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Takter wins Hall of Fame race at Goshen

July 03, 2016
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Jimmy Takter, with the 5-year-old mare Linda Marie, were the winners of the $10,000 Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Memorial Trot on Sunday (July 3) at Goshen Historic Track. The race honors the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Gerry, their leadership and contributions to the sport and features all Hall of Fame drivers.
 
Takter put the daughter of Crazed, winless so far this year, on the front end at the :59 half and held it through a 1:28.3 three-quarters and had no serious challenge for the win by 4-1/4 lengths in 1:58.3. Woody (David Miller) was second and Hollywoods That Way (John Campebll) was third.
 
Top amateur driver Hannah Miller, driving Samsawinner, was the sole non-Hall of Famer, and she subbed for Dave Palone, who had to scratch after a late night start on Saturday (July 2) at Northfield Park in Cleveland.

After the race, the drivers greeted and signed photos for fans, who formed a long line of adults and children waiting to meet them.

"It's always a privilege and it's not easy, believe me," said Takter. "I think I had the best horse today and that helps a lot."

"My horse raced well, just no match for the winner, but as always, it's a lot of camaraderie," said John Campbell. "It's a really good event and they do a great job putting it on."

"I always have a good time," said Ron Waples, who finished seventh and last with Bloomfieldcantifly. "If I don't have a good time, I don't come. I sure will try to come again next year."

"It's just to take a few days off and come and see some people you haven't seen in a long time," said Bill O'Donnell, who was fourth with Dream Defence N. "I'm still part of the community. I last drove on Legends Day at Clinton."

Hannah Miller was the youngest driver in the race by a few decades: "Maybe a little [nervousness], but once I got behind the gate I was alright. It was a lot of fun. " She was fifth.

In other action on the card, I Will Take Credit won the first $15,000 division of the Excelsior Stake for 3-year-old trotting fillies in 2:00 by a nose, taking the lead past the three-quarters.

She's owned and trained by Erv Miller of Wind Gap, Pa. and was driven by Charlie Norris.

"This mare's been racing good," said Miller. "It's just when she got away third, I figured he'd have trouble getting her going, but he got there first up. She's the best on the front or not being used too hard. First up is pretty rough."

"I didn't get away as good as I wanted to," said winning driver Norris. "The horse was kind of gapping in the two hole, but she can go a long way, she's got a lot of air. I really wasn't worried, but half way down the lane I got worried, but she kept digging."

Cupid was the best of the first $6,500 Excelsior Series B for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot. He and driver John Campbell took the lead in the deep home stretch to win by a half-length in 2:01.2.

Cupid is owned by American Racing Stable, D.L. Guiliano, Purple Haze Stables and trained by Trond Smedshammer.

"He raced really well, just easy to drive and really professional, just tailor made for a half mile track," said Campbell.

Credevie and David Miller made for a perfect partnership in another $15,000 Excelsior for sophomore trotting colts with a win in 1.58.3 by a length.

"That was the first time I got to race him and he was very good," said Miller. "Trond (trainer Smedshammer) usually sends them out rigged up pretty well and he got over the track good. They were going at it pretty hard in the first half and he picked up the pieces."

Racing resumes at Goshen Historic Track on Monday (July 4) at 1 p.m. for the final racing day of the 2016 season.--By Ellen Harvey/Harness Racing Communications

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