Jennifer Connor Rides Hannover Home in 2:04.2; Keystone Wasabi Wins in 2:06.2; Clydesdales Featured.
If one had gone to the matinee races at Historic Track on Sunday, June 16 they would have felt as if it was Grand Circuit week.
“We had a huge crowd for the matinee program mostly because we had the famous Budweiser Clydesdale performing after the races,” noted Linda Myers, office manager and secretary to the Board.
“Actually, on Sunday, we had a better day than on most non-weekend race programs during Grand Circuit week.”
The third and last of three matinee cards prior to the 4-day Grand Circuit meeting, which will get underway on Thursday, July 4, posted nine races. Of the nine races two were for 2 year olds; one was a race under saddle, and the others strictly matinee races for fun and pleasure as well as for qualifying times for the pari-mutuel race tracks.
Last week Ray Schnittker rode Flex The Muscle to a 2:06.2 victory and in this week’s RUS Jennifer Connor rode Admirable Hanover to a stunning 2:04.3 triumph.
In the first the freshman event, Keystone Wasabi, a Cantab Hall-Womanly Image colt driven by Chuck Connor, Jr., trotted this final half in 1:01.1 and last quarter in :30.1 en route to a 2:06.3. Ten days prior Keystone Wasabi made in racing debut with a stunning wire tow ire triumph is 2:02.3 over four others at Pocono Downs.
The colt is owned by the Kitefield Stable of Goshen and trained by Janice Connor.
Connor also won the other 2 year old race when he hustled Suplemental Income, a daughter of Bettor’s Delight- JK Getupngo, to a 2:01.4 triumph with a last half in paced in :59.3 and a final stanza in :29.1.
On In her first time behind a starting gate Suplemental Income finished third, beaten a length in 1:57.3 at . She’s owned by Jennifer and Janice Connor. And trained by Janice Connor.
Though the huge crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy the matinee races it was for the Budweiser Clydesdales that most came to see.
The magnificent eight-horse team was on display after the final race on the matinee card. They paraded around the track and stopped in front of the grandstand for all to get a perfect view and then did some maneuvers on the racetrack.
They later delivered beer to Delancy’s, a restaurant adjacent to Historic Track, where many admirers got up close to the team and beer wagon for once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for photographs.
“They were a tremendous hit,” Myers added. “It’s too bad they don’t come more often.”
RAY SCHNITTKER RIDES A WINNER AT HISTORIC TRACK
Yes, the headline is correct. Ray Schnittker rode a winner in the Under Saddle Race at Historic Track as part of the National Historic Landmark’s matinee race card on Sunday afternoon, June 9.
Schnittker was aboard Flex The Muscle and they turned down two others in a time of 2:06.2 in what was the ninth and final race on the track’s second of three matinee programs. They finished 27 lengths ahead of Lemon Pepper ridden by Jennifer Lowrey. Majestic Man went off-stride at the start much to the dismay of rider Mary Dolce Conte, and finished third.
Flex the Muscle, an $817,000 career winner with a career trotting record of 1:52.2 is co-owned by Schnittker with J & T Silva Stables and the Arden Homestead Stables and Schnittker.
Those who know Schnittker, knows he has a penchant for riding his standardbreds and among the stalwarts from his barn that have had saddles on them include the great Deweycheatmenhowe and outstanding trotting filly, Check Me Out.
“I won a under saddle race (with a standardbred) 20 years ago and it’s just something else in harness racing,” he explained. “I like putting a saddle on some of mine as part of their training program and I do that from time to time so they don’t get race track sour.”
Schnittker, who has his large stable of horses at Historic Track, also drove two winners on the matinee card; both 2 year olds, one a trotter and the other a pacer.
The trotter, Caroline Street, a daughter of Conway Hall owned by Schnittker, Dr. Herbie Burns and Steve Demeter, won in all by herself in 2:07.4 as her two competitors broke stride and were distanced. The filly won last week in 2:06.4 with Ray’s assistant Gareth Dowse at the controls.
The pacer, Howabout Hanover , a 2 year-old altered son of Somebeachsomewhere made his racetrack debut winning in a time of 2:03.2. He is owned Schnittker, Charlie Iannazzo, Ted Gewertz and Steve Arnold.
Hare Wins Driving School Race
Richard Hare was the winner of the “graduation race” at the close of the 15th annual USTA Driving School, held June 2.
Hare (at left), driving Tuffofthetoughest with professional Ray Schnittker for the wire-to-wire win by about two lengths in 2:05.1.
“Incredible. Just incredible,” was Hare’s reaction in the winner’s circle. “I love Disney World, I go all the time, but this is way better. Ray got me out (of the gate) but about halfway through the first turn, I took over and it was mine all the way from there”.
(This article Continues...)
