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.”
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