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WASHINGTON, PA, March 11, 2014 -- First over from before the half, Partyatbartsplace ground out his second straight victory in Tuesday's Walter Russell Memorial Pace at The Meadows. Also capturing $15,000, second-leg splits in the series for 3- and 4-year-old pacing colts, horses and geldings were Mogul Hanover, who won his second straight in the Russell, and KR's Power Surge, a 25-1 surprise. Partyatbartsplace was third when Aaron Merriman sent him after the leader, Mattamerican. The pair dueled until mid-stretch, where Partyatbartsplace edged clear and downed Mattamerican by a length in a career-best 1:53.3. Dealin Dan rallied for show. Chas Norris trains Partyatbartsplace, a 4-year-old Party At Artsplace-Miss Major Power gelding, for Thumbs Up Stable. In the $20,000 Preferred Trot, converted claimer Call To Post powered to the lead past the quarter and was unassailable thereafter, scoring in 1:54, a lifetime mark. Early leader Bound For Fame was second, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Tamarind closed well for show. Doug Snyder piloted the 5-year-old Tom Ridge-Poster Princess gelding, who soared over $100,000 in career earnings, for trainer Dane Snyder and owner Danielle Snyder. Dave Palone and trainer Steve Schoeffel each enjoyed a triple on the 15-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows                              

BEDFORD PA, Sat. Jan. 18 – The U.S. Trotting Association’s meeting for District 7 (Pennsylvania) membership, annually held in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Fair Horsemen’s Awards Banquet, took place tonight at the local Omni Bedford Springs Resort. Longtime horseman and USTA Director Sam Beegle has deep roots in this town, for whose high school he wrestled in the State Championship and whose local paper, the Gazette, has Joseph Beegle as its publisher, and when Sam succeeded longtime District Chairman Walter “Boots Dunn,” he decided to treat his fellow Keystoners with some “home cookin’,” and the site, meetings, and dinner were acclaimed by all. At the USTA meeting, Beegle and Dunn, along with fellow Director Barry Brown, went over the proposed USTA rule changes and conducted other necessary business of the association. During the cocktail hour preceding dinner, a demonstration of the soon-to-be-implemented USTA “enter horses by computer” system was shown to an interested gathering. At the awards banquet, honored were both the champion pointwinners during the 21 stops along the fair circuit, along with those horses who won their divisional Championship race at The Meadows on October 5. In 2013, a record four horses, all pacers, recorded triumphs in both events – to show how hard this achievement is, only three horses had been able to win the “double” in the previous four years. The four double champions were: 2YO pacing colt – Mister Chaos, trained by Bob Rougeaux III for first-time owners D&P Racing LLC; 2YO pacing filly – La Fiesta, owned by Mason Shaw (who is not yet two years of age) and trained by his father Jason; 3YO pacing colt – Jungle Of Terror, the leading pointwinner among all competitors at the fairs this year, trained by Steve Schoeffel and owned by Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel in partnership with Steven Lander; 3YO pacing filly – Have More Wine, also a Schoeffel trainee and also owned by the Schoeffel ladies in partnership with James Reuther and James Nelson – her 1:53 1/5 Championship win was the fastest Fair Final ever. Only the trotting side, winners were: 2YO trotting colts – (points) Mr. Weaver, (Champ.) Fly Past Hanover; 2YO trotting fillies – (points) Bella Palazzo, (Champ.) Glide By Shooting (both from the Dunn Stable); 3YO trotting colts – (points) BSMaximumMoonbeam, (Champ.) Rusty Ruddy; 3YO trotting fillies – (points) Monroe County, (Champ.) Homepage. The large gathering was entertained both by a replay of all eight Fair Championships and the large amount of door prizes garnered by Beegle and his co-workers, with the grand prize, a Spyder race sulky, won by Jason Shaw. “My brother Chris (Mason’s uncle) has been doing the driving for our stable, but now maybe I’m start driving some,” Jason – a big fellow -- quipped after winning the big prize.  by Jerry Connors

