Fort Lauderdale — It was another crowning moment for Chapter Seven.
Chapter Seven and his connections received the Dan Patch Award for harness racing’s Horse of the Year on Sunday night before a crowd of more than 400 people at the Westin Beach Resort and Spa.
The ceremony came four months after Chapter Seven won the Breeders Crown Open Trot over an international field at Woodbine Racetrack; a victory that many consider his defining moment.
Chapter Seven, who won eight of 10 starts last year and earned $1.02 million, won the $600,000 Breeders Crown in 1:52.3 by 1-1/4 lengths over Mister Herbie despite racing on the outside for the entire mile.
“He was phenomenal,” said Tim Tetrick, who was honored tonight as Driver of the Year and was at the lines for all of Chapter Seven’s races last season. “He was parked every step of the mile and raced his heart out. It was pretty amazing.
“I drove him terrible and he overcame it and made me look like a genius,” Tetrick added with a laugh.
Chapter Seven, who was the first 4-year-old trotter be named Horse of the Year since Mack Lobell in 1988, also received Dan Patch honors as best older male trotter and Trotter of the Year. He is owned by Richard Gutnick, Southwind Farm and J&T Silva Stables and was trained by Linda Toscano.
Other trotters to receive Dan Patch Award divisional honors were Wheeling N Dealin (2-year-old male), To Dream On (2-year-old female), Market Share (3-year-old male), Check Me Out (3-year-old female) and Frenchfrysnvinegar (older female).
Award-winning pacers were Captaintreacherous as Pacer of the Year and best 2-year-old male pacer, Somwherovrarainbow (2-year-old female), Heston Blue Chip (3-year-old male), American Jewel (3-year-old female), Foiled Again (older male) and Anndrovette (older female).
Captaintreacherous was the first 2-year-old pacer named Pacer of the Year since Camtastic in 1987. Check Me Out, Foiled Again and Anndrovette were repeat winners.
Gutnick received the award for Owner of the Year and Toscano for Trainer of the Year.
Chapter Seven, a son of Windsong’s Legacy out of the mare La Riviera Lindy, was bred by Richard Banca, a former trainer from New Jersey who has bred only a dozen horses during his career in the sport.
“This means the world to me because I’m not really a breeder,” the 58-year-old Banca said. “It’s like a freak thing. But I love the business and I love the horses, so it’s very special to me.”
Banca’s favorite memory of last season was Chapter Seven’s Breeders Crown performance.
“It’s unbelievable the heart he’s got,” Banca said.
Gutnick said the Breeders Crown win gave Chapter Seven the nod for Horse of the Year over runner-up Market Share. But Gutnick, who also owns Market Share, had another favorite memory of Chapter Seven.
“When he was a 2-year-old, during his second baby race, I saw two horses (go off stride) in front of him and he had to come to almost a stop and then went on to win the baby race,” Gutnick said. “That race has always been implanted in my mind. That’s when I thought he had the makings of a top horse. I’m not saying a great horse, but a top horse at that point in time.
“He’s just an amazing horse. He always gave a hundred percent. He had that desire to win.”
In addition to winning the Breeders Crown, Chapter Seven equaled history’s fastest mile on a mile racetrack by winning the Nat Ray Invitational in 1:50.1 at the Meadowlands and also won the Titan Cup, American-National Stakes, Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational and Allerage Open Trot.
His 1:52.1 victory in the Maxie Lee, at Harrah’s Philadelphia, set the stakes record and missed equaling the world record for 4-year-old trotters on a five-eighths-mile track by one-fifth of a second.
Chapter Seven’s losses came in the Maple Leaf Trot at Ontario’s Mohawk Racetrack, where he was defeated by three-quarters of a length by Mister Herbie in the fastest mile ever trotted in Canada (1:50.4), and in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs, where he was edged by a head by Hot Shot Blue Chip in a time (1:51.2) that missed the track’s fastest-ever trotting mile by one-fifth of a second.
