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Unbeaten colt no joke
Associated Press
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Published: 11/23/2007 1:07 AM

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The name is a punch line from a Johnny Carson gag about a crooked law firm.

There is nothing funny about the way unbeaten Deweycheatumnhowe has manhandled the competition in all nine starts. The colt is the 6-5 favorite against nine rivals in the $650,000 Two-Year-Old Colt Trot, one of eight Breeders Crowns Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

A victory in the Breeders Crown, harness racing's equivalent of thoroughbred racing's Breeders' Cup, would clinch divisional honors for Deweycheatumnhowe and make him the early favorite for next year's Hambletonian.

Deweycheatumnhowe has won his races by an average of almost 3 lengths. The huge colt with the smooth stride has post No. 3 with trainer and co-owner Ray Schnittker set to drive.

"You never think they're going to get this good," Schnittker said. "Hopefully I can get the next one. He hasn't been beat, so we should be in good shape."

This is the best horse the 49-year-old Schnittker has had in a career that dates to 1978. The resident of Middletown, N.Y., doesn't feel the pressure of keeping the winning streak alive.

"The real pressure was when I first came down to New York and you're starving to death and you had to get a win to eat," Schnittker said. "That's pressure. This is nice. At this stage in my career, the most satisfying thing is developing the young horses and getting them to the races."

As with Deweycheatumnhowe, Schnittker retains an ownership stake in most horses in his stable. He originally purchased the colt last year for $80,000 at the Lexington, Ky., yearling sales on behalf of a partnership group.

"It's nothing I did," Schnittker said. "We got the right horse at the sale. He might have gone for more money if he was smaller. A lot of guys thought he was too big."

After Deweycheatumnhowe captured the first four races, Walnut Hill Farm of Kentucky purchased 50 percent of the colt in August in a private sale.

"When you get a horse like this, you'd better enjoy it," Schnittker said. "I've seen partnerships break up over a great horse. So far, it's been fun."