Chapter Seven Is U.S. Trotter Of The Year

Published: December 18, 2012 12:34 pm EST

Chapter Seven and Market Share gave owner Richard Gutnick and trainer Linda Toscano a strong 1-2 punch on the racetrack. The stablemates knocked out the competition off the track as well.

Chapter Seven on Tuesday was named Trotter of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association, with Market Share finishing second in the organization’s year-end Dan Patch Awards balloting. In addition, award-winners were named for two-year-old, three-year-old and older male and female trotters.

Pacer of the Year and divisional pacing winners will be announced Wednesday and Horse of the Year on Thursday.

Chapter Seven, a four-year-old who also was voted the sport’s best older male trotter, received 89 of 146 votes to claim Trotter of the Year. Market Share, who was named the best three-year-old male trotter, received 50 votes. Both horses were driven regularly by Tim Tetrick.

“You have to consider yourself blessed when you have two horses that have an overwhelming desire to win,” Gutnick said. “I keep pinching myself. I don’t think anybody could expect to have the type of year that I’ve had. All I can do is laugh and just enjoy every moment.”

Trotters to receive Dan Patch Award divisional honours were Wheeling N Dealin (two-year-old male), To Dream On (two-year-old female), Check Me Out (three-year-old female) and Frenchfrysnvinegar (older female). Check Me Out received three votes for Trotter of the Year, while To Dream On and Wheeling N Dealin each received two.

Chapter Seven, owned by Gutnick with Southwind Farm and J&T Silva Stables, won eight of 10 races, finished second in both losses, earned $1.02 million in purses, and equalled history’s fastest mile on a mile racetrack by winning the Nat Ray Invitational in 1:50.1 at the Meadowlands. He also won the Breeders Crown Open Trot, defeating European star Commander Crowe, and the Titan Cup, American-National Stakes, Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational and Allerage Open Trot.

His 1:52.1 victory in the Maxie Lee, at Harrah’s Philadelphia set the stakes record and missed equalling the world record for four-year-old trotters on a five-eighths-mile track by one-fifth of a second.

Chapter Seven’s losses came in the Maple Leaf Trot at Ontario’s Mohawk Racetrack, where he was defeated by three-quarters of a length by Mister Herbie in the fastest mile ever trotted in Canada (1:50.4), and in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs, where he was edged by a head by Hot Shot Blue Chip in a time (1:51.2) that missed the track’s fastest-ever trotting mile by one-fifth of a second.

“He’s just an amazing horse,” Gutnick said about Chapter Seven, a son of 2004 U.S. Trotter of the Year Windsongs Legacy out of the mare La Riviera Lindy. “I think he richly deserves (Trotter of the Year).

“I’m appreciative to everybody that was involved in keeping him as sound and as healthy as possible. He’s had to overcome bouts with pneumonia, different problems, in his career and I think any other horse would have just given up. He always gave a hundred per cent. He had that desire to win.”

Market Share, owned by Gutnick with TLP Stable and William Augustine, won 10 of 20 races and finished worse than third only twice while accumulating just under $2 million in purses. His triumphs included the Hambletonian, making Toscano the first woman to win the prestigious trotting event, and the Canadian Trotting Classic.

Check Me Out, trained by Ray Schnittker and driven by Tetrick, was a repeat honouree, having received the Dan Patch Award for best two-year-old female trotter in 2011. Her $1.85 million in career earnings are the most ever for a female trotter at ages two and three combined, breaking the previous record of $1.72 million set by Passionate Glide in 2005-06.

Wheeling N Dealin, trained by Dustin Jones and driven by Sylvain Filion, finished his season 9-for-9 and joined Deweycheatumnhowe, Cantab Hall and Broadway Hall as the only undefeated two-year-old male trotter winners since 1982.

