Day At The Track

Wattsburg raced after Saturday washout

02:18 AM 16 Jun 2015 NZST
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Doug Bishop Mike Quick housekeeping Watts EJ And Orr became the first 2015 winner at the PA fairs Tropical Terror completed a double for sire Western Terror
Presiding judge Doug Bishop and visiting State Fair of West Virginia racing director Mike Quick help to patch up the track
Seth Dowling Photos
EJ And Orr became the first 2015 winner at the PA fairs
Seth Dowling Photos
Tropical Terror completed a double for sire Western Terror
Seth Dowling Photos
WATTSBURG PA - This year is the 50th anniversary of Curly Smart's "Miracle at Delaware," where a Ohio quagmire of morning mud was transformed, under Smart's direction, into a manicured half-mile harness racing track where Bret Hanover set world records in winning the Little Brown Jug.
 
The same qualities of determination, spirit, and hard work were shown on Sunday at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Wattsburg PA, where an unraceable surface on Saturday, through the hard work of the local track crew, horsemen spearheaded by Bob Rougeaux, and even racing officials (see picture of presiding judge Doug Bishop and visiting State Fair of West Virginia racing director Mike Quick), became a fairly good half-miler over which to race Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes three-year-olds a day later.
 
EJ And Orr became the first 2015 winner at the PA fairs when he tallied in 2:05 over a good track in one of the colt pace divisions for driver Crist Hersherberger, trainer Dan Walski, and owner Walski Stables LLC. After Given Up Terror (driver Chris Shaw) won the second division in 2:06.1-29.3, John Paul teamed with driver Shawn Johnston for the day's fastest mile, 2:04.4, with a 29.1 kicker in winning for trainer Ted Williams and owner Richard and Paul Williams in the third cut.
 
During these races, the first of the brief periods of rain that continued throughout the card emerged, as weather radar showed blotches of what looked like melted various-hued Crayola crayons going through the area every 20 minutes or so. The track was downgraded to "slow" after four races, but the competitive racing continued, even if the stopwatch finally clicked a bit later than normal.
 
Tropical Terror, the winningest 2YO in North America in 2014 with 16, took down a division of the three-year-old filly pace in 2:09.3, with Team Shaw picking right up where it ended the 2014 fair season - this victory completed a double for owner Mason Shaw, now three years old, and trainer/father Jason (they also sponsor 3PC Given Up Terror). The triumph was one of four on the day for driver (and Mason's uncle) Chris Shaw, who along with his brother Jason topped the fair standings in their respective divisions last year. Tropical Terror also completed a double for sire Western Terror; KF St Patrick also fathered two winners on the card.
 
Fastest of the card's trots was generated by the SJ's Caviar filly Tobiko, who prevailed in 2:09.2 as the intermittent Sunday rain started to show its effect. Aaron Johnston sulkysat behind the winner for trainer Dave Wade of SJ's Photo fame; David also is co-owner with Delores Wade, Jerry Brittingham, and William Peel III.
 
The PA fair circuit makes its second stop of the year this Friday and Saturday at the Bloomsburg Fair, and may they have either no problems with weather - or bring out the same altruistic determination from their experienced crew which the folks at Wattsburg exhibited to put on the Sunday show.
 
Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association's publicity office
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