Sunday, July 06, 2014

Lots of Schnittker Fireworks at Historic Goshen

By Ken Weingartner

Goshen, NY --- It was a nearly perfect day for Ray Schnittker.

Schnittker drove in seven Landmark Stakes events at Historic Track on Friday afternoon and came away with six victories. Among the winners was 3-year-old male pacer Stevensville, who could be heading to the $450,000 Delvin Miller Adios at the end of the month.

Other winners for Schnittker, who is based at Historic Track, were 2-year-old male trotter Gabe The Bear Dean, 2-year-old female pacer Shes Ready To Rock, 3-year-old female trotter Suegrabbitnrun, 3-year-old male trotter Derby, and 2-year-old female trotter Kaliska.

Gary Messenger trained two Landmark winners, 2-year-old male pacer K J Ben and 2-year-old female trotter She’s So Into Me, and Angus MacDonald sent out a winner in 3-year-old female pacer Misty Major.

Stevensville, who was coming off a fifth-place finish in the Max C. Hempt Memorial on June 28 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, won the $19,340 Landmark Stakes for 3-year-old pacers in 1:58.1 over a sloppy track. Rain fell throughout the afternoon on an unseasonably cool 66-degree Fourth of July.

Owned by Schnittker, Paul Bordogna, and Ryan Miller, Stevensville has won seven of 21 career races and $185,079. He finished second in last year’s Matron Stakes.

“He’s been real good,” Schnittker said. “He raced real good last week and I think if he’d gotten through a little sooner he would have been maybe third.

“We’re going to go to the Adios, I think. I skipped the Meadowlands Pace. I think he’s fifth to 10th best [horse in the division] and there’s so much money later in the year, hopefully I can grab some.”

Derby, who finished second in the Dexter Cup in May, won the $20,640 Landmark Stakes for 3-year-old trotters in 2:03.3. The gelding is owned by Schnittker, Jeff Gural’s Little E LLC, and Ted Gewertz. He has won three consecutive starts after starting the season with six setback.

He’s come around a little bit,” Schnittker said. “He actually raced pretty good for Danny Cappello at Saratoga the last two starts. He had sort of an attitude problem, but it looks like he’s starting to get it figured out now. Hopefully he’ll end up having a good year.”

Schnittker also was pleased with Kaliska, who won in 2:05.2, and Gabe The Bear Dean, who won in 2:03.

Kaliska (Credit Winner-Armbro Vivian) is owned by Schnittker, Thomas Spatorico, Pepin Stable, and Fam Alber Horse Racing. She is a full sister to stakes-winner Frank The Hands. Gabe The Bear Dean (Lucky Chucky-Madam Hooch) is owned by Schnittker and Minix Stable.

“[Kaliska] kind of doesn’t know what she’s doing,” Schittker said. “She figured out to go by [other horses] finally; usually she’s a little bit late that way.

“Gabe The Bear Dean, I think he could be a real nice New York Sire [Stakes horse]. He’s going next Wednesday at Buffalo. I think he’s one of the better Lucky Chucky colts, so hopefully he’ll be alright.”

Suegrabbitnrun won in 2:01.4 for Schnittker and Charlie Iannazzo, who also bred the filly, and Shes Ready To Rock (Rocknroll Hanover-She’s My Belle) won in 2:04.1 for owners Schnittker, Frank Baldassare, and Mary Kinsey.

K J Ben (Riggins-Winsmith Karen), driven by Jason Bartlett, won in 2:04 for breeder/owner Scott Woogen. In the next race, She’s So Into Me (Conway Hall-In To Me) and driver Jim Taggart Jr. won in 2:07 for owners Woogen and Brenda Messenger.

Misty Major, also driven by Taggart, won in 2:03.3 for owner E.J. Treadway.

Friday’s nine-race Landmark Stakes card was part of the Grand Circuit visit to Historic Track. Saturday features the New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Series and Billings Amateur Drivers Series. Sunday is Hall of Fame Day, which includes a race featuring drivers in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame along with 2014 inductee David Miller.

Written by John Pricci of Harness Racing Update

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Sebastian K. Sets World Record Mile for Trotters

By Ellen Harvey

Wilkes-Barre, PA ---- All age, all gender, all size track -- it was an “all everything” 1:49 world record for Sebastian K in the $100,000 Sun Invitational for open class trotters on Saturday night (June 28) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

The prior all age, all everything record was 1:49.3 by Enough Talk in 2008 and the five-eighths-mile record was 1:50.2 by Market Share at Harrah’s Philadelphia in May of this year.

In the waning moments of daylight, trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt hustled the 8-year-old stallion off the starting gate and to an unchallenged lead, clearing to the rail at the eighth, well before the :26.2 first quarter.

Archangel (Yannick Gingras) and Modern Family (Dave Palone) tucked in behind those two, following the leader to the :55.3 half. Market Share and Tim Tetrick tipped out from sixth just past the half and made a beeline for the top of the field, but could get only to fourth when the field hit the 1:21.4 three-quarters.

Archangel had enough at the head of the stretch and made a break, leaving open lengths between Sebastian K and the rest of the field. In deep stretch, Svanstedt pulled the ear plugs, tapped his horse five times and shook the lines and Sebastian K was all alone at the wire and now all alone in ownership of the world record. The margin of victory was seven lengths. Modern Family was second and Arch Madness was third.

“It’s an amazing mile for a horse,” said assistant trainer Bernie Noren, whose winner's circle interview English is better than Svanstedt’s. “To have a horse like this, come here and do the world record with Ake as trainer and the driver, he’s such a phenomenal animal.

“He really pushed him today to go for it and showcase harness racing. Next is the Maple Leaf in two weeks, hopefully, no need for an elimination and we can go right to the final.

“He raced very handily last time, he usually waits, but last time he didn’t, he just took off. He trained a mile Wednesday and he’s been in the paddock all week, just enjoying life. That’s what we do with all our horses, make sure they enjoy life.”

Dancin Yankee wins $100,000 Invitational Pace

In the $100,000 USTA Invitational for older pacers, Dancin Yankee and driver Tyler Buter made a three-wide move on the final turn on their way to a 1:47.3 win over Thinking Out Loud and Clear Vision.

The time was one-fifth of a second off Dancin Yankee’s world record for an older pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. The 6-year-old horse is trained by Amber Buter for owners Baron Racing Stable and Richard Lombardo. He has won 35 of 99 career races and $863,462.

Harness Racing Communications/USTA

Written by John Pricci of Harness Racing Update

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Meadowlands To Stream Baby Races/Qualifiers

Beginning with Friday June 27th, the baby races and qualifiers at The Meadowlands will be streamed live on the Meadowlands website,

These baby races will be streamed each and every day they are contested for the balance of the summer as a convenience for owners, horsemen and fans.

In order to access the live stream of the baby races and qualifiers, follow the same directions and procedures as live race streaming.

The direct link to The Meadowlands live video section is here: Post time for the baby races and qualifiers is 9:30 A.M.

Written by Darin Zoccali of Harness Racing Update

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