One could determine from See You At Peelers’ accomplishments that she was special on the racetrack. In the eyes of those around her, though, it was unnecessary to look merely at paper for such assurance.
It was evident by the way she went to work.
“She had charisma, like a great horse,” said Jimmy Takter, who trained the now retired filly pacer to U.S. divisional titles at ages two and three. “She knew she was a good horse and she carried herself with such pride when she went out on the track.
“The swing she had in her gait, that’s why she was such a great horse. She had a very effective way of going.”
It is hoped those characteristics carry on to her children. See You At Peelers, who won the first 22 races of her career before being hampered by a virus that caused heart and lung issues last year, was retired and bred to 2008 Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere. She finished her career with 26 wins in 31 races and nearly $1.57 million in purses.
“I don’t want to jeopardize her,” Takter said. “She’s been too good to me.”
Takter’s wife, Christina, bred See You At Peelers and owns the filly with brothers John and Jim Fielding of Toronto. The Takters had experience breeding trotters, but See You At Peelers, a daughter of Bettors Delight out of the mare West Side Glory, was the first pacer they ever bred. It made her accomplishments all the more special, particularly when she capped a perfect 13-for-13 campaign as a two-year-old by winning the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in 2010. Prior to capturing the Breeders Crown, nearly all her wins came on the New York Sire Stakes circuit.
“The Breeders Crown was the race I was probably most excited about,” Takter said. “It was her first time against all the best horses and she proved she wasn’t just a New York filly. She beat all the best fillies that day. It’s a big honour when you’re racing a horse you bred and win a Breeders Crown.”
Christina Takter also said the Breeders Crown was her most memorable race with See You At Peelers.
“The final was her 13th race and I’m a little superstitious,” she said with a laugh. “But she got it done.
“All her races were pretty exciting,” she added.
When she finished the season with a perfect record and received the Dan Patch Award as the sport’s best two-year-old filly pacer, she joined My Little Dragon as the only two-year-old filly pacers to win divisional honours with an unblemished campaign. My Little Dragon was six-for-six in 2005.
As a three-year-old, See You At Peelers won her first nine races, including a world record-equalling 1:49.2 triumph in the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs. She also equalled the stakes record of 1:50 in winning the Fan Hanover Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack and became the first filly to beat the boys in the Art Rooney Pace at Yonkers Raceway.
In fact, her win in the Rooney marked the first time since 1990 that a filly pacer defeated male counterparts in a race worth at least $100,000. According to U.S. Trotting Association records, since the start of 1992, female pacers -- regardless of age -- were 0-for-31 when challenging the boys in six figure races.
Her 22-race win streak was harness racing’s fourth longest in the U.S. over the last 20 years and was accomplished against primarily stakes competition. She attracted attention within the sport and beyond, with stories appearing in publications including Sports Illustrated and the New York Times.
See You At Peelers finished 2011 with nine wins in 12 races and $910,251 in purses and received her second Dan Patch Award. By winning divisional titles at ages two and three, See You At Peelers joined Three Diamonds (1981-82), Miss Easy (1990-91), and Worldly Beauty (2001-02) as the only filly pacers to accomplish the feat.
After taking time off to recover from her heart ailment, See You At Peelers opened this season by winning her first four races, all in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers. She then finished seventh in the final and competed for the last time on May 18 at Yonkers when she was seventh in an Open Handicap.
“I thought I had her back when she raced those first four starts,” JimmyTakter said. “I guess she never fully recovered. She never became the same again.”
The outcomes of her most recent starts did nothing to diminish See You At Peelers’ legacy.
“We had fun with her,” Christina Takter said. “When she first started racing, people would call and ask to buy h