Market Share, who on Tuesday drew post eight for the $555,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters, was made the 2-1 morning line favorite and he could give trainer Linda Toscano back-to-back winners in the event. Chuck Sylvester is the only trainer to win the 3-year-old colt trot in consecutive years, with Pine Chip in 1993 and Incredible Abe in 1994.
"In a perfect world, I'd rather have (post) three, four or five, but it's not the worst thing in the world,” Toscano said. "He likes to draft along. Timmy will have to figure out what to do. A lot of the speed is in the middle (of the track), so it's OK.”
Market Share has won eight of 17 races this year for owners Richard Gutnick, TLP Stable and William Augustine. Since finishing third in the Yonkers Trot on July 7, Market Share has won five of nine races and finished no worse than second in the other four. For his career, he has won 13 of 22 starts and $1.80 million.
In his Breeders Crown elimination, Market Share led by two lengths at the top of the stretch before Intimidate and driver Sylvain Filion launched a rally from fifth place and won by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:53.1.
"We were happy with the race,” Toscano said. "He probably cleared too soon; he gets lazy on the lead and it's a long stretch. But take nothing away from Sylvain's horse (Intimidate); he was super.”
Intimidate, the 5-2 second choice on the morning line, was supplemented to the Breeders Crown for $62,500 by owners Blais and Judith Farrow. Intimidate has won 12 of 16 races and finished second on three occasions while earning $143,285 this year. His only previous stakes race was a second-place finish to Little Brown Fox, in 1:51.4, in the Simcoe Stakes on Sept. 1 at Mohawk.
Filion will drive Prestidigitator in the Breeders Crown final, so Ron Pierce, who drove Intimidate in the Simcoe, will pick up the mount. Pierce suggested Blais take post three if he was awarded the first pick.
"I think for this kind of race, he's a good guy to have; he's a pro,” Blais said. "He knows that game.”
Little Brown Fox, who is 3-1 on the morning line, won his Breeders Crown elimination by 5-3/4 lengths over Prestidigitator in 1:53.
Yannick Gingras drove Little Brown Fox, the favorite, for trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Brittany Farms and Jim Fielding.
Jim Fielding made the post position selection for the connections, with help from Jimmy Takter. "I gave him a call and told him Intimidate took the three, and he said to take the four,” Fielding said, adding with a laugh, "It was kind of nice to have that telephone right in my ear. There was no pressure on me.”
Little Brown Fox has won seven of 16 races this year, finished no worse than third 14 times, and earned $790,928. His wins this season include the Simcoe Stakes, a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial and the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship. He finished second in the Canadian Trotting Classic and third in both The Colonial and Beal Memorial. For his career, he has won eight of 25 starts and $896,104.
"The way he raced last week, we've got to be in pretty good shape, I think,” Fielding said. "These colts are really nice colts and it's going to be a great race. We're really looking forward to it.”
North America's best 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and older pacers and trotters will be in the spotlight in harness racing's annual year-end extravaganza. The Score will provide a special 4-1/2 hour television presentation across Canada, from 7-11:30 p.m. (EDT), offering live coverage of 10 of the 12 Crown finals. The Score's telecast will also be carried live in the U.S. on MavTV. Sirius/XM Radio will broadcast from 8-11:00 pm.
Here is the draw:
US$555,000 Breeders Crown Final-3-Year-Old Colt Trot
1-Mr Chicago-Scott Zeron-Tony Alagna-15-1
2-Prestidigitator-Sylvain Filion-Dustin Jones-12-1
3-Intimidate-Ron Pierce-Luc Blais-5-2
4-Little Brown Fox-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-3-1
5-Another Amaretto-Andy Miller-Richard Silverman-20-1
6-Knows Nothing-Jody Jamieson-Jeff Gillis-10-1
7-Guccio-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-12-1
8-Market Share-Tim Tetrick-Linda Toscano-2-1
9-Stormin Normand-David Miller-Jim Campbell-25-1
10-Solvato-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-25-1