by Lou Monaco, for the Hambletonian Society
The duo of Tim Tetrick and Jimmy Takter has done it again. Bar Hopping, the 4-5 favorite, kicked off cover and won by 1-1/2 lengths to capture the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Saturday (Oct. 29) at The Meadowlands.
Split times were :28.3, :56.2 and 1:24.1, with the mile time of 1:51.4 equaling the stakes record of Father Patrick, established in 2014 (also trained by Takter).
It was Bar Hopping’s sixth win in his last seven races, and the 30th career Breeders Crown victory posted by Takter.Bar Hopping, who won $250,000 for his efforts, paid $3.80. He is owned by Christina Takter, Hatfield Stables, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Bar Hopping now has lifetime earnings of $1,163,033.
“I felt really good (going into the race),” said Tetrick. “Last week he raced really well; we opened him up a little bit and he trotted a big mile. Today, off cover, he really responded well.”
“My horse has raced against (Southwind Frank and Marion Marauder) all year, and a couple of times he drew bad and could never get into the race when they raced hard, but we still got checks,” continued Tetrick, who captured his third Crown win of the weekend with the son of Muscle Hill-Cocktail Hour. “Those are great horses that he has beaten and my horse is right there with them.”
Southwind Frank, driven by Yannick Gingras, finished second. Double L Lindy, driven by Åke Svanstedt, finished third and Lagerfeld, who dueled with Sutton at the top of the stretch, finished fourth.
“They’re all very special to me. Any time you win one of those big trophies, they are very, very hard to get,” Tetrick concluded. “That’s why we (start) qualifying in May and we work so hard to get to those big races. It’s very, very special.”
Marion Marauder, the most recent Trotting Triple Crown winner, finished last of the ten.
“He just wasn’t up to par,” said trainer Paula Wellwood. “There’s no doubt that he’s sick. I think he’s probably got a viral infection. It’s one of those things. That’s horse racing. You take the good with the bad. I knew when he got out there that he wasn’t himself. Going to the half, you could really see it. He’s done for the year. He deserves a little R&R.”