As a Hall of Fame, high-profile trainer, it's hard for Jimmy Takter to fly under the radar. Yet that's exactly what he's done with Blood Line, who'll compete in Saturday's $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows. Blood Line goes from post 8 with Mark MacDonald at the helm.
The final anchors a blockbuster Adios Day card that features six Grand Circuit stakes. First post is noon while the Adios goes as race 11 at approximately 4 p.m.
Takter won the Adios with Vintage Master (2009) and again with Sunfire Blue Chip (2013). For all that, Blood Line, a homebred son of Somebeachsomewhere-Blood Diamond for Diamond Creek Racing, was dismissed at 13-1 in his Adios elimination. After leaving for early position, he shot the Lightning Lane and missed upsetting heavily favored Huntsville by a neck.
Blood Line has won only once this year — a Pennsylvania Sires Stake split at Harrah's Philadelphia — but finished second to Huntsville in a Meadowlands Pace elimination before breaking stride in the final.
"I don't know what happened that day, but he wasn't far off there," Takter said. "He's a good horse, and if he steps up, he'll be a pretty solid horse."
Takter knows that Blood Line, 12-1 in the morning line, must step it up now if he's to defeat Fear The Dragon and Huntsville, the No. 1- and No. 2-rated Standardbreds in North America.
"If those two horses are in 100 percent form, without a doubt, they're a little better," he acknowledged. "But horses are flesh and blood. They can take so much and after a while, some of them go a little backwards."
He also knows that Blood Line's upset chances took a blow when he drew outside.
"If you have to have post 8, The Meadows is probably the best place to draw it because of the slanted starting gate," he said. "This horse has tremendous gate speed; I'm sure Mark will give him a try and leave with him. But if he goes a :26 quarter, he'll pay for it at the end of the mile."
Takter indicated Blood Line is eligible for most of the late-season stakes, including the Little Brown Jug. (The Meadows)