STONEBORO PA – The Pennsylvania Fair Harness Racing Circuit returned to this northwestern Pennsylvania borough and the Stoneboro Fair for two cards of Fair Sire Stakes on Thursday and Friday, during the time of the fair proper.
Thursday’s card for two-year-olds was raced “under the lights,” an unusual occurrence on this circuit. But the presence of floodlight instead of sunlight did not bother two frosh trotters who recorded their sixth win of the season on the Keystone twicearounds. One was the Sebastian K S – By A Nose Hanover filly Dancinwiththangels, whose dam’s name proved spectacularly wrong as she won by over thirty lengths in 2:04.1. Trainer/driver Todd Schadel, who had a sixpack of victories with his two-year-olds, co-owns the steady miss, now a winner of four straight, with his wife Christine.
The other six-time PA winner was Battin Athousand, a Fordham Road – Theyankeeswin colt who has won five of his last six races for owner/trainer Roger Hammer; Brady Brown catchdrove the freshman to this victory. Whereas Dancinwiththangels also was the faster of her two winners in her “A” PaFSS event, a colt went faster than Battin Athousand: HS Winchester, a Cantab Hall – Easy Money gelding home in 2:05.2 for driver Steve Schoeffel, trainer William Daugherty Jr. (a noted developer of trotting talent, especially in the baby colt division), and owner Susan Daugherty.
Fastest two-year-old on the pace was the Sweet Lou – Rockin On The Beach colt Lou On The Beach, who won in 2:01.3 for driver Mike Wilder, trainer Dan Altmeyer, and the partnership of Diamond Club Racing and David Wills.
During Friday afternoon’s three-year-old racing, the Explosive Matter filly Comical won in 2:00.4, within a fifth of Heart Matters’ standard for fastest fair trotting mile of the year. Trainer/driver Aaron Johnston, coming off a hot stand at Wattsburg, continued on a roll with this filly, who seems to like her recently-introduced trotting hopples. Kahrig Racing Stable Co. owns the improved miss.
There were two sub-2:00 efforts at Stoneboro, bringing the number of magic miles on the circuit to fifteen for the year. The faster came from the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Honali, who stopped the watches in 1:58.4 for trainer/driver Brandon Presto and owner Larry Parlin. The other was a 1:59.3 mile from the Always B Miki colt Buchannon Hanover, winning for Todd and Christine Schadel for the eighth time in a row; this was his fifth 2:00 mile of the season on the cotton candy circuit, with only one other horse having as many as two.
Pacing fillies also shone: the Betting Line filly Bet She Can Fly, a 2:01.3 winner for driver Hugh O’Neil and the ownership of Kathleen Quinn-Hodel, Virginia Trump, and Kenneth Ward, provided trainer Jessie Orbin with the first conditioning victory of her career, while the other “A” cut saw the Betting Line distaff Cathy Hanover win her sixth fair race and fourth straight in 2:02.3, pacing her last quarter in :28.1 to catch seven-time fair winner and defending champion Bettor Strait N Up for driver Aaron Johnston, trainer Nathan Bresnahan, and owner Matthew Miller.
After his big start to the meet with freshmen, Todd Schadel won the trainer and driver titles at Stoneboro with seven. Closest on the driving side was Eric Neal, who had all four of his meet wins on Friday; tied for second among trainers with three were Roger Hammer (all on Thursday) and Wayne Long (all on Friday).
After a relative breather following eleven meets since August 1, the Pennsylvania Fair Circuit goes to Gratz, for a 2-day Sire Stakes meet on Saturday/Sunday September 10/11 and then a meet during its fair on Sunday/Monday September 18/19. The competition will be intense at Gratz and at two final Fair stops, Bloomsburg and Meadville, as horses either try to earn enough points to make their Championship races at The Meadows on Friday, October 7, or to retain their sharp form for the next few weeks.