Golf Outing Scheduled for July 1
Like all other not-for-profit organizations, Goshen’s Historic Track is in need of funds and the venue’s annual golf outing is a fun way to raise money to help perpetuate the National Historic Landmark.
Spearheaded by Frank “the Hands” Baldassare and Bernie White, the outing will take place at the West Hills Country Club, 121 Golf Links Road, Middletown, N.Y., on Monday (July 1).
A tax-deductable donation of $175 will include 18 holes of golf with a cart; lunch from 11:30-12:30 followed by a shot-gun start (Best Ball format with handicaps) at 12:45 p.m.
On the course beverages will be available all afternoon and at the end of the day a five-course sit-down dinner will be served by the award winning West Hills Country Club.
Registration is between 10:30-11:30 a.m. and Tee Sponsorships are available at $100.
Besides the on-the-course beverages and the five-course sit-down dinner, also included in the package are door prizes, a raffle for a 50-inch flat screen TV and all participants will receive appreciation gifts valued at approximately $100.
According to Baldassare and White the outing is filling quickly but they say there is still room for a few more foursomes.
“We believe this is about as good a golf package as is offered anywhere and the golfers will certainly enjoy the magnificent course,” said White, president of the Historic Track Board of Directors. “Besides great value for your money and a guaranteed fun day, your donations will help to maintain Historic Track, the oldest active trotting harness track in the world.”
To sign-up for the outing please call Baldassare at 201.803.1390 or White at 845.283.0766. Further information is available from Linda Myers at Historic Track by calling 845.294.5333, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Historic Track Announces Race Dates for 2013
Again this year racing at Goshen’s Historic Track will include both Grand Circuit events and matinee races. On tap this season will be three matinee race programs on Sundays in June followed by four days of Grand Circuit racing in early July. See details...
At this time box seats are available at $225 providing there is response prior to April 30. To reserve box seats, or for further information about the upcoming race meet, please contact Historic Track by calling 845-294-5333 or email Linda Myers at email@example.com.
Richard Hare, under the guidance of trainer-driver Ray Schnittker, won the USTA Driving School “graduation race" with Tuffofthetoughest. Hare said he was asking his horse for speed throughout the mile, “If anything, he (Schnittker) kept telling me, ‘Loosen up a little, loosen up a little.’”
Hare says he hopes to give driving a try in the future, “Soon, I hope. My nephew and I own horses with trainer John Cummings Jr. up in Buffalo. My father and uncle had horses back in the '60s and '70s, so I jogged a couple back in the early '70s. But I was 10 or 12 and this is the first time I’ve been back since.
Chris Lyons, driving Smokin N Grinin, was second and Oliver Kiss, driven by student Tom Hinchliffe was third.
The 49 students have had both hands-on and classroom education since Wednesday, May 29, in caring for, conditioning and driving Standardbred horses at both Goshen Historic Track and the nearby Ford Training Center.
“Great school, first time in 15 years it hasn’t rained,“ said Kent “Chip” Hastings, coordinator of the school. “First time in 15 years it hit 90 degrees. We had a great group of students and a lot of enthusiasm.
“We had a quarter of the class that had never jogged a horse when we started the week. Everybody got to jog every day and have a good time. By Saturday morning, they all looked like they’d grown up in the backstretch.”
This year, a new addition is the involvement of amateur drivers in the school as instructors and mentors for those that want to take the next step in competition.
"Based on a meeting we had at the USTA meeting in Florida,” said Steve Oldford, a USTA director and a leader in the amateur driving community, “We decided it would be in the best interest of the school to have amateur drivers present in the aspect of teaching the students more about driving, how to get involved and what the path is to become an amateur driver.
“Each barn was assigned an amateur driver, many were Billings Series driver, and so every morning we had an amateur driver in each stable. They’re the ones, for the most part, who did the tail sitting with the students out on the track.
“It was a great opportunity for a lot of correspondence and networking and a lot of how to actually get to be an amateur driver. I had two students from last year that are real close to getting their driving license. Based on that, Chip (Hastings) had the brainstorm to get more amateur drivers out here. There were about 10 of us throughout the course of the school. I think we have about five prospects out of this year’s school – people that are actually going to become drivers.”
—By Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications
- Thursday July 4th – the New York County Fair Stakes
- Friday, July 5th --the Landmark Stakes
- Saturday, July 6th – -the New York Excelsior Series for Pacers; the C.K.G. Billings and the Catskill Amateurs
- Sunday July 7th Hall of Fame Day – the Hall of Fame Trot, the New York Excelsior Series for Trotters and the race-under saddle Later that Sunday evening the Hall of Fame Banquet will be held on the lawn of the Harness Racing Museum.
The 52nd season of matinee racing will be offered on the Sundays of June 2nd; June 9th , and June 16th.
Stay With Us in 2013!
This has been an eventful year at GHT. 2013 promises to be even more exciting!
Also: Check out our Photo Gallery!