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.” Evan Pattak

HARRISBURG PA – Attached with this page are the final point standings of the 2013 racing season at the Pennsylvania Fairs. The last sheet on the tabs at the bottom, “Summary,” may be the most useful page for those who do not need the minutiae of every set of points earned at every fair. These pointstandings are extremely important to horsemen who have horses who qualify, or are close to qualifying, for the $200,000 2013 Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championships, to be held Saturday evening, October 5, at The Meadows. On the first page of this summary, the horses are listed top to bottom by points won on the circuit, with the exception of those horses who had fewer than five fair starts; fair rules call for them to be given lower preference than those with five or more starts, regardless of points. Since the first page contains the two-year-old standings, the top eight, automatic Championship qualifiers if they chose to enter are listed (no need to break ties in points there); below them the next eight are listed, and when tied in points, the money they earned of the fair circuit, which is the tiebreaker, is listed and factored into the order of their listing. This format works in the same way for the three-year-olds on the second page, except that nine are permitted in the Fair Championships, and thus also are the next nine listed, with point ties broken by money. It is noted that 3TC BSMaximummoondream was also the top pointwinner in his set at two, and that 3PC Mein Schatz and 3PF She’salilfireball have a chance to become repeat Fair Champions, joining the 16 before them who have pulled off the double since the inauguration of these Championships in 1997. (For She’salilfireball, the double may be especially daunting – 14 males have the repeat, while only two of the “fairer sex,” trotter Rosebud Sioux in 2004-05 and pacer Big City Hanover in 2005-06, have been back-to-back Champions.) It should be noted that those not particularly forward-placed in the points derby shouldn’t not drop in the box when the races are drawn next Tuesday. Boytown, a good horse who was second in his only fair start, was ranked #28 in the fair standings going into the Championship, but many others elected not to race, he was dropped in and drawn in, and proceeded to win the Championship! 3PC Jungle Of Terror is noted as 2013’s leading pointwinner in all divisions with 75.5 points; the 2PF La Fiesta topped all freshmen with 69. Each top moneywinner traditionally earns a blanket for their respective stable, in the stable colors: this list can be found on page 3. Page three also contains the list of the leading drivers and trainers at the fairs, both overall and specifically in Sire Stakes races. The hard-working Steve Schoeffel will wear 3 ½ of these four crowns: he was the leading driver in both categories while also being top overall conditioner; in Fair Sire Stakes trainer, he tied with the fast-closing veteran Boots Dunn to be equal-top at 40 victories. Automatic qualifiers for the Fair Sire Stakes Championships: 2TC: Mr. Weaver, Fly Past Hanover, Broadway Charm and Whitey Lauxmont (tie), Flynn Rider, Ramesses, Aston Hanover, Andover The Gold. 2TF: Bella Palazzo, Bessie, Fashion Entre, Glide By Shooting, Cantabs Lightning, She Nuit, Sheema Star, Cantab Baby. 2PC: Mister Chaos, Bosh Hanover and Spy The Lie (tie), Waitingforthisone, Heat Of A Dragon, Spot Lauxmont and TSM Wulf Poof Toof (tie), Gambler Lauxmont. 2PF: La Fiesta, Bellas Quik, Ardelle, Hopeful Trust, and La Soraya (three-way tie), Sew Psyched, Sunsetonthebeach, Showmeagoodtime. 3TC: BSMaximummoondream, Roe Is Me, Luke Icewalker and Montour County (tie), Prince Lauxmont and Southwind Glider (tie), Ruddy Rusty, Classicality, Broadway Vino. 3TF: Monroe County, Wild Ninny, Boo’s Party Girl and Lindyofalifetime (tie), Olivet De Vie,  SJ’s Hottie Won, Mango Celone, MM’s Miss Tess, Homepage. 3PC: Jungle Of Terror, Skylite’s Finale, Captain Kubota, Camturo Beach, Dinger Two, Dinger One and Mein Schatz (tie), Plenty Of Spunk, Enjoy The Ride. 3PF: Have More Wine, In A Better Place, Sweet Talia, DVC Jaded Attitude and Naked At The Beach (tie), She’salilfireball, Caviart Ginger, Wicked Elphaba, Just Another Round.   2013 POINTSTANDINGS FINAL.xls 492K   View   Open as a Google spreadsheet   Download     by Jerry Connors for PASS Fairs

GRATZ PA - The Somebeachsomewhere sophomore pacing filly Keystone Wanda recorded the fastest time on the Pennsylvania fair circuit in over four years when she took a division of her Sire Stakes event at the Gratz Fair Monday in 1:55.4. Trainer Todd Schadel, also co-owner with Christine Schadel and co-breeder with the late George Hempt, sent Wanda right down the road on her "home track" (Todd trains at Gratz) through fractions of 28, 57.4, and 1:27.1, snapping home in 28.3 to knock off 2/5 of a second from Talk All Day's 2008 divisional mark. Keystone Wanda's mile was also the quickest on the local circuit since Lahaye's all-age track record mark at Gratz, 1:55.1, on July 12, 2009. Todd and Christine Schadel were the breeders of Classic Martine, who tied with Frau Blucher in the fastest-ever trotting dead-heat, 1:53.2, at The Meadows in a p/m Sire Stakes Championshp Friday night, and Todd must have though this deadheating business was fun, because 30 minutes later he guided the Real Artist gelding Plenty Of Spunk to finish on equal terms with the Western Terror gelding Jungle Of Terror in 1:58 in a cut of the Sires event for sophomore pacing colts. Plenty Of Spunk moved early and controlled the pace, while Jungle Of Terror moved past the half to stalk the leader, and the latter gained through the stretch against his stubborn foe to the point that the camera could not split them at the finish. Steve Schoeffel trains and drove Jungle Of Terror, the pointleader of all divisions with only Bloomsburg left, for Stephen Lander and Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel; Schadel trains and drove "Spunk," who reunites the partnership on 2005 Hambletonian winner Vivid Photo, Schadel and Roger Hammer (that was eight years ago? wow!). "The Hammer" himself paraded back twice Monday with Boots Dunn owned-trained-bred horses: the Classic Photo gelding Classicality, who trotted his last ¾ in 1:28.1 to take the faster heat of the sophomore colt trot in 2:00.4; and also the fastest filly division with the Cantab Hall miss Lindyofalifetime in 2:02.4-30. Steve Schoeffel has been well in command of the tables in both driving and training wins seasonlong, both in the Sire Stakes and overall (including Quaker States and overnights), but the veteran Dunn has now tied him by harnessing 40 Fair Sire Stakes winners - again, with just one more meet to go. We should mention that Lindyofalifetime's division mate Monroe County yet again gave one of her distanced-after-an-early-break-to-crossing-the-wire first efforts, but this time she interfered with a rival while offstride and was placed out of the money. And what would a Keystone fair report be without McAlvin? The deadheat in the 3PC's other division may have stolen McAlvin's spotlight a bit, but the McArdle gelding evidently was in a hurry to end the day by storming home in 27.1 in the card's final race to complete a 1:58.3 win for driver Chris Shaw, trainer Bob Krenitsky Jr., and owner Julie Krenitsky. However, like Keystone Wanda (she and McAlvin are the only multiple magic milers of the 2013 fairs here), McAlvin is still outside the Championship pointstandings - both will likely need wins at Bloomsburg and a defection or two of better-placed rivals to be at The Meadows on October 5 for the $200,000 Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship Night. FINISHING LINES - This year the schedule for Bloomsburg will be different than the traditional one. All eight of the time-honored Bloomsburg Stakes will be raced during a special 2 p.m. card this Friday (declare in by 10 a.m. Wednesday), and the last Sire Stakes prelim events will face the gate on Monday (2YOs) and Tuesday (3YOs) at 10:30 a.m. - declare in for these races by Friday at 10 a.m. by Jerry Connors for PASS Fairs  

