PROSPECT PA – The 2021 Pennsylvania Fair Circuit got underway with a roar at the Big Butler Fair in this westcentral Pennsylvania town, as the all-age track trotting record of 2:03, set by Dauphin Hanover 27 years ago, was reduced to 2:01.1 – twice in 47 minutes.
First to lay waste to the record books on Wednesday, when the three-year-olds raced, was the Southwind Frank gelding Killer Instinct, who won his Sire Stakes division for driver Brian Zendt, trainer Bob Rougeaux III, and the partnership of Brocious Racing Stable Inc. and Lone Wolf Stable. It’s never safe to predict a horse will set a track record, but Killer Instinct won nine times at two, set a divisional track record at Bloomsburg, and recently went wire-to-wire at The Meadows in 1:55.3, so he seemed to have a decent chance at being close to the record. Dauphin Hanover set the record as a three-year-old male, so Killer Instinct will now take that line in the annals as well.
The sophomore pacers produced no records, but both a colt and a filly winner came within two-fifths of a second of doing so. On the filly side, last year’s Fair Championship winner, Tiamogonedancin, fresh off a 1:56 mile at The Meadows and timed in 1:51.3 in a Stallion Series race three weeks before that, traveled the Butler oval in 2:00.3, just missing the mark of Crew Sock Hanover, who is also the all-age record here, set in 2019. The same team who was behind Crew Sock Hanover, co-owner/driver Dave Brickell and co-owner/trainer Mitchell York, are also in charge of the fortunes of Tiamogonedancin.
Mitchell and York came right back in the colt pace with Seth Hanover, an Artspeak gelding who won in 2:00.4, fractionally shy of the local mark for male sophomores set by Star Of Terror in 2016 and equaled by Cirrus De Vie in 2018.
The two-year-olds opened the fair season on Tuesday, and the very first race on the circuit this year resulted in the fastest freshman mile, 2:05.1 (last quarter :28.4), from Truthful Meaning, a gelded son of A Rocknroll Dance – Lenore Karidian, successful for driver Cory Kreiser, trainer Robert Barnard, and owner Christian Apel.
Brady Brown and Steve Schoeffel led all drivers at Butler with three victories; Schoeffel also tied for top in the trainers derby with two, along with Roger Hammer, Bob Rougeaux III, and Mitchell York.
The Fair Circuit is in action again right away, on the first two days of the second half of calendar 2021, with a two-day Sire Stakes meet at the modern training center at Silver Springs Ranch, about a half-hour away from Pocono. First post on Thursday and Friday will be 4 p.m.