Friday, July 15, 2011

Freshman trotters in Tompkins-Geers highlight Thursday night card

The freshman trotters rolled into Tioga Downs for a special Thursday night race card in the Tompkins-Geers stakes.

When the dust settled, multiple track records had fallen victim to some impressive 2-year-old trotters.

Leading the way for the freshman trotting fillies was Check Me Out from the always powerful Ray Schnittker stable, who brought 15 freshman to Tioga Downs for the Geers.

Check Me Out left from post position number five and led the way at every mark of the race through fractions of 29.3, 58.2, and 1:27.1 before Jeff Gregory moved Blue Yonder out of the pocket to take a shot at the leader.

However, Schnittker was sitting chilly on this 2-year-old from the first crop of Donato Hanover – Illusion Bi and easily stormed to victory and shattered the track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies in 1:56.

Schnittker shares ownership of Check Me Out with Charles Iannazzo of New York.

Cowgirl Hall (Fern Paquet Jr.) come on late to be second, while Blue Yonder (Jeff Gregory) had to settle for third.

"She did it so easy tonight, I had a ton of trot left in her and if I would have asked her to she could have trotted in 54 tonight," said winning driver Ray Schnittker. "She is from the first crop of Donato's and I have seven of them and they are pretty impressive. She was just spooky good tonight."

In the Geers for the 2-year-old colt trotters, A Penny Earned (Jeff Gregory) were hard pressed to clear to the lead past the three eighth's mile mark of the race but took control and never let up.

The duo trotted through fractions of 59.2 and 1:28.1 before easily drawing clear of the field to stop the tele-timer in a new mark for 2-year-old colt trotters in 1:57.4.

A Penny Earned is now a perfect two for two in his young career for trainer George Ducharme and the partnership of Ross, Fontaine, Ducharme, and Oliva.

Other division winners for 2-year-old trotting fillies include: Miss Fidget – Ed Lohmeyer 1:59.4 (Conway Hall – So Wonderful), Real Babe – Ray Schnittker 1:59.3 (Donato Hanover – Housethatruthbuilt), Dream On Hanover – Brett Miller 1:59.2 (Andover Hall – D Train), Lima Playmate – Ray Schnittker 1:58 (Credit Winner – Pacific Legacy), Valentine Queen – Ray Schnittker 1:59.3 (Andover Hall – Queen Of Jewels), Maven – Jeff Gregory 1:56.3 (Glidemaster – M Stewart).

Division winners for the 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters included: Delano – Ray Schnittker 1:58.1 (Credit Winner – Kelly Hall), Sunpine – William Bailey 1:59.3 (Equinox Bi – Caselton Pine), Royal Shyster – Dan Daley 1:58.4 (Rc Royalty – The Planet), Flyhawk Jester – Dan Daley 2:00.4 (Rc Royalty – Graduation Party).

Ray Schnittker posted five driving victories out of the 15 trotters he brought with him Thursday night to Tioga, while Jeff Gregory and Dan Daley each scored doubles.

Tioga Downs continues live racing on Friday, July 15th at 6:50 pm.

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