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Return Trip To The Hambletonian For Toscano And Tetrick

Published: July 31, 2012 7:52 pm ET

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Last year a colt named Chapter Seven earned a fourth-place cheque in the Hambletonian in trainer Linda Toscano’s first bid for the sport’s premier event for three-year-old trotters.

This Saturday afternoon, August 4, 2012, Toscano will be back in the Hambletonian with Market Share, who won the fastest of the three elimination races last week and is rated 4-1 in the morning line, leaving from post two. First race post time is 12 p.m.

“This is unbelievable,” said Toscano, 57, who attended the post position draw in the Pegasus at the Meadowlands. “I never dreamed I would get another chance at it after last year. To have this colt come as far as he has, and he seems to be prepping really well going into this race, it’s a dream come true.”

Toscano, who is bidding to be the first female trainer to win the Hambletonian, has placed her hopes in a son of Revenue who cost a modest $16,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale.

Like Chapter Seven, he is owned by Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell, PA, and is one of three New Jersey-sired colts in this year’s $1.5 million Hambletonian – the other two are sons of Yankee Glide, Guccio and Gym Tan Laundry.

At two, Market Share proved himself over the half-mile track at Freehold, winning all five of his starts, including a sweep of three prelims and the $25,000 final of the New Jersey Sire Stakes Green Acres Series and the $25,000 New Jersey Futurity.

“He was just a nice little horse,” Toscano recalled. “He started this year in the Dexter [winning the elim and breaking stride in the final], and I was hoping for a New Jersey Sire Stakes horse. Then he nearly beat Big Chocolate.”

That race was May 18 in the first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes and Market Share lost by a head after cutting the mile.

The following week, in the second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, the trotter drew off to a nine-length victory in 1:53.1. He was third in the final on June 2, but it justified a trip to Mohawk for the Goodtimes. He won his elim and finished fifth, only a length back, in the $351,000 final.

Market Share picked up the biggest cheque of his career with a third in the $445,594 Yonkers Trot, the first leg of the trotting Triple Crown.

“Two weeks ago, he made an uncharacteristic miscue [in a three-year-old open] and Jeff [driver Jeff Gregory got him back [on stride] and didn’t push him, but let him trot strongly at the end,” Toscano noted.

In his Hambletonian Elimination, now teamed with driver Tim Tetrick, Market Share drew off to a two and a quarter length victory over Archangel in 1:52.2.

Toscano’s colt is not the morning line favourite – Uncle Peter is 5-2 – but there is no dominant entrant this year.

“It’s a nice group of colts,” she said. “Everybody is beatable and everybody can win.”

Just getting into the race is dream come true.

“It’s like we got a ‘do-over,’” she mused.

As for Chapter Seven, he is having another brilliant season and will also be on the Hambletonian Day card, leaving from post four in the $250,000 Nat Ray Invitational, carded as the tenth race.

Chapter Seven won the $201,700 Titan Cup in June at the Meadowlands and was second to Mister Herbie in the $750,000 Maple Leaf Trot on July 21 at Mohawk.

Lifetime, the four-year-old son of Windsongs Legacy has 14 wins, three seconds and one third from 21 starts, banking $1,240,683.

But the one accomplishment that eluded Chapter Seven could very well be Market Share’s claim to fame.

“I’ve already had an awesome ride; I can’t believe it’s been this good,” Toscano said. “You always dream of winning the Hambletonian. Maybe this is my year. I certainly hope so.”

(SBOANJ)


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