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No rest for the Rose
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - by Kimberly Rinker, managing editor, Hoof Beats

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Delaware, OH --- There’s no rest for Toni Rose. Second trainer to Steve Elliott, Rose has been everywhere this year. She was in the winner’s circle when Donato Hanover won the $1.5 million Hambletonian and most recently stood beside Southwind Tempo in the Freehold winner’s circle on September 3, when the sophomore filly captured the $144,325 Shady Daisy in 1:53.

Toni shipped to the Delaware, Ohio County fairgrounds on Sunday, along with Southwind Tempo, who is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the first of two $48,000 Jugette eliminations on Wednesday afternoon, September 19.

“She’s happy, she’s playing and eating well,” Toni said of the daughter of Bettor’s Delight. “I jogged her four miles (Monday) morning -- the same as she does everyday -- and she couldn’t have been nicer. But then, this mare never does anything wrong.”

Toni, 46, gave the dark brown filly a loving pat before dumping in her lunchtime feed in her stall at the Jugette barn on Monday.

“She’s amazing,” Toni noted of the $793,854 winner. “A lot of people don’t know this, but when she was a baby she put her right front foot through a glass window and tore it all up. They had to cut some of it away and it was nasty, but you’d never know it now. There’s no sign of it and it’s never affected her in any way. She’s never even been sore on it.”


 USTA/Ken Weingartner photo

Southwind Tempo comes into the Jugette off a 1:53 win in the Shady Daisy at Freehold.
Southwind Tempo won all three of her freshman starts, earning $10,950 for owners Toby Lynch, Jr., and Wayne Chrebet of New Jersey. When Lynch got hurt earlier this season, he turned the training duties over to Elliott and crew.

$782,904 later, Southwind Tempo has dominated the sophomore pacing mare division in 2007 -- snatching up victories in the $60,000 Tender Loving Care Final, the $74,015 Helen Dancer, the $242,620 Lismore, the $250,632 Jimmy Lynch (in a career best and world record of 1:49.3), the $220,250 Lady Catskill Final, and the $58,000 Tarport Hap, among others.

“She’s just a fast, nice animal,” Toni said. “There’s really nothing else to say about her than that.”

Toni, a native of Rothsay, Minn., has been working with Standardbreds since 1986. After procuring her associates degree in animal science from the University of Minnesota, Toni took a job with Michigan-based conditioner Gordon Norris. She traveled back and forth from Michigan to Florida for ten years as an assistant to Norris, and then took a few years off to condition a small stable of her own.

In 2000, she hooked up with Elliott, and has stayed there since.

“Steve’s a great guy to work for,” Toni said. “He’s great with the horses and great with the people. Working for Gordon was great too. He’s a very talented, sharp horseman. Both guys are quiet, and they don’t do a lot of personal PR -- but then again, they don’t have to -- their horses do the speaking for them.”

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