BEDFORD PA – Fairgrounds are noted for their exciting rollercoaster rides, and the 11-race meet held at the fairgrounds in this southwest Pennsylvania town on Sunday and Monday, conducted as a “2-Day Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes meet” per state statute, had more ups and downs than the thrill machines located at any other place of grand amusement.
The two-year-olds were out for eight races on Sunday, an “A” Fair Sire Stakes for each division and then a “B” section. The four “A” events went first, and each produced a season’s record for the Pennsylvania twicearounds: colt pacer Turn N Dance (A Rocknroll Dance – Turn Her Ingo) in 2:00.4, filly trotter Ciao Time (Possess The Will - Ciao Dough) lowering her own mark to 2:07.2, pacing filly Always Sassy (Always B Miki – Soulmate Hanover) in 2:03.4, and trotting colt Blame It On Texas (Southwind Frank – Sweet Possession) in 2:04.2.
Then the “B” races were held … and two newly-minted season’s records were broken, and another tied, by the lower-graded horses. The mile that made everybody stand up was the 1:59.3 race turned in by the pacing filly Adroit Hanover (Betting Line – Asada Hanover), which was the first 2:00 mile of the fair season by a baby and also a divisional track record for Bedford, eclipsing the 2014 mark of 2:00 set by Keystone I Win. Aaron Johnston drove the new recordholder for trainer Susan Callihan, co-owner with Gregory Callihan and Nicole Buchleitner.
In other “B” races, trotting filly Whiskey’d My Way (Bar Hopping – Lady Ping) lowered the PA fair season’s record to 2:06.2, and trotting colt RT Outlaw (Fordham Road – Order By Meryl) equaled the 2023 standard of 2:04.2.
Then came Monday and three-year-old racing, with the "A" trotters leading off. The co-owners of the legendary Vivid Photo, Todd Schadel and Roger Hammer, each had a winner, Todd with the International Moni filly Quarantina in 2:01, and Roger posting the same time with the Fordham Road colt Battin A Thousand.
The race in between these two was the contest where the action shifted from the rollercoaster to the House Of Mirrors, where you can’t believe what you first see. What was first seen was the trotting filly Smooth As Silk crossing the wire first in 1:58.4, which would have been the fastest mile ever trotted at the Bedford oval by far, the standard being the 2:00.2 of OMG Hanover in 2016.
But there was an inquiry, and Smooth As Silk was placed down from first to second, with the elevation of the Bar Hopping miss Keystone Sweetpea (Todd Schadel) to the top position. Because the race was uncharted, the official win time of the contest per the rules was “T.Dis.” – and thus no track record.
And then, after Battin A Thousand’s race, the rains came and washed out the rest of the card. And there the rollercoaster halted (temporarily, as we shall soon see).
Roger Hammer and Mike Wilder each won three races to lead in the abbreviated meet; Roger trains all three of the winners he drove to sit atop the conditioners category.
Long-suffering but indomitable Jake Hoover, head of the racing program at Bedford, will be right back in the box, though. The Fair portion of the Bedford presentation is slotted for this Thursday and Friday, both days with a 3:00 start, and Hoover along with everybody else will hope for a less bumpy ride and fast racing.