Below is a great feature by Ken Weingartner of Harness Racing Communications on this year’s Hambletonian winner, Market Share, racing at The Red Mile this weekend
Market Share’s road to the Breeders Crown will go through Lexington this weekend, but not in Sunday’s Kentucky Futurity. Market Share, who is ranked No. 4 in the sport’s current Top 10 poll, is not eligible to the Futurity, so he will compete in a late closer for 3-year-old male trotters on Saturday at The Red Mile.
The Kentucky Futurity, the final jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown, is contested in heats, which requires a horse to win twice to be declared the champion. Market Share won the Triple Crown’s second jewel, the Hambletonian Stakes, in August; Archangel captured the first leg, the Yonkers Trot, in July.
Horses not eligible to the Futurity can be supplemented to the race for a payment of $62,700.
Market Share’s start on Saturday will be a tune up for the upcoming Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. Eliminations, if necessary, for the Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt trot are scheduled for Oct. 20 and the $500,000 final is Oct. 27.
“If we were eligible, we would be there, but we’re not eligible so it gave me the option not to be,” Linda Toscano, who trains Market Share for owners Richard Gutnick, TLP Stable and William Augustine, told Harness Racing Communications. “I know I’m probably not popular. I’m a hundred percent in awe of the Standardbred racehorses because they are capable of going those heats, but when you’re trying to keep one sharp, it’s hard on them.
“Market Share started in April and he’s got a long year ahead of him. He’s done everything I’ve asked him to do. I’m really trying to focus on the Breeders Crown as our next goal, if that’s at all possible. That’s certainly what we’re going to aim towards.”
A son of Revenue S, Market Share has won seven of 15 races this year and $1.76 million. He has 12 career victories in 20 starts, with earnings of $1.79 million.
Since finishing third in the Yonkers Trot on July 7, Market Share has won four of seven races and finished no worse than second in the other three. During that span, Market Share and driver Tim Tetrick won the $1.5 million Hambletonian, the $1.03 million Canadian Trotting Classic and the $350,000 Zweig Memorial and finished second in the $500,000 Colonial Trot.
Market Share was unbeaten in five starts as a 2-year-old, all at half-mile-oval Freehold Raceway. Toscano entered the season uncertain how the colt would fare when asked to compete on the larger tracks.
“It just goes to show you what can happen when a horse gets brave and confident,” Toscano said. “He was always a sound horse, he’s always been a good-gaited horse, and all of a sudden he figured out what to do.
“I always knew he had a great work ethic, I wasn’t sure he’d be able to pick it up on the mile track. Once he got the taste of it and figured out what we wanted, he’s gotten stronger and stronger. He’s a classic example of what can happen when a horse gets real brave. He’s always been a fun horse to have around the barn, and to watch what he’s been able to do, I think Timmy and I are both in awe.”
Toscano also trains 4-year-old male trotter Chapter Seven, who will be racing Sunday in the Allerage Farm Open Trot at The Red Mile. Chapter Seven is the No. 2-ranked horse in the sport, behind 3-year-old filly trotter Check Me Out.