Day At The Track

Fastest two-year-old ever in PA Fair history

11:50 AM 03 Sep 2019 NZST
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Eric Neal, harness racing
Eric Neal drove Vulcan Hanover to PA Fair record mile
Seth Dowling photo

BLOOMSBURG, PA - The nasty weather that had hindered much of the "western swing" of the Pennsylvania fair circuit could even find the horses and horsemen when the action shifted east, to a planned two-day Fair Sire Stakes meet at the Bloomsburg PA Fairgrounds. Overnight rain gave the northeastern Pennsylvania oval a pounding that forced Monday's racing for three-year-olds to be cancelled.

But it couldn't stop one of the best performances in Keystone State fair history from taking place on Sunday.

Vulcan Hanover, a two-year-old altered son of Donato Hanover - Variety Girl trained by Michael Whitaker for owner Shantae Gant of Mansfield LA, went the fastest trotting mile ever by a two-year-old in the history of the Pennsylvania fair circuit when he won in 2:00.2 in his division of the "A" Sire Stakes. The clocking lowered by a tick the former colt standard of three horses, all set at Bloomsburg - Light Headed and Brannan Hanover (both 2006) and Keystone Bentley (2018) - and also eclipsed the 2:00.3 filly mark set by Nicole Hanover at Gratz in 2017.

With a post draw inside of the dominant force in the division so far, six-time winner Penance, driver Eric Neal used the positioning to take the early lead, with Penance in behind him through fractions of :30.2 and 1:00.1. Penance vacated the two-hole to challenge Vulcan Hanover before the 1:30.2 three-quarters, and the two freshman battled each other around the turn and into the stretch; only late did Vulcan Hanover draw off to defeat his game rival by 1½ lengths. The next horse in the field was 25 lengths behind them.

The epic win was the second of Vulcan Hanover's "A" Fair Sire Stakes campaign. The clocking proved to be not only the fastest of the year on the trot for all fair categories (including age), but it also beat the time posted in the only division of Sunday's "A" colt pace, the 2:00.4 winning time of Life's Marvalous for owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer.

Action for baby trotting fillies produced their fastest clocking of the circuit's year, 2:02, by the Father Patrick - Cocktail Attire miss Cocktails N Dreams, who is undefeated in three fair starts for her co-owners, husband/driver Tony Schadel and wife/trainer Linda. And the trotting baby distaffs' other division went to the Explosive Matter - Dreamgirl Lindy miss Lindy Pretty Lady in 2:03, her fifth "A" victory and increasing her lead as the biggest pointwinner in all of the divisions of the circuit so far. Kyle Bolon was in his usual sulky spot for trainer Bob Rougeaux III and the Brocious Racing Stable LLC.

And we note the King Of The "B"s, the A Rocknroll Dance - Real Espresso colt Caffeine Buzz, won his eighth race on the junior part of the circuit this year for driver Branden Smith and owner/trainer Roger Hammer. Smith was the only driver to win two races on Sunday, so the "veteran" of 53 lifetime drives, all this year, can say he's already won a driving championship. His boss, Roger Hammer, trained both of Smith's winners and Life's Marvalous, who as was mentioned above he drove himself, to be the leading trainer during the shortened meet with a trio of successes.

Unless there is a monsoon or other such calamity, the next two sets of races on the PA Fair Circuit will not be washed out - for they will be held at the Gratz Fairgrounds, an all-weather track. A two-day Sire Stakes meet will be held there this coming Saturday and Sunday, and then the Gratz Fair meet proper will race on Sunday the 15th and Monday the 16th. The final stop of the year for the local fairs will be back at Bloomsburg on Friday the 20th and Saturday the 21st, where the competition will be keen to ensure earning enough points to make the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championships at The Meadows on Saturday, October 5.

 From the PHHA/, MSOA, and Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association partnership

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