NDIANA PA – The weather was kinder than it has been recently as the Pennsylvania fair circuit checked into the Indiana County Fair, with seven of twelve scheduled races for two-year-olds conducted Thursday and all fifteen heats for three-year-olds raced on Friday.
The Father Patrick – Yankee Etta freshman trotting gelding Penance atoned for two breaks in stride in pari-mutuel Sire Stakes races, putting up the fastest time of any performer on the Thursday card, 2:07.1 (one filly and both colt “A” paces were among the washouts). Penance, who is the circuit’s fastest baby trot this year with a 2:02.4 at York and also was the winner of an Arden Downs division the night before the Adios, now has a 5-4-1-0 scorecard at the fairs, with Kyle Bolon guiding him to victory at Indiana for trainer Bob Rougeaux III and the Brocious Racing Stable Inc.
The opportunity to become a six-time fair winner did fall to Andovers Asset, a three-year-old trotting gelding who raced Friday, but that one had to settle for second behind the Cantab Hall gelding Cantab Ed, who won in 2:05.3 for the co-fastest trot time of the meet (equaled by the filly Grandma Anna in her “B: Sire Stakes division). Bob Rougeaux III returned to the Indiana winners circle after Cantab Ed, handled by Chris Shaw and owned by the Lone Wolf Stable, won his first race of the year.
But the spotlight on Friday, and indeed for the meet, fell on the sophomore pacing fillies, as the two “A” Fair Sire Stakes winners both went over three seconds faster than any other winner this meet. First to Victory Lane was the Delmarvalous filly April Ava, now three-for-three at the fairs (including a 1:59 win in a “B” cut at Clearfield) after a 2:01.1 tour of the Indiana oval for driver Eric Neal, trainer Scott Betts, and owners Nicholas Catalano and Timothy Betts.
Even faster was the Western Ideal miss More More More, winning in 2:00.1 fifteen minutes later for meet speed honors while posting her third straight victory. Also the divisional speed leader by virtue of her 1:58.4 mile at Dayton last week, More More More is enjoying as hot a current roll as are his owners, driver/husband Tony and trainer/wife Linda Schadel.
The victory patterns among trainers and drivers contrasted wildly from Thursday to Friday. Seven different drivers won the seven heats conducted Thursday, while seven different drivers also won Friday – among the 15 races that day. Kyle Bolon and Chris Shaw both added a triple on Friday to the race they won Thursday to emerge as the meet leaders with four sulky successes.
Seven different trainers also won on Thursday, but on Friday five trainers rang up doubles during the long card. Again there was a tie at the top, as Michael Brocklehurst and Bob Rougeaux III both were among the doublers on Friday and the winners on Thursday to dead-heat with three training triumphs.
The Keystone fair circuit next goes to the northwest corner of the state and the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg PA, with noon first posts scheduled for two-year-olds on Monday and three-year-olds on Tuesday