Rainy season plagues Port Royal (PA) Fair

01:02 PM 04 Sep 2014 NZST
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Walter Sew Psyched, harness racing Mr. Weaver, harness racing
Walter "Boots" Dunn (center front) was honored at Port Royal Fair
Photo by Seth Dowling
Sew Psyched and driver Steve Schoeffel
Seith Dowling Photo
Mr. Weaver and driver Bryce Truitt
Seth Dowling Photo

PORT ROYAL PA - The rainy season that has plagued the Pennsylvania fair circuit in the last month struck again during the two days of racing at the Juniata County Fair in Port Royal - but for the first time this summer, it was the card featuring the two-year-olds that suffered the water damage, with 12 of the 15 races on Tuesday having to be canceled; all 1¼-dozen events for sophomores on Wednesday were conducted.

Fastest race of the week was saved for next-to-last, as the Real Artist gelding Ruffle Up started a sweep of the 3PC events for trainer Roger Hammer (and breeders Arlene and Jules Siegel) with a win in 2:00.1, a new mark. Hammer also owns and drove Ruffle Up, who emerged victorious after a very strange sequence of fractions: 31.3, 1:01, 1:30.2, and 2:00.1 - how often do you see the first quarter being the slowest in a race, the last quarter the second-slowest, and the middle two the equal-fastest?

Hammer turned over the lines to Chris Shaw to finish the sweep of the glamour division from his barn, and Shaw got a new mark of 2:02 for the Village Jolt gelding Waitingforthisone and owner Vicki Fair. The triumph in the getaway race also earned meet titles for driver Shaw (5, one more than Steve Schoeffel) and trainer Hammer (3, one more than Syl King Jr. and Bob Krenitsky Jr.)

Schoeffel provided several driving highlights on Wednesday. For one, he had the fastest winner of the 3PF stake, the Western Terror filly Sew Psyched, who stopped the watch in 2:00.2; the Schoeffel-trained filly is owned by Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel, and Jerry Dedoszak.

Steve also guided two of the three 3TC winners, Fly Past Hanover (2:04) and Millertown Road (2:03.1), but missed a "sweep" when Broadway Charm had to settle for second behind Mr Weaver, who earned his sixth straight victory for driver Bryce Truitt and trainer John McMullen, the latter co-owner with grandson Owen. The 2:01.3 victory missed the all-age Port Royal track record, shared by (in order of longevity) Lindmeyourpajamas, Mablesimamazed, and RT Sun Poco, by 3/5 of a second; speaking of longevity of records: Mr Weaver's dam, KT Troublein Dixie, still holds the local standard for older trotting mares of 2:02.4 - after 13 years!

Fastest sophomore trotting miss was also Schoeffel-driven, the SJ's Caviar miss She Nuit, who went around the .46-mile oval (they start a ways up the stretch at Port Royal, which is primarily used for car racing) in 2:02, fastest time for the division on the local fair circuit this season, for owner/trainer Joe Urban. Five different trainers and drivers were victorious in the divisions of this entry-laden event.

Before the downpour Tuesday, Port Royal graciously honored the well-deserving legendary Pennsylvania horseman Boots Dunn for his many years of success in racing, and especially for his help, in countless ways, along the local fair circuit.

The third-to-last regular season stop on the Pennsy fair circuit will come this Monday and Tuesday at York, with racing starting both days at 10:30 a.m., and horses (and their connections) anxious to add more points in trying to ensure themselves spots during the $200,000 Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship Night on Saturday, October 4 at The Meadows.

From the PA Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

 

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