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Schnittker Wins Six Landmark Stakes

Published: June 30, 2012 8:27 am ET

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It was only the first start of Thirty Two Red’s career, but trainer-driver Ray Schnittker liked what he saw.

Thirty Two Red won a $7,235 division of the Landmark Stakes for two-year-old male pacers at Historic Track by five and a half lengths over Story Book in a track-record 1:56.3 on Friday afternoon. The time shaved a full second off the previous record for a two-year-old male pacer, which was shared by Know The Pro and Jagger Blue Chip.

“He was real good,” Schnittker said about Thirty Two Red, who used a :27.4-second final quarter-mile to put the finishing touch on his record performance. “They go so fast, the pacers, but [1]:56 at this place is pretty good and we were kind of walking until halfway around the last turn.”

Schnittker’s stable, which is based at Historic Track, won six of the day’s 12 Landmark Stakes races as the opening of the Grand Circuit meet got under way in Goshen. Racing continues through Monday, with 1 p.m. post times, in addition to Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Sunday evening.

Thirty Two Red is a son of Bettors Delight out of the mare Sakura Hanover. He was purchased as a yearling for $70,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes past stakes-winning stars such as Glowing Report, Must See and Perfect Union. Must See also is the mother of divisional champion colt Well Said.

“He’s got the breeding to go all the way,” said Schnittker, who owns the colt with Ted Gewertz, Steven Arnold and Mal and Janet Burroughs. “I think he’s a real horse. Time will tell.”

Schnittker’s other winners included three-year-old filly pacer Hayworth Blue Chip, who won a $14,090 division of the Landmark Stakes after finishing fourth Thursday night in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Yonkers Raceway. Hayworth Blue Chip won at Historic Track in 1:55.1, missing the track record for a three-year-old filly pacer by one-fifth of a second.

“She was in against some real tough ones [Thursday] night and she’s got about a three-week break, so I figured if we could get the money, we should get the money,” Schnittker said. “She raced better than she has all year. I was real happy with that. She usually doesn’t try too hard, so maybe that worked.”

Other winners from the Schnittker Stable were three-year-old colt pacer Station Threeohsix (driven by Gareth Dowse), three-year-old filly trotter Lima Playmate, two-year-old filly trotter Daytona Blue Chip and two-year-old gelding trotter Simaz.

“I had a bunch of very good horses today,” Schnittker said.

It was a good day for driver Jacqueline Ingrassia and the Arden Homestead Stable of Elbridge Gerry Jr., who is the president of the board of the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, and Peter Gerry, who is the treasurer. Their two-year-old filly trotter Fairley Legal, trained by Frank Ingrassia, won her $4,935 Landmark Stakes division in 2:04.4.

“This means something right here; this is getting back to the roots, I think,” Jacqueline Ingrassia said about racing at Historic Track. “I’m just happy to be here and be a part of it.”

Ingrassia, who shares ownership of the filly with Arden Homestead, has high hopes for Fairley Legal, who will compete primarily on the New York Sire Stakes circuit this season. Fairley Legal is a daughter of Conway Hall out of the mare Kindling. The dam is a half-sister to 1996 Breeders Crown champ Personal Banner.

“I think that if I’m careful, which I intend to be, she’ll be a good filly,” Ingrassia said. “I would have been happy to just go around without any mistakes. She will make breaks, but only because she’s green; she doesn’t know how to handle stuff yet. When she puts it all together, she’s going to be a nice filly. I was really happy. She’s a sweetheart. I love this filly.”

D.R. Ackerman, another trainer-driver stabled at Historic Track, picked up a win when Jersey Boy posted a two-length victory over Map Of Hawaii in his $17,940 Landmark Stakes for three-year-old male trotters.

Jersey Boy (Yankee Glide-Atlanta Games) was unraced as a two-year-old and got his second career win Friday in his seventh start. A $5,000 yearling buy, he has earned $21,591 for Ackerman.

“This was the big one; this was almost the Hambletonian,” Ackerman said laughing, referring to the gelding’s light stakes schedule. “He’s been a delightful surprise. He’ll just be a nice racehorse, but he races good every week and is just a good little guy to be around.”

Driver Mark MacDonald has won on some of harness racing’s biggest stages, but until Friday never its Historic – as in Historic Track. The Canadian native had five drives on the Landmark Stakes Day card and got a victory with Mark Ford-trained two-year-old filly pacer Shes My Major, who won by a neck over True Reflection in 2:01.

“It’s fun,” MacDonald said. “This is a very historic place and it’s a great day. I really enjoyed myself. It’s a great crowd, too. A lot of real racing fans here. They’re just here to watch and have a good time. It’s great.”

Shes My Major (Art Major-Shes My Belle), owned by Shirley LeVin, went gate to wire to earn the victory in her career debut. The win also got MacDonald within 10 victories of 5,000 for his career.

“I’m one more win closer,” MacDonald said, “and it’s nice to add one here. That’s pretty cool.”


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.

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