East Rutherford, N.J. -- Walner (Tim Tetrick) was the easiest kind of winner of the $600,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings in a track and stakes record 1:53 by 4 ½ lengths on Saturday at The Meadowlands. The record had been 1:53.2, shared by Pinkman (2014) and Manofmanymissions (2010).
Walner is trained by Linda Toscano and owned by Ken Jacobs. Moonshiner Hanover (Scott Zeron) was second and Sortie (Andy McCarthy) was third.
The early pace was set by Moonshiner Hanover who got to the :28 first quarter alone at the lead, after an early break by Giveitgasandgo (Corey Callahan) left the second spot temporarily empty. Walner was up front to take away the lead at the three eighths, and he was in front at the :57 half. Jake (Sylvain Filion) tried to overtake the lead from fifth and got up to third at the 1:26 three quarters, with Moosnhiner Hanover second inside him along the rail.
When the field straightened for home, Walner got mild urging from Tetrick and the two put distance between them and the field for an unpressured win in record time.
“He can do it either way,” said Tetrick. “He’s got a ton of ability and he’s very special. I just wanted to get around there safe and make sure I didn’t mess it up. I knew I had a good horse, so if I got him in there with decent fractions I knew he would be hard to catch.”
“I was nervous this time because I expect big things from this colt, said trainer Linda Toscano. “He’s a good colt, he has a great attitude. He loves his job.”