Fast racing at Gratz PASS Fair race meet

11:29 AM 14 Jul 2014 NZST
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Harness Racing
37 years to the day after Pocono Downs got the first of its record three triple-dead-heats to win, Gratz, 80 miles to the southwest, tried to get into the spirit of the day with this blanket finish: Clearnbreezie (7, driver Roger Hammer, in the middle) ed

GRATZ PA - The first two-day meet at Gratz PA, the fifth stop on the Pennsylvania Fair harness racing circuit for 2014, featured some $95,000 of Sire Stakes action, with five of the eight "PA Fair Season's Leaders" emerging from the session, including the quickest miles on both the trot and the pace.

Actually, the local season's record in the 3TC category was lowered three times in Sunday's three divisions - within 30 minutes total, and Steve Schoeffel, top North American UDR driver (300-499 starts) in 2013 and again atop the local circuit's driving colony, handled all three.

First came Millertown Road, winning in 2:03-29.2 and sending announcer/trainer Jim McGettigan down from his booth to the winners circle, and then two trained by Bill Daugherty Jr. for owner Susan Dougherty: first Fly Past Hanover, reclaiming the distinction with which he entered the day with a 2:02.3-1:00.1-30 triumph to run his fair scorecard to five-for-five, and then Broadway Charm, running his fair tab to four-for-five after a 2:01.3 tally, also the new quickest trot mile locally in '14.

Fastest pacer of the meet, and of the fair circuit so far, is Mister Chaos, last year's 2PC Fair Championship winner, who overcame the outside post six in 2:00.3 for trainer Bob Rougeaux III and driver Chris Shaw, who like Schoeffel had three wins on the Sunday card.

Fly Past Hanover is the only sophomore who raised his record to 5-for-5 over the weekend; on the freshman side, he was joined by the filly Tropical Terror (driver Chris Shaw for trainer/brother Jason), winning sharply in 2:01.1 to be the fastest two-year-old of the local season. Fastest freshman trotter is also a filly, Peoplesayimnogood, who won in 2:04.3 for driver Todd Schadel and trainer/Vivid Photo partner Roger Hammer, and at an opportune time: with no fewer than 12 divisions of 2TF state pari-mutuel stakes action this past week, this fair Sire Stake drew only one division, making the cut worth a seasonal-high $11,710. (Good time to break your maiden, eh?)

All nine freshman winners took new marks over the quick Gratz oval Saturday, with four sophomores rewriting their speed badges on Sunday.

Steve Schoeffel and Chris Shaw each drove five winners on the weekend to earn top status; Jason Shaw was leading conditioner with four winning charges (all owned by his two-year-old son Mason, Chris's nephew).

From the Publicity Department, PA Fair Harness Horsemen's Assn.

 

 

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