BEDFORD PA – The three-year-old trotting filly Heart Matters trotted in 2:00.3 at the Bedford County Fairgrounds in this southcentral Pennsylvania city on Friday during Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes action, altering the divisional record and coming within a fifth of the local all-age trotting standard.
Heart Matters, a daughter of Explosive Matter, eclipsed the sophomore filly mark of 2:01.1 set by A Little Laid Back in 2016, and missed by just a tick the all-age record of 2:00.2 set by OMG Hanover, coincidentally the same day A Little Laid Back had altered the Bedford record book. The win was not unexpected for Heart Matters – she had won her only fair start and also has a Stallion Series victory on her lines – but a track record performance is always a fine one. Todd Schadel trains and drove the winner for himself, his wife Christine, and Rick and Regina Beinhauer.
The blue-and-white-clad horseman won five times on the day, including posting the fastest clocking of 1:57.3 with the Always B Miki colt Buchannon Hanover in his “A” Fair Sire Stakes event. Also enjoying another top day was the 29-year-old Scotsman Hugh O’Neil, who had never won a race in his life until 23 days ago with Grey Skies, and whose win with that Western Ideal filly not only made her one of the few three-time winners on the “A” circuit but also helped O’Neil in posting three wins on the Friday card, boosting him to fourth in the overall fair seasonal driving standings.
Thursday’s Bedford racing was for the two-year-olds, with the fastest mile on the day going to the Heston Blue Chip – Ashlee’s Star pacing gelding Blue Ashes, 2:01.4, in a “B” PaFSS event. Steve Schoeffel trains the winner for Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel, and Brady Brown. The driver of Blue Ashes was Aaron Johnson, who tied for day’s sulky honors for three with James Dodson, who posted a consecutive triple in the second half of the card.
Todd Schadel drove six winners to lead at the meet; tied in second with three were the aforementioned Dodson, Johnston, and O’Neil. Schadel’s barn sent out seven victorious horses, but the smaller operation of trainer Mitchell York also had a great two-day stand, winning four times.
The Pennsylvania Fair Circuit next travels to the Silver Springs Ranch training center near Pocono for a 2-day event, with racing this coming Thursday and Friday at 4 p.m. and entries to be sent in by 10 a.m. Tuesday. After that is the heart of the Pennsylvania fair season, with no fewer than ten stops during the month of August.