WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 6, 2013 — Have More Wine charged through the Lightning Lane to capture Saturday’s Pennsylvania Fairs Championship for sophomore filly pacers in a stake-record 1:53.1 . . . a feat that became even more impressive when post-race scoping revealed that she bled during the race.
On a night when The Meadows hosted all eight divisions of the $200,100 PA Fairs finals and the Meadows Standardbred owners Association staged a variety of family-oriented activities, “doubles” was the word of the day in the championships. Drivers Aaron Merriman, Chris Shaw and Brian Zendt; trainers Walter “Boots” Dunn and Steve Schoeffel, and owners Dunn Stable, Kathy Schoeffel and Virginia Schoeffel each notched a pair of championships.
Sitting third in the stretch, Have More Wine poured through the Lightning Lane for Merriman and Schoeffel to defeat In A Better Place by a neck. Early leader She’salilfireball was third.
“They put the brakes on at the quarter, and she really didn’t want to sit in,” Merriman said. “I drove her last year, but she never got home like that for me before. She really raced super.” With three wins on the 13-race card, Merriman pushed his career victory total to 5,997.
Virginia Schoeffel, James Reuther and James Nelson own Have More Wine, a daughter of Western Terror-Your So Silly.
In the other $25,000 championships:
$25,100 Championship, 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers
Mister Chaos took the evening’s most circuitous route to victory, as he was pinned in around the far turn but found room outside, scoring for Shaw in a career-best 1:56.4. He also survived an inquiry and an objection regarding his conduct as he sought that late racing room. Spy The Lie was second, 1/2 length back, while Bosh Hanover earned show.
“I didn’t know if I had enough racetrack, but that horse just keeps digging, so I gave him a shot at it,” Shaw said.
Robert Rougeaux III trains the Art Official-Because I Said So gelding for D&P Racing.
$25,000 Championship, 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers
Schoeffel, the leading trainer and driver on the 2013 fair circuit, got a win in each category when he piloted Jungle Of Terror to a first-over victory in 1:54.3, a lifetime mark. Dinger Two rallied for second, 3/4 lengths in arrears, while Dinger One completed the ticket.
“He raced really well the week before, but I ran him off his feet in the stretch,” Schoeffel said of the Western Terror-Jungle Print gelding. “I made sure I didn’t do it tonight.
Stephen Lander, Kathy Schoeffel and Virginia Schoeffel own Jungle Of Terror, who was acquired for $5,000 via an on-line yearling sale.
$25,000 Championship, 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters
Ruddy Rusty made it look easy on the front end, but don’t tell that to Zendt, who had to work hard to control the strong-willed chestnut.
“He was being a hothead going to the gate,” Zendt said. “I wasn’t sure how good he’d be because he raced Tuesday, and he was pretty sick. They got him fixed up.”
The SJ’s Caviar-Chaka Khan gelding triumphed in 1:57.1 for Dunn and Dunn Stable. The pocket-sitting Markup Hanover was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Southwind Glider third.
$25,000 Championship, 2-Year-Old Filly Trotters
Zendt, Dunn and Dunn Stable teamed again to score with Glide By Shooting, who converted a pocket trip to victory in a stake-mark 1:59.1. Bella Palazzo, the divisional points leader, was a neck back in second, while She Nuit got show.
“She’s kind of a hothead Glidemaster,” Zendt said. “She gets away from you when she’s on the lead. I didn’t expect to land in the two hole off the rail, but that worked out well. She’ll be a real nice 3-year-old.”
$25,000 Championship, 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters
Homepage outkicked Monroe County and defeated her by a neck in a stake-mark 1:56.4 for Merriman and trainer/lessee Syl King, Jr. SJ’s Hottie Won finished third.
“I drover hear as a 2-year-old,” Merriman said. “I remember she got off the gate for me real well but didn’t want to go in the passing lane. Tonight, she was as sharp as a horse could be for racing a long year at the fairs.”
$25,000 Championship, 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers
La Fiesta got her third straight victory by shooting the Lightning Lane for Shaw and downing Bellas Quik by 3 lengths in 1:56. TSM Maija Star grabbed show.
“We skipped a couple fairs with her and just raced her where we had a chance,” Shaw said. “We kept her fresh. She’s not real big, but she’s strong.”
The win was a family affair as Chris’ brother, Jason Shaw, trains the winner, and Jason’s son, Mason Shaw, owns the daughter of Western Terror-Jocelyn Joy.
$25,000 Championship, 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters
Fly Past Hanover and Dick Stillings worked out comfortable fractions on the front and rolled on to a 4-1/4-length victory in 2:01.2. Andover The Gold and divisional points leader Mr Weaver rounded out the ticket. William Daugherty, Jr. who conditions the Cantab Hall-Flexible Spending gelding for Susan Daugherty, gave $17,000 for him as a yearling — an unusually high price for a Daugherty purchase.
“I had a good year last year, and I always wanted a Cantab Hall,” he explained. “All winter I thought I gave too much. I brought him along kind of slowly, but he got better and better. I didn’t realize quite what I had until mid-season. He’s paid for himself.”