Karl crushes in Valley Victory, becomes millionaire

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Karl completed his 2-year-old season in high style on Saturday night (Nov. 26), capturing the $432,000 Valley Victory final at the Meadowlands in handy fashion. With Yannick Gingras in the bike, the Nancy Takter-trained son of Tactical Landing completed the mile in 1:52.1 and scored his ninth win in 10 career starts.

Daiquiri Hanover and Åke Svanstedt blasted from the gate to take control into the first turn as Gingras and Karl were more measured — leaving but not advancing hard — on the opening bend. Karl had a chance to drop in third on the first turn, but Gingras wanted
no part and effortlessly secured the front just past the :27.4 opening fraction.

Sent off as the 1-20 favorite, Karl got the respect one would expect once in front and easily carved out fractions of :56 and 1:24.3 during the middle half with no pressure and even less urging from the pilot. There were no anxious moments at all for Gingras, although Svanstedt looked to tip Daiquiri Hanover out of the pocket in mid-stretch but found that effort futile in short order. With a :27.3 final quarter and Gingras motionless, Karl crossed the wire a dominant winner. Daiquiri Hanover was easily second, three lengths behind, with Winter Soldier rallying along the pylons for the third spot.

Owned by Christina and Nancy Takter, Black Horse Racing, Crawford Farms Racing and Bender Sweden, Karl became the second 2-year-old trotter to go over the $1 million mark this season, reaching seven figures along with T C I with Saturday’s victory. As the heaviest possible favorite, Karl paid $2.10 to win and keyed an $5.20 exacta with Daiquiri Hanover second and a $12.80 trifecta with Winter Soldier on the ticket.

“He’s got the kind of gears that not many horses have,” said Gingras about the enormous ability Karl possesses.

Trainer Takter’s dad, Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, trained Karl’s sire, Tactical Landing, and Nancy trained a pair by that stallion this season.

“I only have two, but they’re very nice ones,” Takter said, referring to both Karl
and Hambletonian champion Tactical Approach.

“He does his work easily. He’s very smart, a brilliant horse.”

The 1:52.1 effort shaved a fifth of a second off the previous Valley Victory mark, set a year ago by Volume Eight.