“He’s a homebred and has matured to be a really nice horse,” said the Middletown, N.Y., resident. “But he was definitely one of the shyest horses I ever had. I did not start him too many times at 2 and I drove him myself because I knew him so well. I could not get him in between horses or outside of horses at all. It wasn’t just on the track either. He would be shy about anything you did with him -- even at the barn.”
Bred by Bernard White and Kristie Leigh Farm and now co-owned by Kristie Leigh Farm and Joseph Betro, Tober is a 6-year-old son of Credit Winner and the Cumin mare La Tapatia. He has been in Hart’s barn since he was a baby and his conditioner was the one that broke him.
|Mayra Escamilla photo|
|Tober has won 18 times in his career, with earnings of $421,387.|
As a 2-year-old he trotted nine pari-mutuel miles with a record of 0-4-2 but still managed to put $42,801 in the bank. At age three he certainly improved with a record of 19-5-6-0, purse earnings of $102,636 and a mark of 1:54.4f. Then he excelled as a 4-year-old with 30 starts with a slate of 7-6-7, a bankroll of $170,860 and established his lifetime mark of 1:53.2f. Last year from only 12 starts he was 2-2-0 and collected just over $50,000.
To date in 2014, the gelding has amassed a record of 8-4-1-1 with $53,240 put towards his feed bill. For his career, Tober is 78-18-19-10 with $421,387 in total money earned.
His next engagement will be on Saturday (March 29) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in a $25,000 Preferred Handicap. In what is carded as Race 11, Tober will leave from the seven hole with Eric Goodell holding the reins. The gelding is 7-2 on the morning line in a very competitive field which includes the mare Daylon Miracle, who is 9-5-0-3 this season, and the returning Coraggioso, who is 7-3-0-1 on the year but was a standout on the New York Sire Stakes circuit as a sophomore in 2012 against the likes of Yonkers Trot victor Archangel. Post time is set for 9:30 p.m.
“I can’t say enough about what a nice horse he is,” Hart said. “My wife is the one that has worked with him the entire time and she really did a terrific job. He has the best manners. You can leave with him or you can take him off the pace and he is very nicely gaited. He is also good over any kind of surface and can get around a half, a three-quarters or a big track.”
Hart also conditions a full brother to Tober in Gaelic And Garlic. The now 5-year-old gelding was fourth in the 2012 New York Sire Stakes Final behind the winner Coraggioso and ahead of Archangel. His record stands at 57-13-6-3 and $248,105 with a mark of 1:54f.
“He’s a horse with good gate speed that can leave, but he’s not the horse Tober is,” Hart said. “He just doesn’t have the same determination on the racetrack that Tober does. He is also nicely gaited and has won some money, but he also hasn’t come back very well this year. He was injured last year and it’s taking him some time. I think he’ll be fine as the year goes on, but again I just don’t think as highly of him as I do of Tober.”
Another family member of Tober’s is also in Hart’s shedrow, but this one happens to be a young lady. The 3-year-old filly Bertaux is by Conway Hall and she will enter her first qualifying race in the near future.
“I am really high on her,” Hart said. “She reminds me a lot of Tober and I’m looking forward to getting her in a couple of qualifiers here shortly. She is also very nicely gaited.”
As far as this year goes, Tober will continue to compete at Yonkers, Goshen, Pocono, Saratoga, Tioga and Monticello. Hart also thinks the gelding will have yet another outstanding year.
“He got sick on us last year about halfway through the season so we lost about six months with him,” Hart said. “I’m very fortunate to be in a location where I have easy access to all these tracks and that he is so versatile.
“All we need to do with this horse is keep him sound because like everything else, he has always been good with that too. He really is a very nice horse and I’m glad to have him in my barn.”