09/20/2012 10:17AM

Yonkers: Raymer has solid pair in New York Night of Champions finals

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If trainer Tyler Raymer is crazed, then he’s crazed like a fox.

The 37-year-old Peterborough, Ontario, native enters Saturday’s New York Night of Champions at Yonkers Raceway with a solid hand. A master with trotters, Raymer has two outstanding juveniles in Tirade Hanover and Crazy Grigio, both by first-crop stallion Crazed, among the favorites in the $225,000 finals for colts and fillies, respectively.

Raymer’s pair will be seeing action early on the 13-race program with first post at 7:10 p.m. Tirade Hanover, a $10,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg last November, is the 9-5 second choice from post two in the New York Sire Stakes championship for juvenile trotting colts.

With seven wins in 10 starts, Tirade Hanover has displayed raw speed and impressive manners through the grueling Sire Stakes circuit competition. Raymer’s girlfriend Leigh Nichol owns Tirade Hanover along with Stephen Moss and Harold and Helane Solomon. Thus far he’s earned $137,749 on the minimal investment.

For Raymer, who mastered the art of trotting first working for his dad, Jim (who sent out 2007 Yonkers Trot winner Green Day), and now on his own for the last seven years, Tirade Hanover may be a once in a lifetime horse.
“He has blazing speed. He could go from a :27 second clip to a :32 second clip totally relaxed,” said Raymer.

A decision was made early on to geld the horse, with Raymer and the other owners holding no false illusions about their purchase.

“He wasn’t going to be a stallion. We wanted him to be a racehorse,” Raymer said. That’s the kind of common sense that has landed Raymer in the spotlight for this Saturday’s championship events. But it wasn’t just gelding Tirade Hanover that has made the difference. Raymer does all of the shoeing on his own horses and has no specific formula other than to fit each horse according to their own makeup.

In February, Tirade Hanover put trotting hopples on for the first time and he’s been wearing them ever since.

Did he need them?

“I just put them on because I didn’t want to see him make a break in the first turn at Buffalo going for good money,” Raymer said.

So what happened?

“He broke in the first turn at Buffalo anyway,” said Raymer with a laugh.

But the breaks have been few and far between for Tirade Hanover. In his final prep for the championship, Tirade Hanover tracked Fashion Blizzard intently from the pocket through a scorching :56 4/5 opening half yet had something left to wear down his rival in a 1:57 3/5 effort on September 13 at Yonkers. Fashion Blizzard landed the rail and was named the 8-5 morning line choice.

Raymer has seen a quality in Tirade Hanover that’s rare in the breed.

“He has the kind of talent that you don’t think he’s going fast because he does it so easily,” said Raymer.

Brian Sears will drive Tirade Hanover and will also steer Crazy Grigio in the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes final for freshman trotting fillies in race three on the program. The daughter of Crazed was a $20,000 yearling purchase but Raymer had nothing to do with that. He just got the horse on September 8 after Crazy Grigio made a break in a Sire Stakes at Yonkers.

Since that time Raymer made some shoeing adjustments and added trotting hopples. The difference has been startling. Crazy Grigio qualified two days later in 1:55 for Raymer at Pocono and then finished second in 1:55 4/5 in a Sire Stakes race at Tioga four days after that.

“I actually think she may have a better chance against the fillies than Tirade has against the colts,” said Raymer, exuding confidence that the best may still be yet to come for his new pupil.

Crazy Grigio actually has an impressive pedigree on the dam’s side that includes 1995 New York Night of Champions two-year-old filly champ Monet Blue Chip.

Crazy Grigio has been tabbed a 6-1 morning line choice with You Want Me, who defeated her in her last outing, the 3-1 early favorite from post two.

The Raymer stable will also send out Whimsical Britt in the seventh race, a $225,000 final for three-year-old trotting fillies. She drew post eight, but Raymer wasn’t expecting much before the draw.

“I don’t think she can go with Win Missy B (the 8-5 favorite from post four) but I’m hoping she can finish third or fourth,” Raymer said.

Though Raymer stables his 18 horses in Pennsylvania, just 45 minutes from Pocono Downs, he is completely sold on buying New York-breds. With the success he’s already had this year he’ll be looking for more bargains from the Empire State this fall.