Day At The Track

Ruiz is the fastest in PASS at Clearfield Fair Monday

08:54 AM 31 Jul 2013 NZST
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Ruiz, harness racing
Ruiz was the fastest winner of the day at the Clearfield County Fair

CLEARFIELD PA - In an age where youth is served - and seems to serve itself very nicely - the first of four days of harness racing at the Clearfield (PA) Fair featured two-year-old trotters exclusively, and the fact that these horses require the most delicacy, repetition, and experience in bringing them to peak form was underscored by the fact that in this category, human longevity is still the king (or is that King? - see further down).

Ten heats, thirty on-the-board (1-2-3) finishers. Five winners driven by, and six winners trained by, horsemen over 64 years of age. Fourteen horses driven by, and seventeen horses trained by, the 64+ group. The youngest horses, at the more fractious gait, certainly aren't hurt by the veteran hands bringing them along.

The fastest mile of the day, 2:04.2, was trotted by the SJ's Caviar gelding Ruiz, now three for three lifetime after a jiggyjog frontend tally. After starting his career freelegged, and making three straight runs in qualifiers, Ruiz was introduced to trotting hopples, and since - a 2:02.1 Q win at The Meadows; the fastest mile of the day, trot or pace, in his debut during 2YO day at Gratz; a huge recovery from a break to tally at Hughesville; and now this easy win for driver Winston Lineweaver (71) and trainer Eileen Lineweaver, co-owner with Neal Racing Stable LLC.

Lest one think the surface at Clearfield was yielding many fast miles, we note here that the only other sub-2:10 mile of the entire day was turned in in the last race by another promising sort, the Broadway Hall gelding Broadway Charm, who is now 2 for 2 after trainer Bill Daugherty Jr. (65) turned the lines over to the fair circuit's top sulkysitter, Steve Schoeffel. The trio teamed Monday to win by 18 lengths in 2:06.3 for owner Susan Daugherty, leaving fans anticipating an upcoming matching of Ruiz, Broadway Charm, 4/4 fair warhorse Whitey Lauxmont, and others in this gifted, deep division.

The other two sections of the colt trot saw driver Marty Wollam (64) put maiden marks on the Lear Jetta colt Rudi's Jet and the SJ's Caviar entire Mickie The Mouch. Al Manke III trains both of these horses; Wollam co-owns Rudi's Jet with Hans Bachmann, while Anthony Minute holds the papers on Mickie The Mouch.

On the Sire Stakes filly side, Cantabs Lightning remained undefeated in four lifetime starts after surviving a hard-knocking duel with Bella Palazzo. The Cantab Hall miss is owned, trained, and driven by Wayne Long.

Fastest of the fillies was another daughter of Cantab Hall, Tickettotheparty, who tasted victory for the first time after rallying from the pocket to win in 2:10 for owner Clifton Green, driver Marc Mosher, and trainer Syl King Jr. - whose favorite song is not any of the three famous versions of "Summertime Blues." The youthful 68YO, vice-president of the PHHA, has a .349 UTR at Clearfield this decade and has gotten checks in 47 of 50 starts, most with these precocious diamondgaiters; also, of King's 104 overall training wins in 2010-2013, 48 were achieved in July and August, and 39 at the fairs.

King and Mosher also swept the Quaker State races with first-time winners, the Muscles Yankee filly Muscles Pump Queen and the Crown Prince Gar gelding Whichwayrightrleft.

FINISHING LINES - Other young-at-heart veterans getting in on the Monday fun at Clearfield were Dave Brickell (65), Roger Hammer (67), Pete Petersheim (68), Joe Urban (73), John McMullen Jr. (77), Sam Miller (79), and fair circuit guru Boots Dunn at 83....2YO pacers will be featured in 11 heats at Clearfield today, starting at noon.

by Jerry Connors


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