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WATTSBURG, PA - As they have been for much of the summer on the state fair circuit, the harness racing fillies, especially the trotting fillies, provided the majority of the notable achievements during the two-day meet Tuesday and Wednesday at the Erie County Fairgrounds in this northwest Pennsylvania town. An alteration in the Wattsburg record books was needed on Wednesday, three-year-old day, after the Donato Hanover filly Worldly Hanover ran her fair record to 2 for 2 after trotting a 2:04.4 mile, lowering the 2014 mark established by Static Electricity from 2:05.2. Harold Brocklehurst trains and drove the talented miss for Double R Farms LLC, David Obley, and Richard Williams, and to give some perspective on the quality of her clocking, Worldly Hanover went as fast as the "A" pacing filly division did, when the Ponder filly Amusing Dragon won for driver Aaron Johnston, trainer Gary Johnston, and owner Dr. William Solomon. One of the oldest military strategies in the books is "Divide and conquer," and that's just what General Roger Hammer did in the three-year-old pacing colt ranks: he sent his Cirrus De Vie out at Indiana yesterday and finished second to the streaking Venier Hanover, then came to Wattsburg on Wednesday and won with his other high-class sophomore colt, Marvalous Falcon, posting the meet's fastest time, 2:01.4, in winning for breeder-owner-trainer-driver Hammer. During Tuesday's racing for two-year-olds, the fillies went faster than the colts on both the pace and the trot. On the pace, the Well Said - Treat Me Good filly Sure R Lookin Good ran her fair record to 4-3-1-0 with a 2:03.3 triumph for driver Eric Neal, trainer Robert Krenitsky Jr., and owner Julie Krenitsky; the colt pace went in 2:04.3. On the diagonally-gaited side, Eric Neal came right back with the Muscle Massive - Missing Dough filly Touch Of Dough taking 2:09 to run her recent tally to four wins in her last five races for trainer Randal Neal and the Neal Racing Stables LLC; the baby colt heats did not produce a mile faster than that. The meet awards for leading driver and trainer were settled in a manner that may be unique in harness annals. Going into the last two heats on Wednesday, Eric Neal had four victories, and Aaron Johnston had two - and in both of the end-card heats, a horse Aaron was listed on was scratched. But since he was listed on both horses in the first, scheduled to be a two-horse contest, Johnston kept the drive behind walkover Urban Resort. Then, going into the last race, with the drivers score Eric Neal 4 - Aaron Johnston 3 and the trainers score Gary Johnston 3 -- Cory Kreiser 2, another two-horse field was cut in half by scratches - with Gary Johnston's trainee scratched, and Aaron picking up the drive on the remaining entrant, Flying Monkey ... trained by Cory Kreiser. After that walkover, Eric Neal and Aaron Johnston ended up with four winning drives, and Cory Kreiser and Gary Johnston wound up with three winning pupils. (There will likely be differing viewpoints on walkovers in the next discussion among Team Johnston.) Not missing a beat, the Pennsylvania fair circuit will be in action on Thursday and Friday at Stoneboro, with first post at 11 a.m. (The street address in the PA Fair Harness Guide is in error; plug your GPS with Mercer Road in Stoneboro to get where you need to.) From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association

INDIANA PA - This has been the Year of the Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly along the Pennsylvania fair circuit, and that trend continued at the two-day harness racing meet in this westcentral Pennsylvania town on Monday and Tuesday. The first-named day was given to freshmen, and it was the day when Ridinonarainbow trotted the half-mile track in 2:05.4 to equal the standing mark first set by Lady Broadway six years minus one day before. This was the second entry into the record books for the daughter of Muscle Massive - Cantab Cabela; at Hughesville she had rewritten that track's standard to 2:02.4. It has also been the Year of Todd Schadel at the Keystone fair twicearounds, and this race reflects that fact as well as any - Todd trains and drives Ridinonarainbow, and he also trains second-place finisher Bumper Hanover, who also has accounted for a pair of track records. Todd and his wife Christina owns both fast misses. Schadel was again the leading driver at a meet, with a 5-4 advantage on his brother Tony; he harnessed six visitors to Victory Lane at Indiana, while no other horsemen had more than two. We have mentioned both Lady Rainbow and Tony Schadel so far; we should add that Team McMullen, which guided the fortunes of Lady Broadway and which has campaigned sparingly at the fairs this year, made its first 2018 visit to the circuit's winner circle, and fittingly at their "hometown track," as Tony Schadel guided Giant Possession to victory in the "B" event for this division. Tony and his trainer/wife Linda are also the co-owners of another very nice baby, the Russell Hanover - Applique Hanover gelding Aflame Hanover, who overcame the second tier to win in 2:00.2. Already the fastest freshman of the fair circuit by virtue of a 1:58.3 mile at York, Aflame Hanover has bankrolled in excess of $37,000, with a 4-3-1-0 record at the fairs and a nose defeat in the "big" Sire Stakes, as well as a third in an Arden Downs Stake event. Tuesday's three-year-old action started out with a bang, as the very first race was the "A" division of the Fair Sire Stakes colt pace. It proved to be another chapter in the comeback of Venier Hanover; after a 13-1-3-0 start to the season between overnights and the early fairs, the Well Said gelding roared to his fifth straight score, in 2:00.1. Second again was the consistent Cirrus De Vie (Roger Hammer), who has a 10-7-3-0 record at the fairs. One of the best rivalries of the fair season has been between sophomore filly trotters Blow Back and Critical Hanover. Blow Back won the Indiana matchup in 2:06.4 in a two-horse contest with her archrival. Critical Hanover is now 9-5-4-0 at the fairs, and the Explosive Matter distaff Blow Back is 10-6-4-0; after this win for trainer/driver Roger Hammer, co-owner with Vicki Fair, Blow Back now has a 4-3 head-to-head advantage. Two-year-olds raced along the fair circuit at the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg on Tuesday; a full account of the meet there will be filed tomorrow after the three-year-old card. From there, the circuit goes right to Stoneboro for racing on Thursday and Friday. Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association  

