Eight horses were entered for the $160,850 Dexter Cup on May 7 at Freehold Raceway, meaning eliminations this weekend are unnecessary. The Dexter Cup, for harness racing 3-year-old trotters, is the first major prep race on the road to August's $1.5 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands. Six of the Dexter entrants are eligible to the Hambletonian.
Trainer Ray Schnittker, who won last year's Dexter Cup with Flex The Muscle and has captured the event five times in his career, has three horses entered. All three are eligible to the Hambletonian, which Schnittker won in 2008 with.
Leading the way is Whitewater Rapids, who was a neck shy of defeatingin last year's New York Sire Stakes championship. He won two of 10 races and made $102,694 for the campaign. Winuendo, who was second in last year's New Jersey Sire Stakes final at Freehold and third in theNJSS final at the Meadowlands, and Harold Dancer Stakes runner-up Musclelaneous complete Schnittker's trio.
Other Hambletonian eligibles in the Dexter are Jim Meittinis' Buzz Bomb, Jimmy Takter's Gordo Hall, and Charlie Norris' Ice Machine. Takter won the Dexter in 2009 with Anders Bluestone and 2008 with Holiday Credit, as well as in 1994 with.
Rounding out the field are Paul Jessop-trained Justa Jersey Boy and Richard Bilach's Marcus Bi.
by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications
2010 Dexter Cup - Flex The Muscle