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Roland N Rock Undefeated In Eighteen

Published: July 4, 2015 8:28 pm ET

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Roland N Rock, the only Iowa shipper on the 13-race card at Goshen Historic Track on Saturday (July 4), made it an even 18 for 18 as he won the $17,470 Landmark Stake for three-year-old male pacers by 10-1/4 lengths in 1:56.2 on a track rated sloppy from a light but persistent rain.

John Campbell, who is expected to drive the horse in an elimination race for the $800,000 (est.) Meadowlands Pace on July 11, was at the lines for the race. The Meadowlands Pace final is July 18.

Campbell made an early bid for the lead before the :28 first quarter, but was repelled by Well Well Well, driven by Ray Schnittker. Campbell waited until the :59 half when he tipped out to prepare for a challenge down the backstretch. Roland N Rock got a nose in front just past the 1:27.2 three-quarters and opened up for the win, his 18th in a row. Well Well Well was second and At The Rail (Jimmy Marohn Jr.) was third.

“You can tell he’s been to the winner's circle before,” quipped Campbell, as Roland N Rock stood quietly for a trophy presentation for the race, memorializing Charles Fleming. “He won easily again, he’s great gaited and has great manners. I think he’s going to be very adaptable to the mile track. He performed very well. I think he’s going in at the top of his game right now and where he goes from there, nobody knows.”

Trainer/owner Duane Roland wasn’t surprised that it took some work to make the top.

“We knew that Schnittker was going to park him, but in the end he still won, that’s all we needed. When Ray had the 1-2 (horses from the Schnittker barn had posts one and two), what are you going to do?”

Connie Roland made the trip east to help her husband with the horse.

“My nephew Elliot is helping out (in their absence at the farm at home),” she said. “We have the crops (corn and soybeans) and about 74 horses, broodmares, yearlings. His brother Royal Roland is racing horses for us today in Humboldt, Iowa.”

The long trip from Iowa did not seem to bother the gelding, she said.

“He really is a peach, a good shipper. We gelded him because we have so many horses and they all run together. Space is limited and we already have three studs.”

The Rolands are seeing the sights on their trip to Goshen.

“We’re going to go back to the Museum several times, it’s so interesting.”

Hannah Miller, 23, added to her power-packed .491 driving average in her 20th victory of the year in a $3,000 Billings Series race for amateurs with a seven and a quarter length win with Casanova Lindy. The wire-to-wire winner is owned by Miller with her father Erv and trainer Nick Surick. It was her 20th win in 60 starts, with 11 seconds and 10 thirds. She has purse earnings of $88,396, of which she takes no commission to retain amateur status.

Miller’s brother Marcus and father Erv are at the top of the annual driver and trainer lists, respectively, and now Hannah is leading the amateurs.

“She always was around the horses all the time,” said Erv Miller. “But she was more of a groom and stayed in the barn when Marcus was out jogging and training. But four or five years ago, she picked it up. She’s competitive. This horse’s last start at Monticello, she was lagging a little at the gate and could not catch up, but this race she had him right on the gate.”

“He’s a little better driver and has had a lot more experience than me,” Hannah said in comparing herself to her brother. “I’m happy in the amateur races. I started this to have fun and that’s what I’m doing, I’m having fun. I don’t want to be a professional; I think it becomes more of a job rather than just having fun. It seems like I’m everywhere. I go to a couple tracks a week, it’s been crazy. I want to try to get to Prince Edward Island and more of Canada.

“I hope I can inspire any girl to drive, it’s a lot of fun.”

Trainer/driver Ray Schnittker, who is stabled at Goshen Historic Track, won six races on the card, including a $9,439 walkover in the Landmark Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies with Gold Beach, owned by Schnittker, along with Ted Gewertz, Jonathan Kurnit and Steven Arnold.

Schnittker also sent out a winner in the $11,399 Landmark for two-year-old trotting males with Turbo Lindy (2:08.1), who he co-owns with Frank Baldassare and Charles Iannazzo.

The other wins came in the $7,474 Landmark for two-year-old trotters with Northern Sweetie; the $6,750 Landmark for two-year-old pacing males won by Tailgunner Hanover; a $4,187 Landmark pace for two-year-old fillies with Beachesofcheyenne; and his final Landmark win came in a $6,750 division for two-year-old pacing males with Beach Ogre.


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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