  WATTSBURG PA -- A reminder to all horsemen who intend to race at the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg PA this Tuesday and Wednesday: Post time each day is at 11:00 a.m., despite what might be read elsewhere.   Declarations for both days of racing on Wattsburg are due on Monday at 10 a.m., in accordance with the normal PA fair circuit rules.   PHHA / Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association    

MEADVILLE, PA - The Pennsylvania fair circuit checked into the Crawford County Fair in the northwestern part of the state for two days of racing on Wednesday and Thursday. Each day there was a free-for all event honoring the late local legend Walter "Boots" Dunn in addition to the state Fair Sire Stakes. Boots's longtime friendly rival Roger Hammer swept the two divisions of the FFA pace, both in 2:02: with the Nuclear Breeze gelding R N Nate, a horse which he bred, owns, trains, and drove, and with Mcjaggersonthemove, who was claimed for $7000 by owner/trainer Ryan Shafer and has now three for five for his new connections. Both horses overcame the outside post six. The FFA trot was won by a Lucky Chucky horse with an even-better recent win ratio: Thanks For Playin came to town having won his last four starts at Ocean Downs, and he gave new owner-trainer-driver Lester Mullet a quick return with a 2:06 tally. In the Fair Sire Stakes, last year's terror Venier Hanover is quickly becoming this year's terror Venier Hanover, as the Well Said gelding, who set eight divisional track records at the fairs this year including the local freshman standard, strung together his fourth straight victory after a slow start to his campaign. He won in 2:01.2, fastest of the meet, over Cirrus De Vie, who has a 9-7-2-0 fair record, the two losses to Venier the last two times they have met. Here Dave Brickell got a 28.1 individual last quarter out of Venier Hanover to catch Cirrus De Vie by two lengths for trainer/driver Brickell, also co-owner with Mitchell York. Hammer's Cirrus De Vie may be feeling the wrath of the rejuvenated Venier, but the veteran horseman won the other section of the "A" colt pace in 2:02.2 with Marvalous Falcon, again in a breeder/owner/trainer/driver capacity. Almost as quick as Venier Hanover (just a tick behind in final time) was the Somebeachsomewhere sophomore sidewheeling filly Keystone Diamond, who has now won her last three fair outings for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, who shares ownership with Dr. John Egloff. On the trotting side, the fillies went faster than the colts among both the sophomores (Thursday) and freshmen (Wednesday). Swiftest was another Todd Schadel pupil, Critical Hanover, a daughter of Crazed who is owned by his wife Christine and his son Cody. Todd guided her to a 2:03.4 ¾-length victory over Blow Back (Hammer), and these two are marvels of consistency: Critical Hanover is now 8-5-3-0 at the fairs, Blow Back 9-5-4-0. Honors among the freshmen were won by the Muscle Massive - R T Sun Poco miss RT Gloria De Dios, now unbeaten in three fair starts with a 2:06.2 score for driver Kyle Bolon, trainer Bob Rougeaux III, and the Brocious Racing Stable Inc. (RT Sun Poco may have been the top performer in the last few years of the old Quaker State series.) The freshman pacing filly Crew Sock Hanover has now won five straight at the fairs after Well Said - Chantal Hall baby stepped home first in 2:03.1 for Team Venier Hanover, Dave Brickell and Mitchell York. Fastest of all the freshmen was yet another Todd Schadelite, the gelding Motive Hanover, also by Well Said and out of Maeve Hanover, who has now taken three straight after a 2:02.3 tour of the double oval for Todd and co-owner/son Cody. The Pennsylvania fair circuit again "splits" this coming week, with racing at Indiana on Monday and Tuesday and Wattsburg (Erie County) on Tuesday and Wednesday. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

DAYTON, PA - Venier Hanover, last year's two-year-old terror of the Pennsylvania Fair Circuit but not really finding his form in 2018 until a couple of starts ago, picked a great time to run his current winning streak to three - he paced the fastest mile of the two-day stand at the Dayton (PA) Fairgrounds, 2:01.2, in winning Wednesday's Sue Brickell Memorial, guided by Sue's brother-in-law Dave Brickell, whose brother Dean, Sue's husband, joined him for a satisfying winner's circle scene. The gelded son of Well Said, also trained by Dave Brickell and co-owned by him with Mitchell York, had not had a bad year in 2018, winning over $12,000, before his victory skein started. But first he beat out the fastest fair pacer of the year in PA, Love Cut (1:57.2), and then last week derailed Cirrus De Vie as that foe went for his seventh straight triumph. On Wednesday, the last quarter in Venier's victory was 28.4, with the timing of the impressive win just perfect. In the other "A" cut, Cirrus De Vie got another win streak started by defeating Love Cut in 2:02.2. Trainer/driver Roger Hammer co-owns the only seven-time fair winner on the PA circuit with Vicki Fair. The fastest trot of the week also went to Team Hammer-Fair, as the Explosive Matter filly Blow Back came home first in 2:05.3. Blow Back had ended Critical Hanover's four-race win streak at Honesdale in their last start, and here at Dayton she ran her own recent record to 4 wins in 5 starts in the "A"s. Thursday's action, devoted to two-year-olds, saw the "A" pacing filly division go faster than the colts, with the Well Said miss Sure R Lookin Good living up to her name and keeping her fair record unblemished after two starts by posting a 2:03 mile. Eric Neal, having a marvelous streak of driving form, handled the quick miss for trainer Robert Krenitsky Jr. and owner Julie Krenitsky. The swiftest baby trotter was the Donato Hanover colt Oceanato Hanover, home first in 2:07 for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, co-owner with wife Christine. Oceanato Hanover went 3-for-3 in "B" company before stepping up to the "A" ranks, and the rise had hardly slowed his momentum, as he is now 3-2-1-0 in the higher classification. "Oceanato" was one of five driving and training wins for Todd Schadel during the Dayton meet, putting him on top in both columns, and increasing his summerlong stranglehold on both leads. The PA fair circuit next moves to Meadville PA and the Crawford County Fair, the home track of the late Pennsylvania Harness Hall of Famer Walter "Boots" Dunn. Racing will go there next Wednesday at 12:15 p.m., a change from the originally-posted time, and at the scheduled 11:30 a.m. on Thursday. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

WASHINGTON, PA - Arden Downs, the half-mile track that was formerly a stop on the Grand Circuit, is located at the Washington County (PA) Fairgrounds, not far down the road from The Meadows, where a two-day PA Fair Sire Stakes meet was conducted at the start of this week. Monday's racing was given over to the three-year-olds, and not unexpectedly it produced the fastest mile of the meeting, a 2:00.3 victory by the Well Said gelding Choreographer. Second to Marvalous Falcon in his 2018 fair debut at Waynesburg, here he turned the tables on that foe for driver Cory Kreiser, trainer Marcus Marashian, and owner Robert Key. Early in the card winning streaks were furthered by horses who turned in 2:02.4 miles. The first was the Cantab Hall trotting gelding Willie B Worthy, who now has three straight wins on the half-mile circuit for driver Aaron Johnston and owner/trainer Lisa Dunn. The Delmarvalous pacing miss Marvalous Song stretched her own current win skein to four as she reported home first for Team Shaw - driver Chris, trainer Jason, and owner Mason. Fastest trotter of the meet was the Donato Hanover filly Worldly Hanover, who toured the Washington layout in 2:02.3 for trainer/driver Harold Brocklehurst and the ownership of Double R Farms LLC, David Obley, and Richard Williams. On Tuesday among the freshmen, best mile of the day was turned in by the Delamarvalous - Treasure Valley colt Next Shot, who won his second straight, third at the fairs, and fourth overall in 2:02.3 for Cory Kreiser, his owner, and more importantly here, his driver/trainer - because this victory gave Kreiser his fourth sulky success and third conditioning triumph of the Washington session, enabling him to take top honors on both counts. The "trotting highlight" focused on Justin Lebo, who scored his first career driving victory behind Dancin With Rose. Lebo has taken a very limited role in the sulky while training a small but successful stable up until this year, when he decided to increase his sulky efforts. Usually you don't compile a seasonal .311 UDR in 20 starts without a victory, but seven seconds and six thirds showed that Lebo was on the brink, and he made the breakthrough at Washington on Tuesday. The Pennsylvania fair circuit now moves on to Dayton in Armstrong County, where a completely new set of horses will race Wednesday (3YOs) and Thursday (2YOs), as Pennsylvania fair rules require a 3-day period from start to start. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 14, 2018 -- While horses usually don't bet, in Tuesday's $188,111 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows, De Los Cielos Deo hit a rare trifecta: he extended his career unbeaten streak to five; he completed a sweep of the four PASS preliminary legs; he vaulted over $100,000 in earnings. The event for freshman colt and gelding pacers, known as the Tyler B, was contested over three divisions, with Crimson And Chrome and Captain Victorious taking the other splits. De Los Cielos Deo quarter-poled to the front for Yannick Gingras and cruised home in 1:52, 1-1/2 lengths better than the first-over Proof. Ehrmantraut earned show. The victory continued the PASS domination of De Los Cielos Deo, who captured his four wins by a combined 9 lengths. Ron Burke, who trains the son of Captaintreacherous-Lisjune -- a $140,000 yearling purchase for Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, J&T Silva-Purnel& Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC -- said he would train the colt up to the $252,000 PASS championship (Sept. 1 at The Meadows) rather than seek a prep race. "I don't worry about getting starts for these kinds of colts," Burke said. "I'd rather save starts than get starts. Bad horses need races. Good horses will train themselves up. It took me forever to learn that. "He has top-range potential. For as long as we've been training him down, I've said this is easily the best colt we've had since Sweet Lou. Before the year's over, I think he'll do something special." Victorious in his only previous