BEDFORD PA - There is a white wall against the outside backstretch fence at the half-mile oval in Bedford PA, and it says "Bedford Speedway" - appropriate, because much of the year the facility is used for auto racing.
But the term "Speedway" certainly was also appropriate this past Monday and Tuesday, when horsepower of a different type - Pennsylvania trotters and pacers racing over the Bedford oval - was featured:
--The all-time track trotting mark of 2:00.4 was set by the 3YO Faust, and a 2PG named Gordo was shocking in authoring a 1:57 win, only 2/5 off both the national season's record and the all-time Bedford pace standard;
--Nine divisional track records were written - three of which not lasting two hours before being eclipsed;
--Seven of the eight PA Fair Season's Leaders resulted from the two-day session, as did the first six 2:00 miles of the year on the twicearound circuit.
Tuesday's highlight was the recordsetting 2:00.4 effort of thegelding Faust in the final division of the 3TC Fair Sires event for trainer and the Harbor Racing Stable LLC of the noted harness racing hotbed of Texas. In that race, Fly Past Hanover and the fair season's leading driver had carved splits of 29.2, 1:01.2, and 1:30.3, but in the stretch Faust "used the passing lane," squeezing through inside of the frontstepper to render a nose decision
Ironically, Fly Past Hanover's stablemate in the Bill Daugherty Jr. barn, Broadway Charm, had lowered the local all-time trot standard to 2:01.2 30 minutes earlier, beating by a tick the old mark of Super Fellow, in a 3TC Fair Sire Stakes division a half-hour earlier.
The track standard for 3TF was also rewritten twice on Tuesday, and for both fillies, it was their second rewriting of a divisional standard this summer. First up was The Yankees Win, who took a Quaker State event in 2:03 for owner/trainer/driver, knocking a full second off the record set last year by Homepage and Chrissie O. But later Bessie, in rein to owner/trainer Dave Brickell, would do even better, winning in the Sire Stakes in 2:02.3.
Fastest of the three-year-old pacers was gelding Spot Lauxmont, who even trainer Ted Williams thought would not have been among the favorites were there pari-mutuel wagering. But "Spot" teamed with 21-year-old driver, himself eligible for the "nw 12 races lifetime" class, to get a 1:57.3 victory in a Sire Stakes heat.
FINISHING LINES - Following up on Gordo, the 2YO who paced Bedford in 1:57 on Monday: he is a gelding, something not clear in all editions of yesterday's story; and his time made him co-equal fastest 2YO ever at a Pennsylvania fair, with Dixie Pride and Shu Hanover (both on the same 2003 day at Bloomsburg) and Evening Shadows (2010 at Port Royal) ... There are now two ways for fans to see Gordo - he'll be in the race right after The Adios this Saturday, in an Arden Downs stake ...
...and you can see his 1:57 mile on YouTube, as the crack Zidek videography crew was at the Bedford fairgrounds for this week's action.
The fair circuit now sets up shop at the Clearfield Fair for four days of action starting at noon each day. Clearfield is trying a Sunday through Wednesday schedule for its harness program this year ... and if you're going to the Adios, Clearfield is only 138 miles away ...
From the PA Harness Horsemen's Association