Market Share heads to Sunday's $250,000 Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia looking to bounce back from an uncharacteristic break in the Cutler Memorial last weekend.
In 40 previous career races, Market Share went offstride only once--when he lost a shoe in the 2012 Dexter Cup. In the Cutler, Market Share made a break heading into the first turn as he raced alongside eventual winner Sebastian K.
The Cutler featured the much-anticipated encounter between the two-time Dan Patch Award-winning Market Share and the 2012 Swedish Horse of the Year Sebastian K. Both had won their respective Cutler eliminations, Market Share in 1:50.3 and Sebastian K in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1.
"I made a lot of different scenarios in my mind as to what problems he might run into in that race, but none of them was him making a break,” Market Share's trainer Linda Toscano said. "I think it was just one of those things. The horse came out of the race fine and I think he's good to go. He just made a very untimely and most uncharacteristic break. I really don't have an answer.”
Market Share is part of an eight-horse Maxie Lee field and will start from post 3 with regular driver Tim Tetrick. He is the 2-1 morning line favorite.
Sevruga, who finished third in the Cutler behind Sebastian K and Modern Family, is the 4-1 second choice from post 1. He will be driven by Ron Pierce for trainer Julie Miller. Ten-year-old Arch Madness, who is one of only nine trotters with more than $4 million in career purses and finished fourth in the Cutler, drew post 8 for driver George Brennan and trainer Trond Smedshammer.
"It's a good deep field of horses again,” Toscano said. "The only thing I can do as a trainer is make sure my horse is as good going into it as I can. I can't dwell on what happened. Hopefully he'll rise to the challenge and do what I know he can.”
Market Share, who won the Hambletonian and Canadian Trotting Classic at age three and the Breeders Crown and Maple Leaf Trot at four, has captured 22 of 41 lifetime starts and earned $3.13 million. He was the Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter in 2012 and the Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter in 2013.
He is owned by Richard Gutnick, TLP Stable and Bill Augustine. Gutnick's Chapter Seven won the 2012 Maxie Lee Memorial on his way to Horse of the Year honors.
Prior to the Cutler, Market Share's connections decided to turn down an invitation to the Elitlopp in Sweden. The Elitlopp, which attracts an international field of 16 horses, also is Sunday.
Toscano was able to joke about Market Share's break in the Cutler within that context.
"Either God was telling me I made a good decision not going to the Elitlopp or He punished me for not going to the Elitlopp; I'm not sure,” she said, laughing. (HRC)