Goshen, NY --- It was a nearly perfect day for harness racing trainer driver.
Schnittker drove in seven Landmark Stakes events at Historic Track on Friday afternoon and came away with six victories. Among the winners was 3-year-old male pacer Stevensville, who could be heading to the $450,000 Delvin Miller Adios at the end of the month.
Other winners for Schnittker, who is based at Historic Track, were 2-year-old male trotter Gabe The Bear Dean, 2-year-old female pacer Shes Ready To Rock, 3-year-old female trotter Suegrabbitnrun, 3-year-old male trotter Derby, and 2-year-old female trotter Kaliska.
trained two Landmark winners, 2-year-old male pacer K J Ben and 2-year-old female trotter She's So Into Me, and sent out a winner in 3-year-old female pacer Misty Major.
Stevensville, who was coming off a fifth-place finish in the Max C. Hempt Memorial on June 28 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, won the $19,340 Landmark Stakes for 3-year-old pacers in 1:58.1 over a sloppy track. Rain fell throughout the afternoon on an unseasonably cool 66-degree Fourth of July.
Owned by Schnittker, Paul Bordogna, and Ryan Miller, Stevensville has won seven of 21 career races and $185,079. He finished second in last year's Matron Stakes.
"He's been real good," Schnittker said. "He raced real good last week and I think if he'd gotten through a little sooner he would have been maybe third.
"We're going to go to the Adios, I think. I skipped the Meadowlands Pace. I think he's fifth to 10th best [horse in the division] and there's so much money later in the year, hopefully I can grab some."
Derby, who finished second in the Dexter Cup in May, won the $20,640 Landmark Stakes for 3-year-old trotters in 2:03.3. The gelding is owned by Schnittker, Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, and Ted Gewertz. He has won three consecutive starts after starting the season with six setbacks.
"He's come around a little bit," Schnittker said. "He actually raced pretty good for Danny Cappello at Saratoga the last two starts. He had sort of an attitude problem, but it looks like he's starting to get it figured out now. Hopefully he'll end up having a good year."
Schnittker also was pleased with Kaliska, who won in 2:05.2, and Gabe The Bear Dean, who won in 2:03.
Kaliska (-Armbro Vivian) is owned by Schnittker, Thomas Spatorico, Pepin Stable, and Fam Alber Horse Racing. She is a full sister to stakes-winner Frank The Hands. Gabe The Bear Dean ( -Madam Hooch) is owned by Schnittker and Minix Stable.
"[Kaliska] kind of doesn't know what she's doing," Schittker said. "She figured out to go by [other horses] finally; usually she's a little bit late that way.
"Gabe The Bear Dean, I think he could be a real nice New York Sire [Stakes horse]. He's going next Wednesday at Buffalo. I think he's one of the bettercolts, so hopefully he'll be alright."
Suegrabbitnrun won in 2:01.4 for Schnittker and Charlie Iannazzo, who also bred the filly, and Shes Ready To Rock (-She's My Belle) won in 2:04.1 for owners Schnittker, Frank Baldassare, and Mary Kinsey.
K J Ben (Riggins-Winsmith Karen), driven by, won in 2:04 for breeder/owner Scott Woogen. In the next race, She's So Into Me ( -In To Me) and driver Jim Taggart Jr. won in 2:07 for owners Woogen and Brenda Messenger.
Misty Major, also driven by Taggart, won in 2:03.3 for owner E.J. Treadway.
Friday's nine-race Landmark Stakes card was part of the Grand Circuit visit to Historic Track. Saturday features the New York Sire Stakes Excelsior Series and Billings Amateur Drivers Series. Sunday is Hall of Fame Day, which includes a race featuring drivers in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame along with 2014 inductee.
Post time each day is 1 p.m. for the first race.
Story and photos by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA