WATTSBURG PA – The two-year-olds on the Pennsylvania Fair Circuit continued to be bedeviled by bad luck, as their scheduled Monday card at the Erie County Fair in the far northwest reaches of the state had to be washed out on Monday, the fifth time the freshmen have had their races cancelled (the sophomores have missed just twice.)
And the three-year-olds did go on Tuesday, thanks to the hard work of the local track crew, and while no records were set, there was plenty of competitive racing, with $54,350 on the line.
Fastest mile of the meet was the 2:02 produced by the Artspeak gelding Seth Hanover, who went to the lead and held it throughout for driver/co-owner Dave Brickell and trainer/co-owner Mitchell York. Putting in a very competitive performance against the winner, who has a 1:55.2 qualifying mark from age two, was the maiden Whatca for Team Neal, who stalked the leader throughout and held his ground very well late.
The closest flirtation with the Wattsburg record book came in a “B” level race from the Andover Hall trotting filly Just You Watch Me, whose 2:05.3 victory for Shawn Johnston and trainee Kaylee Martin, co-owner with Jodi Martin and Fred Uber Jr., came within four-fifths of a second of the divisional mark set by Worldly Hanover set in 2018.
Shawn Johnston visited the winners circle three times to lead Aaron Johnston and Eric Neal by one in the drivers derby; topping the training side with two wins each were Lisa Dunn, Gary Johnston, and Bob Rougeaux III.
The PA Fair Circuit moves south down I-79 for Thursday and Friday racing at the Stoneboro Fair.