by Bob Heyden
In no particular order…
Blair Burgess is the only trainer to have both a Triple Crown winner (Glidemaster 2006) and a $3 million career earner on the other gait (Real Desire, $3,159,184).
Burgess is also the only trainer going in this year with a pair of 21st century Horses of the Year (2002 Real Desire and 2006 Glidemaster).
If you are judged by the company you keep…
… Linda Toscano is doing quite well, thank you.
In the first decade of her career, taking you back to the late 1970s into the 1980s, she:
1. Was the caretaker of the great Tarport Hap
2. Worked for John Campbell
3. Used Mike Lachance on many of her trainees.
From Pentagon to Goshen
Well, not THAT Pentagon, but the horse Pentagon.
On Woodrow Wilson Night in 1979, when Niatross won the sport’s richest ever race to that point, the $862,750 Wilson, Joe Holloway drove a winner on that Meadowlands card, a horse named Pentagon. It was one of his five wins for that meet. He went 5-for-26.
Of course, Holloway’s training career is what he is most noted for, and 2019 marks 40 years of conditioning horses, many times at the very top level of the industry.
At a restaurant, Ted Wing would probably order this, that and the other, because he wore as many hats as he could fit. He was not only a top driver, the youngest USA-born driver to 1,000 and 2,000 wins, but he was a trainer (ask Lawrence Kadish) and owner (ask Charlie Ginsburg) and a groom (his favorite job). Wing started and ended his days in the a.m. — as in 6 in the morning and 1-2 a.m. after the races checking on his horses. Remember, the Meadowlands raced six days a week and when the meet ended Wing was off to Roosevelt and Yonkers, becoming the first to lead in New Jersey at the Meadowlands and New York in wins for an entire meet.
$1.5 million purse
Two trainers going into the Hall in 2019 have won a race for this amount — Burgess and Toscano — doing so in 2006 and 2012 with their Hambletonian winners Glidemaster and Market Share, respectively. Burgess did it the second year that the purse had been hiked (Vivid Photo won the first edition in 2005) and Toscano won the last $1.5 million edition in 2012 with her double millionaire Market Share.
Three of a kind
Only three horses in history have won $2 million in a single season and come back the next year to win over $1 million — and one of their trainers is Hall bound.
Gallo Blue Chip 2000-2001 — Mark Ford
Market Share 2012-2013 — Linda Toscano
Wiggle It Jiggleit 2015-2016 — George Teague
Jerry Silverman. His career as a conditioner included the following:
1. Training John Campbell’s first million-dollar winner — 1982 Meadowlands Pace Hilarion.
2. Going first or second to Billy Haughton in Meadowlands earnings in 1981-1982.
3. Having a colt win over $1 million at two and three — Die Laughing.
4. Winning the same Triple Crown race a quarter century apart — The Messenger. 1966 Romeo Hanover and 1991 Die Laughing.
5. Having a $2 million pacer, both male and female — Die Laughing and Glowing Report.
It is indeed rare to have a horse as the fastest of his age group in all three years of racing. But Joe Holloway and Blair Burgess did it with Jenna’s Beach Boy 1994-1995-1996 and Real Desire 2000-2001-2002.
Ted Gewertz’s Giant years of 1991-1992
Giant Victory then Giant Chill. Both were Breeders Crown winners who also nailed down divisional honors. Giant Victory, a son of Super Bowl, won the Hambletonian the same year Gewertz’s beloved New York Giants won the Super Bowl over the Buffalo Bills.
The class of 2019 has its share of record-setting trainers. Consider:
Linda Toscano’s Jet Laag’s 1:49 half mile track effort at Delaware Ohio in 1999 marked the first time any horse did this on the four turns.
Toscano’s Chapter Seven equaled the world mark of 1:50.1 winning the 2012 Cashman, was named HOY and sired 3 of the 4 freshman and sophomore division winners last year.
Blair Burgess’ second Hambletonian win with Glidemaster (Amigo Hall was first in 2003) came with a record setting 1:51.1 in 2006 as he and John Campbell teamed up.
Ted Wing was 60 on Hambletonian Day in 2008 and finished second in the year’s fastest mile (1:47.2 With Anticipation). Three lengths off the winners. Wing was timed in 1:48, not bad for a guy 30 years after his Meadowlands driving title (1978).
Joe Holloway trained the:
1st ever 2 YO to win in 1:50 (1998 Colonial Downs – Badlands Hanover)
1st ever 3 YO to win in sub-1:49 (1995 Jennas Beach Boy 1:48.4 at Red Mile)
1st ever 4 YO to win in sub-1:48 (1996 Jennas Beach Boy 1:47.3. at Meadowlands)
1st ever female horse to win in 1:47 (Shebestingin at Red Mile)