Chapter Seven returning to track in 2012
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“The owners asked me if he can be better than he was, and I think he can be,” Toscano said. “He’s a pretty good horse. The closest night that we’ve seen him to perfect was Breeders Crown night. He just had one of those years that was so tough on the poor colt. The fact he could do what he did in spite of what he went through was a testament to the horse.”
Chapter Seven, who won seven of eight races and earned $211,549 as a 2 year old, saw this year begin slowly because of a bout with pneumonia. He made it to the races two weeks before the $1.5 million Hambletonian, winning his division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial. He was second in his Hambletonian elimination race and fourth in the final.
He missed the $500,000 Colonial because he got sick again, but returned five weeks after the Hambletonian to race in the Canadian Trotting Classic. He raced on the outside for his elimination, but advanced to the final with a fifth-place finish. He drew post nine in the $1 million final and finished fifth.
At that point, the connections made a valuable decision. Rather than supplementing the horse to the Kentucky Futurity, which is contested in heats, they gave Chapter Seven time off and used the Bluegrass Stakes as a prep race for the Breeders Crown. The colt won his Bluegrass division in a career-best 1:52.4, then won his Breeders Crown elim and the final.
“Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?” Toscano said, laughing. “It actually worked really well. I give credit to the owners. They’re tops as far as doing the right thing for the horse. It’s really easy to get caught up in wanting to dance every dance and go to every race. I give them all the credit in the world.”
Toscano thinks the way Chapter Seven ended the year bodes well for 2012.
“I feel good that he put on quite a bit of weight toward the end of the year and I turned out a sound, healthy horse,” she said. “We’re going to give him a lot of time. We’re going to have a meeting around the first of the year and decide what we want him ready for first. Then we’ll go back into the training. We’re not going to rush him; we’re going to give him the time he needs and hopefully he’s going to come back a pretty good 4 year old.
“I’d love to see him come back and do what I know he can do. He’s a good horse. He trotted handily in (1):52-and-a-piece. It will be fun to race him. I’m looking forward to it.” (HRC)