Trainer Linda Toscano thought nothing was wrong with Market Share despite the trotter making an uncharacteristic break in his start prior to Sunday's Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational.
After watching Market Share trot the fastest mile ever on a five-eighths-mile track to win the Maxie Lee at Harrah's Philadelphia, Toscano breathed a sigh of relief and felt she was correct.
Market Share won the Maxie Lee by two lengths over Sevruga in 1:50.2. The time established the record for history's fastest on a five-eighths-mile track, which previously was 1:50.3 and shared by Sevruga and Uncle Peter.
"I'm not sure what happened (in his last start in the Cutler Memorial), but fortunately it looks like we're back on track,” Toscano said. "I really believed it was just a glitch. But when something is broken it's easy to fix; at least you have something to target to fix. He went into the (Cutler) good and came out of the race good, so we were very perplexed.
"When you don't think anything is broken, it's a difficult thing. You just have to let it go. We just chalked it up as one of those things. We weathered through it and he came back and did what we thought he could.”
Sent off as the 1-5 favorite, Market Share and driver Tim Tetrick settled into fourth place behind Sevruga, Arch Madness, and Daylon Magician in the early part of the race.
Market Share moved into second place on the backstretch before challenging Sevruga for the top spot on the final turn. Sevruga finished second followed by DW's NY Yank and Arch Madness.
"Nowadays, when you win a stakes race it's either a stakes record or a world record,” Toscano said. "The horses are faster, the equipment is better; you just have to go [speed wise] where you have to go to win. These are good horses, all of them.”
Market Share, a 5-year-old who won for the second time in three starts this season, is owned by Richard Gutnick, TLP Stable and Bill Augustine. Gutnick, a Philadelphia native, won the 2012 Maxie Lee with Chapter Seven.
"It doesn't matter if I'm 1-9 or 99-1, I'm nervous,” Gutnick said. "But this horse never ceases to amaze me. Like I told Timmy last week, we just have to go forward. Stuff happens and you just have to take it in stride.
"I liked that (Market Share) was sitting and stalking today. I thought he made a hell of a move coming first-over; it looked like the others were standing still. He just puts it into another gear, which you don't see that often. When it comes time to race, he's all business and desire. I'm just very lucky.”
For his career, Market Share has won 23 of 42 races and earned $3.26 million. He will get a week off before preparing for the TVG Free For All Series race at the Meadowlands on June 13.
"He's going to get a week off and he deserves it,” Toscano said. "He's gone hard since the qualifiers. He's gone six weeks in a row, which is not what I typically do with this horse.”
Two races later on the card, Anndrovette and Tetrick won the $250,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for older female pacers by two lengths over Rocklamation in 1:50.2.
Anndrovette took the lead from Monkey On My Wheel as the field headed to the halfway point and never looked back. Rocklamation made a late charge from the rear of the pack, but finished second. Jerseylicious was third, followed by Monkey On My Wheel.
Sent off at odds of 5-1, Anndrovette paid $13.40 to win. Morning line favorite Shebestingin was scratched.
It was Anndrovette's second win in seven starts this season and first since winning a leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway on April 4. She was fourth in the Matchmaker final on April 26.
Anndrovette, who captured the 2011 Betsy Ross, is owned by Bamond Racing and Joe Davino. The 7-year-old mare, a three-time Dan Patch Award winner, has won 37 of 95 career races and $2.77 million. She is trained by P.J. Fraley.
"I told P.J., the big girl is back,” co-owner Jeffrey Bamond said. "Rumors of her demise are premature. I think she got a little sour on the half-mile (track) and I thought the bigger track would pick her up a little bit. She had a real good week heading into this race, so I was hopeful.
"But in my mind all seven horses deserved to be there and had a shot to win the race. They wouldn't be in the race if they weren't all top quality mares. This is going to be a tough division this year.” (HRC)