PASS start, Crimson And Chrome made it two straight by erasing a 3-length deficit in the lane for Tim Tetrick and downing Semi Tough by 1/2 length in 1:51.3. Air Force Hanover completed the ticket. "He kind of struggled early," said winning trainer Jim King, Jr. "He had lots of determination, lots of good things to like about him, but it didn't come that easy to him. So we just took our time with him. We were mostly concerned with making him a good 3-year-old. We're underway for that; it's a good start." Tim Tetrick LLC owns the Sweet Lou-McSauna gelding, who's eligible for the Liberty Bell, the Simpson and the Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Captain Victorious found himself in an unfamiliar first-over chase but made the most of it for David Miller, holding off Sugar Factory by a neck in a stake-fastest 1:51.2. Cruise Captain was third. "It wasn't the trip I wanted to give him," Miller said. "He got a little rough when the gate folded, and that cost him getting away. He went a big trip first over. He was pretty game." Julie Miller conditions the son of Captain Treacherous-Belclare for Andy Miller Stable, Jean Goehlen and Caroll Huffman. In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, Call For Justice shot the Lightning Lane and made it two straight with a 1:53.4 score for Dave Palone, Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. The 6-year-old son of Justice Hall-Mika's Mazurka now boasts $526,067 in career earnings. Stake racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, when the card features an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WAYNESBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania fair circuit which covers almost the entirety of the Commonwealth throughout the summer, made a stop in the southwestern corner of the state on Tuesday and Wednesday for a pair of days of action at the Greene County Fair in this hometown of harness racing's alltime winningest driver, Dave Palone. The Tuesday card featured two-year-old racing, with the names of the fastest winners on both gaits having a religious theme behind them. Quickest overall was the Ponder pacing gelding Aquinas, named after the noted philosopher/ theologian , who scored his maiden victory in 2:05 for driver Shawn Johnston, trainer Gary Johnston, and owner Dr. William Solomon. Unusually, the time was recorded in the "B" division of the Fair Sire Stakes divisional event; "A" winner Next Shot required 2:05.4 to get home first. On the trot, RT Gloria De Dios took a maiden mark of 2:07.3, with the Muscle Massive filly successful in the "A"s for driver Kyle Bolon, trainer Robert Rougeaux III, and the Brocious Racing Stable Inc. All the Brocious horses have their names start with "RT" (for "Rocky Top," possibly after the famous country song); gloria de dios is Spanish for "glory of God." Fastest mile of the meet, as one would suspect, came when the three-year-olds gathered on Wednesday. The Delmarvalous pacing gelding Marvalous Falcon, a winner in 2:03.1, knows a thing or two about Fair Sire Stakes racing at both the "A" and "B" levels - he now has two 2018 victories in each classification. At Waynesburg, Brady Brown guided him for breeder/owner/trainer Roger Hammer (more on him in a minute). Aaron Johnston started a sulky sweep of the sophomore colt trot with the quickest diamondgaited winner, the Cantab Hall gelding Willie B Worthy, home first in 2:06 for owner/trainer Lisa Dunn; he followed up in the very next race with 2:07.2 winner What A Hunk, giving both three-year-olds two straight wins at the "A" level. Two final notes, both from Tuesday's two-year-old racing: --In the "B" colt trot, Ulterior Hanover posted a clocking of 2:00.2. Now, you get extra points if you figured out that the race was a walkover, and that that was the gelding's clocking at the ¾ pole - he zipped home in 34.1 to complete a 2:34.3 mile, for which he got the entire $2550 purse. --The ubiquitous Roger Hammer had one baby entered, a pacing filly named Turn Marvalous, who finished second under his guidance. This was his only Tuesday drive at Waynesburg - and it came in the middle of a 718-mile roundtrip commute to and from Honesdale PA, where he raced Monday and Wednesday. Honesdale started its second meet, the "fair meet," on Wednesday, and a report on the Wednesday and Thursday action at the northeast Pennsylvania oval will be done after Thursday's races. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association  

HONESDALE, PA - On Sunday and Monday, the Wayne County Fairgrounds in this far northeastern of Pennsylvania towns staged the first half of their unique doubleheader - they have their "two-day Sire Stakes meet," permissible at five locations under Pennsylvania law, and then on Wednesday and Thursday they will have the "agricultural fair meet" two-day harness racing stand. The two-year-olds proved to be a bit quicker than their three-year-old counterparts in terms of accomplishments lining up against previous standards, with two divisional track records equaled on Monday, while Sunday's three-year-old competition naturally produced the faster raw times. It didn't take long for the Honesdale record book see its first alternation Monday, as in the opening contest the Western Terror-Tootsie J freshman pacing gelding Way To Close reported home in 2:01.4 for trainer Todd Schadel, co-owner with Christine Schadel. But it was not Todd in the sulky behind the winner, as he handled stablemate Motive Hanover, who finished second, while Roger Hammer drove the new standard sharer - fitting in that Roger campaigned the first of the division's standardbearers, Artist's Falcon, when that colt entered the annals two years ago. The other horse equaling a Honesdale standard was the Muscle Massive - Missing Dough