He is no stranger to the sport’s marquee event, as owner Howard Taylor has collected four Breeders Crown trophies, but this year’s edition on Friday (Oct. 27) and Saturday (Oct. 28) at Hoosier Park could be scintillating for the Philadelphia resident. Shnitzledosomethin, one of five entries Taylor is involved with in this year’s edition, has the opportunity to not only redeem his sire’s second-place finish in the 2010 Crown sophomore male pace, but to place himself firmly on center stage as a truly special horse.
"I am very, very excited about Shnitzledosomethin," said Taylor. "I watched every single qualifying race for all of Fred And Ginger’s foals, which unfortunately he only had 16 starters this year, and this horse was definitely the best. I loved him right away and I know he’s still a little green, but I think he can show he is a talented horse that has a great opportunity to win this race. We also think he has the ability to be one of the top horses in years to come. I usually like to own horses in thirds, but I have so many partners on this horse because when I asked five people wanted to be in on him."
Out of the Sand Shooter mare Summer N Sand , Shnitzledosomethin is the first foal from his dam and his granddam, (Summer In Fiji, Whitefish Falls, $173,180) was an Indiana Sire Stakes champion.
Co-owned by Taylor’s BFJ Stable, Thomas Lazzaro, Ed Gold and Abraham Basen, the Indiana-bred is conditioned by Dylan Davis. He and his regular pilot, Peter Wrenn, will commence their quest for Breeders Crown glory from post position seven and are rated 8-1 on the morning line.
The Indiana Sire Stakes victor will seek to claim his first Grand Circuit triumph against a field of 10, which includes elimination winners Lost In Time (post three, Scott Zeron, 2-1), Stay Hungry (post five, Doug McNair, 3-1) and Karpathian Kid (post one, David Miller, 7-2).
Shnitzledosomethin, however, boasts his own noteworthy credentials which include a resume of 11-6-3-1, a bankroll of $194,981 and a mark of 1:51. The colt was only a mere nose behind Stay Hungry in his elimination and owns an advantage over his top three rivals, as Hoosier Park is his home facility.
"His second qualifying race was even more impressive than his first," Taylor said. "His (former) owner wanted a very high price for him after the first qualifier. Well after that second race, I knew he was right and I had to have him not only because he was so good, but I wanted to support Fred.
"We stood him in Indiana (Schwartz Boarding Farm) and thought he would be well-received. He is a world champion, was second in the Breeders Crown and went in 1:47.3, as well as beat Sweet Lou and Pet Rock. He also has a great pedigree with a sister, Ginger And Fred, that earned $1.92 million. Unfortunately, he only received 27 mares this year and this horse could really put him on the map."
Shnitzledosomethin proved Taylor and his partners were correct in assessing his ability as the colt began his career a perfect four-for-four while sweeping the first two rounds of Indiana Sire Stakes contests. He suffered his first defeat, a third place finish in the $51,929 Fox Stake at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Aug. 9, was second on Aug. 30 in a qualifying contest to none other than Lost In Time, then returned to capture two more victories and a second place finish in his next three engagements.
After an issue behind the gate in the Indiana Sire Stakes final on Oct. 6, Shnitzledosomethin was outfinished by Always Bet De Grey by 1-1/4 lengths in the $220,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Super Final on Oct. 13 prior to his appearance in the Breeders Crown eliminations.
Davis also had nothing but praise for the colt after his performance last Saturday evening.
"I was very happy with him," he said. "The horse is maturing more every time he goes to the gate. We’ve been looking forward to putting him in with the big dogs and seeing what we have. I’m very happy with him. It doesn’t hurt this is his home track. I’ve been very impressed with him. We still have trouble getting him to pay attention, but other than that, he’s got it all."
There was another purpose behind Taylor and his partners purchasing Shnitzledosomethin.
"We feel he can be another horse that not only will help support his sire, but also show how far the Indiana program has come," Taylor said. "It is one of the best in the country and has become so in a short time. We want Shnitzle to put his name up with all the other top horses that have come out of Indiana."
