PROSPECT PA – After losing its Wednesday program for two-year-olds due to unhealthy air quality, the Big Butler Fair in this westcentral Pennsylvania borough bounced right back with a vengeance when the three-year-old program was raced on Thursday. Three 2022 Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Champions won in back-to-back-to-back races, and over an oval that had never seen a 2:00 mile before last Sunday, one of the winners now has two local magic miles to his credit.
And in the race after those three, the all-time track record at Butler was rewritten again.. The new track recordholder is Four Wide N Flyin’, a daughter of Heston Blue Chip who toured the twicearound oval in 1:59.1 for driver Aaron Johnston and Team Bresnahan – trainer Nathan and owners Michael and Rachel. The clocking knocked a fifth off the new track record set by Louie Hanover just past this Sunday, and seems even more fitting because before the 2023 meets the track record for nearly four years was held by a three-year-old pacing filly, Crew Sock Hanover (2:00.1).
Prior to the new recordsetting clocking, the trio of 2022 Fair champions began their streak, all of them driven by Mike Wilder. First up was the Cantab Hall gelding HS Winchester, home in 2:05.4 for master trotting trainer Bill Daugherty Jr. and owner Susan Daugherty.
Then Wilder teamed with his father-in-law/trainer Dan Altmeyer to win with a Champion pacer of each sex who had also won during the Butler 2-Day Event a few days previously. First up was Lou On The Beach, a son of Sweet Lou who became the first double 2:00 winner in the Butler annals by tallying in 1:59.4 for Diamond Club Racing and David Wills; then came the Stay Hungry filly Stay Happy (who had defeated new recordholder Four Wide N Flyin’ in the first meet of the season), here home in 2:01 for owner Ruth Altmeyer.
The newfound “2:00 Fever” even extended to the “B” Sire Stakes level, where the Heston Blue Chip gelding Hawaiian Chip, third in an “A” contest last time, dropped down to clean up with a 1:59.4 tally for driver Cory Kreiser, trainer Jason Shaw, and owner/son Mason Shaw.
Aaron Johnston, Cory Kreiser, and Mike Wilder dominated the one-day meet with three victories apiece, while training doubles were fashioned by Dan Altmeyer, Wayne Long, and Jason Shaw.
The Pennsylvania fair circuit now makes its way to the northwest corner of the state and the Erie County fairgrounds in Wattsburg for a 2-day Sire Stakes meet a week from this coming Saturday and Sunday, July 8 and 9; declarations must be received by Thursday morning the 6th.