For all the great moments on the racetrack, it was the quiet times with Chapter Seven that Toscano will most remember – and miss.
“I was the only person that sat behind the horse (jogging and training), except for maybe a few times when I couldn’t be there for some reason,” Toscano said. “But this is a horse that for three years almost exclusively I got on the racetrack with every single day.
“The time I got to spend with him just walking around The Red Mile, or walking around Showplace (training center), where it was just me and him, was my favorite time of day with the horse. I learned his personality, and how competitive he was on the racetrack, and how much he loved his work.”
HORSE OF THE YEAR
TROTTER OF THE YEAR
OLDER MALE TROTTER OF THE YEAR
Windsong’s Legacy – La Riviera Lindy – Dream Vacation
Breeder: Richard Banca, Franklin Lakes, N.J.
Owners: Richard Gutnick, Blue Bell, Pa.; Southwind Farm, Pennington, N.J.; J&T Silva Stables, Long Beach, N.Y.
Trainer: Linda Toscano Driver: Tim Tetrick
Races: 10-8-2-0 Purses: $1.02 million Mark: 1:50.1 at Meadowlands (equals world record)
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown, $250,000 Nat Ray, $201,700 Titan Cup, $180,000 American-National, $150,000 Maxie Lee, $131,200 Allerage Open Trot.
2-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER OF THE YEAR
Wheeling N Dealin
Cantab Hall – Quick Credit – Credit Winner
Breeder: Valley High Stable, Freehold, N.J.
Owner: Ecurie Synergie, Montreal, PQ
Trainer: Dustin Jones Driver: Sylvain Filion
Races: 9-9-0-0 Purses: $696,112 Mark: 1:55 at Mohawk
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown, $475,860 Wellwood Memorial, $142,323 Champlain division.
2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER OF THE YEAR
To Dream On
Credit Winner – Satin Pillows – Conway Hall
Breeder: Valley High Stable, Freehold, N.J.
Owners: Marvin Katz, Toronto, Ontario; Al Libfeld, Pickering, Ontario.
Trainer: Jimmy Takter Drivers: Takter, David Miller, Yannick Gingras
Races: 9-8-1-0 Purses: $727,320 Mark: 1:53.2 at Red Mile
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown, $354,450 Merrie Annabelle, $98,100 International Stallion Stakes division, $89,250 Bluegrass Stakes division.
3-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER OF THE YEAR
Revenue S – Classical Flirt – Yankee Glide
Breeder: Hayley Moore, Paris, Ky.
Owners: Richard Gutnick, Blue Bell, Pa.; T L P Stable, Kearny, N.J.; William Augustine, Hammonton, N.J.
Trainer: Linda Toscano Driver: Tim Tetrick
Races: 20-10-5-3 Purses: $2.00 million Mark: 1:50.3 at Red Mile
Top wins: $1.5 million Hambletonian, $1.03 million Canadian Trotting Classic, $350,000 Zweig Memorial, $235,000 American-National,
3-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROTTER OF THE YEAR
Check Me Out
Donato Hanover – Illusion Bi – Toss Out
Breeders: Az Agricola Biasuzzi Srl, Pompano Beach, Fla.; Scuderia Gina Biasuzzi, Pompano Beach, Fla.
Owners: Ray Schnittker, Middletown, N.Y.; Charles Iannazzo, Tappan, N.Y.
Trainer: Ray Schnittker Driver: Tim Tetrick
Races: 15-11-2-1 Purses: $955,326 Mark: 1:51.2 at Red Mile (world record)
Top wins: $519,400 Elegantimage, $245,500 Delvin Miller Memorial, $200,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, $185,194 Hudson Filly Trot, $150,000 Zweig Memorial Filly.
OLDER FEMALE TROTTER OF THE YEAR
Angus Hall – Gugus – Fool Me Not
Breeders: Big Al’s Stables, Woodbridge, Ontario; David Smith, Rockwood, Ontario.
Owner: David Smith, Rockwood, Ontario.
