WAYNESBURG PA – The Pennsylvania Harness Fair Circuit came to this borough near the southwestern corner of the state on Tuesday and Wednesday for two days of harness racing at the Greene County Fairgrounds, with the two-year-olds shining brightest of all during their Tuesday racing.
Fastest mile of the meet came from the freshman Stay Hungry – Sara Diamond filly Stay Happy, whose 2:01.4 mile came within two-fifths of a second of the 20-year-old divisional track record of My Gal Phyl. Stay Happy already has three victories for driver Mike Wilder, trainer/father-in-law Dan Altmeyer, and owner/mother-in-law Ruth Altmeyer.
Wilder and Dan Altmeyer also combined to win with the fastest baby pacing colt of the meet, Lou On The Beach (Sweet Lou – Rockn On The Beach), who after his 2:03.1 triumph has four victories for the ownership of Diamond Club Racing and David Wills.
Fastest two-year-old trotter was the Fordham Road – The Yankees Win colt Battin A Thousand, home in 2:06.4 for driver/trainer/owner Roger Hammer. (More on Hammer a little later.)
Wednesday’s three-year-old action produced many moderate getaways that speeded up as the action got nearer to home, and thus the fastest mile was 2:04, produced by three horses – including, notably, two on the trot. Ladies first, so the distaff was the Better Caviar filly Caviar On Broadway for trainer/driver Dave Wade and his partners Gerald Brittingham and William Peel III; her male counterpart was the Winning Mister gelding Ice Breakers K for driver Hugh O’Neill and owner/trainer Rich Gillock.
Gillock also trains the meet’s fastest sophomore pacer, the Always B Miki filly, Jillian B Miki, whom Steve Schoeffel guided to her sixth win of the year for Gillock and co-owner Tye Loy.
The race for bragging rights among horsemen was quite competitive: Steve Schoeffel had five sulky victories, one more than Wayne Long, while Long and Jason Shaw shared the crown on the training side with four wins. Enjoying success at a Pennsylvania fair for the first time in recent memory, if not ever, was the well-traveled Mississippian Ronnie Gillespie, who has a .480+ UDR while racing heavily on the Ohio fair circuit this year.
Hammer won twice at Waynesburg on Tuesday – and he won at Honesdale during their “first meet” this past weekend, and he’s in to go for the second day of their “second meet” during Thursday's fair. (That’s 347 miles one way; good thing the 76-years-young Hammer thrives on the competition.) A full report on the Honesdale second meet will follow at the end of their current stand.