Maywood Park (11/17/10)
Contact: Tom Kelley
FLEX THE MUSCLE LOOKS TO DO JUST THAT IN GALT TROT
Looking to live up to his name Flex The Muscle, the winner of a division of the Old Oaken Bucket on Jug Day at Delaware, has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite for Friday’s $97,900 Galt Stake. The event for three-year-old trotting colts has been carded as race five on Maywood Park’s biggest night.
|Flex The Muscle (Photo courtesy of USTA)|
One of many great trotters developed over the past few years by conditioner Ray Schnittker, this son of Muscles Yankee-Alix Hall was a $140,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase and has more than paid his way with a career bankroll that now sits at $436,001 for the partnership of Schnittker, Jerry Silva and the Arden Homestead Stable.
Whereas many trotters seem to struggle on half-mile ovals, Flex The Muscle, who is a full brother to the 2002 Dan Patch Award-winning filly Pizza Dolce, seems to excel on the smaller surfaces. His winning time of 1:54.4 in the Old Oaken Bucket was the fastest mile trotted by a sophomore colt on a half-mile track this season.
“He’s a very good horse and he showed it that day in Delaware,” said Schnittker. “He’s always done well on a half-mile track winning some New Jersey Sire Stakes, the Dexter Cup and the Charles Smith Memorial at Freehold, which is where he set the track record.”
Those sire stakes victories seemed to instill a lot of confidence in Flex The Muscle, who went on to five straight victories this season before struggling recently against the very best in the business in the Breeders Crown, Kentucky Futurity and Matron Stakes.
Although those troubles could be a bit of a concern for some drivers, Tim Tetrick who will be handling the driving duties does not seem the least bit worried about the current form of Flex The Muscle.
“I’ve only driven him once before but I know he’s a very very talented trotter,” said Tetrick. “Everything that Ray (Schnittker) sends out for these big races is always sharp and ready to roll. For a trotter to go as fast as he did in Delaware that day was just an amazing effort. I’m sure he’ll show up at his best on Friday night.”