GRATZ PA – 2021 season’s records were recorded in six of the eight categories (including all two-year-old divisions) in the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes during a Sunday-Monday meet at the Gratz Fairgrounds, with the three-year-old trotting filly Cheesy Hanover also rewriting the local standard for her age, sex, and gait on Monday by winning in 1:59.4, beating by a tick the previous record shared by Heirodynamic (2007) and Petiti (2008).
The Cantab Hall filly Cheesy Hanover won her ninth straight race on the fair circuit, which also ties her for most PA fair wins this year (no horse has achieved ten; her Todd Schadel colt counterpart Top Me Off also has nine, as does a horse we’ll write about two paragraphs below). Trainer Schadel, who co-owns the filly with wife Christine, has given the filly to his 19-year-old son Cody to drive in most of her starts, and the results speak for themselves.
The third horse with nine fair victories is the Artspeak sophomore pacing colt Terry A Hanover, a 2020 Fair Champion, who now also leads with six 2:00 miles at the fairs after a 1:57.1 victory for Todd and Christine Schadel, partners with Caitlin Solt. In fact, “Terry A” does nor even lead in points in the glamour division: Seth Hanover, 1½ lengths behind in second at Gratz, is the leader, and if this same 1-2 finish would happen at Bloomsburg, “Seth,” by virtue of more successful and high pointearning starts at the fairs, would take the crown.
Fastest mile of the meet was the 1:56.3 of the Somebeachsomewhere filly Tonianne, winning for Schadel and the ownership of Andy Miller Stable Inc. and Louis Willinger. Yet even with Tonianne’s eight wins, five in 2:00, she has already been shut off in the blanket category by another 2020 Fair Champion, Tiamogonedancen. (Even Top Me Off, undefeated in nine fair starts, is only second in his section to Killer Instinct.)
The four PA fairs’ season’s records on Sunday included the initial 2:00 performance of the year by a two-year-old, the A Rock N Roll Dance – Cheyenne Molly gelding Pure Country Dance, who showed why he has already secured his points championship by pacing in 1:59 despite having to go first-over. Wayne Long handled the fast baby for trainer Mitchell York, co-owner with David Brickell.
The other freshman who has clinched a blanket, the filly Bettor Strait N Up, came up a nose shy at Gratz to the Betting Line – Current Hanover miss Ginger Tree Leslie, trained and driven by Sam Beegle, who is also co-owner with Ginger Tree Ventures LLC and Incognito Racingstable. If the photo had been a little kinder to Bettor Strait N Up, she too would now have nine fair wins.
The trotting season recordsetters were both driven by Todd Schadel: the Explosive Matter filly Heart Matters, winning in 2:02.3 for trainer Schadel, co-owner with wife Christine and Rick and Regina Beinhauer, and the Better Caviar colt Pose A Threat, hone in 2:03.1 for trainer Rick Beinhauer, also co-owner with Regina. (The freshman trot divisions still have no crowned winner.)
Finally, we apologize for the oversight (these driver changes at the fairs are hard to follow, but now it’s in the USTA computer) of not mentioning a win by the two-year-old pacing filly Shimmy Shimmy Bop last Sunday at Gratz – she was driven by 17-year-old Wyatt Long, who was driving in only his fourth race lifetime. Just a word of warning, Wyatt (foaling date June 7, 2004) – the wins won’t all be as easy as this 47½ length victory was!