Day At The Track

Life is sweet for top trainer, Linda Toscano

07:30 AM 03 Nov 2011 NZDT
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Linda Toscano with jack Moiseyev Linda Tsocano with Share The Delight Linda Toscano Linda Toscano and husband Brad McNinch Linda Toscano with her favorite horse Linda Toscano training Chapter Seven Linda Toscano
Linda Toscano with jack Moiseyev - and husband Brad McNinch
Linda Tsocano with Share The Delight
Linda Toscano - The most successful female trainer in Meadowlands history
Linda Toscano and husband Brad McNinch
Linda Toscano with her favorite horse - Jet Laag
Linda Toscano training Chapter Seven - at Showplace Farms
Photo Courtesy of USTA Photos-Mark Hall
Linda Toscano - Has won 944 races for $22.4 million in lifetime purses
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Life is sweet for Freehold harness racing trainer Linda Toscano. Since first getting her license back in 1992 the 56-year-old career's has continued to go from strength to strength. In fact the Brooklyn native told Harnesslink that 2011 has to rate as one of her best yet.

That's a big call with less than two months of the season still remaining - but Toscano's statistics speak for themselves. Her 124 wins and $3.49m in purses this year are both personal bests - and her 0.381 UDR strike rate is the highest it has ever been.

"Chapter Seven winning the Breeders Crown (3-Year-Old Colt Trot) at Woodbine last Saturday is probably my most satisfying win of all. It was special when Molly Can Do It won my first Crown in 2002, but Saturday's race was the richest purse I have ever won.

"It's a race that will stay with me forever," Toscano said.

Toscano's stable hit the $2 million mark for the fourth straight year in a row last season. Her top horse in 2010 was New York Sire Stakes champion 3-year-old pacing colt He's Gorgeous, who banked more than $420,000 and won eight races.

All-up Toscano has won 944 races from 5,171 starts. She's also placed 1,728 times in her career for $22.4 million in lifetime purses.

Toscano was raised in Brooklyn and got her first taste of horses when her family shifted to the suburbs. That's when she got riding lessons.

She then became interested in harness racing through friends while attending Stony Brook State University in New York. She was studying to be a vet but when she got a summer job at Roosevelt Raceway she became hooked on standardbreds.

"I loved the horses so much I gave my studies away and worked for Buddy Regan at tracks in New York, and then later on I had the privilege of working for John Campbell when he had a stable,"Toscano said.

She went out on her own in 1984 and was a leading trainer in New York before moving full-time to the Meadowlands in 1998.

Now some 11 years later Toscano has become the most successful female trainer in Meadowlands history and has also campaigned a top stable of stakes winners throughout North America.

She experienced great success with Giant Mermaid, a 1995 Dan Patch Award winner as the sport's top trotting mare. Other top horses have included 2002 Breeders Crown champion Molly Can Do It, multiple stakes-winner Kenneth J, and Jugette heat winner Sprig Hanover.

But Toscano said her favorite horse was free-for-all pacer Jet Laag (1:49), who set a world record in 1999 at Delaware and earned more than $1 million in his career.

"I can't tell you what the best horse I have trained is but Jet Laag is certainly my all-time favorite. It's not very often you can have a horse from day one and can watch his progress right through until his last race as a 7-year-old.

"And he was grey. What girl doesn't love a grey horse? He was with me for so long. I will never forget him,"Toscano said.

Jet Laag, a son of Laag, won 44 of his 140 starts and also placed 43 times for just over $1 million in purses.

Things you might not know about Linda Toscano:

Born: June 26, 1955.

Height: Five foot six inches.

Married? Yes to Brad McNinch.

Children? No my dogs and my children are my babies.

Why are you so successful? Because of my 13 staff and also because I treat every horse as an individual and because of that every one is trained differently.

Colors: Red and white.

Favorite food? It is, was and will always be pizza.

First car? A Mustang hatchback from the 70s, and I wish I she still had it.

How do you spend your spare time? Hanging out at home with my family. I am a family person. I also love being with my dogs.

Favorite TV shows? NCIS and Grey's Anatomy.

What else do you enjoy? Reading mysteries and thrillers.

Other favorite past-times? Travelling during the winter time to somewhere warm - usually in the Caribbean.

What motivates you? Young horses. I thoroughly enjoy watching their evolution from buying them as yearlings to watching watch them race.

Favorite sports and teams? I like hockey and baseball and support the New York Mets and the New York Rangers.

Biggest achievements to date?

BREEDERS CROWN WINNERS:

Chapter Seven (2011).

Molly Can Do It (2002).

DAN PATCH AWARD:

Giant Mermaid (1995).

(Some information courtesy of the United States Trotting association's Fan Guide).

By Duane RANGER (editor)

(1) Chapter Seven winning this year's $612,000 Breeders Crown 3-Year-Old Colt Trot:

(2) Linda Toscano - the interview:

(3) Linda Toscano on "In The Sulky":

(4) Linda Toscano is a big fan of Grey'sAnatomy:

(5) Linda Toscano supports the New YorkRangers hockey team:

 

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