GRATZ PA - The freshman Glidemaster filly Glide By Shooting posted a 2:01.4 victory in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action at the Gratz Fair Sunday, thereby reducing that local trotting divisional mark by 1 1/5 seconds, eclipsing the standard set by Classical Original ten years minus two days before. Roger Hammer, a visitor to Victory Lane three times Sunday, handled the fast miss for owner/trainer/breeder Boots Dunn, who also campaigned Glide By Shooting's mom, 2006 Fair Champion She'sfastandfurious. 15 minutes earlier Hammer and Dunn had combined to take another division of the event with the Tom Ridge filly Bella Palazzo in 2:04.3. Bella Palazzo, a nine-time fair winner with the last eight in succession, assured herself a tie as division points champion... ...with the Equinox Bi miss Bessie, herself home first eight times over the twicearounds, winning this time in 2:03.2 for owner/trainer/driver Dave Brickell to keep Bella Palazzo's lead at 63-58 with one stop and its 5 points for win at least mathematically in the frame. This trio seems the class of their group right now - they won by a combined 27 ¼ lengths. For the second time in six days driver Steve Schoeffel combined with trainer Bill Daugherty Jr. and owner Susan Daugherty to take two cuts of the three-year-old colt trot, and with the same horses: the Cantab Hall gelding Fly Past Hanover and the Broadway Hall gelding Broadway Charm. Also appearing to be in the thick of this section is the Oh So White gelding Whitey Lauxmont (owner/trainer/driver Brickell), who started at the fairs with eight straight wins, made breaks in the next two races, but then rebounded yesterday to win the fastest cut in 2:05. The Yankee Cruiser pacing colt A OK Hanover, Hammer-owned-trained-driven, remained undefeated in six starts at the fairs by winning the fastest section of his freshman event in 2:00.3. Last week A OK set the pace, then held off a furious late rush from previously-fair-unbeaten El Chivato; this week El Chivato attacked early from his outside draw, but Hammer kept him out on the limb throughout, and as the place slackened late this week it TSM Wulfi T narrowing in but not quite getting there against the double track recordholder. (Ironically, though, even if A OK would win at Bloomsburg a week from today, he still would have only 35 points - wth nine horses ahead of him for the eight-horse final, and another two within two points of that fugure.) La Fiesta, the first freshman to clinch her title, paced the fastest mile of the day, 2:00.2, the Western Terror miss going right down the road for Team Shaw (driver Chris, trainer Jason, and owner Mason. FINISHING LINES Three-year-olds take to the Gratz track today, starting at 11:30 a.m....Glide By Shooting and La Fiesta posted season's records for the PA fair circuit with their Sunday triumphs ... And it should be noted that the consistent trotting colt Mr Weaver, though not a winner Sunday, also clinched his divisional pointtotal with his crossing under the wire third. Jerry Connors | Director of Sire Stakes and Harness Breeders Fund  

YORK PA - In a battle of unbeatens, usually something has to give. Not much gave in a division of the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes for pacing colts during a day devoted to freshmen at the York County Fair, as A OK Hanover, now undefeated in five starts on the circuit, edged out El Chivato, who had been 5-for-5 on the local circuit, by a nose in 2:02.1. A Yankee Cruiser colt, A OK Hanover and owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer hung up very fast fractions while El Chivato raced midpack, being six lengths to the good at the 3/4s - but here came El Chivato, eating up ground rapidly for driver Chris Shaw. The margin shrank with every step of the stretch drive, but on the money "A OK" held off his hard-charging foe by the slimmest of margins. Both stamped themselves as major factors for their Championship Final at The Meadows on October 5 - If they qualify for the final, as both have spent a good bit of time at the raceways, including Stallion Series action. El Chivato is currently 8 points adrift of the eighth and last qualifying pointtotal, "A OK" 12 - both are likely to need "5-point" (winning) performances at Gratz and Bloomsburg, the last two stops on the fair circuit, and the defection of a couple of rivals, to make the Championship. It would be surprising if Fly Past Hanover or Broadway Charm missed their Championship, as they added to their point accumulation by taking two of the three divisions of the Ralph Jones Memorial Trot for males, a race named after the late legend and benefactor of local fair racing. Fly Past Hanover, a gelded son of Cantab Hall, missed the divisional track record a fifth by posting a 2:04 score, while the Broadway Hall gelding Broadway Charm won in 2:05, the team taking the Daily Double by a near combined 25 lengths for driver Steve Schoeffel, trainer Bill Daugherty Jr., and owner Susan Daugherty. Schoeffel in all had five wins on the day to solidify his spot atop the fair colony driver standings. The Team Shaw pacing filly La Fiesta became the first fair horse to clinch her divisional pointtotal championship when she finished second after a hard first-over trip to Bellas Quik, having amassed 61 points to 49 for nearest rivals Ardelle and Hopeful Trust with, as mentioned, just two stops and 10 points to go at the 2013 PA fairs. FINISHING LINES - The three-year-olds are featured at York today, with first post at 10:30 a.m. ... As alluded to above, here's the rest of the PA fair schedule for this year: this coming Sunday and Monday at 11:30 a.m., and then three days of racing at Bloomsburg: a rescheduling of all eight Bloomsburg Stakes to the Friday before the main racing week, September 20, at 2 p.m., and then the final Sire Stakes preliminary opportunity of the year on Monday and Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. by Jerry Connors for PAFSS

