10/28/2012 12:11AM

Breeders Crown: Winners, Losers and Special Moments


Twelve championship races were contested and $4,053,312 was sent through the windows on Breeders Crown night at Woodbine Racetrack. There were winners, losers and plenty of memorable moments.

I have to say that my best selection on the night was predicting that the rain would end around post time. At least I got something right. It was chilly and windy, but still a good night for racing.

Two performances stood out for me: Chapter Seven’s mile-long grinding victory against the best older trotters and Intimidate powering away from his competition in the 3-year-old colt trot.

With foreign invader Commander Crowe on the lead and Chapter Seven stuck on the rim, no one thought that Chapter Seven could win while getting parked out the entire mile. Not even driver Tim Tetrick.

“In the first half I’m like, oh crap, I really screwed this up,” said Tetrick about the trip. “It might be one of the best efforts in the history of harness racing.”

Trainer Linda Toscano had a similar thought.

“At the quarter I was like, uh oh, and at the half I was like, double uh oh,” said Toscano. “But Timmy knew his horse and did a great job rating on the engine.”

Everyone who watched the race came away impressed with Chapter Seven. In my mind, although I had Market Share rated as the top horse in the country at that point, Chapter Seven’s effort was a Horse of the Year performance. With that win under his belt, there is no doubt he will win the honor.

The biggest question is whether Chapter Seven will return for his 5-year-old season. I’ve heard rumors on both sides of the fence and Toscano could only confirm that a decision would be made on Monday whether to head to the American National at Balmoral. My gut says that his racing career is over. But I certainly hope I am wrong.

Intimidate let others do the work and then gobbled up the leaders for driver Ron Pierce and trainer Luc Blais. The $62,500 supplemental entry drew away with a 27 1/5 final quarter to win by three-plus lengths.

It was an eye-catching performance with the cheers of his connections and fans in the background to help build the moment.

Perhaps the best part is that Intimidate is a gelding and will certainly have a chance to show us more next year.

Blais soaked in the atmosphere as he captured the biggest win of his career. He envisions a full stakes schedule for Intimidate next year but admitted that he wasn’t familiar with all the races and would have to research the options for 2013.

One thing Blais was certain about was keeping the horse.

“I’ve had some inquiries (about selling), but I’m 50 years old and I want to enjoy this run.”


Tim Tetrick – He steered four winners on the night (a new one-night Crown record for a driver). In addition to Chapter Seven, they included American Jewel, Heston Blue Chip and Anndrovette.

Yannick Gingras – The Canadian born driver picked up a natural Hat Trick with To Dream On, Maven and Rockin Amadeus.

Jimmy Takter – The recent Hall of Fame inductee trained three winners. To Dream On, Rockin Amadeus and American Jewel were all sent out by Takter.

Linda Toscano – Not only did she train Chapter Seven and Heston Blue Chip, she also picked up a pair of thirds with Bettor’s Edge and Market Share.

American Jewel – She locked up divisional honors for 3-year-old pacing fillies with her win.

To Dream On – Locked up a year-end trophy for 2-year-old trotting fillies.

Wheeling N Dealin – Completed a perfect season at 9-for-9 and cinched a divisional trophy. Can you say Hambletonian early book favorite?


Check Me Out – She came up short when it mattered it the stretch. In the course of a month she went from the best horse in the country to perhaps just top 5.

Captaintreacherous – The top 2-year-old pacer around had been great every week. He wasn’t on his game tonight. That said, he probably still wins divisional honors.

More stakes

The American National series, Messenger at Yonkers, Windy City Pace at Maywood Park and Matron series at Dover Downs are still on tap to wrap up the stakes season. There are still quite a few divisional championships that are up in the air.

The most interesting decision could be the 3-year-old pacing division. A Rocknroll Dance, Heston Blue Chip and Sweet Lou could all be in the picture with wins going forward.