MEADVILLE PA - What would your description of "a dream day" be for you? For a horseman, it might be something like "winning half the races on the card with trotters I train, I own, and I bred - and one of them set the all-age track record, right here, at my home track." That was the dream day of Walter "Boots" Dunn, Wednesday at the Crawford County Fair, when Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes sophomore diamondgaiters were featured. Dunn, 83 years young of mind (though his body occasionally tries to betray him), got the ball rolling in the very first event, when Classicality scorched the northwest Pennsylvania twicearound in 2:01, knocking a full 8 ticks from the all-age mark set by three horses - males Williewon'the twenty years ago and Redder Than Red last year, and filly Monroe County in June. Driver by Roger Hammer, the gelded son of Classic Photo, a Stallion Series winner this year, is out of Penn Worthy Lane, and thus a full brother to $100,000+ winner Linus B Worthy. Dunn/Hammer then swept the early Double with Ruddy Rusty, an altered son of SJ's Caviar and Chaka Khan, and thus a full brother to S J Better Days, who had rewritten his own OTH Meadvile standard to 2:03.1 just the day before, and Redder Than Red, who had been co-fastest trotter ever at Meadville until 15 minutes previously. "Rusty," also a 2013 Stallion Series winner, is now undefeated in six fair miles after a 2:04 score. Before leaving the colts, mention should be made of the Supernatural gelding Prince Lauxmont, who had been unbeaten in five fair starts before a third last week, but who bounced back for trainer/driver Wayne Long, also co-owner with Joyce Lineweaver, in 2:02.3 (which, alert readers may note, would have given him a share of the all-time Meadville trot standard but for Classicality's first race heroics). The other half of Dunn's four-bagger consisted of Bellagio Bay (Tom Ridge-Bellissimo, and thus a full sister to Monday 2TF winner Bella Palazzo) in 2:04.2, fastest of the distaff Sire Stakes miles, with Brady Brown had the winning steer here as Hammer was finishing second with his own Solicitation, and Boo's Party Girl (driver Hammer), whom Dunn dropped into the Quaker State stake because he had a filly in each of the three Sire Stakes cuts - even though Boo's Party Girl is third in the Sire Stakes standings. 9-0-4-3 in the Fair Sires, Boo's Party Girl, by Yankee Glide, broke her maiden in 2:04.3. Hammer also completed a sulky four-bagger when he guided Witch N Famous, a filly he trains, to her maiden win in a conditioned pace. FINISHING LINES - Doubles on the card went to trainer/driver Wayne Long and sires Classic Photo and SJ's Caviar ... The glamor division, three-year-old pacing colts, are set for their day in the sun today as the meet features the last of its four cards starting at 12:30 p.m. by Jerry Connors
MEADVILLE PA - Tuesday, August 20, 2002 was a good day to set a track record at the Crawford County (PA) Fair. So too was Tuesday, August 20, 2013. With two-year-old pacers featured during the second of four days of harness racing at the Meadville oval, the track recordbook for both colts and fillies - both first reinscribed on Tuesday, August 20, 2002 - were both altered yesterday, exactly 11 years to the day later. Owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer lowered the previous colt record of 2:01.4 (Love Of Art, 8-20-02) to 2:00.1 with A OK Hanover, an entire by Yankee Cruiser (two siring credits on the day) who has already earned himself a spot in the state Stallion Series Championship. "A OK" is undefeated in two outings at the fairs, and with some late-season starts he also may be present in the Fair Championship for his group at The Meadows on October 5. Two opponents who may be waiting for him near Pittsburgh are Mister Chaos, an Art Official colt now 4 for 4 since trainer Bob Rougeaux III teamed up with driver Chris Shaw; and McArtic Ocean (Mc Ardle gelding, driver-owner Aaron Johnston), who has yet to taste defeat after five trips behind the fair circuit starting gate. The other mark, the 2:03.1 for fillies, was first recorded by My Gal Phyl on the 8-20-02 magic date, later equaled by Ellen Hanover on 8-24-04, and then tied again yesterday by Southern Sweetie, part of a siring triple for Real