PORT ROYAL PA - Pennsylvania-sired three-year-olds were spotlighted Wednesday on a beautiful day at the Juniata County Fairgrounds in Port Royal PA. Monroe County, who has set two all-age track records and two other divisional track records this summer at the local fairs, bounced back to form from the trailing post seven to post a 2:03.4 win in her division of the filly trot, by over two seconds the fastest Sire Stakes mile of the day on the diamond gait. In doing so, the Glidemaster filly ended the 6-6 fair run of Homepage, who finished second, for driver Aaron Johnston and trainer John McMullen Jr ., the latter co-owner with Michelle McMullen (all doublers on the day). The redoubtable Roger Hammer took three races with horses he owns, trains, and drove, including two cuts of the 3PC races. The faster was the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Camturo Beach, now 8-6-2-0 at the PA twicearounds after the speediest mile of the day, 2:02.2; the other was the homebred Nuclear Breeze gelding Falcon's Breeze, who despite being last year's leading pointleader was winning only for the first time at the fairs this year when, undoubtedly relishing the scratch of the thunderous McAlvin, he tallied in 2:05.1, with a 29.1 kicker. (Hammer's ol' wrestling buddy from their Bedford-area high school days, Sam Beegle, won the other glamor division event with newcomer Nittany Nation in 2:03.2.) Have More Wine drew the inside of the field of four and Keystone Wanda, second-fastest fair Sires performer of the year (1:57.2, behind McAlvin's twin 1:57s), drew the outside - and that may have made the difference in the quickest 3PF division, with the Western Terror filly Have More Wine victorious for the seventh time at the fairs, here in 2:03-29.2 for trainer/driver Steve Schoeffel (three wins in the sulky and two as a coniditioner) and owners Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel, James Reuther, and James Nelson. The Port Royal racing began on Tuesday night with contests for two-year-olds. Unfortunately, the times for the freshman heats had to be voided (NTR). The Port Royal oval is known as Port Royal Speedway, home to good local car racing, 363 days of the year, and is less than a half-mile in circumference; after harness rainouts in 2011 and 2012, the old marks for precise placements of the start/finish and other "quarter poles" were no longer in place, and a small miscalculation when setting up for Tuesday resulted in time quicker than expected; when the track was remeasured and set to rights for Wednesday's card, it was decided in total overall fairness to disallow the Tuesday times. While there may be no chronological basis for measure, the mind against the memory still produces strong impressions of special victories, and among Tuesday's from this corner's perspective were: --The Boots Dunn bred/owned/trained pair of 2TFs, Bella Palazzo and especially Glide By Shooting. Both were driven by Brian Zendt; before the races Brian, brother Phil, father Bill, and grandfather/patriarch Wilbur, who hails from Juniata County, were honored in impressive trackside ceremonies. --2PC El Chivato, now 5 for 5 at the fairs, and his filly counterpart Southern Sweetie, who controlled the throttle and won in hand to run her lifetime record to 5-3-2-0. FINISHING LINES - They'll draw Sunday for Monday (2YOs) and Tuesday (3YOs) racing at the York Fair, third-to-last stop on this year's circuit, with action both days starting at 10:30 am. by Jerry Connors  

BESSIE SCORES HER SIXTH STRAIGHT WIN!

