Only Four For Credit Winner Trot

Published: September 5, 2012 10:15 am EDT

On Friday night at Vernon Downs, a small but select group of older trotters with combined earnings of more than $7 million will contest the $200,000 Credit Winner Stakes.

Chapter Seven, the No. 1-ranked horse in the harness racing's current Top 10 poll, will face three foes in the $200,000 Credit Winner for older male trotters: Arch Madness, Hot Shot Blue Chip and Mister Herbie.

In the Credit Winner, Tim Tetrick and Chapter Seven will look to continue their successful season that has resulted in four wins in five starts, $508,350 in purses, and multiple world-record performances. He is coming off a stakes-record 1:52.1 victory in the $150,000 Maxie Lee Invitational at Harrah’s Philadelphia on August 19 and equaled the fastest trotting mile in history on a mile track, 1:50.1, when he won the $250,000 Nat Ray Invitational on August 4 at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

“His numbers speak for themselves,” Tetrick said. “Aside from that defeat in Canada he’s been perfect and hopefully he’ll continue that on the rest of the year.”

Mister Herbie handed Chapter Seven his only loss in the $750,000 Maple Leaf Trot on July 21 at Mohawk. Mister Herbie won with a Canadian-record 1:50.4 mile while Chapter Seven was second.

In the Nat Ray, Mister Herbie was second. The two rivals start side by side in the Credit Winner, with Chapter Seven leaving from post three and Mister Herbie in post four.

“I’m just glad I drew inside of Jody and can make him come after me rather than me having to go after him,” Tetrick said. “If he draws inside of me and floats over there (to the lead) and gets the half in :58 seconds, he’d be hard to beat; and vice versa.

“With the shorter field, you’re going to have all the horses right there bunched together, so you can’t make any mistakes. It’s going to be a more compact field and there are going to be fewer scenarios.”

Chapter Seven is trained by Linda Toscano and owned by Richard Gutnick, Southwind Farm and J&T Silva Stables.

Although only a four-horse group, the Credit Winner’s field has earned in excess of $7 million, led by Arch Madness’ $3.6 million.

While Tetrick knows what it is like to drive against 2011 Breeders Crown winner Cedar Dove, on Friday night he will experience driving her. Tetrick will sit in for regular pilot Ron Pierce, who will be racing at The Meadows in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes events, when Cedar Dove goes behind the gate in Friday’s $191,000 Muscle Hill Stakes for older female trotters in Vernon's Friday night co-feature.

Cedar Dove, who was 2011's three-year-old filly trotter of the year south of the border, has won five of 10 races this season and finished second on three occasions (beaten by a total of about three-quarters of a length) to earn $211,600. Forher career, she has 13 victories in 33 starts and $944,010 in purses. She is trained by Noel Daley and owned by the Adam Victor & Son Stable and John Fielding.

Tetrick, who leads all drivers in North America in wins (507) and purses ($12.29 million) is looking forward to driving Cedar Dove for the first time. He will talk to Daley and Pierce for tips on how to handle Cedar Dove, who had issues with staying on stride earlier in her career.

“She’s a great mare, one of the best in her division, and hopefully we can get the job done,” Tetrick said. “I haven’t spoken to Noel or Ronnie yet and I’m sure they’ll both fill me in. Hopefully I can get the job done for the pair.”

Of course, Tetrick knows a little about Cedar Dove from having competed against her.

“I’ve watched her plenty,” Tetrick said. “I already kind of know what Ronnie likes to do with her and hopefully if I kind of do the same thing it will work out. Watching horses, I learn how to beat them and how not to beat them, and if I do get to drive them, not change too much that throws them out of their routine.”

The seven-horse Muscle Hill field also includes Beatgoeson Hanover, Action Broadway, Pembroke Heat Wave, Unefoisdansmavie and Magic Wheel -- which happen to be the top five finishers, in order, from the fourth leg of the Miss Versatility Series, a race held August 26 at Tioga Downs. Cedar Dove was sixth, which is her only off-the-board finish of the campaign.

Pembroke Heat Wave, with Jody Jamieson listed to drive, is the top money-winner this season among all older female trotters, with $285,280, thanks in part to her victory in the $376,000 Armbro Flight Stakes on June 16 at Mohawk.

(with files from HRC)

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