By Mike Bozich for Post Time with Mike and Mike
WHATS AHEAD FOR WEEKEND STAKES WINNERS MET'S HALL, COURTLY CHOICE, AND ZERO TOLERANCE
A trio of Winbak Farm equine athletes have risen towards the top of their respective divisions as of late, with all three coming off of power-packed weekend performances which included: 3-year-old trotting colt Met's Hall's victory in the Dr. Harry Zweig Memorial at Vernon; Zero Tolerance's track record performance (1:51) for 2-year-old filly pacers also at Vernon; and Courtly Choice's track record for 3-year-old colt pacers in the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs.
Met's Hall (Cantab Hall-Mets Inn), the Hambletonian runner-up to Superstar Trotting Filly Atlanta, was rated perfectly by Driver Andy Miller in his Zweig Memorial victory ($350,000), setting fractions of :26.4, :57, 1:25.2, while completing the mile in 1:52 on a track rated sloppy. It was the Julie Miller trainee's 7th career win in 17 starts, with earnings now at $723,908. Driver Andy Miller is also headed for a milestone of his own, as he is $435,205 away from $120,000,000 in total earnings, which would make him only the 13th driver to accomplish that feat. His wife Julie has earned $37,451,166 thus far as a trainer, making her the 23rd richest trainer of all time, and only the third woman that has reached the top 25 (Casie Coleman is 6th and Linda Toscano is 9th). Met's Hall is owned by Stroy Inc & Andy Miller Stable Inc.
"He is headed for the Simcoe then the Canadian Trotting Classic if all works out," Andy Miller said. Met's Hall's half-brother, yearling Jovial Jerry will be selling at The Lexington Select Sale during the first week of October.
Meadowlands Pace winner Courtly Choice (Art Major-Lady Ashlee Ann) was back on his A-game on Sunday at Tioga Downs, posting a track record in his victory in the
Empire Breeders Classic Final ($272,025). After a first quarter brush, it was lights out for his competitors, as he stopped the Tioga timer in a sizzling 1:48.3, a record for 3-year-old colt pacers. It was seasonal win number 8 for the sophomore sensation, boosting his 2018 earnings to $612,018, which makes him the 4th richest horse in North America this season. He is owned by Hutt Racing Stable, Mac And Heim Stables, Daniel Plouffe, and Touch Stone Farms. As for what's next, Trainer Blake Macintosh is aiming for NYSS action at Yonkers on Tuesday (Aug 28th). If all goes right on the hilltop, 'Courtly' will be headed to the Jug Preview at Scioto, then the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, OH. He is currently 5th in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll.
Another Winbak bred performed in track record style over the weekend. Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz's Zero Tolerance (Heston Blue Chip-Feelinglikeastar) continues to stamp herself as one of the best freshman fillies in the nation, as she tied the track record at Vernon Downs on Friday night. She equaled the 1:51.3 record in a $52,500 NYSS event for 2-year-old filly pacers. She took the lead and made every call a winning one, setting fractions of :26.4, :56, and 1:24.1, under the reliable hands of Hall of Fame Driver Dave Miller. Trainer Joe Holloway confirmed that The Reynolds at Tioga will be her next stop. In an earlier interview, Holloway stated that The Kentucky Stallion Management (Hoosier Park), The Breeders Crown at Pocono, and the Three Diamond Stakes at The Meadowlands, along with a stop at The Red Mile during their Grand Circuit meet will also be under consideration down the road. Zero Tolerance's half-sister, yearling Rock Star Hannah will be selling at the Harrisburg Select Sale coming up in early November. The dam (Feelinglikeastar) is a full sister to world champion Rainbow Blue.
Winbak Farm is currently second in the Breeders standings in 2018, with earnings at $13,520,394.