HARRISBURG PA -- It's really hard to believe that the Pennsylvania Fair racing circuit is deep on the third turn and heading into the backstretch the final time, but with 13 of 21 fair sessions completed, we are that far into the season, and this may be a good time to look at the leaders at this point of the circuit's racing. HORSEMEN - Youthful veteran Steve Schoeffel, buoyed by a red-hot start to the season, has been in front at every position so far. For all fair races, Schoeffel has driven 61 winners and conditioned 43 horses parading back to Victory Lane; even in the subdivision of "Sire Stakes races only," Schoeffel has 48 wins as a driver and 37 as a trainer. The competition behind the frontrunner, though, is thick and heated. Here are the Top Ten horsemen by victories in all PA fair races, in both the training and driving columns: DRIVER TRAINER Steve Schoeffel 61 Steve Schoeffel 43 Dave Brickell 32 Mike Gillock 20 Aaron Johnston (tie) 27 Dave Brickell (tie) 19 Chris Shaw (tie) 27 Syl King Jr (tie) 19 Roger Hammer 23 Jason Shaw 17 Marc Mosher 19 Boots Dunn 15 Wayne Long 13 Bob Krenitsky Jr (tie) 13 James Dodson 12 John McMullen Jr (tie) 13 Brady Brown (tie) 11 Roger Hammer 12 Cody Kreiser (tie) 11 Eileen Lineweaver (tie) 11 Wilbur Yoder (tie) 11 Wayne Long (tie) 11 HORSES - We will look at two hallmarks of equine performance here: speed and consistency. In the speed department, the "ladies" have done more than their share of the heavy lifting to date, as the three all-time track records broken or equaled were by sophomore distaffs: trotter Monroe County (2:02.3 at Meadville and 2:00.1 at Washington) and pacer She'salilfireball (2:00.3 at Wattsburg). These two also have six of the 15 divisional track records established so far, and in general the score on divisional records at this point in 2013 is Girls 12, Boys 3. There have been nine miles in 2:00 or better to date, all by sophomore pacers, with gelding McAlvin (the season's fastest of 1:57 at Gratz) and filly Keystone Wanda being the only two with two "magic miles" on their cards. The horses earn their way into their respective Fair Championships by accumulating points on a 5-4-3-2-1 scale based on finish (a rainout counts for 3 points). Here's the top five by division, with horses tallying five or more winners also noted (as is the fair "season's leader") : 2TC - Mr Weaver 44, Whitey Lauxmont 36 (and undefeated in six fair starts), Broadway Charm, Fly Past Hanover, and Flynn Rider all tied with 33. Ruiz, Gratz and Clearfield, 2:04.2. 2TF - Fashion Entre 37 (though still a maiden!), Bessie 34 (five wins, including a current four-race skein), Bella Palazzo 33, Cantabs Lightning 27, and Candyandcaviar and She Nuit tied at 25. Bella Palazzo, Washington, 2:04.4. 2PC - Heat Of A Dragon 38, Spot Lauxmont 35, Mister Chaos and Waitingforthisone 33, Bosh Hanover and (don't say this fast) TSM Wulf Poof Toof 31. (McArtic Ocean is unbeaten in four fair outings.) Spy The Lie, Meadville, and Waitingforthisone, Hughesville, 2:02.1. 2PF - La Fiesta 44, Hopeful Trust 42 (5 wins), those two giving the Shaw stable a 1-2 punch, followed by Ardelle 33 and La Soraya and Striling Caprice locked at 31. La Fiesta and 2TC Mr Weaver have the highest freshman pointtotals at 44 each. TSM Maija Star, Washington, 2:02.1. 3TC - Roe Is Me 45 (winning his first 5 fair starts), BSMaximumMonndream 44, Luke Icewalker 40 (and 5 wins), Montour County 39, Southwind Glider 34. Prince Lauxmont won his first five fair starts, but finally lost at Dayton on Thursday. (It should be noted that the 2YOs have been rained out twice, the 3YOs but once.) Roe Is Me, Gratz, 2:01.3. 3TF -- Monroe County 45 (her 6 wins including 4 track records), Olivet De Vie 33, Boo's Party Girl 32, Homepage 30 (and undefeated in six fair starts), Wild Ninny 29. Monroe County, Washington, 2:00.1. 3PC - Two Schoeffelites are joint top on 50, a figure that is also joint top for most points overall with 3PF In A Better Place: Jungle Of Terror (6 wins) and Skylite's Finale (5 wins, and 10/10 on the board); next come "the Dingers," Two 41 and One 37, split by Captain Kubota at 38. McAlvin, Gratz, 1:57. 3PF - In A Better Place 50 (tied for overall point lead; she also leads with seven fair wins, and just missed an eighth Thursday), Have More Wine 47 (six wins, including turning back In A Better Place Thursday), Sweet Talia 43, then DVC Jaded Attitude and Shakira Babe jointly at 33. Keystone Wanda, Gratz, 1:57.2. by Jerry Connors  

DAYTON PA - During sophomore stakes action at the Dayton (PA) Fair on Thursday, the two fastest performers on the Keystone twicearounds this year - pacing gelding McAlvin (1:57 at Gratz) and pacing filly Keystone Wanda (1:57.2 at Gratz) became the only two horses to notch two fair "magic miles" (the phrase is still apt in, and over, certain "circles"). We'll lead with the filly, because Keystone Wanda's 2:00 clocking for driver Todd Schadel in a Sire Stakes contest also equaled the Dayton divisional mark set by Caramel Chinno and pilot Roger Hammer two years minus two days previously. (This would not be the only time that the partners on 2005 Hambo champ Vivid Photo would be in proximity this day at Dayton - see below). Keystone Wanda, who set the pace for Schadel, was given all she wanted by the vaunted She'salilfireball, as the two battled fiercely through a 29.3 kicker until Keystone Wanda sustained a half-length lead the finish for Schadel, also trainer of the Somebeachsomewhere filly and co-owner with wife Christine. In another sidewheeling filly division, In A Better Place, already the circuit leader with seven fair triumphs, rallied but came up ¾ of a length short to the Western Terror pacesetter Have More Wine, whose 2:01 triumph was her sixth of the fair season for trainer/driver Steve Schoeffel and the ownership of Schoeffel, Schoeffel, Reuther, and Nelson. McAlvin has been at the 2013 fairs only twice, and his colt and gelding opponents are glad of this fact, as he has posted two of the year's three fastest times in his appearances. This day the altered son of McArdle engined a 1:58.2 triumph, just 3/5 off the all-time Dayton record of JT Arthur set 11 years ago, 13 ¾ lengths clear for the camera for driver Chris Shaw, trainer Robert Krenitsky Jr., and owner Julie Krenitsky. Two of McAlvin's contemporaries paced in 2:00.4: Dinger One (James Dodson) and Mein Schatz (Aaron Johnston), the latter of whom parlayed a late-season hot form skein into the Fair Sire Stakes Championship in 2012. By far the fastest trotter of the day was the SJ's Caviar gelding Ruddy Rusty, who grinded down the pacesetter from the Schadel stable, Markup Hanover, to win in 2:02.2 for owner/trainer/breeder Boots Dunn. Hammer (who had three victories on the day, all with trotting colts) and Dunn combined on another 3TC winner, Classicality, who won in anything but classic fashion: the altered son of Classic Photo made a miscue after the half and found himself 15 lengths behind at the ¾ and still 10 down at headstretch, but he trotted his individual last quarter in 29.2 to be drawing clear at the finish. In another 3TC cut, Prince Lauxmont's 5 for 5 fair win streak was stopped when he finished third to Southwind Glider, a Glidemaster gelding who has now fashioned three straight wins since Hammer was given the lines. FINISHING LINES: In addition to the aforementioned Hammer driving triple and Dunn training/owning/breeding double, others with multiple win credits included driver (4x)/trainer (2x) Schoeffel, still far ahead in both fair categories; the Neal stable of trainer/father Randy and driver/son Eric, winning Sire Stakes with two maidens; and two-timers driver James Dodson/trainer-owner Ron Lineweaver, trainer/driver Aaron Johnston, driver Chris Shaw, and sires Classic Photo, Broadway Hall, and Western Terror....The circuit moves to "Boots's Place," the Crawford County Fair in Meadville, for four days of racing from Monday to Thursday. by Jerry Connors  

