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One More Million Dollar Win?

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Published: June 25, 2010 10:45 am ET

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Although Ray Schnittker’s One More Laugh has been assessed as the 12-1 sixth choice in the field for this Saturday’s $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup, no one is snickering at this world champion's chances to steal all the glory.

Sent postward as the 4-5 favourite from Post 8 in his elimination, One More Laugh went first up just before the half and after wearing down pacesetter Piece Of The Rock in deep stretch, he was collared by longshot We Will See at the wire in a time of 1:49.

“I thought he might get up but he ended up being first over for a long ways and he really hasn't raced on a mile track since last year,” Schnittker told Trot Insider. “I think it probably helped stretch him out. I mean if he would have won by a head I would have been a lot more happier than to get beat by a head but I thought he raced really well.”

Schnittker says One More Laugh’s pre-race routine for Saturday’s North America Cup consisted of jogging and a 2:20 training trip. He plans to add a blind bridle to his gelding’s equipment.

Known for his abilities to take on a lot of air and close well, another Post 8 start doesn’t bother Schnittker.

“I don’t think eight is all that bad. If you’ve got to be out for most of the mile, he can do it as he kind of showed last week.”

One More Laugh appears to be the most experienced in the field over an "off track," and with the chance of showers in the forecast for Saturday, that experience could be favourable for the son of McArdle-Fancy Creek Funny. In almost half of his 16 lifetime starts, he has raced over an "off track" and boasts a summary of 7-4-2-0 in those conditions.

Schnittker is no stranger to high-profile races. The 52-year-old resident of Middletown, New York trained and drove the award-winning trotter Deweycheatumnhowe throughout all of his big dances, including the Valley Victory, Breeders Crown, Stanley Dancer, Hambletonian, Canadian Trotting Classic and World Trotting Derby. Make It Happen, Covert Action, Chippewa Street, Riggins and Munis Blue Chip are among his other top horses.

“I’ll probably be more nervous than when I’m driving,” laughed Schnittker. “It’s funny, when I’m driving I don’t really get nervous but I’ll probably be a little nervous. I’m looking forward to the race. I’ve got to go to The Meadows in the afternoon and I’ll be there at night. I think it’ll be a lot of fun watching it anyways.”

Tim Tetrick will drive One More Laugh, who heads into the race with $787,787 in career earnings. One More Laugh captured five Pennsylvania Sires Stakes events including the $200,000 championship at The Meadows as a two-year-old along with his elimination and the final of the Governor’s Cup at Harrah’s Chester in a World Record time of 1:49.2. He also won a division of the Kindergarten Classic along with the series final. This season, One More Laugh captured his Hempt elimination at Pocono Downs and after breaking stride in the final, he rebounded with a victory in the Art Rooney at Yonkers Raceway.

With his sub-1:50 mile as a two-year-old, this year’s Cup will showcase the first ever match up of colts who paced under that mark as freshmen. Sportswriter is the other colt, who captured the Metro Pace in a World Record clocking of 1:49.2.

Schnittker will make his second appearance in the North America Cup with One More Laugh. He and his father, Warren, sent out No Twister, who picked up a fifth-place cheque in the 1992 edition at Greenwood Raceway.

This time around, Schnittker’s team consists of fellow New Yorkers Mathias Meinzinger and Jerry Silva. Meinzinger bred and raised One More Laugh while Schnittker and Silva bought in after the gelding’s third lifetime start.

“I met Jerry Silva when he bought part into Deweycheatumnhowe. I knew him a little bit before then but that’s when we became partners and he owns a bunch of yearlings with me. Matt Meinzinger, I started training for him maybe 10 years ago. He took a horse and gave him to me and he did a little decent and we’ve been partners since.”

With such a tight field heading into the final, a thrilling finish is anticipated. When asked to recall the most exciting Cup he has watched in the past, Schnittker referred to the 2009 and 1993 editions.

“Last year because Steve [Elliot] is a very good friend of mine so I was really rooting for Well Said. But if I didn’t count him, I would probably say the year Presidential Ball won. He was like three-deep all around the turn and from what I can remember he went a huge trip.”

To view the recap of the post position draw, click here.

Mohawk's 13-dash Saturday program has a first-race post time of 7:10 p.m. Post time for the 27th edition of the Cup (Race 7), the richest pacing event in the world, is 9:40 p.m., The Score Television Network will air a special one and one-half hour telecast nationally from 8:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. (ET).

To view free, printable program pages for Mohawk's Saturday card courtesy of TrackIT, click here.

To view SC's regular entries page for NA Cup night, click here.


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