quotes by James Platz / story by Melissa Keith
The winners of this year’s Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Filly Trot eliminations highlighted a somewhat-surprising fact: Cantab Hall has never sired the winner of the freshman filly final. The 19-year-old stallion was inducted to the Goshen Hall of Fame in 2018 for his accomplishments at stud, and notably was named 2003 Dan Patch Trotter of the Year on the basis of his undefeated campaign at age 2. Cantab Hall’s dam, Canland Hall, is even full sister to the 2001 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Filly Trot elim and final winner Cameron Hall. When Cantab daughters Mazzarati and Lady Chaos captured their respective eliminations last Friday at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, it boosted their sire’s prospects of adding this laurel to his already-significant legacy. Muscle Hill fillies have won five of the last six Crowns for this division, and there would be none in the 2020 final, race 8 on Oct. 30.
October 23 eliminations took place over a sloppy surface very unlike the fast track that greeted the field for the final. Flawless Country (2, 1:53m; $323,121), co-fastest freshman filly trotter of 2020, was scratched from the first elimination due to illness, while divisional earnings leader Donna Soprano (2, 1:53.3s; $433,570) jumped it off irreparably before the start of the second. The complexion of the final changed even further when #9 Gotta Believe, the Julie Miller-trained longshot who closed for place behind Mazzarati last week, was scratched sick after the draw.
A field of nine lined up behind the gate in the first of Friday night’s four Breeders Crown finals, with #5 Lady Chaos (David Miller) the even-money post time favourite and #10 Presto (Yannick Gingras) starting from the second tier. #2 Iteration (Brian Sears) got the first call, but #4 Mazzarati (Tim Tetrick) grabbed the lead before the first turn, in control to the :27.1 opening quarter. That’s when Lady Chaos came calling first-over from fourth, trotting smoothly around the leader as Iteration stayed inside in third. The next challenge came from #10 Presto, advancing from fifth, with a three-wide #7 Big City Pearl (Verlin Yoder) to her outside and backing off. At the :57.1 half, Presto was matching strides with Lady Chaos, then soaring past with Iteration in hot pursuit outside. The clocking at the three-quarters was 1:26, and it momentarily appeared that Presto and Iteration would be the two fillies battling down the stretch for the Crown. But the Cantab Halls had something to say about that, as the locked-in Lady Chaos shook loose from her spot behind Presto, charging inside, and an earplugs-out Mazzarati took the innermost path for a final lunge.
Under the wire, Lady Chaos prevailed by a half-length over Mazzarati, with next-closest rival #3 Splash Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) three-and-a-half lengths back for show. The 1:54.2 elimination winner had outdueled the 1:54.3 elimination winner in the 1:54.4 Breeders Crown final, in an all-Cantab Hall exactor paying $20.90 for the $2 ticket. It was her sixth win in 10 seasonal starts.
Bringing Lady Chaos to the winner’s circle, Dave Miller said the filly had responded perfectly to the varying demands within the mile: “You know what? Everybody wants to try to get into position to take shots so it’s expected. The trip actually worked out good. I got parked around the first turn, but she got to the lead and relaxed. Yannick [driving Presto] came at her pretty hard and that filly was coming at her pretty hard last week, so I followed her around the turn and into the stretch and my mare had a lot of trot finishing.”
Linda Toscano had praise for the event itself, and how Lady Chaos has handled the chaotic year that was 2020: “Well, it’s the Breeders Crown. It all comes down to the Breeders Crown. It’s really exciting. I’ve loved her from the minute we bought her and she’s done everything right. We had a couple of glitches along the way, but she really rose to the occasion tonight. I’m tickled.”
Lady Chaos, who sold at the 2019 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale under original name Tiger Mom Lindy, is out of the Muscles Yankee mare Strong Legacy (3, 1:58.3f; $6,130), a full sister to multiple Dan Patch Award winner Mr Muscleman (1:51.1m; $3,582,823). The mare’s firstborn foal, bred by Lindy Farms of Connecticut and Av and Son LLC, New York, brought a top bid of $125,000. Strong Legacy’s 2020 yearling, a Walner colt named Strongerwithlindy, brought just $10,000 at Lexington, a trend which will likely reverse for the dam when next year’s sale arrives.
Lady Chaos is owned by Richard Gutnick (PA), Tom Pontone (NJ), Joseph Lozito Jr. (NJ), and Enviro Stables (FL). Gutnick has co-owned previous Breeders Crown champions Chapter Seven (2011 Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Trot; 2012 Open Trot), and Market Share (2013 Open Trot), who were also trained by Toscano. Last year, she became the first woman to be inducted into the Goshen Hall of Fame for her career achievements as trainer.