Day At The Track

Star Of Terrors blazes in 1:57.1 at Gratz Fair

02:16 AM 12 Jul 2016 NZST
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Star Of Terror, harness racing Teen Cruiser, harness racing Real Caviar, harness racing
Star Of Terror and driver Chris Shaw score in 1:57.1
Seth Dowling photo
Teen Cruiser and driver Todd Schade
Seth Dowling photo
Real Caviar and driver Todd Schadel
Seth Dowling photo
GRATZ PA - The Pennsylvania harness fair season traveled eastward for the first time in 2016, making its third stop of the season at this central Pennsylvania community for a Fair Sire Stakes 2-day event.
 
Over the last few years, Gratz and Bloomsburg have by general consensus consistently rated as among the fastest tracks on the Keystone State twicearound circuit, and the oval kept its reputation intact during racing on Saturday (2YOs) and Sunday (3YOs).
 
Star Of Terror, fresh off tying Audie K's 24-year-old all-age track record at Butler (2:00.2), posted the fastest time of the young season with a 1:57.1 win in a division of the three-year-old colt pace.
 
The Western Terror gelding moved to the lead off the first turn for driver Chris Shaw and rang up splits of 29.1, 58.2, and 1:28.1 en route to the drawing clear victory. This was only the eighth lifetime start for Star Of Terror, trained by Jason Shaw for owners Fortunate One LLC, and the clocking was the fastest on the state fair circuit in almost two years, with Gordo pacing in 1:57 at Bedford on July 21, 2014.
 
The colts' distaff counterparts had clocked the first 2:00 mile of the season a few races early when the Demarvalous filly Marvalous Jet overcame a tough first-over journey against pacesetter Gymnast Hanover, finally wearing down that game rival late by a neck in 1:59.3. Shawn Johnston, capturing his second of the three divisions for 3PFs, sulkysat for trainer Kevin Johnson and owners Winbak Farm and Rocknridge Racing Inc.
 
Perhaps the most impressive mile on the Sunday card for sophomores was one that did not break 2:00, but darned near did - and it was posted by a trotting filly. The SJ's Caviar filly Real Caviar put the nonbreakers in a roe row behind her and then rattled off splits of 30, 1:00.2, and 1:30.1 en route to a clocking of 2:00.1, which missed by only a tick the Gratz divisional track record of 2:00 co-held by Heirodynamic (2007) and Petiti (2008). Todd Schadel, who handled Petiti in her record mile, was also up behind Real Caviar, a filly he trains and co-owners with Dr. John Egloff.
 
Todd Schadel, who was the leading driver (5 wins) and trainer (4) of the two-day weekend at Gratz, swept the two-year-old colt pace on the Saturday card, with two sons of Yankee Cruiser, the colt Teen Cruiser and the gelding Cruiserwillwin, both stopping the timer in 2:02.1 after effective rallies. Mike Gillock trains Teen Cruiser for owner Bob Key, while Schadel is the conditioner of Cruiserwillwin and also the co-winner with his wife Christine.
 
Team Shaw - owner and four-year-old Mason Shaw, father/trainer Jason, and driver/brother Chris -- continued their mastery of the specific discipline of two-year-old pacing fillies, taking both cuts. The Ponder filly Keystone Nikki rated a moderate pace, then sprinted at the end of a 30.3 last quarter to finish out her mile in 2:06.1, while Gemalous, a daughter of Delmarvalous, rallied in the lane to catch frontstepper Keystone Zeta by ¾ of a length in 2:03.2.
 
After three stops, Chris Shaw heads the drivers colony with 13 victories; Shawn Johnston is having a breakthrough year and is second with 8, with perennial kingpin Roger Hammer next at 6. Jason Shaw also has 13 trips to the winners circle to lead the trainers, with Hammer and Bob Rougeaux III tied for second at 6.
 
FINISHING LINES - Apologies to Ron Harvey for not identifying him as the driver behind Gee Wizz George, a winner on June 30 at Butler. Harvey, driving infrequently in recent years, posted his first sulky victory since March 18, 2008 at The Meadows with Smiling Ruthie (for the same trainer, Jean Rastetter) ... Next stops for the fairs is at Dayton PA, with racing action this Saturday and Sunday.
 
 
by Jerry Connors for the PA Fair Circuit
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