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"This Is His Time Of Year"

Published: October 25, 2012 9:23 pm ET

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Chapter Seven enjoyed a storybook ending to an eventful sophomore season with an open length victory in the 2011 Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Trot. But his story was not complete.

In his 2012 sequel, the Linda Toscano trainee blossomed into a star trotter dominating the Open ranks with four sub-1:51 miles and a chance to provide his connections with a unique trotting double this Saturday at Woodbine Racetrack.

Toscano sends out four starters for Saturday’s spectacular 12-race Breeders Crown card, including returning Crown champion Chapter Seven in the Open Trot division and her latest Three-Year-Old Colt Trot hopeful Market Share, both driven by Tim Tetrick.

Chapter Seven will look to become the 18th trotter to earn two Breeders Crown titles, and just the third to win the three-year-old and Open divisions in back-to-back years. Sugarcane Hanover completed the feat in 1986-1987 while Pine Chip repeated in 1993-1994. Mr Muscleman won both divisions, but not in consecutive years (2003 3yoCT and 2005 Open).

With eliminations unnecessary for the Breeders Crown Open Trot with just six entries, Chapter Seven prepped for Saturday’s big test with a training session back home before arriving in Canada on Tuesday to carry on an easy jogging routine.

Chapter Seven heads into the championship race after winning five times while finishing no worse than second in eight seasonal starts to bank $627,700 in purses. The four-year-old son of Windsongs Legacy has only been defeated this year by Canadian-based Mister Herbie in the Maple Leaf Trot on July 21 at Mohawk Racetrack and Hot Shot Blue Chip in the Credit Winner Trot on Sept. 7 at Vernon Downs – both losses were by less than a length. Those two competitors will start from posts two and three, respectively, with Chapter Seven drawing the outside post six.

While Chapter Seven defeated Mister Herbie on a few occasions this year, including their most recent start in the Allerage Farms Open Trot on Oct. 7 at The Red Mile, he was overpowered by that foe in his only start north of the border this year in the Maple Leaf Trot.

“I think the tables are turned now; Mister Herbie is now on his home turf,” Toscano told Trot Insider. “But Chapter Seven has been awesome this year and I think I know why he got beat the last time he was up here. I don’t think he could see a horse coming. I think we’ve rectified that by putting the hood on him and he’s been real good since. But they’re great horses and it’ll be real fun.”

A change of scenery doesn’t appear to hinder the $1.5 million earner. In addition to getting over the Toronto oval for an open length triumph during the Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Trot last year, he’s won over five other track surfaces in his career.

“He’s been real good this year pretty much anywhere I’ve brought him, including Chester, and that’s a tough track,” said Toscano. “I knew if he could trot at Chester he could pretty much trot any track I take him to.”

While most of the field is familiar to Toscano’s trotting titan, one rival he has yet to defeat – or even face – in his division is Swedish star Commander Crowe, a third-place finisher behind last year’s divisional champion San Pail and French trotter Rapide Lebel, who are both absent in the 2012 edition. But Toscano welcomes the challenge.

“I think it’s good for the world to have the international horse come over,” she said. “My horse is good; this is his time of year. He absolutely loves the clear, crisp air and it makes him feel good about himself. And hopefully he’ll come out and do what I know he can.”

While Chapter Seven tackles the older grouping, Toscano will look to repeat in the Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Trot division with Hambletonian and Canadian Trotting Classic champion Market Share. The Revenue S colt was collared by supplemental entry Intimidate in the stretch in his elimination, clocked in 1:53.1.

“He was trained up for last week because he missed a week going into [the eliminations],” said Toscano of the $1.79 million earner. “I’ll go very, very light with him this week. He doesn’t require a whole lot anyhow and he came out of his elimination well.

“We have an eight-hole so Timmy is going to have to earn him keep this week,” she continued. “It’s not going to be easy. He’s going to have to figure out how to race the horse, but that’s Timmy’s job. It looks like a lot of the speed is in the middle of the pack and that may play well for my horse. My horse likes to draft along behind cover, but he also has gate speed so I guess Timmy will look over at the start and he’ll make that decision. That’s what he does best.”

Toscano had nothing to worry about when it came to the draw for the Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Pace division as both her entries won their eliminations. Bettors Edge (by Bettors Delight) and David Miller scored a 1:49.4 upset victory as the second longest shot on the board while Heston Blue Chip (by American Ideal), driven by Tetrick, won in 1:50.3 as the third choice from the outside post seven. Earning the right to pick her colts’ post positions in the final, Toscano chose the two-hole for Bettors Edge and post four for Heston Blue Chip.

“Bettors Edge has been good from inside posts all year so I wasn’t going to buck the system,” said the Freehold, New Jersey conditioner, who also won the 2002 Breeders Crown Mares Open Pace with Molly Can Do It. “He doesn’t know how to race from outside of the two-hole because he’s had the two-hole for so many starts this year so that’s what we did there. David loves the horse. The horse went a big mile last week and I’m hoping he comes back and goes that same mile again. He seems to be thriving under this fall racing season here right now. And Heston Blue Chip did what I know he could do last week. I hope he gets to do it again.”

So who has a better chance to win? Time has changed Toscano’s opinion when comparing the ability of her two pacing colts.

“Before last week I would have said ‘Heston’ but Bettors Edge just seems to be getting better and better right now so I wouldn’t count him out,” she said.

First race post time for Saturday’s Breeders Crown card is 6:30 p.m. The Score, Canada’s all-sports channel, will carry the $6 million Breeders Crown championships live from Woodbine Racetrack from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (EDT) and the broadcast will also be streamed live on MavTV in the U.S.

Entries for Saturday night's star-studded card of harness racing at Woodbine are available at the following link: Saturday Woodbine Entries.

Program pages are available here through TrackIT. An easy-to-read program is available here.

Think you know who will win Saturday's Breeders Crown races? Enter the Breeders Crown Fantasy Pool. It's easy to enter, free to play and you could win a $100 gift card for the racetrack of your choice. Click here to enter the contest.


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