There was the See You At Peelers (Bettor’s Delight) that won 22 straight and was the sport’s reigning superstar. Then there was the See You At Peelers who lost three in a row and couldn’t even make it into the Breeders Crown finals. Tonight, the Dan Patch Award winner will make her 4-year-old debut at Yonkers in the first leg of Blue Chip Matchmaker Series.
Which See You At Peelers will show up?
“Your guess is as good as mine,” trainer Jimmy Takter said.
The last time See You At Peelers was in a pari-mutuel race she finished a poor seventh in the eliminations for the Breeders Crown at Mohawk. Takter had seen enough. His filly had not been the same since finishing sixth in the Aug. 21 Valley Forge at Chester and the Hall of Fame horsemen could- n’t seem to get her back on track. He thought he had a handle on her declining form when discovering that she was suffering from an elevated heart rate, a treatable problem, but nothing he did for the remainder of the year got her back on track.
Takter gave his star filly the winter off and has since qualified her twice at the Meadowlands. With Brian Sears driving, the now 4-year-old mare won her first qualifier in 1:53.4 and then finished second behind Krispy Apple(Western Ideal) in 1:53. Takter likes what he has seen.
“I am happy with her appearance and what she has done so far on the track this year,” the trainer said. “She’s been finishing very strong in her last quarter and I’m looking forward to her race. So far so good. Everything looks good and Brian was very happy with her. He never asked her in either of those races and never pulled the plugs in either one of them.”
Yet Takter isn’t ready to proclaim that See You At Peelers is back.
“I have no idea,” he said when asked if he expects her to be as good as she was during her winning streak. “I don’t like to speculate about those things. I wake up in the morning and I try to do the best I can and that’s all I can do. If Peelers doesn’t come back to the level she was there’s not much I can do about it. At least I know I did the best I can.”
Takter is also aware that it’s never easy for a 4-year-old to beat older horses. She is one of only two four-year-olds in her division, which includes some tough mares like 7- year-old Chancey Lady (Camluck), 6-year-oldGinger And Fred (Real Artist) and 6-year-old Save My Shark (Four Starzzz Shark).
“She doesn’t have to win,” Takter said. “If she’s performs well, we’ll be happy. You have to play these things a little bit by ear. She ended up on a down note last year and you never know how they are going to come back. She’s going to take on good older mares and that’s always a test. Those older mares are always so tough and a few of them have already had a few starts under their belt this year. This is her first race of the year and she’ll probably have to pace a 52 mile to have a chance to win.”
The Yonkers linemaker has installed See You At Peel- ers at 5-1 in the early line.
The Blue Chip Matchmaker kicks off a big weekend of racing at Yonkers, which also hosts Saturday’s opening round of the Levy Series. That series features 2011 Pacer of the Year Foiled Again (Dragon Again).