Desire, who ran her career record to 3-2-1-0 for driver Wayne Long and trainer/owner Rich Gillock. A third track record was rung up in the day's last race, but it had the audacity to have been set on a July 21 - specifically, one day short of one year ago, as the SJ's Caviar 5YO gelding S J Better Days lowered his own division mark 2/5 of a second to 2:03.1 in the FFA trot for driver Roger Hammer. Boots Dunn, in front of the hometown fans, enjoyed the win as owner, trainer - and breeder; his mare Chaka Khan, has produced five fair track records through her offspring "S J" and Redder Than Red, and her 2YO Ruddy Rusty is on the bubble for the Stallion Series Championship. And her fifth dam is Delicious - the mother of Delmonica Hanover! Pretty strong background in the land of Delvin, indeed. FINISHING LINES - The three track records Tuesday gives Meadville four through its first two fair days, and six if you include the 2-day meet earlier this year ... with more in the crosshairs as three-year-olds race the next two days in the Sire Stakes, trotters today and pacers tomorrow ... Aside from the siring credits and Hammer's implied double above, multiple winners were drivers Todd Cummings (three on the day, including both Quaker State 2Ps), Wayne Long and Chris Shaw (two each). by Jerry Connors
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
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
CLEARFIELD PA - In an age where youth is served - and seems to serve itself very nicely - the first of four days of harness racing at the Clearfield (PA) Fair featured two-year-old trotters exclusively, and the fact that these horses require the most delicacy, repetition, and experience in bringing them to peak form was underscored by the fact that in this category, human longevity is still the king (or is that King? - see further down). Ten heats, thirty on-the-board (1-2-3) finishers. Five winners driven by, and six winners trained by, horsemen over 64 years of age. Fourteen horses driven by, and seventeen horses trained by, the 64+ group. The youngest horses, at the more fractious gait, certainly aren't hurt by the veteran hands bringing them along. The fastest mile of the day, 2:04.2, was trotted by the SJ's Caviar gelding Ruiz, now three for three lifetime after a jiggyjog frontend tally. After starting his career freelegged, and making three straight runs in qualifiers, Ruiz was introduced to trotting hopples, and since - a 2:02.1 Q win at The Meadows; the fastest mile of the day, trot or pace, in his debut during 2YO day at Gratz; a huge recovery from a break to tally at Hughesville; and now this easy win for driver Winston Lineweaver (71) and trainer Eileen Lineweaver, co-owner with Neal Racing Stable LLC. Lest one think the surface at Clearfield was yielding many fast miles, we note here that the only other sub-2:10 mile of the entire day was turned in in the last race by another promising sort, the Broadway Hall gelding Broadway Charm, who is now 2 for 2 after trainer Bill Daugherty Jr. (65) turned the lines over to the fair circuit's top sulkysitter, Steve Schoeffel. The trio teamed Monday to win by 18 lengths in 2:06.3 for owner Susan Daugherty, leaving fans anticipating an upcoming matching of Ruiz, Broadway Charm, 4/4 fair warhorse Whitey Lauxmont, and others in this gifted, deep division. The other two sections of the colt trot saw driver Marty Wollam (64) put maiden marks on the Lear Jetta colt Rudi's Jet and the SJ's Caviar entire Mickie The Mouch. Al Manke III trains both of these horses; Wollam co-owns Rudi's Jet with Hans Bachmann, while Anthony Minute holds the papers on Mickie The Mouch. On the Sire Stakes filly side, Cantabs Lightning remained undefeated in four lifetime starts after surviving a hard-knocking duel with Bella Palazzo. The Cantab Hall miss is owned, trained, and driven by Wayne Long. Fastest of the fillies was another daughter of Cantab Hall, Tickettotheparty, who tasted victory for the first time after rallying from the pocket to win in 2:10 for owner Clifton Green, driver Marc Mosher, and trainer Syl King Jr. - whose favorite song is not any of the three famous versions of "Summertime Blues." The youthful 68YO, vice-president of the PHHA, has a .349 UTR at Clearfield this decade and has gotten checks in 47 