Day At The Track

Pace upset caps dream week for Toscano

05:36 AM 15 Jul 2019 NZST
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Meadowlands Pace
Trainer Linda Toscano (fourth from left) and driver Brian Sears (second from right) with the Meadowlands Pace trophy after Best In Show's victory.
East Rutherford, NJ -- What a week for harness racing Linda Toscano.
 
On Sunday evening, the trainer gave a gracious acceptance speech at her induction to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y., and on Saturday night (July 13), she stood in the winner's circle after Best In Show pulled a 27-1 upset in the $682,650 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace.
 
It was the perfect bookend to a seven-day span she'll never forget.
 
"This another one I never dreamed of," Toscano said after becoming the first female trainer to win the Pace. "This is home for me. This is awesome."
 
In a thrilling finish, Best In Show slipped through an opening on the rail to defeat his more heralded rivals. He got up by a head over Bettor's Wish, the brave first-over challenger who couldn't have raced much better.
 
Right in the mix was Workin Ona Mystery in third, with the pacesetting Captain Crunch, the North America Cup winner and the 1-2 favorite in the Pace, a close-up fourth in the blanket finish.
 
The time was 1:48 on the warm evening for the track's signature race.
 
Brian Sears, also a Hall of Famer, gave Best In Show a perfect ground-saving drive. Best In Show left alertly before readily yielding to let the favorites duke it out while settling into fourth.
 
"I knew they were racing pretty good," Sears said. "It was all the horses to beat and they were going at it. I was pretty content. I wanted to sneak him around there a little bit. I got a little opening, and he fired for me."
 
And he fired up the tote board.
 
Best In Show
 
Best In Show paid $56.20, $14.40 and $6.80. Bettor's Wish returned $4.00 and $2.80. Workin Ona Mystery paid $3.80 to show.
 
The time was 1:48 after clipping through aggressive fractions of :26.2, :52.4 and a blazing 1:19.3 to the three-quarter pole.
 
It was fourth win in 12 starts for Best In Show, who competed in a non-winners of two races condition as recently as May.
 
"We knew he was a nice colt last year and he got a little colt sore on us," Toscano said. "We shut him down, brought him back and he's done everything right."
 
Best In Show has been rapidly making up for that lost time.
 
The son of Bettor's Delight out of Put On A Show earned $341,325 as a homebred for Richard P. Young & Joanne Young. He turned in a pair of second-place finishes in his previous two starts, an Ontario Sires Stakes and his Pace elimination behind Bettor's Wish.
 
Meadowlands Pace Photo
 
Keeping Pace: 
 
All-source wagering on the 13-race program totaled $4,044,303
 
All-source wagering on the 13-race program totaled $4,044,303, the sixth time in the last seven years that Meadowlands Pace Night betting surpassed the $4-million mark. … The driving stars were out in force as 10 of the races on the card were won by Dave Miller (3), Tim Tetrick (3), Yannick Gingras (2) and Sears (2). … There were a pair of 50-Cent Pick-4s on the program and they both took big action. The Pick-4 that began in Race 6 took in a 2019-best $146,229, while the Late Pick-4 (Races 10-13) saw a total pool of $122,070. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.
 
by Mike Farrell, Meadowlands Media
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