Karl aims to make more noise in KYSS final

Ken Weingartner

Hightstown, NJ — If actions speak louder than words, Karl’s performances to begin his career virtually shout. The 2-year-old male trotter has won all three of his races, by a total of 15-1/4 lengths, and his 1:52.1 triumph last month at Lexington’s Red Mile is the fastest of the season for freshman trotters.

On Sunday, Karl will look to continue his winning ways when he meets nine rivals in the $400,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship Series final for 2-year-old male trotters at the Red Mile. The colt will leave from post one with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Nancy Takter and is the even-money favorite on the morning line.

“He hasn’t been tested yet, but that’s going to come at some point,” Gingras said. “He’ll be tested this weekend, and in the future. But so far so good. Every start he’s had so far, he’s done it easily and had something left at the end each time. At some point we’ll get to the bottom, but we haven’t been there yet.”

Karl has won all three of his races, by a total of 15-1/4 lengths. Amanda Stephens photo.

After qualifying once, winning in 1:54.4 at The Meadowlands, Karl made his pari-mutuel debut in a division of the Kindergarten Classic Series on Aug. 4 at The Big M. The colt rolled to victory by six lengths in 1:54.1, with a :26.3 last quarter-mile.

“Nancy had mentioned him a few times in the spring and early summer and said they were taking their time with him, but that they thought they had a nice horse,” Gingras said. “I knew he had trained a pretty good mile before I qualified him, so when he went in (1):54.4, it wasn’t a big surprise. He qualified really good, and I knew that day I had so much left in the tank.”

In his second start, a leg of the KYSS Championship Series at the Red Mile, Karl went to the front from post seven and posted a seven-length win with his 1:52.1 mile. On Sept. 3, in the last preliminary round of the Championship Series, he sat third for the opening three-quarters of a mile before following a horse around the last turn and marching home in :27.1 to win by 2-1/4 lengths.

“He got a little excited on me the day he won in (1):52.1,” Gingras said. “I was more a passenger, I didn’t really want to go that fast, but he got a little anxious. In his last start, it was slow fractions, but I sat him in the hole anyway. He was nice and relaxed and was really happy with that. He followed cover in the last turn and kicked home like a nice horse in the stretch. That’s all you can ask for.”

Karl, a son of Tactical Landing-Avalicious, sold for $135,000 at last fall’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. He is owned by Christina and Nancy Takter, Black Horse Racing, Crawford Farms Racing, and Bender Sweden. He was bred by Crawford Farms.

“He doesn’t have a whole lot of racing experience, but he’s a smart horse, and ability-wise he’s right there,” Gingras said. “He’s got crazy speed. He’s shown it already, that he’s got that :26 speed in him. Not many trotters have that, let alone 2-year-old trotters.

“He’s also strong. He can carry (his speed) a long way. He’s got a great gait, an efficient gait, that covers a lot of ground, and he’s got a great attitude. I really like him and I’m excited to drive him. He’s got the tools, now he’s got to do the job. We’ll let the horse do the talking.”

The Red Mile hosts all eight Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship Series finals Sunday afternoon. Three returning champs will be in action — 3-year-old male trotter French Wine, 3-year-old female trotter Special Way, and 3-year-old female pacer Twin B Joe Fresh — as well as the sport’s No. 1-ranked horse, 3-year-old male pacer Confederate.

In addition, the finals will include seven horses, including Karl, that led their divisions in points: 2-year-old filly trotter Allegiant, 2-year-old male pacer Better Is Nice, 2-year-old female pacer Geocentric, 3-year-old male trotter Tactical Approach, 3-year-old female trotter Mambacita, and 3-year-old female pacer Strong Poison.

Geocentric is undefeated in six lifetime starts and already has a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes title to her credit. French Wine also won a PASS crown this season, as did 3-year-old filly trot finalist Railee Something, while Special Way and Better Is Nice both were champs in New Jersey. Tactical Approach, another Takter trainee, won the Hambletonian last month.

Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT). For free Red Mile programs, visit the track’s website here.

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