Ucandoit Blue Chip wins Jugette

To watch a race replay of the Jugette final, click here.

Delaware, OH — Two decades after giving trainer Linda Toscano her first Breeders Crown win, Molly Can Do It helped deliver another memorable moment for the Hall of Fame conditioner.

In this case, the delivery came in the form of a foal, Ucandoit Blue Chip, who on Wednesday gave Toscano her first victory in the Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio. Ucandoit Blue Chip outdueled Zanatta in the stretch to capture the event’s $255,000 final by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:50.2. Daffled Hanover finished third.

Ucandoit Blue Chip and Zanatta were elimination winners earlier in the day. Ucandoit Blue Chip rallied for victory in 1:50.3 in the first $25,000 elim and started the final from post two with driver Scott Zeron. Zanatta won her elim in 1:50.1 and began the final from post one with driver Joe Bongiorno.

Ucandoit Blue Chip outdueled Zanatta in the stretch to capture the $255,000 Jugette final by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:50.2. Conrad photo.

In the final, Zanatta went to the front right off the gate, with the remainder of the field settling behind her in single-file order. Ucandoit Blue Chip was second as Zanatta set fractions of :27.4 to the opening quarter-mile, :55.4 to the half, and 1:22.4 to three-quarters.

Zeron moved Ucandoit Blue Chip, the 3-2 favorite, to the outside midway around the last turn and powered past Zanatta in the stretch, pumping his fist several times as they approached the finish line.

“I don’t think there were many options, we had to take the two-hole trip,” Zeron said afterward in the winner’s circle. “I was happy there were no flyers on the outside putting me third, where I would have eventually been first-up. It would have been a tough trip.

“Zanatta can leave the gate really fast. I protected as much as I could, and it was kind of going to line up that way. We were on the gas pedal from the half (mile) on.”

Ucandoit Blue Chip, a daughter of Keystone Velocity out of the aforementioned Molly Can Do It, is a two-time New Jersey Sire Stakes champion. Toscano trained Molly Can Do It over her final three seasons of racing and the mare gave the trainer her first Breeders Crown victory in 2002.

A $32,000 yearling buy at the 2021 Standardbred Horse Sale, Ucandoit Blue Chip is owned by Bill Elliott. She is the 11th foal out of Molly Can Do It, and the first trained by Toscano.

“We love Molly,” Toscano said earlier this year. “(Ucandoit Blue Chip) looks just like her. I really didn’t pick her, Bill Elliott picked her. I have her because of her mother. He came over to me and asked if I would train her. I wanted to train one out of Molly. It’s absolutely special.”

Even more special after Wednesday’s win.

The winning connections celebrate in the winner’s circle. Conrad photo.

“She is a good filly,” Toscano said in the winner’s circle. “It’s the icing on the cake that her mom was my first Breeders Crown winner and now she’s my first Jugette.”

Added an emotional Elliott, “I can’t say enough for the job Linda and her whole crew has done with this filly. It’s just amazing. I’m speechless.”

In her elimination, Ucandoit Blue Chip was last in the five-horse field before rallying late. Every horse held the lead at some point in the mile, with favorite Earthwindfire and Bellisima Hanover exchanging the top spot in a first quarter of :25.4 and half in :54. Vivians Dream got a nose in front at three-quarters, reached in 1:22.2, before Daffled Hanover took over following a three-wide move that brought Ucandoit Blue Chip in tow.

“She was exceptional in both (heats),” said Zeron, who also won his first Jugette. “In the first heat, I didn’t have to use her that hard and the race kind of unfolded where it was going to help coming from off the pace. (In the final) the two-hole trip worked out great, but at the same time, having won the elim and final, she was very deserving.”

Ucandoit Blue Chip has won six of 14 races this year and 10 of 21 lifetime, earning $559,127. She was bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock.

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