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Ryder’s Charge Is Over Issues

Published: February 19, 2015 3:56 pm ET

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“I like him. He’s sounder this year. The poor guy was pretty sore (last year) and now he’s not sore. He had quite a lot (of issues) and the whole lot have gone away.”

Last May, trainer Chris Ryder looked at his then three-year-old trotter Walk The Walk and said he thought the horse might be better at age four.

Walk The Walk won three of 11 races last year, earning $27,250, but was shut down in July because of soundness issues. He returned in January for his four-year-old campaign, finished second in his seasonal debut and has since won back-to-back starts as he heads into Saturday’s $49,000 Charles Singer Memorial Series final at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

“Am I right?” Ryder said with a laugh when reminded of his comments last spring. “Well he’s won his last two starts, so that’s better. I like him. He’s sounder this year. The poor guy was pretty sore (last year) and now he’s not sore. He had quite a lot (of issues) and the whole lot have gone away.”

Walk The Walk will start from Post 6 in the Singer final, with David Miller at the lines. He is 3-1 on the morning line, the third choice behind early favourite JL Cruze (6-5) and the three-horse entry of Opulent Yankee, Blocking The Way, and Propulsion (8-5).

JL Cruze won the Super Bowl Series final on January 24 at the Meadowlands. He has four wins in six starts this year, with both losses being second-place finishes to Opulent Yankee.

The Singer is part of a Big M card that includes the finals of the $59,000 Sonsam Series for male pacers and the $50,600 Burning Point Series for three and four-year-old female pacers, as well as the opening round of the Buddy Gilmour Series for three-year-old male pacers.

Walk The Walk, who was unraced at age two, is owned by Ryder, Sidney Korn, Robert Mondillo and Max Wernick. A son of Muscle Hill out of the mare Letsjustalkaboutme, Walk The Walk was purchased for $20,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale.

He competed in only the first round of the Singer Series, winning by one length over Detroit Rapper in 1:55.4.

Following the Singer, Walk The Walk will compete primarily in overnight races, but Ryder made the horse eligible to the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters, which concludes on July 11 with a $250,000 final.

“It might be a little ambitious, but what the heck,” Ryder said. “We’ll give it a go. He’s doing good.”

Ryder also sends out National Seelster in the first round of the Gilmour Series. National Seelster was unraced as a two-year-old and is two-for-two this season, with both victories coming in conditioned races. He is a son of Bettors Delight out of the mare No Strikes Against and was purchased for $50,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale. His family includes millionaires Strike An Attitude, Delinquent Account and Artiscape.

National Seelster is owned by Mondillo and Peter Mazzella’s Oompa’s Farm.

“He was ‘ouchy’ last year,” Ryder said. “It was nothing serious, but he just wasn’t ready to push on. We kind of liked him, but never really got to go much with him until now. He’s a nice horse. We (staked) him to most races.”


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


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