of 50 starts, most with these precocious diamondgaiters; also, of King's 104 overall training wins in 2010-2013, 48 were achieved in July and August, and 39 at the fairs. King and Mosher also swept the Quaker State races with first-time winners, the Muscles Yankee filly Muscles Pump Queen and the Crown Prince Gar gelding Whichwayrightrleft. FINISHING LINES - Other young-at-heart veterans getting in on the Monday fun at Clearfield were Dave Brickell (65), Roger Hammer (67), Pete Petersheim (68), Joe Urban (73), John McMullen Jr. (77), Sam Miller (79), and fair circuit guru Boots Dunn at 83....2YO pacers will be featured in 11 heats at Clearfield today, starting at noon. by Jerry Connors
HUGHESVILLE PA – Talented youngsters in sport frequently benefit from the guiding hand of a veteran to their particular discipline. This certainly was a major theme during Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes racing for two-year-olds on Thursday at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds, as seven of the victorious babies paraded back to the Hughesville winners circle were guided by experts 65 years old or older. The most regular visitor to Hughesville victory lane Thursday (4) and for the meet (5) was Dave Brickell (65), who won with four baby trotters, the first three of them within 50 minutes of the start of the card (the other winner in that period was 66YO Bill Daugherty Jr.). Brickell then only had one drive in the next 12 races but still, after three hours in a roasting 95-degree sunshine, he piloted home the card’s getaway winner in the 17th. Brickell is the owner/trainer/driver of the Oh So White gelding Whitey Lauxmont, who is unbeaten in four fair starts and won the fastest division of the 2CT in 2:07-30. His main competitor in that deep division may be Ruiz, now undefeated in two career starts, who repaired an early miscue that cost him 12-15 lengths, went up uncovered, and gained into a 29.3 last quarter to tally for driver Winston Lineweaver (70) and trainer Eileen Lineweaver, co-owner of the altered son of SJ’s Caviar with Bill Kreutzer. Fastest mile of the card came from the Village Jolt gelding Waitingforthisone, who reduced his mark by almost six seconds to 2:02.1 for owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer (67). The mile most threatening to a Thursday track record was the engine triumph in 2:02.2, 2/5 shy of Nuclear Photo’s local 2PF standard, by a daughter of Four Starzzz Shark (three siring credits), Above And Beyond, owned by Ronald Michelon, and trained by Erv Miller – who at 46 is still in very successful middle age, with 4221 training victories and over $60M in conditioning earnings since recordkeeping for trainers started in 1991. The driver, you ask? Erv Miller!—who last sat behind a winning racehorse at Balmoral in November of 2011. But Erv showing sulky prowess shouldn’t surprise you – in the four seasons he had 100 or more drives, 1996-1999, he won two North American UDR titles and was second in another year! (And yes, it’s no accident that this paragraph mentioning UDR championships was placed just below the previous one.) Not to say that the “young guns” of the circuit didn’t have a fine day – in fact, there were the 7 driver wins for the 65+ers mentioned above, and then 7 sulkysitting triumphs for those who had not yet reached 30. The “oldest” of the latter group is 29YO Wayne Long, who guided the fastest trotter of the day, Cantabs Lightning, to the third win of her unblemished career, in 2:06.3. The daughter of Cantab Hall is also trained and driven by Long. And the leading trainer of the meet was 29YO Jason Hall, who harnessed four winners (three Thursday), all driven by his 27YO brother Chris. Their main owner is an interesting case. Of his 14-horse stable (including 11 two-year-olds), nine started at Hughesville, and he had three winners, three seconds, a third, and two fourths, for earnings of $5419. Jason is the father of his principal owner, Mason. Chris is his uncle. And his entire stable – is older than he is. FINISHING LINES – For the first time in 23 years, harness racing returns to the Bedford County Fair, with Monday and Tuesday sessions beginning at 11 a.m. Two members of the Bedford Sports Hall of Fame – Sam Beegle and Roger Hammer – are sure to be there.
