Day At The Track

Track records at York (PA) Fair

05:29 PM 14 Sep 2017 NZST
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Ginger Tree Marty, Harness Racing Midway Island, Harness Racing
Ginger Tree Marty does a "Wiggle It Jiggleit" in the winners circle -- that's starter Clarence Martin, a full-time horseman, helping driver Sam Beegle keep the horse in order.
Seth Dowling Photo
Midway Island (Chris Shaw) sets the York TR for 3PC of 1:56.3 over a track rated "slow"
Seth Dowling Photo

YORK PA - For the second straight week, Mother Nature was not kind to the three-year-olds racing on the Pennsylvania fair circuit. On Labor Day, the entire harness racing program of sophomore action at Stoneboro was washed out; on Wednesday in this southcentral Pennsylvania city 261 miles to the south-southeast, only the colt pacers got to race.

But the two winners did a terrific job.

Just as the skies were opening around race one, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Midway Island rocketed out of the gate for the circuit's leading driver, Chris Shaw, and never looked back, hitting the wire in 1:56.3, giving the Ron Burke-trained recent arrival on the twicearound circuit his third divisional track record in as many fair starts, here knocking a tick off the 2009 mark set by Lahaye. Midway Island is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc., and David Wills - and brought Burke's conditioning record at the 2017 Keystone fairs to 7-7-0-0-1.000.

Conditions were deteriorating rapidly when the second division went gateward, as the frequently-winning Yankee Cruiser gelding Ginger Tree Marty did not get away cleanly and was 12½ lengths behind at the ¼. But trainer/driver Sam Beegle methodically got his horse into improved positioning, and "Marty" then paced home in 29 to win comfortably in 2:03.3.

Ginger Tree Marty, the fastest horse at the PA fairs this year with a 1:55.2 mile at Gratz, has now won six straight races and eight of nine on the fair circuit. He is owned by Ginger Tree Stable LLC and Bob Reber.

Ginger Tree Marty has five 2:00 miles at the state twicearounds this year, a figure which now puts him tied for the lead in that category with the wondercolt two-year-old Venier Hanover, who won the first race of the abbreviated meet in 1:58.2 on Tuesday. That clocking was also his sixth track record performance at the fairs, reducing Half Moon Bay's York standard by a fifth. The Well Said-Valmctorian gelding has taken eight straight fair contests, has an overall fair mark of 10-9-1-0, and has 11 wins in all competition in his baby year, second in North America. Trainer/driver Dave Brickell co-owns Venier, who nine days earlier had paced in 1:51.2 while fifth, beaten less than three lengths in his $252,000 PA Sire Stakes pari-mutuel championship, with Mitchell York (no known relation to the host city).

Also notable during Tuesday's baby action was Todd Schadel sulkysweeping the A colt trot events. First up was the Muscle Massive gelding Bela's Bad Boy, who held off a big charge by PA Stallion Series champion Hockey Hanover to win in 2:06.4 for trainer Schadel, co-owner with Christine Schadel; Todd then took a successful catch-drive with trainer Bill Zendt's Explosive Matter-Love To Flaunt gelding Exuberance, who broke his maiden in fine style with a 2:04.4 victory for the Bay Pond Racing Stable. (Another first-time winner deserves a salute here; driver Justin Wiest, who won a "B" colt pace event with Starvin Marvin.)

The rainout on Wednesday did cost two three-year-old fillies the chance to extend long winning streaks: trotter All Set Lets Go would have been racing for her 11th straight triumph at the fairs, while pacer Bella Ragaza was seeking 10 consecutive wins. Both may well be back in the box when the fair circuit heads back to Gratz for its next-to-last stop of the 2017 season, with racing this Sunday and Monday at 1 p.m.

PHHA / Pocono

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