11/05/2016 10:19PM

Meadowlands: Breeders Crown champions Walner, Someomensomewhere lead Kindergarten Classic winners

Lisa Photo
Walner wrapped up his season with a winning performance in the Kindergarten Classic

Breeders Crown winners Walner and Someomensomewhere highlighted the horses who were victorious in the Kindergarten Classics for 2-year-olds on Saturday night at the Meadowlands.

Walner (Tim Tetrick), starting from post nine in the $200,600 colt trot final, was on the outside for the first three-eighths of the mile, but he cleared Limerence (Ake Svanstedt) for the lead before the 55 4/5 half.  Eastern Promise (John Campbell) offered just a tepid first-over bid on the far turn, and that allowed Tetrick to steal a soft third-quarter, with three-quarters on the board in just 1:25 1/5.

As the field turned into the stretch Walner began to pull away, and he would continue to do so all the way to the wire, which he found seven lengths to the good in 1:53 2/5.  Simply Volo (Corey Callahan) was up for second, followed by Fly On (Andy Miller), New Jersey Viking (Andrew McCarthy), and Equestrianconxtion (Marcus Miller).

"He's pretty talented, and he makes my job easy.  Just don't get locked in and don't get lost," said Tetrick.  "Next year we just gotta hope he comes back sound and healthy.  He's got all the tools to be here on the first Saturday in August."

Walner, from the first crop of Blue Chip Farms stallion Chapter Seven, is trained by Linda Toscano for owner Ken Jacobs.  This was his seventh win from eight starts, and he has now earned $489,050.  A $90,000 Standardbred Horse Sale buy, Walner is the second foal out of the Ken Warkentin mare Random Destiny ($658,314).  Sent off at 1-9, he paid $2.10 to win.

"There are some similiarities, but this colt is much more mature and much more ready at two; the other horse needed a little more time.  He got good at the end of the year," offered Toscano when prompted to compare Walner and his sire, who Toscano also trained.

As for Someomensomewhere (Marcus Miller), she raced in the $149,100 final for pacing fillies and was fourth while Gurl Band K (Joe Bongiorno) chopped out fractions of 27 1/5, 55 4/5, and 1:23 4/5.  Caviart Ally (McCarthy) vaulted past the pace-setter from first-over in the lane and looked like she might be able to keep Someomensomewhere, who had followed her from second-over, at bay, but in deep stretch the Breeders Crown champion surged by to score a neck decision in 1:51 2/5.  No Chaser (Andy Miller) collected third, with Sky Fulla Star (Gingras) fourth, and Lady Of Heaven (Campbell) back in fifth. 

"Since we started her on Lasix about a month ago, she's really turned a corner, said trainer Erv Miller, who added that Someomensomewhere will be racing in the Three Diamonds at Woodbine.  "When we started racing her early in the year, we were real high on her, and then mid-season she kind of tapered off a little bit.  We were trying to figure out what was wrong with her, and here lately it looks like we have."

Someomensomewhere, a filly by Somebeachsomewhere, is trained by Miller for breeder Kdm Stables Corp. and co-owner Nick Surick Stable LLC.  Someomensomewhere is now a four-time winner from 11 tries, and she has now put away $482,321.  Someomensomewhere, who was purchased for $120,000 at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, is the first foal out of Omen Hanover (Western Hanover, $$1,086,809).  Someomensomewhere, sent off at 2-5, returned $2.80 to win.

The $147,200 final for colt pacers saw one of the best finishes of the entire year, with Air Strike (David Miller), who took over the lead at the 55 4/5Lisa PhotoThe wild stretch drive of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-old colt pacers half and brought the field into the stretch, and Chip Walther (Marcus Miller), who rallied out of the pocket on the outside, finishing in a dead heat for win in a 1:52 1/5 mile.  Third-place finisher Deo De Janiero (Scott Zeron) was another nose back in third after he challenged up the inside in the final sixteenth, and fourth-place finisher Mac's Jackpot (Tetrick) was a head back in fourth after a first-over bid against Air Strike.  Andy's Ideal (Callahan) came in fifth.

"My horse, he was tired, and he was fighting as hard as he could fight.  I was hoping the wire would get there soon enough," said David Miller.  "He's got high speed, he's a real nice horse to be around, and he's off to a good start."

"I didn't know if I should stay in and try to sneak up the inside, but I figured David knew I was in the two-hole, so there probably wasn't going to be room," Marcus Miller said.  "When I could give him a little stretch I knew he'd be pacing hard, and he was.  It was almost enough, or tied enough."

Air Strike is an Always A Virgin colt trained by Joe Holloway for owners Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz.  This was the third win in seven starts this year for the $75,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase.  He is out of the Cambest mare My Best Gal, which makes him a half-brother to Ohmybelle (Ponder, $284,834) and Bob Ben And John (Sportswriter, $168,215).  The dam is also a half-sister to Calypso Beat (Nihilator, $828,361).  Sent off at even-money, he paid $2.20 to win.

Trainer Erv Miller also co-owns Chip Walther, a colt by Blue Chip Farms stallion Art Major, with partners Paymaq Racing, Nick Surick Stable LLC., and Louis Willinger.  Chip Walter, who was taken out of the Standardbred Horse Sale for $18,000, now has a record of 5-1-2 from 14 efforts.  He is the first foal out of the Western Terror mare Bittorsweet Terror, a half-sister to Cam Swifty (Cambest, $1,014,357).  Chip Walther was dispatched and 8-5 and returned $2.40 to win.

Rounding out the finals was the $190,200 test for trotting fillies, and Feed Your Head (Gingras) would post fractions of 28 1/5, 57, and 1:25 2/5 with Hillamrbro (Trond Smedshammer), who was on the outside throughout, moving up to challenge at the 1:25 2/5 three-quarters.  Hillarmbro forged her way into the lead in the lane, despite the tough trip, but Overdraft Volo (David Miller) was full of trot coming off Smedshammer's helmet, and she would get up to prevail by a length and a quarter in 1:55.  Hillarmbro was second and Feed Your Head held third, ahead of Caviart Wonder (McCarthy) and Sunshine Delight (Campbell).

"She trained down at Southern Oaks, the Pinskes own her, and I saw her train all winter," David Miller said.  "She was a big, good-looking filly all winter, and she's matured into a nice horse.  I didn't get away very good, but I was in the outer flow.  They kept running around the last turn, and when I did her move, she came pretty hard and got to the wire. 

"She made up a lot ground of there.  She's a big filly, so she covers a lot of it, I guess."

Julie Miller trains Overdraft Volo, a filly by Yankee Glide, for owners Pinske Stables and Kentuckiana Racing Stable.  She now has a trio of victories from ten tries, and she has banked $152,347.  Taken out of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale for $50,000, Overdraft Volo is the eighth foal out of the Tagliabue mare Bank Of Newport, making her a full sister to Newport Volo ($395,326) and Banker Volo ($276,883).  She paid $34.80 for the 16-1 upset.