WASHINGTON PA - Monroe County notched her second all-age track record of the fair season and her fourth record in the three-year-old trotting filly ranks, and she trotted the fastest mile of the 2013 Keystone twicearound season Monday afternoon at the Washington (PA) Fair, "Arden Downs" to many oldtimers, in a shocking 2:00.1. The daughter of Glidemaster, handled by Wilbur Yoder for trainer John McMullen Jr., also co-owner with Michelle McMullen, never looked back in the record mile, being nursed early to a 31 opening quarter, then turning on the afterburners to freeze the watch at 1:00.3, 1:30.3, and then the 2:00.1 final number. The swift clocking reduced the 15-year-old all-age record of fellow sophomore K T Junior by 4/5 of a second; the former 3TF mark of 2:02.3, set in 1997 by Red Oak's Silk and equaled in 2010 by Caviar And Kisses, obviously went by the board as well. Monroe County previously equaled the all-age standard of 2:02.3 at Meadville, and had also set divisional marks at Dayton and Hughesville. Monday's clocking was as noted also by far the fastest diamondgaited mile at the PA fairs in 2013: Roe Is Me had held that standard at 2:01.3 at Gratz. Next in line under the equine spotlight would be In A Better Place, who became the first horse to parade back to Victory Lane seven times at the fairs when she won the fastest division of the 3PF contest in 2:01.1. The daughter of Christian Cullen was driven by Chris Shaw for trainer/brother Jason and owner Amanda Beinhauer. (Speaking of all-age track recordsetters: the other such horse of the fair season, She'salilfireball, was upset in another cut of this stake, dubbed the "Who's Hottest?" Pace after Burn Time Hanover and rare fair visitor Randy Tharps took the measure of the "Fireball.") Tops among the humans was the hottest horseman of the year, Steve Schoeffel, who was under the wire first no fewer than six times on the day, including two of the four winners of the three-year-old colt pace. Skylite's Finale and Jungle Of Terror, both also Schoeffel trainees, maintained their one-two status at the top of their division's standings, the former ahead by one point. The other two sections of the "glamour division" were taken by Roger Hammer, with Enjoy The Ride and Camturo Beach, the latter turning in the day's fastest clocking, 1:59. Prince Lauxmont remained undefeated in five fair starts as he won in the 3TC division for the Wayne Long stable, but a late developer to watch is Southwind Glider, two for two since teamed with Hammer in the sulky, winning here in a personal best 2:02.2. The two-year-olds are scheduled for action tomorrow (Tuesday) over the former Grand Circuit track, with Tuesday post time at Washington 10 a.m. by Jerry Connors  