HUGHESVILLE PA After her Silky Sullivan-like finish following early interference brought three-year-old trotting filly Monroe County victory at Gratz Fair this past Sunday, during Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action for sophomores Wednesday afternoon at the Lycoming County Fair Monroe took the shortest way home on the lead en route to a 2:02.3 rewriting of the Hughesville ovals divisional track record. Driver Aaron Johnston, who had two victories on the day, had the Glidemaster filly on top in a few steps, rated her half to 1:02.2, then sprinted her home in 1:00.1-29.3 to reduce the local a/s/g standard of 2:03.2, set by Victory Starburst ten years to the day previously. Monroe County is now five for five at the fairs for trainer John McMullen, co-owner with Michelle McMullen. Another track record was equaled in the days first race, a division of the three-year-old colt trot but you never would have given a new speed standard a thought after the first quarter was clicked in 33. Pacesetter Bsmaximummoonbeam trotted his middle half in 1:00.4, but then had to face powerful pocksitter Prince Lauxmont, and at the end of the 29 last quarter it was the Prince who was crowned the winner, his 2:02.4 time equaling the standard first posted by Bob And Bobby 364 days earlier. Wayne Long started his training/driving double with Prince Lauxmont, and he co-owns the altered son of Supernatural, now the winner of three straight, with Joyce Lineweaver. Keystone twicearound fans are now anticipating a clash between Prince Lauxmont and Roe Is Me in the 3TC ranks after Roe, a gelded son of SJs Caviar (two siring credits), won his sixth straight and joined Monroe County with an unblemished streak of five fair outings. Driver Winston Lauxmont and his horse could have gone faster than his 2:05 final clocking, but that means more left in the tank for trainer Eileen Lineweaver, co-owner with Bill Kreutzer. A 2:00 mile was rung up in the faster cut of the 3PC races, with Skylites Finale expertly piloted by trainer Steve Schoeffel to a seasonal best of 1:59.2. The Allamerican Native gelding gained from the pocket in a 58.1 back four furlongs to win for driver Schoeffel (three on the day), trainer Schoeffel (two on the day), and owners Virginia Schoeffel (also doubling), co-breeder Mike Callipare, Lori Callipare, and Ryan Zidek. And lastly, a cheer for the Empire Earth gelding Hay The Bushwhacker, who broke his maiden in a division of a Quaker State trot and gave 79-years-young owner-trainer-driver-groom Sam Miller his first sulky visit to Victory Lane in nearly four years. Asked afterwards if winning made the ride home go any faster, the goateed Miller thought a second, then said, I dont know if the ride goes any faster, but you sure do have a smile on your face all the way home. FINISHING LINES: Sire Western Terror had the other "double" on the day Freshmen take the track for 17 races on the Thursday card at Hughesville, which starts at noon. For the young uns confused by the earlier Silky Sullivan reference: Silky Sullivan was a stakes-caliber thoroughbred of the late 50s who routinely fell far behind early, then made seemingly-impossible late moves that usually got him there or thereabouts at the wire. He is also noted for probably being the pioneer of using a split-screen in sports television: racing broadcasts would keep its main picture on the pack, but had a small insert in a corner of Silky Sullivan, showing the seemingly-insurmountable task (way) ahead of him. (Vince McMahon is the father of the overhead camera now so widely-used in the NFL, but thats another story for another day .)
Wayne Long's Hearts N Flowers scored a convincing wire-to-wire harness racing victory in Wednesday's (October 10) featured filly and mare pacing feature at Colonial Downs as closing week festivities kicked off. Hearts N Flowers, who had been racing primarily in New York Sire Stakes company, came into Virginia with a sophomore year bankroll of over $67,000.
Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds were featured on the final day of harness racing on the PA Fair Circuit for the season, at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds.
Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-olds were featured on a rainy harness racing day at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Bloomsburg, PA on Wednesday (September 26).
The 145th edition of the Great Stoneboro Fair featured a 14-race harness racing card for freshmen on Friday (August 31) in Northwestern Pennsylvania.The Quaker Stake for trotters opened the card, and Southern Gal (Pinetucky) picked up her first career win, scoring in 2:10 on her hometrack for owner, trainer and driver Charlie Crouser.
Two year olds were in action at two harness racing venues in Pennsylvania on Tuesday (August 28), with drivers Wayne Long and Roger Hammer enjoying successful afternoons.
The sophomore class of 2012 entertained a large harness racing crowd on Thursday (August 16) at the Dayton Fairgrounds in Dayton, PA. Two $5,867 PASS divisions of filly trotters kicked off the card, with Magnolia Grace and harness racing driver Eric Neal taking the first division in2:03.3. The Glidemaster mare is owned by Jack and Sharon Claypoole, and trained by Bill Kreutzer.
Arden Downs, namesake of the Arden Downs Stakes and the home of the Washington County Fair, kicked off its annual two-day harness racing meeting with 3-year-olds in action in Pennsylvania Sire Stake and Quaker Stakes.
The second day of the race meet at the Clearfield County Fairgrounds saw freshman pacers face each other and the weather, as storms played havoc with the harnss racing card. In the lone division of the Quaker Stake, Fool Bewitch U remained undefeated in her career, now two-for-two, as the Western Ideal filly paced home in 2:06.2. Wayne Long drove for lessee and trainer Ron Lineweaver.
The Lycoming County Fairgrounds in Hughesville, PA hosted 16 harness racing heats for three-year-olds. Three divisions of the PA Sire Stake for sophomore pacing fillies were held, and Lima Beauty (Yankee Cruiser) opened the card with her second consecutive win.