GOSHEN, N.Y. — Check Out Trixie attracted plenty of attention June 29 at Historic Track, winning the $8,475 Landmark Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters in a track-record 1:58.4 on the opening afternoon of the half-mile oval’s four-day Grand Circuit meet. The clocking shattered the previous mark of 2:01.3 for a 2-year-old female trotter, which was set by Daytona Blue Chip in 2012.
Check Out Trixie, trained and driven by Historic Track-based Ray Schnittker, is a daughter of 2014 Hambletonian winner Trixton out of Schnittker’s two-time Dan Patch Award winner Check Me Out. She prepped for her career debut at Historic Track with a 1:57.4 win in a qualifier June 20 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.
Her Pocono win time is the fastest of the season so far for a 2-year-old filly trotter on a five-eighths-mile track and her Historic Track clocking is the fastest for a 2-year-old trotter on a half-mile track.
Check Me Out is owned by Schnittker and Steve Jones, who also are the breeders of the filly. Trixie is part of Trixton’s first crop as a sire and the second foal out of Check Me Out, who won 25 of 31 races at ages 2 and 3 and set multiple world records.
“The mother, in my mind, is one of the greatest trotting fillies of all time,” Jones said. “Trixton looks like he’s got horses that have speed. I guess in time we’ll find out if they have quality. I saw a couple at the Meadowlands that looked like they could fly. So I think he’s off to a good start. This looks like probably his best filly, but you never know. Time will tell. But it looks like she’s off on the right foot.”
Jones said Schnittker liked Check Out Trixie from the beginning and the filly is staked heavily.
“Who’s to say whether she’s good enough to be the top dog, but she’s off to a good start,” Jones said. “I think trotting in (1):58.4 over this racetrack is a pretty good accomplishment.
“I’m hoping that she shines when the lights get bright later in the summer.”
Jones also was the breeder of two other Landmark Stakes winners, with Major Sugar Rush (Art Major-Sugarcoated) taking the $12,100 event for 3-year-old male pacers in 1:54.2 and Hickfromfrenchlick (So Surreal-My Girl’s A Star) winning the $11,000 event for 2-year-old male pacers in 1:57.3.
Major Sugar Rush was driven to victory by Jordan Stratton for trainer/owner Schnittker. It the gelding’s first win in eight starts this season. Hickfromfrenchlick, a reference to the nickname of basketball legend Larry Bird, was driven to his career-debut win by trainer Schnittker, who owns the colt with Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatorico.
The Nolamaura Racing group is based in Goshen and led by Patrick English and also includes his father, Kerry. The family owns a beer distributorship.
“This is our third year of racing,” Patrick said. “The stable name is Nolamaura Racing; it’s my two daughters’ names. This is just a group of guys that like to have beer and have fun and we’re just lucky to be with Ray and have a good horse.
“I’m the third generation on the board of directors here at the track. My dad is on the board and my grandmother was here. It’s fun to be involved and give back and now actually have a horse that looks really good and is winning.”
Other winners on the June 29 card were Grammy Winner in the $6,125 Landmark for 3-year-old female trotters, Solitary in the $6,125 Landmark for 3-year-old female pacers, Midnight Express S in the $13,600 Landmark for 3-year-old male trotters, Ladybeluckytonite in the $9,125 Landmark for 2-year-old female pacers, and Amico Mio Bi in the $14,350 Landmark for 2-year-old male trotters.
Grammy Winner (Credit Winner-Grammy Hall) won in 1:58.3 for driver Tyler Buter and trainer Todd Buter. The filly is owned by Gene Oldford Farms, Lynette Buter, William Fuhs, and Carol Fuhs. She has won three of 13 lifetime races and earned $24,733.
Solitary (American Ideal-Lonesome Day) won in 1:55 for driver Marcus Miller and trainer Nick Surick. The filly is owned by William Daggett Jr., Lawrence Vukovic, and J L Benson Stables. She has won three of 22 career starts and earned $71,555.
Midnight Express S (Maharajah-Truly Devoted) won in 1:58 with Oskar Florhed driving for trainer Ake Svanstedt. The colt is owned by Olle Leven and has won four of 14 career races (and three of his last five) and earned $32,881.
Ladybeluckytonite (Art Major-Run On Luck) won in 1:57.3 for driver Jordan Stratton and trainer Rick Dane Jr., who owns the filly with the Rock And Roll Stable. Ladybeluckytonite has a win and a second in two races, with $17,687 in purses.
Amico Mio Bi (Donato Hanover-Lapponia) won in 1:59.1 in his career debut for local owners Janice Connor, who also trains the colt with her husband Chuck, Brian Connor and Ebby and Peter Gerry’s Arden Homestead Stable. Stratton piloted Amico Mio Bi to the victory.
“He’s a nice colt, so hopefully he’ll keep going like he is,” Chuck Connor said. “We made some changes on him that helped him. We put the trotting hobbles on him for the half-mile track. When we trained him last week he was a little shaky in the turns, but not bad. We wanted to steady him a bit with the hobbles and it worked. We’ll keep (the hobbles) on now and just let them out for the bigger tracks.
“He seems like he’s improving, so that’s a good thing.”
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