HARRISBURG PA - Today, a tale of three cards on the Pennsylvania fair circuit, one of which is easy to summarize: Friday's scheduled stakes racing for three-year-olds at the Greene County Fair in Waynesburg had to be canceled because of poor weather. This is the first cancellation of the year the 3YOs have had to face; the 2YOs have been rained out twice. On Thursday, the local fair circuit had one of only three days this year where action, primarily Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes for two-year-olds, took place at two sites, about as far apart in the state as can be: Waynesburg, in the far southwest, raced what turned out to be its only card, and Honesdale, in the far northeast, conducted its final session of the year. At Waynesburg, things got off to a roaring start as the Broadway Hall gelding Broadway Charm set a new track record in the 2TC class with a 2:05.1 victory for driver Steve Schoeffel, trainer Bill Daugherty Jr., and owner Susan Daugherty. Ironically, the previous shared standard of 2:06 was also recorded both times in the first race of the meet: by Royal C, 12 years minus one day previously, and by Assai Piu Mosso, 5 years minus 3 days before. Then the Daughertys, with Bill in the sulky, proceeded to complete a sweep of this baby class with the Cantab Hall gelding Fly Past Hanover - who had won a Stallion Series race at The Meadows in his previous start, paying $87.40. (Do not use the term "fair horse" pejoratively.) Waynesburg's other star was driver Wilbur Yoder, who paraded back to Victory Lane no fewer than five times, and for five different owners and four different trainers (Mike Gillock was the doubler; Yoder also drove a winner trained by Mike's brother Richie). The Yoder/Gillock connection effected two out of three wins in the 2PF ranks, both in 2:04: Southern Sweetie, a Real Desire filly trained by Rich, and Bellas Quik, a daughter of Quik Pulse Mindale conditioned by Mike. Fastest mile of the day, 2:03.4, was turned in by the Western Terror 2PG Spy The Lie, another Team Schoeffel winner and one of three on the day for Steve the sulkysitter. At Honesdale, the two Fair Sire Stakes pacing events were swept by a particular barn. Driver Marcus and trainer Erv Miller teamed up to win with two pacing fillies: Above And Beyond, a Four Starzzz Shark miss owned by Ronald Michelon, and Maevey Bean, a daughter of McArdle owned by Patrick Quaid. In all, Team Miller did well with pacing fillies at the Honesdale stand: they were 4-3-1-0 with two-year-olds, and 3YO Wicked Elphaba set a track record for her group by winning in 2:01.2, fastest time of the week. Trainer Shawn Johnston harnessed both winners of the 2PC events: the McArdle gelding McArtic Ocean, now perfect in 4 fair starts for owner-driver-brother Aaron after the day's fastest clocking of 2:04.2, and the Art's Card Shark colt Loafer Lauxmont, whom Shawn also drove for owner Dustin Coyle. The Oh So White 2TG Whitey Lauxmont remained undefeated at the fairs, and became the first freshman to parade back to the stands six times this year, after a victory for doubling owner/trainer/driver Dave Brickell. (Both 3TF Homepage and 3PF In A Better Place sent their fair win total to six after completing the Honesdale double Wednesday.) Jerry Connors | Director of Sire Stakes and Harness Breeders Fund Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture | Racing Commissions  

HONESDALE PA - On Monday at the Honesdale (PA) Fair, it was good to be the "King." Or "Smilin'" Dave. Veteran conditioner Syl King Jr., who did not start his serious fair campaigning until the fifth stop at Gratz, vaulted into second place in the PA Fair Circuit standings with three wins Monday, giving him 16. One of the winners was driven by Dave Brickell, who paraded home to Victory Lane four times in all, solidifying his grip on second in the drivers column at 25 triumphs (in both cases behind Steve Schoeffel). And both horsemen guided their day's charges to payoffs in the neighborhood of $10,000 in total, on a card when the northeastern PA track was not in its fastest shape. King/Brickell combined to win the Quaker State trot on the card for two-year-olds with Muscle Pump Queen, then split the 2TF divisions. Brickell had the fastest clocking among all of the 2T Honesdale set, 2:11.1 with three-time fair winner Bessie, an Equinox Bi miss he also owns and trains; owner-trainer King's Isabella Hanover, guided by doubling driver Marc Mosher, was only 2 ticks slower, and the Yankee Glide filly flashed home in 30. Among the colts, Whitey Lauxmont became the first freshman to win five times at the fairs, the Oh So White gelding toppling the previously-undefeated Ruiz for owner/trainer/driver Brickell. Brickell also guided divisional pointsleader Mr Weaver to victory for trainer John McMullen Jr., co-owner with 6YO Owen McMullen; not to be outdone, Poppa's Pick (King and driver Mosher) took the third division. The three fastest pacing miles were produced by McArdle offspring, with both the quickest filly and colt clocking in at 2:05.3. The filly was TSM Soul Sister for driver Aaron Johnston (three wins), trainer Bob Krenitsky Jr., and owner-breeder Ted Tomson; Johnston also handled the fastest colt, McArtic Ocean, who is trained by brother Shawn (two wins), owned by Aaron himself, and is perfect in three fair starts. The Erv Miller stable, a day after Wicked Elphaba set a 2:01.2 track record for 3PF, again made its presence felt with a sidewheeling miss who was the third McArdle credit, Maevey Bean, home first for driver Marcus Miller and owner Patrick Quaid in 2:06.2. And our favorite 16-month-old owner, Mason Shaw, saw his filly La Fiesta go atop the 2PF pointstandings with a victory, just ahead of Hopeful Trust - whom he also owns. Mason's uncle Chris guided La Fiesta and 2PC winner Mister Chaos. FINISHING LINES - Today is draw day at two Pennsylvania fairs: again at Honesdale, which will race its "2-day event" on Wednesday at 3 p.m. and on Thursday at noon, and at Waynesburg, which will race on Thursday and Friday at  10 a.m....   by Jerry Connors  