In addition to Shnitzledosomethin, Taylor also is a part-owner of three other Crown contestants with Dan Patch and O’Brien Award-winner Lady Shadow attempting to defend her title in the $250,000 Open Mare Pace on Friday evening.
With Yannick Gingras in his usual position behind her, Lady Shadow will seek to avenge her narrow loss to Darlinonthebeach in her elimination from post position eight. She is the third choice on the morning line at 7-2 behind favored Nike Franco N (post three, Tim Tetrick, 2-1).
Taylor and his co-owners, David Kryway, Carl Atley and Ed Gold, will all be watching the 6-year-old daughter of Shadow Play compete under their names for the final time.
"The sale on Lady Shadow is final," Taylor said. "Win, lose or draw; no matter if she wins by open lengths or loses by them. We decided it was the only fair thing to do for her and for us. There are a limited amount of races available for older pacing mares and not being able to race her in our names in several of those, really is not right for her. She deserves the opportunity and for us, it is a business, so to be that limited with what we can do with her, when we feel she should still be racing, also places us in an undesirable situation. It’s the best thing for everybody.
"I don’t love the post position, but she can win from anywhere and every time she is in a race she has the ability to win. She has shown that for years."
Taylor is also a component of the group that co-owns the 2-year-old trotting filly Atlanta and also includes trainer/driver Rick Zeron, Holland Racing Stable and Bradley Grant. The daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip was fourth in her elimination last Friday evening and will attempt to improve upon that position this Friday from post position one.
Zeron will be steering the 15-1 morning line selection, who must contend with the undefeated Manchego (post position four, Gingras, 6-5) and Hoosier Park’s latest track record holder Phaetosive (post five, Trond Smedshammer, 9-5).
"We realize Manchego is a monster and don’t think our filly is in a position to beat her at the moment," Taylor said. "But with her post position and her improvement over the year, we think she has a great chance to be right up there to pick up a check. She keeps getting better and better and we think she will be an even nicer filly next year."
Peter Haughton Memorial winner You Know You Do is the fourth horse who has Crown aspirations for Taylor. The 2-year-old trotting colt is by Muscle Hill and out of New York Sire Stakes champion You Want Me. Trained by Jimmy Takter, the colt was selected for $350,000 at the 2016 Standardbred Horse Sale by Taylor, Order By Stable, Bud Hatfield and Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband.
The colt will leave from post two in Saturday evening’s eighth race with Gingras holding the lines. By virtue of his even fifth place in his elimination last week, You Know You Do is 6-1 on the morning line behind elimination winners Crystal Fashion (post one, David Miller, 7-2) and track record holder Fourth Dimension (post four, Brian Sears, 5-2), as well as second-place elimination finisher Met’s Hall (post five, Andy Miller, 9-2).
"Some people might think he has tailed off since earlier in the season," Taylor said. "Jimmy (Takter’s) barn also had some sickness and I asked him about that, thinking maybe this colt was part of that, but I expect a much better race from him this weekend. Jimmy blamed himself for the colt’s performance as he said he didn’t shoe him properly for the race. He plans on making changes this week for all his horses and expects them to all race much better."
Photobombr Hanover in the 3-year-old male pace rounds out Taylor's five Crown starters. Owned in partnership with Susan Kajfasz and Fanning Racing and trained by Tom Fanning, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Pilgrims Witchie is 12-1 on the morning line. Tim Tetrick has the driving assignment from post eight. Downbytheseaside (post four, Brian Sears, 8-5) is favored in that event.
"We have always thought he had ability and he flashed it on occasion," Taylor said. "But he has yet to have a breakthrough performance. He is doing really well right now though and I'm expecting him to show that on Saturday night. If he has the right trip, he can be right up there. I'm happy with where I'm sitting right now and feel like I'm in a very good position this weekend."
All of the Breeders Crown championships for female pacers and trotters are Friday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) at Hoosier Park and the Breeders Crown events are races seven through 12.--By Kimberly French/USTA