By Mike Bozich
BIG THINGS AHEAD FOR EMERGING PACING FILLY ZERO TOLERANCE
Budding freshman filly Zero Tolerance (Heston Blue Chip-Feelinglikeastar) picked up her third win in five career starts on Friday night, when she dominated a field of six in the $30,000 Geers Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers at Tioga Downs. She brushed to the top at the quarter and never looked back, completing the mile in 1:52.1 under minimal Dave Miller encouragement. The ownership group of Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz leaned on a familiar lineage when purchasing the filly for $30,000 at The Lexington Select Sale in 2017. Her dam (Feelinglikeastar) is a full sister to Hall of Famer Rainbow Blue, who is the dam of another Joe Holloway trainee Rainbow Room (p, 1:51.2 F, $467,880). Bred by Winbak Farm, Zero Tolerance is out of sire Heston Blue Chip's (p, 1:48 F, $1,781,881) first crop. "Zero Tolerance was a great looking filly," said Winbak Yearling Manager Jimmy Ladwig. "She was very racy and I loved her."
The Holloway trainee started her career with a pair of successful qualifiers at The Meadowlands, in preparation for a June 29th pari-mutuel debut against fellow freshman fillies. She went on to win in 1:51.3 (:27.1 last quarter) as the prohibitive favorite. "She came off the gate and got away 5th, and came a tremendous three-quarters," said Holloway. "She came home good but she had to because Yannick got free with St Somewhere so we had to go on, but I was very pleased with that."
St Somewhere did avenge that loss, however, in the very next meeting between the two, a Sire Stakes event at Tioga. "We got caught. St Somewhere was on her back," Holloway explained. "She managed to get out and catch us at the wire but once again, it was a strong back half and a strong last quarter."
Zero Tolerance's next scheduled start was another New York Sire Stakes event, this time at Yonkers, where she was scratched sick.
She was right back in the box the very next week however, for her most recent outing, an overnight affair at Harrah's Philadelphia. She was sharp on the front end that afternoon, winning in 1:53.1 under minimal urging.
Going into her race Friday night, Holloway was optimistic. "She's been training good. I know the Yonkers race was for a lot more money, and I wish I was going for that, but we stayed away from going to Canada, and stayed away from going on the half, so these types of races will get us into September." That strategy paid off as Zero Tolerance coasted to her third career triumph.
When asked what's down the road for Zero Tolerance, Holloway confirmed her first big start will be The Kentucky Stallion Management at Hoosier Park. From there, she will head to The Red Mile, followed by the Breeders Crown, and then back to The Meadowlands for the Three Diamonds Stakes.
As far as her ceiling goes, Holloway once again is optimistic. "Dave Miller called it early on. He thinks she is as good as Rainbow Room was at this time last year. So far, she hasn't proved that she isn't."