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Fielding ponders big weekend

July 13, 2006
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It could be a big weekend at the Meadowlands for horse owner John Fielding. In addition to Took Hanover, who is gunning for the lion’s share of the $1 million Meadowlands Pace, Fielding will send out Ponder in the $650,000 William R. Haughton Memorial and Capetown Hall and Global Glide in the $375,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial on Saturday night. On Friday night, he will root for Workout Doll in the $375,000 Del Miller Memorial.

Took Hanover, who Fielding co-owns with Adam Victor & Son Stable, was a strong third in his Meadowlands Pace elimination. Driven by John Campbell, he was forced to come first up and held on to finish two lengths behind Artistic Fella, who won in 1:48.4.

“He was huge in his elimination for the Pace last week,” said Fielding, 50, of Toronto, Canada. “You have to remember he hadn’t raced in awhile.”

It was the colt’s first start since he made a break in the North America Cup Consolation on June 17 at Woodbine. He also made a break while on the lead in his North America Cup elimination the week prior.

“Took Hanover got all fired up before the North America Cup consolation because his trailer was involved in an accident on the highway,” Fielding explained. “He didn’t look himself in the post parade.”

A son of 1999 Meadowlands Pace winner The Panderosa, Took Hanover was a $100,000 yearling purchase at the Harrisburg sale. In his second lifetime start, on September 3, 2005 at Mohawk, he won an $89,851 Champlain Stakes Division, but a mishap in the barn cost him the chance to race in the Metro the following week.

“As a 2 year old, I thought he was going to be a sure winner of the Metro the way he looked in the Champlain,” Fielding said. “He got hurt in his stall and he has had some bad luck along the way.
T
wo months later, he finished third in the $240,675 Matron Final at Dover, closing out his freshman season with a record of two wins and one third in four starts. Took Hanover has only nine career starts under his belt, the fewest by any pacer in Saturday’s Meadowlands Pace field. He is rated at 10-1 from post eight in the $1 million final, but Fielding has visited the Meadowlands Pace winner’s circle with a longshot before. He was co-owner of Holborn Hanover, the longest priced winner in Pace history. Holborn Hanover paid a stakes record $119 when he won the 2004 edition at odds of 58-1.

“Hopefully, that’s all behind him now and we can make amends on Saturday,” Fielding said of Took Hanover. “I hope we have another Holborn Hanover up our sleeves. I don’t know what we’re going to do from post eight, but we’ve certainly got the right man (seven-time Pace-winning driver John Campbell) trying to figure it out. I really think we’ve got a legitimate chance if they mix it up on the front end as always seem to do in this race.

“I’m flying down there on Saturday,” he added. “I’ll be there with bells on, and as always we’ll celebrate win, lose or draw.”

Earlier on Saturday evening, Fielding’s Hambletonian hopefuls Capetown Hall and Global Glide will race in the $375,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial for 3-year-old colt trotters. The Stanley Dancer is the last major prep for the $1 million Hambletonian on Saturday, August 5, at the Meadowlands (eliminations on July 29). The entrymates are rated at 8-1 on the morning line with Capetown Hall starting from post five and Global Glide from post six.

Both colts are trained by Jimmy Takter. Fielding shares ownership of Capetown Hall with Takter’s wife, Cristina, Dr. Glen Brown and Margaret Oweida. He and Cristina Takter are the only partners on Global Glide.

“Capetown Hall hasn’t been really cranked up yet,” Fielding said. “This colt hasn’t been at his best yet, and he has the credentials to be right there. When he had shoeing issues in his first start of the season (on June 22), Jimmy (Takter) ran back into the paddock and re-shod Passionate Glide. That’s the night she trotted in 1:52.4.

“Global Glide was also slipping and sliding all over that night,” he continued. “He drew the eight hole on Saturday, but that doesn’t matter because he’ll be coming late anyway. He’s a good, honest little horse. He shows on the chart closing last time in :26.4. Jimmy thought it was faster. He’s really trying to prime them for the Hambletonian. If Chocolatier shows up the way he has then we are probably racing for second, but there’s still a long way to go.”

Fielding’s best chance for a large check this weekend may rest with Ponder in the $650,000 William R. Haughton Memorial, also to be raced on Saturday. In a career performance last week, Ponder raced firs--over and held off Leading X Ample to win his Haughton elim in 1:48.2. The millionaire pacer is tabbed as the 5-2 favorite from post two.

“Ponder has a great chance in the Haughton Final,” Fielding said. “I was there at Mohawk when he finished seventh in the Canadian Pacing Derby (June 24). That race just didn’t go his way. He didn’t leave, got shuffled back, and then he had no chance to catch them. I didn’t talk to Bob (trainer Bob McIntosh), but the horse didn’t seem to be himself that night. He rebounded with a tremendous mile last week. He raced great winning the Graduate (in 1:49 on May 20) and he likes the Meadowlands.”

Fielding is a co-owner of IDMD Manufacturing, which makes packaging and merchandise primarily for the cosmetics industry. With offices in Toronto, New York and Paris, IDMD moved under the umbrella of the Los Angeles-based Array Marketing Group. He also owns a Toronto-based beer company, Amsterdam.

“Right now, I have about 90 horses,” he said. “My main trainer is Jimmy Takter. I probably have about 30 with him. We’ve got some great 2 year olds this year. I also have some horses with Bob McIntosh.”
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