Day At The Track

"Horse of a different gait" for Hart and Snyder

05:51 AM 28 Jul 2016 NZST
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Trainer Ed Hart will start Another Chapter.jpg
Trainer Ed Hart will start Another Chapter in the Peter Haughton Memorial eliminations.
USTA/Ken Weingartner photo

Trenton, NJ --- Harness racing trainer Ed Hart and owner Jeff Snyder might be best known for their successes with pacers, so seeing them team up with a Grand Circuit trotter might appear to be a little out of character.

But Hart says training 2-year-old Another Chapter -- who is racing in the second of two Peter Haughton Memorial eliminations Friday (July 29) at the Meadowlands -- isn’t much different than what he is used to.

“I don’t think so,” Hart said, when asked if he changes his approach. “A lot of time you just have to take your time. I guess what I’m saying is for both (pacers and trotters). It’s how they develop as they come along. You just have to take your time with it.”

Hart has not seen enough of Another Chapter to draw any firm conclusions on his future. He likes what he has seen so far, as the colt has one third-place finish in three starts -- all on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. He heads to his Haughton elimination off a fifth-place finish on July 21 at Vernon Downs, where he came home fastest of all, in :27.4, and was beaten only 1-1/2 lengths.

Brett Miller will drive Another Chapter on Friday. He is the 4-1 third choice on the morning line, behind two trotters from the stable of trainer Ron Burke, What The Hill (2-1) and Southwind Cobra (3-1).

Another Chapter’s sire is Chapter Seven, the 2012 Horse of the Year. His dam is Southwind Catlin, the New Jersey Sire Stakes champion at age 2 in 2004. He is a half-brother to 2013 Breeders Crown winner Spider Blue Chip and the family also includes stakes-winner Flawless Bluestone and Pine Schooner, who is the mother of 2009 Hambletonian Oaks winner Broadway Schooner.

He was purchased for $125,000 by Snyder -- perhaps best known as owner of 1994 Horse of the Year Cam’s Card Shark and co-owner of 2005 Horse of the Year Rocknroll Hanover -- and Four Friends Racing Stable at the Standardbred Horse Sale. The owners changed his name from Orthodox Blue Chip to Another Chapter.

“I think the owners were interested in the first crop of Chapter Seven, and this is another exciting horse coming in,” Hart said. “He’s a well bred horse. That’s what Jeff Snyder has liked.”

Hart was unable to make many comparisons between Another Chapter and his parents, as he did not know Southwind Catlin and only saw Chapter Seven race.

“He’s not a real big horse, just a nice, medium size horse,” Hart said. “I don’t think Chapter Seven was very big either.”

The trainer did note that Another Chapter does share a major trait with his siblings.

“I’ve got a few Chapter Sevens and the one thing I’ve liked is all their attitudes,” he said. “He’s got a lot of try. He’s got a very good attitude, he just tries all the time.”

Asked if there is anything about the horse that concerned him, Hart said, “I don’t think so. It’s like all young trotters, he’s still a little bit of a work in progress. There are going to be mistakes and bumps down the road but overall he’s been OK. He seems to be getting better each week.”

The trainer noted that in the stable, Another Chapter is quiet for a colt, saying “he’s nippy, but he’s good. He’s a happy horse. He’s sharp; not a salty type of horse.”

The horse’s health has been solid so far, as he has yet to take a sick day. Immediately after reporting that, Hart laughed and said, “I probably shouldn’t say that. I better knock on wood.”

Because his races have been limited so far, Hart doesn’t have a firm idea of what type of trip he likes. Another Chapter has shown a tendency to be aggressive behind the gate, so they have been taking it easy with him.

“For the most part, he’s finished up pretty strong in the mile,” Hart said. “I know it’s a tough task (Friday) coming from the sire stakes, but I do like his chances (to advance). I raced him at Vernon and I think the best part of his mile was toward the wire. He’s finishing up real strong.”

Hart, who had the sport’s top 2-year-old male pacer in 2004 in Village Jolt (also owned by Snyder); and harness racing’s top 3-year-old male pacer in 2011 in Roll With Joe, has Another Chapter staked up.

“We’ll just see how it develops, see how he finishes out the rest of the sire stakes,” Hart said. “I think he has all the major stakes; the Breeders Crown and what not. So we’ll try and get through this week, finish out the sire stakes and see what happens towards the fall.

“He’s one of those colts that just seems to get better every week. That’s what you want. We just have to keep going forward.”

by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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