trotting filly Touch Of Dough, who ran her fair record to three wins in five starts by trotting her mile in 2:07, equaling the local mark first reached by AJ Peyton Rose in 2009. Eric Neal, who drove five winners at the meet, guided the baby for his father Randal and the Neal Racing Stable LLC. The real star of the day, and the meet, was two-legged - Todd Schadel. The Schadel barn sent out seven of the eleven winners on the Monday card, with Todd guiding five of them; Vivid Photo co-owner Hammer handled the other two, and Todd finished second behind him in both incidences. Combined with a trainer/driver triple on Sunday, Todd's two-day totals were 18-10-4-1-.697 as a trainer, while on the sulky side his stats were 18-8-6-1-.648. The sophomores on Sunday produced a pair of magic miles, with the Real Artist gelding Cirrus De Vie the only PA fair horse to have six wins as he continued his undefeated twicearound ways with a 2:00 mile. Trainer/driver Roger Hammer co-owns the in-form sidewheeler with Vicki Fair. Last year Cirrus De Vie had four seconds and two thirds behind Venier Hanover, who was sensational at the fairs at two; this year Cirrus had finished ahead of Venier in five straight starts - but Venier finally drew apart from Cirrus this week, and he celebrated by not only winning but by going a tick faster than Cirrus De Vie. Trained/driver Dave Brickell, co-owner with Mitchell York, is certainly hoping this win may augur a change of 2018 fortune for the winning son of Well Said. Fastest sophomore trotter was the Donato Hanover gelding Show Me The Magic, making his first fair start of the season a successful one in 2:03.3 while in reign to Drew Chellis. Todd Schadel's father Bruce is the trainer and owner of the sophomore, who has now won two of his last three. Honesdale will now draw on Tuesday for its Wednesday-Thursday "second meet"; there was a draw Monday for fair action on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Greene County Fair in Waynesburg PA, 358 miles from Honesdale (and Dave Palone's hometown). From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

CLEARFIELD, PA - Tuesday and Wednesday were devoted to three-year-old Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes at the end of the four-day meeting in this northcentral Pennsylvania town, and the same pattern repeated from the Sunday/Monday opening sessions for harness racing two-year-olds: the trotters, who went first in each "group," got the better of the weather. Another pattern that repeated was that in general the trotting fillies went a little bit faster than their colt counterparts. The fastest mile of Tuesday was turned in in the very first race of the day by the Crazed filly Critical Hanover, who won her third straight on the county fair circuit, overcoming the outside post four (!) for a 2:03.4 victory for the dominant performer of the meet, trainer/driver Todd Schadel, and for his wife and son, owners Christine and Cody Schadel.  In the other "A" 3FT, Schadel's co-owner on the storied Vivid Photo, Roger Hammer, won with the Explosive Matter miss Blow Back, running her fair record to 5-3-2-0 in 2:04.2 for trainer/driver Hammer, also co-owner with Vicki Fair. Quickest of the trotting males was the Muscle Massive gelding What A Hunk, a 2:04.4 winner for driver Steve Schoeffel, trainer Bill Daugherty Jr. (a perennial factor among the fair trotting set), and owner Susan Daugherty. Winning for the third time at the fairs was Grapple Hanover, an Andover Hall gelding who went just a tick behind What A Hunk for trainer/driver Wayne Long and the partnership of William Kreutzer and Denton Barrett. The rains came back for the pacers on Wednesday, and again the track crew at Clearfield worked wonders to keep the surface safe and raceable. The Daily Double even managed to produce a pair of sub-2:00 miles as trainer/driver Roger Hammer swept the "A" male events, with Cirrus De Vie becoming the first horse to win at the fairs five times this year as he kept his circuit record spotless with a 1:59.2 mile, only 2/5 off the divisional track record, with Hammer sharing ownership with Vicki Fair. In the other cut, Marvalous Falcon, a double winner in the "B"s, survived being three-wide to the quarter (in a five-horse field) to post a 1:59.3 time, a seasonal best, for his scrappy breeder/owner/trainer/driver. Earning filly honors was the A Rocknroll Dance miss Dance For Kisses, who traversed a "sloppy +3" oval in 2:01.2 for her second fair win. Tony Schadel handled the sulky duties for owner/trainer Justin Lebo. Todd Schadel, with nine sulky victories, won Clearfield's annual Buster DiSalvo trophy for that accomplishment; all his winners were from his barn, so he also topped that category. Schadel now has 25 wins on the fair circuit in both categories, six ahead of friendly rival Hammer. The Pennsylvania Fair circuit will be doing a "split" for next week's racing. Some horses will go to the far northeast corner of the state, to Honesdale, which will conduct its two-day meet on Sunday and Monday and then its fair meet on Wednesday and Thursday. The other group will be 358 miles away in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania, where the Greene County Fair will race at Waynesburg on Tuesday and Wednesday. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

