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Schnittker Wins Half Of Landmark Stakes

Published: July 3, 2011 4:20 am ET

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The second day (July 2) of Grand Circuit racing at Goshen Historic Track featured Landmark Stake divisions for all ages, genders, and, it seemed, most of the Ray Schnittker Stable.

Schnittker-trained horses won the first four races on the card and added one more to take fully half of the day’s 10 races.

The first race of the day featured the shortest field, but possibly the fastest final sixteenth of a mile, as the two-year-old trotting colt Brigadier put the first deposit in his earnings account with a neck victory over his sole competition, Broadband Hanover, who led throughout in the $12,640 Landmark Stake.

The fractions were set by Broadband Hanover, :35, 1:12 and 1:45, but Brigadier snuck out to get the win in the final stride with a time of 2:21.3 with Schnittker driving.

“Oh no, that’s not cheap,” protested Peter Gerry of the slow time. Gerry is a member of the Brigadier Stable, which owns the colt from the first crop of Donato Hanover and was wearing a cap to commemorate his Navy service in the Vietnam War. “A win’s a win. This horse actually was the leader of the pack until he got hurt this spring and so he was turned out for quite a while. He’s just coming back.”

Gerry said the colt will likely next head to the Reynolds Stakes at Pocono Downs. Brigadier is co-owned by Schnittker with the Brigadier Stable.

Schnittker was again at the lines for Hayworth Blue Chip’s three and a half length win in the $4,945 Landmark for two-year-old pacing fillies. That one led from start to finish for her first win for money, turning in fractions of :28.2, :58.3, and 1:27 and a win time of 1:57.3 for her owners, Ray Schnittker, Ted Gewertz, Steven Arnold and Peter Agosta. Bella Marta (Brandon Simpson) was second and Shes Waiting (Fern Paquet, Jr.) was third.

Schnittker wasn’t surprised at the effort by the tall daughter of Bettors Delight.

“Yes, she‘s very good, probably one of my best ones training down, so hopefully she’ll end up the year like that,” he said. “She learned everything real quickly. Now [New York] Sire Stakes on Thursday at Yonkers.”

Moving on to three-year-olds, Schnittker co-owned, trained and drove All In Tad to win the $20,458 Landmark Stake for trotters, again by three and a half lengths for his co-owners Gareth Dowse, Dr. John Egloff and Steve Demeter. The mile was trotted in 2:02.1.

The two-year-old trotting filly Borrow And Spend got her first win in Race 4, again with Schnittker driving for co-owners Schnittker and the Borrow and Spend Stable. She made easy work of the three-horse field, winning by three and a half lengths in 2:09.

JK Camelot changed the subject from the Schnittker Stable to the Toscano Stable as he bookended his wire-to-wire, four and three-quarter length 1:54 victory in the $26,308 Landmark for three-year-old pacing colts with a :26.4 first quarter and a :25.4 final quarter. Jason Bartlett drove for trainer Linda Toscano and owners 3 Brothers Stable.

“He was really good. I got easy fractions [:58 to the half and 1:28.1 to the three-quarters], seemed like we weren’t going that fast early,” said Bartlett after the race. “He gets around the turns great, he scoots right around. He likes the turns here and he runs out a little bit, so that helps. He’s a nice little horse. He’s just as good on a half as he is on a big track. I just pulled the [ear] plugs and I knew I had a good horse at my back [second place finisher Whogoesfirst] so I just pulled the earplugs, got his attention and he took right off.”

The Bartlett-Toscano-3 Brothers Stable teamed up again to win the very next race, a $7,820 Landmark Stake for two-year-old pacing colts, with JK Panache, his first win, in 1:59.2, for the juvenile son of Art Major.

Toscano and Bartlett also teamed up to win the next two-year-old pacing colt division of the Landmark, for a purse of $8,120, with the Ken Jacobs-owned Artillery Major. It was the third win in three career starts for Artillery Major, the first for money, as he paced by the field in the stretch for the half-length win in 1:58.4.

“She makes me look good, eh?,” said Bartlett of trainer Toscano. “He was very good, he left really fast [to sit second and later third behind early leader Ideal Griff]. We let a horse [Ideal Major] go and followed along. He got a little excited and heard the horses coming behind him. But I got him settled down and going into the last turn he was right there. He wasn’t lazy, but he wasn’t hot either.”

In the final race of the day, Ray Schnittker got one more win before heading off to Monticello Raceway for eight New York Sire Stakes races, piloting two-year-old pacing filly Bijou Theater to her first win in a $4,945 Landmark race.

The five and a quarter length, 2:00 victory over Destinys Calling (Jim Taggart, Jr.) and Twelve Jems (Steve Smith) came after a long winter of training the rookie, says Schnittker.

“A real tough horse to break, didn’t want to go and then she finally got her act together,” he said. “She was sour, like she didn’t want to go, almost scared. But once she figured it out, she’s been training real good the last couple months. She was good today, but if you’d seen her the first three months, oh my God. She’s come a long way. She’s a nice filly and she’s going to be heard from.”

Racing resumes at Goshen Historic Track on July 3 and 4 at 1 p.m. The Sunday card features a race in which each horse will be driven by a Hall of Fame driver. Drivers will sign photos and greet fans after the race.


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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