HARRISBURG PA - The Pennsylvania Fair Circuit for 2014 is almost at the quarter pole, with five of 21 scheduled events conducted, and this seems a logical place to do a recap of the fair season so far.
Five divisional track records have been set this year, with three of them coming at a somewhat unlikely place, a place where there is a whispered conversation every year. Audie K set the all-time track record of 2:00.2 at the Big Butler Fairgrounds back in 1993, and for each of the 21 intervening years, Terry Schoeffel has gone over to his horse after the last day of racing and told him, "You've done good,
Audie - your record's safe for another year."
But a trio of divisional marks was posted in 2014, with the 2:08.2 of 2TF Trustworthy Gal rewriting a record set 20 years ago by Keystone Disco. The 2:04.4 posted by 3TF The Yankees Win (in a Quaker State stake) supplanted the 13-year-old mark of Leona Kosmos, while 2PC Given Up Terror's 2:02.1 beat a record set two years previously by Skylite's Finale.
The 3TF division is the only one to have two divisional marks wiped out thus far, with Bessie touring the Dayton oval in 2:02.4 to rewrite the standard first set by Armbro Pajamas in 1997 and equaled by Monroe County a year ago. The final line of new writing in the annals came from 3PF Allstar Morning, whose 2:01 knocked a tick off of last year's 3PF standard set by She'salilfireball.
Not surprisingly, the first meet at Gratz this past Saturday and Sunday produced five of the eight "PA Fair Season's Leaders," including new benchmarks for the pace by, 3C Mister Chaos, a Fair Championship winner last year who went in 2:00.3 on Sunday, and for the trot, with 3C Broadway Dream putting that current mark at 2:01.3 earlier on the Sunday card.
, the leading driver in North America in 2013 UDR in the 300-499 drivers category and the PA fairs' driving leader last year, is again off to a hot start, with 34 victories recorded in just 10 cards. Hot on his heels is upcoming star at 29; "King of the PA Fairs" is tied with Todd Cummings for the next spot at 10, and rounding out the top five is at 7.
Schoeffel and, Chris's brother, have been ding-donging for the lead in the trainer's category for much of the young campaign, with Shaw holding a current 21-20 edge over Schoeffel. For those who may forget, 's main patron is his two-year-old son Mason, who owned four winners at Gratz. Bill Daugherty Jr. is third with 11, nine of them between his 3TC powerhouses Fly Past Hanover and Broadway Dream; he is followed by (10) and Robert Krenitsky Jr. (7).
All humans and equines mentioned above will get a chance to improve on their records on Wednesday (tomorrow) and Thursday, when the sixth fair stop will be made at the Lycoming County Fair in Hughesville PA, not that far from Williamsport of Little League Baseball fame. There is a 13-race card set for each day, with first race on both days scheduled to go off at high noon.
PA Fair Harness Horsemen's Association Publicity Department