The sweet farewell

Awash in soothing Lexington autumn sunshine, the incomparable Atlanta was greeting well-wishers Tuesday morning on the backside of the Crawford Farms shedrow at Fasig-Tipton with the air of class befitting a Hambletonian-winning queen. The look in her eye suggested the intense gameness that was the hallmark of a career that has earned over $3.4 million and counting.

Trainer Jimmy Takter — who, along with his daughter, Nancy, campaigned Atlanta’s chief rival, Manchego — came to pay his respects at the latest of several farewell parties Atlanta’s part-owner Michelle Crawford is throwing in the trotter’s honor as she winds down her racing career.

“That mare cost me a lot of money,” Takter said with reverence.