Day At The Track

Benezia sets track record at Meadville

01:59 PM 20 Aug 2019 NZST
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Benezia, harness racing
Benezia and Steve Schoeffel set a track race record of 2:05.2 for two-year-old trotting colts at Meadville PA on Sunday
Seth Dowling Photo
MEADVILLE PA - The Pennsylvania fair circuit made its way to the northwest part of the state and the Crawford County Fairgrounds in Meadville PA - and unfortunately so did the bad weather that has plagued the midpart of the season at the local fairs. Rain washed out the Fair Sire Stakes races for three-year-olds on Monday, along with the Free-For-All Trot.

On Sunday, the Sebastian K S - Frou Frou freshman colt Benezia broke his maiden by winning an "A" division of his Fair Sire Stakes, going wire-to-wire by thirteen lengths for driver Steve Schoeffel, trainer Dan Walski, and the Walski Stables LLC. His time of 2:05.2 was a Meadville divisional track record for a race; there was a 2006 qualifier where the baby trotting male Penn Monie Mosie won in 2:05.1, and both times are carried in the Meadville record book (or will be until someone beats the "Q" record).

In the Boots Dunn Free-For-All Pace, named after the longtime patriarch of racing not only at Meadville but through all the Keystone state fair circuit, the Real Artist gelding Artists Ruffles went to the lead at the quarter and increased his margin from there, winning by 14½ lengths in 1:59.4 for trainer/driver Roger Hammer, also co-owner with Vicki Fair. The clocking was just 2/5 of a second off the track divisional standard set three years ago by Ruffle Up - a full brother to Artists Ruffles when the two were Hammer stablemates.

Artists Ruffles

The Ponder - Odds On Affair colt Champ Charbel kept up his winning ways during the card's initial race,going clear by six lengths in a 2:02.4 mile, fastest in the Fair Sire Stakes, for driver Shawn Johnston and owner/trainer Joe Karrat. Champ Charbel started his fair campaign with two wins in "B" company, and since going up to the "A"s he has a 5-3-1-1 record.

During the abbreviated meet, Hammer and drivers Kyle Bolon and Chris Shaw each guided two winners, while among trainers Hammer and Karrat both had doubles.

The state fair circuit continues through its busy summer with racing at the Indiana County Fair this Thursday and Friday, the former day for two-year-olds and the latter for three-year-olds. First post is set for 2 p.m. on both days.

Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association, Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, and Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association partnership

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