MEADVILLE, PA-- But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." - Matthew 19:14
In all of the centuries of exegesis of that famous Biblical passage, though, no one before the horsemen on the Pennsylvania fair circuit this week would have come up with the interpretation "The two-year-olds get to race, but rain could wash out some of the three-year-old contests."
Racing at the Crawford County Fair in Meadville PA this week, the local freshmen got both of their days of racing in - they haven't missed a race yet in 2014. But the three-year-old trotters were washed out on Wednesday - the third time that the sophomores have missed part or the entirety of their action, some 27 races in all so far. The 3YO pacers, though, did get to race on Thursday, so the week "batted" 75%.
The sophomores that did get to work, the pacers, made the most of their opportunity, with the fastest Sire Stakes mile of the week, 2:01.1, going to thegelding Wellsaidanddone, conditioned by for owner Harry Locke. Wellsaidanddone's driver has come into his own this summer, the 21-year-old already having won 19 races at the fairs, good for fourth place in the current standings.
Driver, the circuit leader, took two of the three divisions of the 3PF event, the fastest being the miss Allstar Morning, home in 2:02 for trainer Gerald Lee Jr. and owners Kristen and Ethan Spahn. (This division thus had two youthful winning owners in 13YO Ethan and the redoubtable 2YO Mason Shaw, whose La Fiesta also triumphed for Team Shaw.)
Both of the Meadville divisional track records this past week came on the trot - remarkable considering there was only one day devoted to trotters, Monday. The freshmangelding Police Navidad set that division's race record with a 2:06.2 victory in the very first race of the meet for trainer/driver and owners Kathy and Virginia Schoeffel, Lander Stables LLC, and James Reuther. (A quirk in the Meadville books also lists the 2T male Penn Monie Mosie in this category with a 2:05.1 mile, achieved in a qualifier.)
The other track trot mark came on Tuesday in the FFA event, with driveragain prominent as he hustled the gelding Wild Ride to a 2:03 victory to rewrite the line for older trotting males. Wild Ride beat by 1/5 the former mark of S J Better Days; in the FFA pace, Rockabella posted the fastest overall mile of the week for owner/trainer/driver , with the 2:00.1 time only a fifth shy of Vesuvio Grande's local mark for the older pacing male set.
Tuesday's pacing freshmen contests saw three frequent winners for Team Shaw again in Victory Lane, with thefilly Tropical Terror now the winningest 2YO in North America by two after her 11th victory, this one in 2:04.4. On the colt side, Marshmallow Pulse (at 2:01.4 the fastest division winner) and Nippy both crossed the wire first for the ninth time, putting them among joint leaders for most triumphs by a baby male in 2014.
Next on the PA fair schedule are stops on Tuesday and Wednesday at both Indiana and Wattsburg, with freshmen set for Tuesday and sophomores ready to go Wednesday in both settings. Let's hope that at those two stops Genesis 8:4 is more appropriate:
... and the water receded steadily from the earth.
From the PA Fair Harness Horsemen's Association