Mashnee Girl provides thrill for boutique New York operation
by NYRA Press Office
- Mashnee Girl provides thrill for boutique New York operation
- Green Light Go awarded 101 Beyer for allowance score, G1 Carter a long term goal
- Aqueduct Racetrack Week 6 stakes probables
Mashnee Stable’s homebred filly Mashnee Girl was a convincing winner on Thursday at Aqueduct Racetrack, taking a one-mile state-bred allowance for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up by five lengths.
Trained by Mark Hennig, the daughter of Air Force Blue provided her connections with the second win of her career, defeating winners for the first time after breaking her maiden at second asking going wire-to-wire in an off-the-turf maiden special weight at Saratoga Race Course in 2020.
The 4-year-old Mashnee Girl returned from a year-long layoff this September after fracturing a sesamoid and needing surgery to place a screw. Her win Thursday garnered an 85 Beyer Speed Figure and came in her fourth start since returning to the races. It was the first time Mashnee Girl had raced at one mile since October 2020 and the first time she set the pace since her maiden score.
“We were very excited with the figure because she came back from that long layoff,” said Steve Schuster, owner and operator of Mashnee Stables. “She went back into training in July and her first few races in the fall got her back into shape a little bit. The patience was worth it. Going back to a mile and going to the front definitely helped.”
Mashnee Stables, which boards 4-to-6 mares at a time at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, was founded by Schuster, a lifelong racing fan and longtime owner in the thoroughbred industry. Mashnee Stables has raced three of their homebreds to date, winning their first race as owners and breeders with Cape Cod Girl at Belmont in 2019.
The farm’s name stems from Schuster’s home of Mashnee Island in Massachusetts, a small peninsula on Buzzards Bay that is home to around 140 houses. New York’s proximity to Massachusetts, combined with the incentives the New York-bred program offers, led Schuster to set up his operations in the Empire State seven years ago.
“Mashnee Island is a part of Cape Cod and that’s where we live. I was involved in horse racing for a long time,” Schuster said. “I was a partner in some partnerships and wanted to branch off into breeding and be involved in a bigger way. We just love the New York program. It’s a great opportunity for breeders and owners.”
Schuster says the biggest accomplishment for his operation so far was visiting the winner’s circle at Saratoga with Mashnee Girl.
“It was so exciting to breed a horse that won at Saratoga,” Schuster said. “Unfortunately, it was during the pandemic, but we were all there.”
Schuster said he usually retains one horse to race from his foal crop each year and sends the rest to the sales.
“We’ve been having success at the auctions and on the racetrack, too,” Schuster said. “We have another horse that we bred named Ruvies in Time that won an allowance last week at Aqueduct and won a starter stakes [Videogenic] last year. We had sold her [for $95,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale in 2018] too.”
Schuster said he is hopeful about the prospects of future siblings of Mashnee Girl.
“We have a horse who just turned three named Cape Cod Causeway. She’s a half-sister to Mashnee Girl,” said Schuster. “She’s raced a few times and has been showing a lot of promise.”
Green Light Go awarded 101 Beyer for allowance score, G1 Carter a long term goal
Stronach Stables’ Green Light Go garnered a career-best 101 Beyer Speed Figure after a nine-length romp in a Thursday allowance optional claimer at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Arriving at Thursday’s engagement off a late-closing second in the six-furlong Grade 3 Fall Highweight in November, the 5-year-old son of Hard Spun secured his first victory for trainer Jimmy Jerkens since taking the Grade 3 Saratoga Special during his juvenile season in August 2019. During a brief stint with Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Green Light Go captured one win going two turns in April at Oaklawn Park.
Jerkens campaigned Green Light Go through both his juvenile and 3-year-old seasons. At two, he broke his maiden at first asking en route to his Saratoga Special score. He then tried the Grade 1 Champagne in October 2019, finishing second as the favorite to eventual New York-bred champion Tiz the Law.
Piloted by Dylan Davis in Thursday’s one-turn mile test, Green Light Go utilized a prominent trip, building on his advantage through every point of call and drawing off to victory in a final time of 1:35.19.
Jerkens said the Grade 1, $300,000 Carter Handicap going seven furlongs on April 9 at the Big A is a possible long term goal for Green Light Go, who could use the one-mile $125,000 Stymie on February 26 as a prep.
“We’ll probably try the Stymie,” Jerkens said. “The one-turn thing is the biggest thing, especially with the way he ran yesterday. He was right on the bridle all the way. He literally dragged [Dylan Davis] to the lead after a little bit. Cutting back to seven, I don’t think would be that big of a deal. As long as it’s one turn, there isn’t much of a difference between seven-eighths and a mile. I just wanted to run him sooner as opposed to later.
“He had been doing really well,” Jerkens continued. “I was happy the race went, the condition hadn’t gone in a while. If he didn’t run there, I guess he would have run in the Toboggan, but we went the mile instead.”
Jerkens has finished second in the Carter multiple times, including in 2017 with subsequent black type producing stallion Unified, who was defeated a neck by 54-1 shot Green Gratto.
“I’ve been in it a couple of years but have never been lucky,” Jerkens said. “It’s one of the few big races I haven’t won in New York. I’ve been second a couple of times with horses I thought were legit. Unified, especially. He got beat by a horse he had no business getting by that day.”
Green Light Go, a Kentucky homebred, is out of the Grade 1-placed and stakes-winning Pleasantly Perfect mare Light Green. Through a consistent record of 12-4-3-1, he has banked $458,352.
Aqueduct Racetrack Week 6 stakes probables
Saturday, January 22
Probable: Empty Tomb (Robert Falcone, Jr.), First Constitution (Todd Pletcher), Forewarned (Uriah St. Lewis), Why Why Paul Why (Penny Pearce)
Possible: Bal Harbour (Gregg Sacco), Core Conviction (Chad Brown), Mystic Night (Chad Brown), Twelve Volt Man (Saffie Joseph, Jr.)
Sunday, January 23
Probable: Magic Circle (Rudy Rodriguez), Morning Matcha (Butch Reid, Jr.)
Possible: Gamestonks (Brittany Russell), Reigning Chick (Orlando Noda), Rosebug (Bill Mott), Waters of Merom (Chad Brown)