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Summer Side Delivers In Sheppard

Published: July 17, 2016 12:42 am ET

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“I’ve had success with his family, and he was cheap.” Such was the pre-race assessment of one Ray Schnittker on Saturday night (July 16) in advance of Yonkers Raceway’s $100,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for two-year-old colts and geldings.

Schnittker and favoured Summer Side ($4.30) kept their heads while others around them were losing theirs, winning by three and a quarter widening lengths in 1:55.3.

The $15,000 (Harrisburg) son of Well Said was put in play early from post position No. 6. He had company, including pole-sitting Southwind Diablo (George Brennan, and eight-holer Hurrikane Kingkong (Dan Dube), which forced a spiffy :27.1 opening quarter-mile.

“Diablo,” steppy behind the gate, was the first to do the dance of damned, before the quarter. Summer Side inherited the lead before yielding to Hurrikane Kingkong, parked into the second turn for the privilege.

Nearing the 57-second intermission, Humboldt (Mark MacDonald), coupled with Southwind Diablo, also broke. He bothered a few of the back-of-the-bussers, as “Kingkong” led toward the payoff lap.

Then out of fourth moved Chip Walther (Jason Bartlett), doing so with purpose. He took over at the 1:25.4 three-quarters, opening daylight in the final turn, until...oops. He blew up badly. That allowed Summer Side the chance to extricate himself from the cones, and he opened from there. Hurrikane Kingkong held second, with Rollin About (Brent Holland) crossing the line third. However, after a lengthy look, he was set down for bothering fourth-place finisher Joes Bid (Jordan Stratton) down the backside the second time, so those two positions were reversed.

Pinkribbon Warrior (Tyler Buter) earned the final pay envelope, seventh-placed-fifth after all the misdeeds were adjudicated.

For Summer Side, co-owned (with Howard Taylor) and trained by his driver, it was a maiden win in his third start. The exacta paid $29.20, with the triple returning $235.50.

“I wanted to leave and sit a hole,” Schnittker said. “I did, then Jason [Bartlett and Chip Walther] came about a hundred miles an hour and went by, and I thought I was in big trouble.

“Things worked out, for us, not him.”

Schnittker, whose other Sheppard win was back in 1995 (Bingo Hanover), admitted he was prepared to move this one.

“I had him in a ‘two-year-old in training sale’ with a reserve of $80,000, but there were no takers.”

Now, he’s out for the purchase price, and then some.

The race honours the man behind the tremendous success of Hanover Shoe Farms.

Saturday night’s pair of $45,000 Open Handicaps were won by trotting mare Shake It Cerry (Dube, $18.40) in 1:54.2 and pacer Doctor Butch (Holland, $8.80) in 1:50.2.

(With files from Yonkers Raceway)

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