CLEARFIELD, PA - Sunday and Monday's first two days of a four-day meet at the Clearfield County Fairgrounds in this northcentral Pennsylvania town were devoted to two-year-olds, and trainer-driver Todd Schadel was by far the dominant force during the two sessions, visiting Victory Lane seven times after the 15 races. One track record was established over Sunday's card for trotters over a track rated "good," as Bumper Hanover, a Muscle-Massive - By A Nose Hanover filly, won her fourth straight on the twicearound circuit, taking an "A"-class Fair Sire Stakes contest in 2:03.3, a time which knocked 4/5 of a second off the previous standard set by JC Mik Mac Jillio a dozen years before (She had earlier tied the divisional mark at York, also 2:03.3.) Todd Schadel was not only the trainer-driver of the new track recordholder, but he also co-owns the quick miss with Christine Schadel - in fact, Todd and Christine co-own all four of the barn's winning Clearfield freshmen trotters. Fastest male among the Sunday freshman trotters was Keystone Bentley, a son of Cantab Hall - Armbro Blusher, who after two second and a third against the "A" Sire Stakes horses, finally made his breakthrough in 2:06.1 for Team Schadel. Pacers went to the gate on Monday, when the track was rated "slow" (and kudos to the Clearfield track crew for their hard work at keeping the fair track raceable despite steady rain). Crew Sock Hanover, a Well Said-Chantal Hall filly, remained undefeated after three fair starts and is now a four-time winner overall, needing only 2:07 to get the job done in an "A" Fair Sire Stake for trainer/driver David Brickell, also co-owner with Mitchell York. That clocking was obviously far behind the 1:56.1 record which Crew Sock Hanover took at The Meadows in the very first start of her career. Todd Schadel was again in the winners circle three times as trainer/driver on Monday, including with the fastest pacing male, the Well Said-Maeve Hanover gelding Motive Hanover, who took a maiden mark of 2:01.4 for Schadel, also co-owner with his son Cody. The other "A" winner in this section, the A Rocknroll Dance - Guan Yin gelding Dancin Yin, was also impressive, posting his second straight triumph while getting home in 2:02.3 for driver Atlee Bender and trainer Erv Miller, whose Ervin Miller Stable Inc. co-owns with Omer Miller. The three-year-old are slated for the final days of the meet, with trotters on Tuesday and pacers on Wednesday. Both days the action is scheduled to start at high noon. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

BEDFORD, PA - Mother Nature was not kind to Bedford (PA) Fair Director of Racing Jake Hoover or his dedicated staff this year. They lost both cards of their "2-day meet" to moisture earlier, had to cancel the Monday card during their "fair" meet because of constant precipitation, then got only four races in on Tuesday before the skies opened up again. Four races, instead of the anticipated four cards. The four contests that did go were Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes races for the "A" division, and produced excellent racing. Starting off the show was the Muscle Massive - Alidade colt Grandpa Erv, who is the only four-time freshman winner at the state's fairs after traveling the course in 2:04.1, which is the fastest time posted by a baby colt on the circuit to date. Atlee Bender guided the Erv Miller trainee, and the Ervin Miller Stable Inc. co-owns the undefeated freshman with Michael Anderson. 13 years after sharing ownership on Hambletonian winner Vivid Photo, Todd Schadel and Roger Hammer still make a good team. Todd had two trotting fillies in his event, both with two fair wins, and Todd handled Ridinonarainbow (also a Stallion Series winner), while Roger was entrusted with Bumper Hanover. And it was Hammer and the Muscle Massive - By A Nose Hanover miss Bumper Hanover who got the decision in his hometown, winning in 2:04. Schadel trains the winner and co-owns her with Christine Schadel. In the pacing contests, Schadel and Hammer each were victorious with a horse who had posted three straight seconds in fair competition before making their breakthroughs Tuesday. First up was the Delmarvalous - Turn Her Ingo filly Turn Marvalous, who won in 2:01.3 for breeder-owner-trainer-driver Hammer; in the next race, the Western Terror - Tootsie J gelding Way To Close got his maiden win in 2:00.3, with Todd the trainer-driver and again co-owner with Christine Schadel. And then it started to pour. Again. And it was soon apparent that racing over the clay track was done for the day. They'll be hoping for better weather at the Clearfield County Fair in the northcentral part of the state, where a four-day stand begins on Sunday at 1 p.m. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

HUGHESVILLE, PA - The Pennsylvania harness racing fair circuit returned to the Lycoming County Fair in this northcentral Pennsylvania town for racing on Wednesday and Thursday, and by the end of the meet much Wite-Out was used keeping the record books up to date - sometimes with a double coating in the same category - as the Keystone trotters and pacers put on quite a speed show. For one example, consider the three-year-old pacing colt Cirrus De Vie, the only four-time winner on the Pennsylvania twicearound circuit this year under the guidance of trainer/driver Roger Hammer, also co-owner with Vicki Fair. The gelded son of Real Artist toured the Hughesville oval in 1:57.3, eclipsing the former all-time local standard of 1:58.1 set by Royaltyhasarrived set in 2015. Less than 90 minutes later, that "all-time" clocking would be eradicated from the record books, as the Delmaravlous gelding Love Cut was clocked in 1:57.2 to be the new Hughesville King of Time for driver Tony Schadel and trainer Linda Schadel, who are co-owners with Elizabeth and James Schadel (combined ages of the latter two: around 14). Making the feat more spectacular is that Love Cut's record mile came in a "B" division of the Fair Sire Stakes! Another lower-level performer who would "B"-come a divisional recordholder was the Delmarvalous filly Marvalous Song, a three-year-old pacer who toured the track in 1:58.3 for driver Cory Kreiser, trainer Jason Shaw, and owner Mason Shaw, clipping