Day At The Track

Toscano makes Hambletonian history

12:42 AM 05 Aug 2012 NZST
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Market Share Linda Toscano
Market Share - Winning the Hambletonian
Lisa Photo
Linda Toscano

Harness racing trainer Linda Toscano became the first female trainer to win the sport's most coveted prize when Market Share captured the $1.5 million, 87th edition of the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on Saturday afternoon.

The victory was also the first for leading driver Tim Tetrick, who a race earlier saw Hambletonian Oaks favorite Check Me Out break while on the lead.

Ron Pierce and Uncle Peter, the 8-5 favorite, left strongly from his rail position but yielded to 65-1 outsider Gym Tan Laundry on the first turn. Before Pierce had a chance to regain, Archangel and Jim Morrill Jr. were already in the midst of a second move and gained control past the quarter pole reached in a spirited :27 2/5.

Once the dust settled, Pierce sent Uncle Peter sharply for the front with the colt securing the lead well before the :54 3/5 opening half.

While the pacesetters were decisive in their movements, Jody Jamieson was sitting in fifth with 7-2 second choice Knows Nothing and waiting for action to develop. Eventually Tim Tetrick elected to pull Market Share off the rail to go on an uncovered jaunt.

They quickly engaged Uncle Peter as the tandem clicked off the third quarter in 1:22 3/5.

Once in the homestretch Tetrick gave the son of Revenue his marching orders and Market Share kicked into high gear opening ground on his rival instantly and gaining separation from the other contenders.

Knows Nothing couldn’t keep up with the leader and Archangel lacked a solid burst. That left it to 21-1 shot My MVP between horses and 11-1 Guccio on the far outside to rally. That pair trotted in tandem on the outside and Tetrick worked his magic to keep his horse trotting through the wire.

Fortunately for Toscano and the Market Share connections, the wire arrived in time with Guccio a neck back of the winner in second on the wire and My MVP another neck back in third.

The mile of 1:52 1/5 was a fifth faster than Market Share went in his elimination victory.

Owner Richard Gutnick, who earlier saw his and trainer Linda Toscano’s Chapter Seven set a world mark of 1:50 1/5 in the $250,000 Nat Ray, was jubilant after the race. “Two months ago he was a 100-1 shot to even be in this race,” said Gutnick.

“It’s a dream come true,” continued the owner, who on August 1 sold a 25 percent interest in Market Share to TLP Stable and William Augustine. “I guess it was insurance,” said Gutnick. “I’m happy owning 75 percent.”

“Tim’s been taking care of him,” said trainer Linda Toscano of Tetrick’s driving style in the races coming into the Hambletonian. “We knew we’d have to race him today.”

Market Share paid $10.80 for a $2 win ticket as the third choice in the field of 10. Undefeated as a two-year-old in 2011, Market Share won for the fifth time in 11 starts in 2012 and pushed his career bank account to $972,505.

Yonkers Trot winner Archangel finished fourth with Knows Nothing earning the final check. Race favorite Uncle Peter went to pacing instead of trotting after being passed by the winner and was placed eighth after finishing seventh for the infraction.

A crowd of 24,521 turned out to watch Toscano make history in the Hambletonian.

by Jay BERGMAN for Meadowlands Racetrack/Hambletonian Society

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