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Nuncio scores in 1:56 in Yonkers Trot

Nuncio scores in 1:56 in Yonkers Trot
Saturday, October 25, 2014 - by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Yonkers, NY --- Nuncio won Saturday's $500,000 Yonkers Trot for 3-year-olds at Yonkers Raceway, giving trainer Jimmy Takter a sweep of the Trotting Triple Crown.

USTA/Mark Hall photo

Nuncio was a 1:56 winner for driver John Campbell in the Yonkers Trot final.
Sent off at odds of 1-9, Nuncio (Andover Hal-Nicole Isabelle) and driver John Campbell won the Yonkers Trot by 2-1/4 lengths over Datsyuk in 1:56. Resolve finished third.

Takter, who won the Hambletonian Stakes with Trixton, picked up the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot with Nuncio. Owned by Stefan Melanderís Stall TZ Inc., Nuncio has won 10 of 15 races this year and earned $1.29 million. He finished second in the Hambletonian.

The most recent horse to win the Trotting Triple Crown was Glidemaster in 2006. The last horse to capture two jewels and finish second in the remaining leg was Mack Lobell in 1987. Campbell drove both of those horses.

Takter has won the Yonkers Trot four times; Campbell has won three times.

"This horse is just so consistent, I have so much admiration (for him) and think so much of him because he always gives me a good effort," Campbell said. "Horses like that are hard to find."

The tone of the race changed before the horses reached the starting gate when Gural Hanover, who won his Yonkers Trot elimination last week and drew post No. 1 for the final, was scratched sick.

"I thought he was the horse to beat going into the race," Campbell said. "I think my horse was good enough to win, no matter what, he was very good tonight, but it certainly changed the complexion of the race. It's unfortunate. I feel bad for (Gural Hanover's connections) to get a horse into a race like this and not be able to race."

Don Dorado, leaving from the extreme outside post, went to the lead on the first turn, but Campbell moved Nuncio to the top before reaching the opening quarter-mile in :29. He led the rest of the way, with fractions of :58.4 and 1:27.3, to notch career victory 15 in 25 starts.

"I just wanted to make sure (Nuncio) kept his mind on his work, and gets around that last turn," Campbell said. "He was just a little funny gaited last week in the last turn, but better this week. The main focus was just to keep him to his task and didnít do anything foolish. He did the rest."

He has never finished worse than second in any race and pushed his lifetime earnings to $1.75 million.

"Any horse at this level, they have to have the gait, they have to have speed, they have to have heart," Campbell said. "But his consistency over the two years has just been remarkable. Heís never put in a poor performance for me at all."
Highest Peak captures Hudson Filly Trot

Highest Peak took advantage of both parts of the 1-5 favored entry of Market Rally and Avalicious going off stride to capture Saturdayís $124,590 Hudson Trot for 3-year-old fillies at Yonkers Raceway in a time of 1:58.2.

USTA/Mark Hall photo

Ake Svanstedt steered Highest Peak to a 1:58.2 win in the Hudson Filly Trot.
Sent off at odds of 8-1, Highest Peak and driver/trainer Ake Svanstedt saw Market Rally make a break on the first turn and Avalicious go off stride on the second turn.

Market Rally fought back to take the lead from Highest Peak at the halfway point, reached in 1:00, but was unable to sustain the effort. Highest Peak reclaimed the lead in the stretch and held off Mistresswithmuscle by 1-1/2 lengths. Bambino Supreme finished third.

Highest Peak (Andover Hall-Highland Glider) has won five of 14 races this year and $133,850. Svanstedt owns the filly, which he purchased in August.

"She minded her manners," said Bjorn "Bernie" Noren, Svanstedt's assistant trainer. "We were attracted to her because she's a nice bred filly and she was good on her manners for (former trainer) Noel Daley."

"She had been training good and I thought she would have a good chance tonight."

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