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Huntsville Unflappable In Cane

Published: August 5, 2017 2:52 pm ET

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Huntsville captured the first leg of pacing's Triple Crown, the 2017 Cane Pace as part of the Hambletonian Day card with a SportsCentre-worthy effort.

Leaving from Post 1, Tim Tetrick hustled Huntsville out for early command with a bid from the outside from longshot Lawrencetown Beach (Joe Bongiorno), who pressured Huntsville through a :25.4 opening quarter and :54 half. Downbytheseaside (Brian Sears) sat the pocket and watched as R J P (Yannick Gingras) looped his first-over stablemate to take a run at Huntsville past the 1:21.4 third quarter. Those three horses gained some separation from the field turning for home after a 1:49 mile. Downbytheseaside could not find room as R J P stayed with Huntsville approaching the wire. Huntsville stayed dead game through the stretch and held off R J P by a neck, with the 1-1/8 mile race timed in 2:03. Downbytheseaside completed the triactor.

“He showed some toughness today,” said winning trainer Ray Schnittker. “After the first quarter I was a little concerned and (R J P) eyeballed him, but he’s just a very good horse.

“I don’t think they were going to beat us today.”

Never worse than second in his 21-race career, Huntsville boasts a 7-3-0 record from 10 seasonal starts. The winner's share of the purse lifts Huntsville over $1.68 in lifetime earnings for trainer Schnittker, who co-owns with New York's Ted Gewertz, Steven Arnold and Crawford Farms Racing.

“I hope he goes the rest of the year like that,” Schnittker said. “I’d be very happy.”

The Cane Pace is the first jewel in the Pacing Triple Crown. The remaining two legs are the Little Brown Jug and Messenger. Schnittker said Huntsville would not go to the Little Brown Jug.

Stay tuned with all the happenings on Hambletonian Day with updates posted in the 2017 Hambletonian Day News Centre.


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