HONESDALE PA - Right about now, Tanah Merah Farms LLC owner Richard Kulle may be talking to his trainer about using this "E. Miller" fellow in the sulky more often. "E. Miller" is of course famous trainer Erv Miller, who yesterday became Honesdale track-record-setting trainer/driver Erv Miller after he guided Wicked Elphaba to a 2:01.2 score in a division of the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes three-year-old filly pace, a Honesdale divisional track record and three seconds faster than any other race on the card, reserved for sophomores. Wicked Elphaba, a daughter of Western Terror named after the "bad witch" played by Margaret Hamilton in The Wizard of Oz and a combination of the initials of Oz's writer L. Frank Baum [el/ph(f)a-ba] , had shown herself quite capable on the circuit, with a 3-1-1-1 scorecard, but the teaming with Miller produced the bewitching clocking, and a 28.3 last quarter, that not only beat Keystone Wanda, a 13 length winner at Clearfield on Thursday, but also eclipsed the northeast PA oval's mark for her class, set by DVC Elegant Beauty just over five years ago, by a single tick. On the colt side of the sidewheeling action, veteran PA fair star Roger Hammer gave further evidence that his barn is heating up, taking two of the three divisions, including the fastest in 2:04.2 with Camturo Beach, a Somebeachsomewhere gelding he also trains and owns. Hammer's other winner was the Nuclear Breeze gelding Enjoy The Ride, also a full hometown Hammer production; the third cut went to Skylite's Finale, an Allamerican Native gelding who defeated a third Hammerite, Falcon's Breeze, to go one point up atop the divisional leaderboard over his stablemate in the Steve Schoeffel barn, Jungle Of Terror (who had been second to Camturo Beach). In the trotting contests, the stars were the Cantab Hall colt Markup Hanover, who defeated Roe Is Me in 2:05.4-29 for the fastest diamondgaited mile of the session; and the trainer/driver team of Syl King Jr. and Marc Mosher, who swept the filly trots with Chrissy O and Homepage (the latter defeating Monroe County). FINISHING LINES - Continuing an innovative formatting experiment, Honesdale will today finish the fair portion of its 2013 program with a card for two-year-olds starting at 2 p.m., featuring the sensational trotting colt Ruiz. They will then draw for the "2-day meet" portion of their action Tuesday (box closes at 10), with racing Wednesday (3 p.m.) and Thursday (noon) giving them four cards within five days ... Waynesburg will be drawing tomorrow (Tuesday; box open until 11) for their two harness racing cards on Thursday and Friday, which will begin (please take note) at 10 a.m. both days. by Jerry Connors  

CLEARFIELD PA - Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes racing concluded a four-day stand at the Clearfield (PA) Fair yesterday (Thursday), featuring three-year-old pacers, and the two fastest miles of the week were posted on this card - both by Somebeachsomewhere fillies, and one and two races after the track rating was changed from "slow" to "good" after overnight rains were quickly absorbed by the track. It would not have been surprising to think that She'salilfireball would be involved in a speed show, as she had been a terror in earlier fair starts. However, upon her return to the twicearound circuit, she got the rudest of receptions - being hung out to the ¼ in 28 seconds (Roger Hammer still concedes nothing on the racetrack), and then rolling along to middle splits of 59 and 1:29.2. She'salilfireball maintained her lead to headstretch, but Naked At The Beach and In A Better Place were well-positioned for stretch charges, and at the wire it was Naked At The Beach raising her own fair scorecard to 5-3-2-0 with a handy victory in 2:01.2, with In A Better Place also getting by She'salilfireball late. Dan Walski conditions the Brady Brown-driven winner for owner Howard Millhine. As hard-fought as that 2:01.2 triumph was, the other was a 180-degree turnaround in simplicity for Keystone Wanda. Todd Schadel, also trainer and co-owner with wife Christine, set sail from the rail and came home over 13 lengths clear in a 59.3 back half to keep her record unblemished in two fair starts. Have More Wine became the first five-time fair winner in her division, and solidified her lofty view atop the 3PF pointstandings, with a 2:02.1-29.3 engine score in the last race before the track condition change. The Western Terror miss posted her Third Straight victory for trainer (2x winner)/driver (3x) Steve Schoeffel and owners Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel (both 2x), James Reuther, and James Nelson. (And as if to illustrate the old saw that "time don't mean nothin' unless you're in prison," Schoeffel throttled down Sweet Talia to a 1:38 ¾ clocking in the last filly split, then sprinted home in 29.3 to win a cut that went over five seconds slower than the other three.) The "'brothers' Dinger," Dinger One and Dinger Two, were among the pacing colts, with "One" racing in division #1, hitting the wire #1 after a sharp back-half move, and posting the #1 time of the day for the boys, 2:02.2. The altered son of Art's Card Trick was guided by James Dodson for owner/trainer Ron Lineweaver. This pairing came back in division #2 with Dinger Two and acquitted themselves very well, but had to settle for finish position #2 after a battle most of the last half with Captain Kubota, who proved ¾ of a length the best on this day in 2:03.2. Captain Kubota, a McArdle gelding, completed a double for driver Brady Brown and trainer Mike Gillock. (In this race Jungle Of Terror, bidding for his sixth fair victory, made a rare misstep just after the half, taking himself out of contention.) 2YO Fair Sire Stakes Champion Mein Schatz showed himself a force still to be very much reckoned with by making up 3 1/2 lengths in the lane to win in 2:02.4 for owner James Biego and trainer/driver Aaron Johnston while completing a siring double for Real Desire. (Second in this race was Skylite's Finale; he and Jungle Of Terror are tied at the top of this section's pointstandings after eight stops.) The other colt cut saw the co-owners of 2005 Hambletonian winner Vivid Photo locked in combat in the lane, with owner/trainer/driver Schadel able to rally the Real Artist gelding Plenty Of Spunk from the pocket to catch pacesetter Camturo Beach (Hammer) in 2:03.1. FINISHING LINES - The Pennsylvania Fair Circuit now splits this coming week, with action 358 miles apart ... Honesdale (Wayne Co.), in the northeast part of the state, is trying a novel approach by scheduling their "two-day Sire Stakes event" and their regular fair racing in a five-day span, which means racing on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday ... In the southwest sector, Waynesburg (Greene County) will go postward on Thursday and Friday; please note that, contrary to some very early reports, the Waynesburg action will commence at 10 a.m. each day. by Jerry Connors  

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