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Stable wins 4 stakes, and that\'s no Joe Nee Balonee

July 02, 2007

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There’s no place like home, especially when home is the Ray Schnittker Stable at Historic Track as Schnittker won four of eight Landmark stakes for 2-year-old pacers and trotters on Monday afternoon, giving his stable five victories, five second-place finishes, and three thirds in 20 races during the opening three days of the annual Grand Circuit meet at the world’s oldest harness racing oval.


Jagger Blue Chip recorded the fastest mile of the day, winning in 1:57.3 with Schnittker at the lines. The pacing colt, a $100,000 yearling purchase sired by Bettor’s Delight out of the mare Felicia Hanover, won by 9 1/4 lengths in his first start. He is owned by Schnittker, Steve Arnold, Dave Pepin and Blue Crue Racing.


Major Louie, another pacing colt making his debut, won in 1:58.4 for Schnittker and fellow owners Arnold, Highland Green Farms and Ed Pachuta. A son of Art Major and Blu’s Girl, he was purchased for $47,000.


“He was awesome,” Schnittker said about Major Louie, who went gate to wire to win by three-quarters of a length despite pressure from runner-up Bullville Powerful and third-place finisher Bettor Sweet. “I used him about six times on the lead and he just kept right on going. He’s a really good colt. Mentally, he’s really tough.


“Jagger Blue Chip really stepped it up today; you couldn’t ask for anything more from a horse. He’s one of the better ones. He’s a hundred-thousand dollar yearling, and looking like he’s starting to be worth it.”


Also taking Schnittker to the winner’s circle were trotting colts Joe Nee Balonee and Brad’s Mystery, who held off stablemate Mr Pignaroni by a nose to get the victory. Joe Nee Balonee, owned by breeders Joe Faraldo and Joni Yoswein, won by 2 1/4 lengths in 2:04.3 while Brad’s Mystery, owned by Schnittker, Steve Jones, Highland Green Farms and Earl Scheelar, won in 2:05.4.


“Joe Nee Balonee was a little green on the first turn in front of my barn, but once he got it into his head that he had to go on, he won real easy,” Schnittker said. “He’s kind of a nice colt. Brad’s Mystery raced really well. I thought I was beat by my entrymate, but he fought back. He fell about a half a length behind and came back to win. He was kind of impressive.”


Steve Smith drove the winners in both Landmark divisions for filly trotters, guiding Inside Outing to a 13 3/4-length triumph in 2:08.3 and Kate Of The Art to a half-length victory in 2:09.1. Inside Outing is owned by Bob and Linda Kenney while Smith owns Kate Of The Art.


The Landmarks for filly pacers were won by Allamerican Celeb, driven by Stephane Bouchard, in 2:02.4 and B Exotic, driven by Jack Baggitt Jr., in 2:03. B Exotic is owned and trained by Bernie Ban.


Allamerican Celeb, owned by John Fielding and breeder Fred Hertrich, is a full sister to New York Sire Stakes champion filly Paula’s Best.


“She’s a very nice filly,” trainer Ed Hart said. “I’m pretty happy with her and the way she’s come along. I’m hoping she’s a good New York Sire Stakes filly. She gets around a half (mile track) real good, which is what you need in New York. She seems to have the speed and a very good heart. So far, we’re on course.” (HHBNY)


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