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Jimmy Takter elected to Hall of Fame

September 04, 2011

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Jimmy Takter, whose journey from promising horseman in early-80’s Sweden to the very pinnacle of conditioning harness racehorse worldwide, has been rewarded for his outstanding talents and successes with election to harness racing’s Living Hall of Fame, in balloting recently conducted by the U.S. Harness Writers Association.

Takter, 50, has of course brought the trotting knowledge he learned from generations of trainers in his native land and raised it to a fine art – but he stands alone these days in being a European-educated conditioner who is having equal success with pacing standardbreds, with his resume full of champion horses from both gaits in recent campaigns.

Take, for example, this year, where the #1 horse in the weekly Top Ten poll has for months been See You At Peelers, a three-year-old pacing filly who fashioned a 22-race win streak, set a world record at Tioga, won her Breeders Crown championship last year, and is being given serious consideration as being only the second filly (after Fan Hanover in 1980) to win the time-honored Little Brown Jug in late September while taking on the top colts.

Consider, also, that on two days of stakes events at Mohawk this weekend, Takter has no less than 15 entrants in the rich contests – 9 of them pacers, and 6 trotters. (And of course won both the rich two-year-old events, the Metro [Simply Business] and the She's A Great Lady [(American Jewel] -- both paces!)

Takter’s earlier successes were of course achieved mainly with trotters, including the fabled Moni Maker, an international champion who earned $5.6M in her racetrack career and was twice named Harness Horse of the Year, in 1998 and 1999. They included his handling of stars such as Malabar Man (1997 Harness Horse of the Year, in retrospect starting a three-year Takter “sweep”), Kadabra (2002 Trotter of the Year), and double divisional champion fillies Passionate Glide and Passionate Princess.

Being in the media spotlight with so much high-powered equine octane has developed Jimmy into a gracious and accessible horseman and minister for the sport – and often candid with a post-race quote. He has been elected North American Trainer of the Year a record three times: 1996, 2000, and 2010.

Takter also makes no secret of the fact that he regards America as “the land of opportunity,” and flies an American flag on an island in the infield lake of his New Jersey training center – a flag appearing in the first paragraph of a New York Times feature written on Takter, on (appropriately) July 4 of this year.

Jimmy Takter will be twice feted for his Hall of Fame election – the first will come at USHWA’s Dan Patch awards dinner on Sunday, February 12 in Orlando FL; the other will be his formal induction into the Hall of Fame during a dinner in the Hall’s hometown of Goshen NY on July 1, 2012.

Elections for the Hall of Fame are conducted by the U.S. Harness Writers Association, a 225-member organization of the sport’s media, with Living Hall of Famers also getting a vote to elect peers. The Delaware firm of Davis-Smith Accounting handles the distribution, tallying, and official certification of the election results. (USHWA)

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