French Laundry sets world record in Old Oaken Bucket

by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

Delaware, OH — French Laundry cleaned up in Thursday’s (Sept. 24) $126,000 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old male trotters at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, winning by 2-3/4 lengths over Andy Ray in a world- and track-record 1:53.4.

USTA/Mark Hall photo

French Laundry won the Old Oaken Bucket in a track-record 1:53.4.

When the starting gate opened, Mesmerized went to the early lead from post five, leaving French Laundry and driver Yannick Gingras in second place around the first turn. Gingras moved French Laundry to the front quickly, though, clearing to the lead before reaching the quarter in :28.

From there, it was all French Laundry. The colt reached the half in :57.2 and three-quarters in 1:25.1. His winning time lowered the world record for a 3-year-old trotting colt on a half-mile track of 1:54.1 previously set by Archangel in 2012, the Delaware County Fairgrounds track record for a 3-year-old colt trotter, previously 1:54.2 by Triumphant Caviar in 2009, and was one-fifth of a second off the stakes record of 1:53.3 established by gelding Dennis in 2008.

Andy Ray, named in honor of driver Andy Ray Miller, finished strong to edge Mesmerized, driven by Miller, for second place. Walter White finished fourth.

French Laundry, sent off as the 4-5 favorite, is trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld. A son of Muscles Yankee out of the mare Creamy Mimi, French Laundry has won four of 14 races this year and earned $212,038.

For his career, the colt has won 11 of 26 starts, including the 2014 Kindergarten Classic championship, and earned $525,157.

“This colt is definitely not as temperamental as (his dam) Creamy Mimi,” said co-owner Marvin Katz. “She could be cantankerous and be a handful. This colt is not like that, but he does have her ability. He has showed that just by making half a million dollars.

“This year he has just had some bad luck. That includes racing luck and some bad draws. Like the outside in the Hambletonian for instance. But we always knew he was talented and are very pleased with his win here today.”

— Kimberly French also contributed to this report

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