a full second off the 2016 standard of Devious Behavior. There was a second track record set (actually equaled) and rewritten the same day (Wednesday), in this case within 40 minutes: the Crazed filly Critical Hanover equaled the 2016 2:01.4 sophomore filly trotter mark of Keystone Wonder for trainer/driver Todd Schadel and owners Christine and Cody Schadel, only to see his partner on the storied Vivid Photo, Roger Hammer, guide Blow Back to a 2:01.1 time in the same division to take the local record. Hammer trains and drove the Explosive Matter miss, and he is co-owner of her with Vicki Fair. Thursday's racing, for two-year-olds, would see both marks for fillies reset, starting with the day's first contest, where Todd Schadel guided the Muscle Massive filly Ridinonarainbow to a 2:02.4 Hughesville record, knocking a full second off the 2015 mark of A Little Laid Back (driven by - payback time! - Roger Hammer). Todd also trains the filly, perfect in three purse starts, and co-owns her with wife Christine. On the pace, trainer/driver Dave Brickell, also co-owner with Mitchell York, completed the Daily Double with the Well Said filly Crew Sock Hanover, home in 2:01.1 for her third purse win, and no hard feelings emerged because the mark she broke was that of the Brickell/York filly Camera Lady, who had gone in 2:01.4 in 2016. Todd Schadel visited the Lycoming Fair Victory Lane seven times as both trainer and driver in the two days, taking over the seasonal lead from Roger Hammer - the score is now 15-11 on the driving side and 14-12 on the training side (the difference coming when Todd won with part of Roger's entry, R N Artist, in the free-for-all pace at York last week). The fair circuit next sets up shop in the hometown of local Sports Hall of Famers Hammer and Sam Beegle, Bedford PA, for racing on Monday the 23rd and Tuesday the 24th. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association

YORK, PA - The Pennsylvania fair harness racing circuit checked into this southcentral Pennsylvania town for a weekend of sulky sport on Saturday and Sunday - and emerged with all eight of its season's records for the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes rewritten. Another horse, the Lear Jetta mare Knuckle Up, rewrote a line in the all-time York annals when she won a free-for-all trot in 2:02 for trainer/driver Pete Kaiser, co-owner with Ronde Dalton. The previous local standard for older trotting mares was 2:04.4, set by Keystone Call Girl a dozen years ago. The two-year-old trotting filly Bumper Hanover equaled Lyrical Lady's 2010 divisional mark when she was victorious in 2:03.3 for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, who also co-owns the Muscle Massive miss with wife Christine. The clocking is also lower than any time posted by a three-year-old at the PA fairs this season. Todd's brother Tony can say, "Hey, I have the fastest horse on the pace, whether two or three," as in the very first race of the meet he sulkysat behind the Russell Hanover gelding Aflame Hanover in a 1:58.3 mile, missing the track mark that Venier Hanover set last year by a tick. Also a winner at Hughesville Fair and fourth, beaten less than three lengths, in a Pennsylvania All-Stars contest. "Aflame" is trained by Tony's wife Linda, and they share ownership. Another young star, multi-Amateur Driver of the Year Hannah Miller, also visited the winners circle at York with a son of Muscle Massive, Grandpa Erv, who is trained by Hannah's father (not grandfather) Erv Miller and is owned by the Ervin Miller Stable Inc. and Michael Anderson. He's two-for-two at the fairs as well. But to show that Saturday was not just a showcase for youth, 87-year-old Don Wiest guided the Donato Hanover filly Sigilwig to victory despite a trailing post seven. Many veterans were asking if Don was the oldest driver ever to win at the Keystone State fairs - any help answering this question would be appreciated. On Sunday, the three-year-olds steeped into the spotlight, and a pair of pacers, the Real Artist gelding Cirrus De Vie and the Bettor's Delight filly Pretty Proud, ran their fair tallies to three-for-three. First up was Cirrus De Vie, coming off equaling the Butler all-age track record of 2:00.2; at York the divisional Championship winner at two recorded a time of 2:00 for trainer/driver Roger Hammer, who also co-owns with Vicki Fair. Pretty Proud, also a Championship winner at two, got her third win in succession with a 2:01.3 victory, but she was fully extended at the finish, with Dance For Kisses, who had driver Justin Lebo looking for his first career sulky success, charging at her late but coming up a head shy. Pretty Proud was driven by Steve Schoeffel for trainer Rich Gillock, who also co-owns the filly with Barbara and James Richardson. Todd Schadel trained and drove five winners at York, including four two-year-olds, to take weekly honors; Roger Hammer, who had three wins on each "side" during the weekend, leads the seasonal starts with 10 wins in each category. The fair circuit returns to the Lycoming County Fair in Hughesville for 4:30 p.m. action this Thursday and Friday. Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association  