Trainer: Jeff Gillis Driver: Jody Jamieson
Races: 25-8-3-2 Purses: $429,650 Mark: 1:52 at Red Mile
Top wins: $155,820 Ontario Masters, $153,000 Miss Versatility, $119,200 Allerage Mare Trot.
2-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER OF THE YEAR
PACER OF THE YEAR
Somebeachsomewhere – Worldly Treasure – Artsplace
Breeder: White Birch Farm, Allentown, N.J.
Owners: Brittany Farms, Versailles, Ky.; Marvin Katz, Toronto, Ontario; Joe Sbrocco, Brecksville, Ohio; White Birch Farm, Allentown, N.J.
Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Tim Tetrick
Races: 10-8-1-1 Purses: $918,253 Mark: 1:49.2 at Mohawk
Top wins: $1.01 million Metro Pace, $309,050 Woodrow Wilson, $109,206 Nassagaweya division, $86,800 Bluegrass Stakes division, $86,550 International Stallion Stakes division.
2-YEAR-OLD-FILLY PACER OF THE YEAR
Somebeachsomewhere – Rainbow Blue – Artiscape
Breeders: K&R Racing, Houston, Del.; Teague Inc., Harrington, Del.
Owners: George Teague Jr. Inc., Harrington, Del.; K&R Racing, Houston, Del.; Ted Gewertz, New York, N.Y.
Trainer: George Teague Jr. Drivers: Andy Miller, Montrell Teague
Races: 11-7-2-1 Purses: $527,156 Mark: 1:51.2 at Woodbine
Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown, $160,650 Matron.
3-YEAR-OLD-MALE PACER OF THE YEAR
Heston Blue Chip
American Ideal – Shot Togo Bluechip – Cam’s Card Shark
Breeder: Blue Chip Bloodstock Inc., Wallkill, N.Y.
Owner: Ken Jacobs, Baldwinsville, N.Y.
Trainer: Linda Toscano Drivers: Tim Tetrick, George Brennan
Races: 18-14-1-1 Purses: $1.03 million Mark: 1:48 at Dover Downs
Top wins: $555,000 Breeders Crown, $270,400 Empire Breeders Classic, $270,000 Progress Pace, $176,663 Matron.
3-YEAR-OLD-FILLY PACER OF THE YEAR
American Ideal – Trim Hanover – Camluck
Breeder: Brittany Farms, Versailles, Ky.
Owner: Brittany Farms, Versailles, Ky.
Trainer: Jimmy Takter Driver: Tim Tetrick
Races: 16-9-4-2 Purses: $1.16 million Mark: 1:48.2 at Mohawk (world record)
Top wins: $629,160 Fan Hanover, $500,000 Breeders Crown, $250,000 Lynch Memorial, $207,930 Simcoe, $145,000 American-National, $71,000 Bluegrass Stakes division.
OLDER MALE PACER OF THE YEAR
Dragon Again – In A Safe Place – Artsplace
Breeder: Barbara Matthews, Aiken, S.C.
Owners: Burke Racing Stable, Fredericktown, Pa.; Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, Pa.; JJK Stables, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Trainer: Ron Burke Driver: Yannick Gingras
Races: 24-7-8-5 Purses: $1.20 million Mark: 1:48.3 at Mohawk
Top wins: $794,870 Canadian Pacing Derby, $291,000 Molson Pace, $200,000 Indiana Pacing Derby.
OLDER FEMALE PACER OF THE YEAR
Riverboat King – Easy Miss – Big Towner
Breeder: Golden Touch Stable, Fair Lawn, N.J.
Owners: Bamond Racing, Brick, N.J.; Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, N.J.
Trainer: P.J. Fraley Driver: Tim Tetrick
Races: 23-7-4-5 Purses: $698,715 Mark: 1:48.1 at Mohawk
Top wins: $387,090 Roses Are Red, $331,500 Breeders Crown, $101,750 Overbid.
Harness Racing Communications
U.S. Trotting Association