Chapter Seven, the Dan Patch Award-winning Horse of the Year, has been named the 2012 New Jersey Standardbred of the Year, as selected by the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board.
Chapter Seven's trainer, Linda Toscano of Freehold, N.J., will also be honored with the Governor's Cup as New Jersey Horseperson of the Year.
Chapter Seven will be among the honorees at the 56th Annual New Jersey Breeders Awards Luncheon at 1 p.m. on Jan. 27 at Charley's Other Brother in Eastampton Township, N.J.
New Jersey-sired Chapter Seven, owned by Richard Gutnick of Blue Bell, Pa., Southwind Farm of Pennington, N.J. and J&T Silva Stables (Jerry and Teresa Silva) of Long Beach, N.Y., won eight of 10 races in 2012, finished second in both losses, earned $1.02 million in purses, and equaled history's fastest trotting mile on a mile racetrack by winning the Nat Ray Invitational in 1:50.1 at the Meadowlands.
He also won the Breeders Crown Open Trot, defeating European star Commander Crowe, and the Titan Cup, American National Stakes, Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational and Allerage Open Trot.
"He's just an amazing horse,” Gutnick said about Chapter Seven, a son of 2004 Trotter of the Year Windsong's Legacy out of the mare La Riviera Lindy. "I'm appreciative to everybody that was involved in keeping him as sound and as healthy as possible. He's had to overcome bouts with pneumonia, different problems, in his career and I think any other horse would have just given up. He always gave a hundred percent. He had that desire to win.”
In the national balloting of the United States Harness Writers, Chapter Seven defeated his own stablemate, the New Jersey-sired Market Share, the 3-Year-Old Trotter of the Year and Hambletonian winner in 2012, for Trotter of the Year and Horse of the Year honors.
Both trotters, along with 3-Year-Old Pacer of the Year Heston Blue Chip, are trained by Toscano, who was voted the Glen Garnsey Trainer of the Year by the United States Harness Writers Association as well as being selected to receive the Governor's Cup as New Jersey Horseperson of the Year.
Toscano was the first woman to win the Glen Garnsey Trainer of the Year award and the first to harness a Hambletonian winner.
Chapter Seven was bred by Richard Banca of Franklin Lakes, N.J. and sold at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale for $42,000. In July of 2012, Southwind Farm and J&T Silva Stable bought into the ownership.
Chapter Seven, a foal of 2008, retires with 20 wins, four seconds and one third from 28 career starts and a bankroll of $1,954,966.
For tickets to the awards luncheon ($35 per person), contact the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Markets & Development, Horse Industry, PO Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625 or call (609) 984-4389. Reservations must be made before Jan. 17. (SBOANJ)