PROSPECT PA - The late horseman Terry Schoeffel was very proud of his star horse Audie K, who set the track record of 2:00.2 at the Big Butler Fair here way back in 1992 (racing for a purse of $925). He and Audie K are still proud today at the fairgrounds above, for the time recorded by the older performer has never been broken at Butler - it has been equaled, by sophomore male Star Of Terror in 2016, and now by Cirrus De Vie in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes three-year-old colt pace on Friday, after the Thursday card for two-year-olds had been washed out (three cancellations out of six scheduled cards so far - but the batting average will undoubtedly go well above .500). Cirrus De Vie had won last weekend at Hughesville, with the time disallowed due to exigent circumstances, but this equaling of the all-time record at Butler shows the Real Artist gelding at the top of his game in the early stages of the summerlong fair tour. Roger Hammer trains and drove the winner, and he co-owns him, now a winner of $52,533 and his two-year-old Fair Championship, with Vicki Fair. Like Cirrus De Vie, the Yankee Glide filly Kylah is a two-time winner at the 2018 fairs, and like "Cirrus" she earned herself some space in the Butler annals in the race immediately after his, with her clocking of 2:03.4 equaling the trotting record in her division, first put up by Missive in 2015 and then matched a year later by Regal Woman. Just a head off the win in her Fair Championship at two, Kylah has come back strongly at three, with Shawn Johnston in the sulky today for trainer LaDarrius Whitaker and owner Shantae Gant - both from the hot Standardbred state of Louisiana. Other double winners on the year in "A" Fair Sire Stakes competition are the 3TC Eiffel Hanover, in 2:05.2 for Terry Schoeffel's training/driving son Steve, and 3PF Pretty Proud, first home 2:02.4 for driver Schoeffel and trainer Rich Gillock. Roger Hammer as trainer/driver had two horses who recorded their second wins in the "B" class, 3PG Marvalous Falcon in 2:02.4, and 3PF Birch Bark in 2:06. Those three wins gave Hammer the most victories for the one-day meet on both the training and driving side. His seven driving wins including Hughesville put him one ahead of Schoeffel for the circuitlong lead, and the seven conditioning triumphs have him far out in front - Gillock and Schoeffel are next in line with three. The PA Fair Circuit now makes an unprecedented early summer turn - to southcentral Pennsylvania and the York Fairgrounds. The racing there has usually been conducted in mid-September, but this season the trotters and pacers will take to the track on Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8. from the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

HUGHESVILLE PA - After a rainout at Bedford got the 2018 Pennsylvania harness racing fair season off to a soggy start earlier in the week, the weather was cooperative at the Lycoming County Fair's 2-day event, which takes place in this northcentral Pennsylvania city not far from the "Little League" town of Williamsport. The track had been worked on, reconfigured over the winter/spring season, and soon after the three-year-olds got underway on Saturday, the times revealed that the track may have come up "short" in its refurbishing and remeasuring. An examination on Sunday confirmed this fact, so while the Saturday winners had those times disallowed, they got to keep the purse money that many of them earned quite impressively. The dominant two-year-old of 2017 on the fair circuit was Venier Hanover, with eight divisional track records and a tying of the all-age record at Wattsburg, 2:00.1. But in the last fair event of 2017, the Fair Championship at The Meadows, Cirrus De Vie had Venier's number, posting an upset triumph to the mutuel tune of $54.20. And it seems that Cirrus kept that number throughout the winner, because in the first fair contest for the two as sophomores, the Real Artist gelding again upended his more decorated foe, as one of trainer/driver Roger Hammer's four winners on the day. Hammer co-owns Cirrus De Vie with Vicki Fair. Hammer and Fair came back to win with the Explosive Matter trotting filly Blow Back while looking good in the process, and then breeder/owner/trainer/driver Hammer again was in the spotlight with the Delmarvalous pacing gelding Marvalous Falcon while taking a "B" Sire Stakes contest, in a style that would make you think he could fit right in with the "A"s right now. On Sunday, both winners in the freshman colt pace "A" section paced back to the impressive lines they have already shown. First it was the Russell Hanover gelding Aflame Hanover, winning his first purse start in 2:04.2 from the second tier for driver Tony and trainer Linda Schadel, who are the co-owners. Then it was the Delmarvalous gelding Next Shot, already sporting a 1:58.1 win at The Meadows, who turned in a 2:04.1 mile in a race which featured back numbers of 59.1 - 29.3. Trainer/driver/owner Cory Kreiser had little to do in the bike but plan a schedule for the precocious two-year-old. On the pacing filly side, a sweep was effected by trainer/driver Dave Brickell, who knows a little bit about this division, as his work with Camera Lady showed a couple of years ago. The Well Said filly Magic Speech made her purse debut a successful one in 2:05.4, and then another daughter of Well Said co-owned by Brickell and Mitchell York, Crew Sock Hanover, needed only 2:08.1 to win her heat - only twelve seconds slower than the win she had posted recently at The Meadows. Among the two-year-old trotters, the Muscle Massive filly Ridinonarainbow was the most advanced, winning in 2:07.2 for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, co-owner with Christine Schadel; none of the other five heats for baby trotters beat 2:11. The quartet of winners Roger Hammer trained during three-year-old day gave him the lead in the conditioners' colony; he also drove all four, and that number was matched by Steve Schoeffel, winning two races each day, as they are the joint early kingpins among the sulkysitters. And it didn't rain. And everyone hopes that the rain, rain stays away when the fair circuit moves on to Butler for racing this Thursday and Friday at 10 a.m. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

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