Field set for Merrie Annabelle
July 30, 2009
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The field for the $525,800 Merrie Annabelle for 2-year-old filly trotters was decided by a trio of elimination races Thursday night at the Meadowlands, with the first three finishers in each elimination, plus the fourth-place finisher with the highest career earnings, advancing to the Merrie Annabelle Final on Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 8.
The fastest of the elim winners was Cantab It All. She was also the first of two elim winners for trainer Jimmy Takter. Driver John Campbell popped out of the pocket at the top of the stretch and flew home to take the fourth race of the night in 1:55.3. In The Mean Time [$11.20, $5.80] rallied late to finish a half-length behind in second, while the pace-setting Ipo Blue Chip [$3.40] held on for third.
The daughter of Cantab Hall-Bettor Odds was an $80,000 yearling purchase for owners Christina Takter of East Windsor, NJ, John Fielding of Ontario, Melvin Hartman of Ontario and Falkbolagen Ab of Malmo, SD. Cantab It All is now perfect in four lifetime starts.
Costa Rica [$5.40, $3.40, $3.00], another Takter trainee, got away fourth off the gate, made a move up the backstretch and powered home to win the second elimination in a lifetime best of 1:56.4. With driver Ron Pierce in tow, Costa Rica dug in gamely to overpower the late rally of Behindclosedoors [$6.20, $4.60] and take the fifth race on the card. Spicy Wings [$6.00] was third.
The Muscles Yankee-Examination filly was a $23,000 yearling purchase by Takter’s wife, Christina, and John and Jim Fielding. Costa Rica has now won three of four lifetime starts.
“These fillies are different.” Takter said after winning the second elimination. “This filly [Costa Rica] is really tough, she never gives up. She really had to work hard today, coming first up. It’s really hard for a young horse to do those things, she held her own down the stretch and I really like this filly.”
Secret Magic, who finished fourth in the second elimination, also moved on to the final.
Poof She’s Gone [$5.80, $3.60, $2.80] took the third Merrie Annabelle elimination easily in a lifetime best of 1:56.1. Driver David Miller steered Poof She’s Gone to the lead at the half and she held off a late rally by Bone A Fide [$6.60, $4.80] for a 1 1-4-length victory. Nimble Kronos [$11.20], who shipped from Sweden, was third.
It was the first win of two lifetime starts for the Richard Norman trainee. The daughter of Kadabra-Travelin Superlite was a $170,000 yearling purchase by Melvin Hartman of Ontario, Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL Dave McDuffee of Nashua, NH and John Fielding of Ontario. (Meadowlands)