karl trounced nine other freshman trotters in the $267,500 Crawford Farms Kindergarten Series Final on Saturday night (Nov. 4) at The Meadowlands. The time for the mile was 1:53.2.

Driver Yannick Gingras, leaving with the son of Tactical Landing from the outermost post, left well enough to find a spot fourth as Tony Adams S, Bright Star and French Kronos S rushed to take early positions in front of him.

The :28.1 first quarter was no threat to Karl. Gingras angled to the outside lane and scooped up all the ground between him and the early leavers to take the top and cut the rest of the fractions — a half in :57.3 and three-quarters in 1:26.4 — with complete command of the race in the stretch. French Kronos S was never a challenge to Karl, but finished a clear second by 3-1/4 lengths. Tony Adams S finished third and Bright Star took fourth.

Nancy Takter trains Karl. She owns the colt with Christina Takter, Black Horse Racing, breeder Crawford Farms and Bender Sweden. Karl has now earned $836,823 while winning eight of nine starts (with one second-place finish). He paid $2.10 to win.

Nancy did not like Karl getting the 10 hole because “he drew it a lot and I’m sick of it. But he handled it perfectly. Yannick had him well in hand and they relaxed once in front.”

She said they thought of ending the season after the Breeders Crown win but “he is so refined. He’s so smart, warms up quiet and is push-button perfect” so she went with a spot in the Kindergarten and sees it as a prep for the Valley Victory later this month.

Sambuca Hanover and driver David Miller won the $241,300 Kindergarten Series Final for 2-year-old filly trotters. The time for the mile was 1:54.2.

Leaving the gate, 6-5 favorite Honey Sweet galloped and took back while three fillies to her right were quick to establish positions. Sambuca Hanover was well placed up front but Eloise got the top with Go For Gaagaa NO on the move. The first quarter went in :27.2 when International Model stormed first over to lead the field. Sambuca Hanover was shuffled a bit in the traffic but the :57 half was on her side as her early foes grew weary.

Miller had a lot of room to pave a path mid-track and was charging by three-quarters in 1:26.1. His filly easily pushed ahead of them all into the stretch.

But it was not over because soaring on the inside was 90-1 Glamorous Hanover and both left the rest behind to duel to the wire where Sambuca Hanover broke the beam by a head in a lifetime best. Glamorous Hanover settled for second while Marg In Charge rallied for third and Miss I La came from near last for fourth.

Richard “Nifty” Norman trains the daughter of Bar Hopping. David McDuffee, Paul Bordogna and Melvin Hartman own the filly, a winner of five in 10 starts and $174,818 in earnings. She paid $19.40 to win.

“She got away well,” co-owner Bordogna said. “She’s a big filly and we’re going strong with her. She was good early [in the year] but had a little soreness and needed work.” He said she worked her way back well to this spot.

The 90-1 shot closing late had him “holding his breath in the stretch especially when David couldn’t get the plugs out.”