HARRISBURG PA – Horses racing on the Pennsylvania Fair Circuit in its Fair Sire Stakes program do so for three reasons. Two of them are obvious: to earn the purse money offered at each stop, and to try to accumulate enough points to earn their way into their respective $25,000 Fair Championships, which will be held on a 4 p.m. card at The Meadows on Friday, October 8.
Then there’s a third reason, minor but prestigious on the circuit: the top point earner in each division earns a trophy blanket, “done up” in the colors of the stable, at the fair awards dinner. These blankets are often seen for years on horses racing for a stable at the fairs.
This is the list of the blanket-winning horses in each of the eight divisions of the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes and their connections, along with a few facts denoting achievement.
TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS: Muscle Hall (300 points), Andover Hall – High Score Musicly colt, owned, trained, and driven by Roger Hammer. Muscle Hall went to the lead over Cussin N Fussin at the circuit’s penultimate stop at Gratz, and when Cussin N Fussin didn’t drop in at Bloomsburg (where all the two-year-old races were rained out), Muscle Hall clinched the title.
Fair season’s leader: Pose A Threat, 2:03.1, Gratz.
Most fair wins (in all cases, in the “A” Sire Stake division): 3, with five tied in a competitive section – Big Ben Hanover, Cussin N Fussin, Mork Hanover, Muscle Hall, and Suits Me.
TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES: Ruffle My Truffles (344 points), Explosive Matter – Truffles, trained and driven by Roger Hammer for Glenn Dyke and LeBlanc Racing Inc. Ruffle My Truffles had a two-point lead over Till I’m Gone, and both were in the same race at Bloomsburg – and then the rains came.
Fair season’s leader: Heart Matters, 2:02.3, Gratz.
Most fair wins: 7, Till I’m Gone.
TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS: Pure Country Dance (392 points, leading all 2YOs), A Rock N Roll Dance – Forever Lover gelding, owned and trained by Mitchell York and primarily driven by Dave Brickell. Had the title clinched well before the final week.
Fair season’s leader: Pure Country Dance, 1:59, Gratz (the only 2:00 mile by a two-year-old this year).
Most fair wins: 6, Pure Country Dance.
TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLIES: Bettor Strait N Up (382 points), Betting Line – Strait N Great, owned by trainer Linda and driver Tony Schadel. Another who clinched a couple of weeks out.
Fair season’s leader: Ginger Tree Leslie, 2:00.2, Gratz.
Most fair wins: 8, Bettor Strait N Up (also led all 2YOs here).
THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLTS: Killer Instinct (373 points), Southwind Frank – Wheely Quick gelding, trained by Bob Rougeaux III and driven primarily by Wayne Long for Brocious Racing Stable Inc. and Lone Wolf Stable. Consistency and constant fair competition: 12-7-4-0 at the fairs plus two rainouts gave him a slight edge over 2020 Championship winner Top Me Off, who was undefeated in 10 starts. Killer Instinct was the only leading pointwinner at two to repeat at three.
Fair season’s leader: Top Me Off, 1:57.2, Gratz, the fastest trot mile ever at the Pennsylvania fairs.
Most fair wins: 10, Top Me Off (tied for top overall).
THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLIES: Cheesy Hanover (390 points, most by a trotter), Cantab Hall – Chez Lucie, trained by Todd Schadel and primarily driven by his 19-year-old son Cory, and owned by his father and mother Christine. Passed Frankkiss with wins at the last two stops – wins which gave her ten triumphs in a row.
Fair season’s leader: Cheesy Hanover, 1:59.4, Gratz.
Most fair wins: 10, Cheesy Hanover (tied for top overall, and top female).
THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING COLTS: Terry A Hanover (393 points, most by a male), Artspeak – Triplet Hanover colt, trained and driven by Todd Schadel for owners Christine Schadel and Caitlin Solt. Heartbreak for archrival Seth Hanover – ahead by 19 points going into the last race of the season, he finishes third and earns 15 points while Terry A Hanover (a 2020 Championship winner) gets his season-leading seventh 2:00 mile of the fair year and 35 points, winning the blanket by one point!
Fair season’s leader: (tied) Seth Hanover, 1:57.1, Bedford, and Terry A Hanover, 1:57.1, Gratz.
Most fair wins: 10, Terry A Hanover (tied for top overall, and top pacer).
THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLY: Tiamogonedancen (418 points, top overall, pacer, 3YO, and female), A Rocknroll Dance – Tiamo, owned by trainer Mitchell York and driver Dave Brickell. Also a 2020 champion, Tiamogonedancen danced most every dance at the fairs, clinching her title early, and went the fastest fair mile of the year (see below).
Fair season’s leader: Tiamogonedancen, 1:55.2, Bedford.
Most fair wins: 8, Tonianne.