Richard Gutnick is happy to see this year coming to an end, at least as it relates to his racehorses. But Gutnick, the sport's Owner of the Year in 2012 when his Chapter Seven was Horse of the Year and Market Share was Hambletonian champion, is looking optimistically for a better 2016.
And Chapter Seven and Market Share figure as prominently in this future as they do in Gutnick's past.
Market Share, who was turned out in September after winning one of nine races in 2015, is being pointed toward a return to action next season and the first foals of Chapter Seven will begin racing next year. Gutnick shares ownership in six Chapter Seven-sired colts and owns one homebred filly by the stallion.
"This could be a very interesting year,” Gutnick said. "We're hoping Market Share will be back to his old self and of course I'm looking forward to the summer with the Chapter Seven (2 year olds).
"I'm hoping Market Share can get back to the way he was in 2013 and 2014, as opposed to this year. This is the year when anything that could go wrong did go wrong. I can't complain because I had a year, 2012, where anything that could go right did go right.”
Market Share--owned by Gutnick, TLP Stable and Bill Augustine--has won 26 of 66 career races and earned $3.72 million. He is a two-time Dan Patch Award winner, receiving the trophy for best 3-year-old male trotter in 2012 and best older male trotter in 2013.
In addition to capturing the Hambletonian, Market Share's victories include the 2012 Canadian Trotting Classic and the 2013 Breeders Crown and Maple Leaf Trot. He is a two-time American-National Stakes winner and has 11 lifetime triumphs in races worth at least $100,000.
Market Share is expected to start preparing for next season in mid-January. Gutnick said trainer Linda Toscano will take her time in bringing the soon-to-be 7 year old back to action.
"Hopefully with the four months off any little aches and pains should be gone and he can get back in the appropriate frame of mind,” Gutnick said. "I don't care about the early races. It's a long season and it's difficult to be ready early and late.
"Unfortunately, the way they write the races now, there's a big gap of time since the Maple Leaf Trot was moved from July to September. If you go to the early ones, then you have a month off. To me it's poor planning by the powers that be. It's a shame they can't all work together and get a good program. But we'll go from there.”
Gutnick said if Market Share is unable to be competitive at the sport's top level, he will retire the stallion.
"That horse doesn't owe me anything,” Gutnick said. "I owe him a lot, just like I owe Chapter Seven a lot. All you can do is the best you can by them.
"I just consider myself very fortunate to have owned the horses like I have had.” (HRC)