When trainer Jimmy Takter sends out Somewhere In LA in Saturday's final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light at The Meadows, he'll be gunning for the winner's share of the $400,000 purse, of course. But there's something more at stake for the Hall of Famer.
It would be the third Adios final victory in the last six years for Takter, who won with Vintage Master in 2009 and again with Sunfire Blue Chip last year. That would leave him just one behind Billy Haughton and Brett Pelling, who top the list of Adios final training victories with four. And Takter figures to get many more opportunities to break their mark. Takter isn't certain why he's so successful in The Meadows' signature race.
"I don't know, really,” he said. "The Adios is a great race, and it's tough to win it. We race at The Meadows quite a bit, and it's fun to go out there and win.”
The owners of Somewhere in LA — J&T Silva Stables, Deo Valente Farms and TLP Stable — acquired the son of Somebeachsomewhere-West Of L A in mid-season from a group including trainer/breeder Bob McIntosh. So far, Takter likes what he sees.
"He's definitely a player,” Takter said. "He didn't get good trips in a couple starts, but I know he can go. He's a good, sound horse who's raced every single week since I got him. I'm giving him just light work this week.”
In his Adios elimination, Somewhere in LA exploded from well back when Brett Miller lowered his pull-down blinds, a device Takter added when the colt got "too grabby” with a blind bridle.
"He raced well within himself that night,” Takter said. "It's not easy at The Meadows sitting last and end up winning by four lengths.”
But he warns not to expect miracles from the pull-down shades. "It normally helps the first or second start. Then they figure it out.”
Miller will guide Somewhere In LA from post 5 while McWicked, the 7-5 morning line favorite, goes from post 2. Takter remains upbeat even while acknowledging McWicked.
"McWicked has been racing tremendous his last few starts. He'll be tough to beat,” Takter said. "But the monkey's on his back. If the trip works out, I have confidence my horse will be right there.”
Saturday's card gets underway at 12:20, with the Adios (race 12) set for approximately 4 PM. The blockbuster card features a total of six Grand Circuit stakes. (Meadows)