These champion trotters will be honoured at the Dan Patch Awards banquet, Sunday, March 3, at the Westin Beach Resort and Spa in Fort Lauderdale, the climatic event of Harness Racing Congress VI that will run throughout the weekend. Information about the banquet, the Congress, and related topics can be obtained by going to the harness writers’ website (

Wheeling N Dealin (135 votes)
Cantab Hall – Quick Credit – Credit Winner
Breeder: Valley High Stable, Freehold, N.J.
Owner: Ecurie Synergie, Montreal, PQ.
Trainer: Dustin Jones. Driver: Sylvain Filion.
Races: 9-9-0-0. Purses: $683,544. Mark: 1:55.0 at Mohawk.
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown, $475,860 Wellwood Memorial, $142,323 Champlain division.

To Dream On (115 votes)
Credit Winner – Satin Pillows – Conway Hall
Breeder: Valley High Stable, Freehold, N.J.
Owners: Marvin Katz, Toronto, Ontario; Al Libfeld, Pickering, Ontario.
Trainer: Jimmy Takter. Drivers: Takter, David Miller, Yannick Gingras.
Races: 9-8-1-0. Purses: $19,377. Mark: 1:53.2 at Red Mile.
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown, $354,450 Merrie Annabelle, $98,100 International Stallion Stakes division, $89,250 Bluegrass Stakes division.

Market Share (140 votes)
Revenue S – Classical Flirt – Yankee Glide
Breeder: Hayley Moore, Paris, Ky.
Owners: Richard Gutnick, Blue Bell, Pa.; TLP Stable, Kearny, N.J.; William Augustine, Hammonton, N.J.
Trainer: Linda Toscano. Driver: Tim Tetrick.
Races: 20-10-5-3. Purses: $1,985,952. Mark: 1:50.3 at Red Mile.
Top wins: $1.5 million Hambletonian, $1.03 million Canadian Trotting Classic, $350,000 Zweig Memorial, $235,000 American-National, $108,000 Galt.

Check Me Out (128 votes)
Donato Hanover – Illusion Bi – Toss Out
Breeders: Az Agricola Biasuzzi Srl, Pompano Beach, Fla.; Scuderia Gina Biasuzzi, Pompano Beach, Fla.
Owners: Ray Schnittker, Middletown, N.Y.; Charles Iannazzo, Tappan, N.Y.
Trainer: Ray Schnittker. Driver: Tim Tetrick.
Races: 15-11-2-1. Purses: $960,275. Mark: 1:51.2 at Red Mile (world record).
Top wins: $519,400 Elegantimage, $245,500 Delvin Miller Memorial, $200,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, $185,194 Hudson Filly Trot, $150,000 Zweig Memorial Filly.

Chapter Seven (140 votes)
Windsongs Legacy – La Riviera Lindy – Dream Vacation
Breeder: Richard Banca, Franklin Lakes, N.J.
Owners: Richard Gutnick, Blue Bell, Pa.; Southwind Farm, Pennington, N.J.; J&T Silva Stables, Long Beach, N.Y.
Trainer: Linda Toscano. Driver: Tim Tetrick.
Races: 10-8-2-0. Purses: $1.02 million. Mark: 1:50.1 at Meadowlands (equals world record).
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown, $250,000 Nat Ray, $201,700 Titan Cup, $180,000 American-National, $150,000 Maxie Lee, $131,200 Allerage Open Trot.

Frenchfrysnvinegar (135 votes)
Angus Hall – Gugus – Fool Me Not
Breeders: Big Al’s Stables, Woodbridge, Ontario; David Smith, Rockwood, Ontario.
Owner: David Smith, Rockwood, Ontario.
Trainer: Jeff Gillis. Driver: Jody Jamieson.
Races: 25-8-3-2. Purses: $431,452. Mark: 1:52.0 at Red Mile.
Top wins: $155,820 Ontario Masters, $153,000 Miss Versatility, $119,200 Allerage Mare Trot.

This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit



No disrespect intended to Market Share, but lots of it intended for the 50 voters who voted for him ahead of Chapter Seven for Trotter of the Year. Obviously Market Share deserved to be three Year Old Trotter of the year - but Trotter of the Year? I don't think so. Not even close.

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