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DAYTON, PA - Venier Hanover, last year's two-year-old terror of the Pennsylvania Fair Circuit but not really finding his form in 2018 until a couple of starts ago, picked a great time to run his current winning streak to three - he paced the fastest mile of the two-day stand at the Dayton (PA) Fairgrounds, 2:01.2, in winning Wednesday's Sue Brickell Memorial, guided by Sue's brother-in-law Dave Brickell, whose brother Dean, Sue's husband, joined him for a satisfying winner's circle scene. The gelded son of Well Said, also trained by Dave Brickell and co-owned by him with Mitchell York, had not had a bad year in 2018, winning over $12,000, before his victory skein started. But first he beat out the fastest fair pacer of the year in PA, Love Cut (1:57.2), and then last week derailed Cirrus De Vie as that foe went for his seventh straight triumph. On Wednesday, the last quarter in Venier's victory was 28.4, with the timing of the impressive win just perfect. In the other "A" cut, Cirrus De Vie got another win streak started by defeating Love Cut in 2:02.2. Trainer/driver Roger Hammer co-owns the only seven-time fair winner on the PA circuit with Vicki Fair. The fastest trot of the week also went to Team Hammer-Fair, as the Explosive Matter filly Blow Back came home first in 2:05.3. Blow Back had ended Critical Hanover's four-race win streak at Honesdale in their last start, and here at Dayton she ran her own recent record to 4 wins in 5 starts in the "A"s. Thursday's action, devoted to two-year-olds, saw the "A" pacing filly division go faster than the colts, with the Well Said miss Sure R Lookin Good living up to her name and keeping her fair record unblemished after two starts by posting a 2:03 mile. Eric Neal, having a marvelous streak of driving form, handled the quick miss for trainer Robert Krenitsky Jr. and owner Julie Krenitsky. The swiftest baby trotter was the Donato Hanover colt Oceanato Hanover, home first in 2:07 for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, co-owner with wife Christine. Oceanato Hanover went 3-for-3 in "B" company before stepping up to the "A" ranks, and the rise had hardly slowed his momentum, as he is now 3-2-1-0 in the higher classification. "Oceanato" was one of five driving and training wins for Todd Schadel during the Dayton meet, putting him on top in both columns, and increasing his summerlong stranglehold on both leads. The PA fair circuit next moves to Meadville PA and the Crawford County Fair, the home track of the late Pennsylvania Harness Hall of Famer Walter "Boots" Dunn. Racing will go there next Wednesday at 12:15 p.m., a change from the originally-posted time, and at the scheduled 11:30 a.m. on Thursday. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

HARRISBURG, PA -- A notice to all horsemen to be racing at the Crawford County Fair in Meadville PA: next Wednesday, August 22, post time will be at 12:15 p.m. this one day only.   The other day of the meet, Thursday the 23rd, post time remains at an 11:30 a.m.   Looking ahead, post time for the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg PA should be listed as 11 a.m. both days, Tuesday, August 28 and Wednesday the 29th.   From the PHHA Fairs    

HONESDALE PA -- The Wayne County Fair came back with the second half of their unique "doubleheader" of Pennsylvania fair harness racing: a "2-day Sire Stake" meet on Sunday and Monday, followed by the regular "fair meet" on Wednesday and Thursday during their annual exhibition. Two divisional track records were set on Wednesday, when most of the action was devoted to the sophomore Fair Sire Stakes horses. But there was a Free-For-All pace carded, and the Big Jim mare Bring Me Diamonds won as expected, covering the mile in 1:58.4 to take just shy of three full seconds off the old Honesdale mark for older pacing mares, recorded by Riddles Bliss in 2007. The win was "expected" because Bring Me Diamonds had won in 1:52 at nearby Pocono on June 22, but it still was sporting and something exciting for fans that can be credited to driver Tony and trainer Linda Schadel, who are the co-owners of the winner as well. Tony Schadel teamed with a training Schadel who was not Linda or brother Todd to add another change into the fair's history books, as the Donato Hanover gelding Show Me The Magic covered the "A" Fair Sire Stakes mile in 2:02.4 to reduce the former divisional mark of 2:03.1 first established by Keystone Americus in 2004 and later equaled by BS Surgin Don in 2009. The trainer in question was Tony's father Bruce, who also owns the new recordholder. Another piece of drama took place one race before the mile of Show Me The Magic, as Venier Hanover defeated Cirrus De Vie in 2:00.1 in the "A" cut of the sophomore colt pace stakes event. Venier Hanover, a terror on the circuit last year at two, seems to be mounting a comeback as he won his second straight for trainer/driver Dave Brickell, co-owner with Mitchell York; for Cirrus De Vie, it was his first loss at the 2018 fairs after opening the season with six straight victories. On Thursday, the "second meet" saw its third track record mile, with the Well Said - Treat Me Good pacing filly Sure R Lookin Good winning in 2:02.2 to shave a tick off of the 15-year-old mark of Car-Lin's Starburst. This winner, owned by Julie Krenitsky, was backed by the pairing that dominated the Thursday card, literally from the first race to the last, by teaming for four wins - driver Eric Neal and trainer Robert Krenitsky Jr. That mile brought the week's total of resetting Honesdale records to five. One other Thursday winner who achieved a distinction was the Muscle Massive - By A Nose Hanover trotting miss Bumper Hanover, who became the first two-year-old to record six wins at the fairs this year when she won for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, co-owner with wife Christine. For the "second meet", brothers Todd and Tony Schadel tied with Eric Neal, the three having five wins each to top the sulkysitting side; Todd harnessed six winners for the Wednesday-Thursday stand to top that category. In combining the two meets, Todd trained 16 winners and drove 13 to lead both categories; Eric Neal also deserves a word of praise for visiting the Honesdale Victory Lane 10 times. The Keystone fair circuit now moves to the Washington County Fair and its historic Arden Downs track, former home of the Grand Circuit, which will host racing on Monday (3YOs) and Tuesday (2YOs). FINISHING LINE - Honesdale racing manager Jeff Firmstone did his usual yeoman's hard work in keeping the racing program going in good order; he even arranged for double-seated sulky rides around the track, a picture of which is attached. Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

WAYNESBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania fair circuit which covers almost the entirety of the Commonwealth throughout the summer, made a stop in the southwestern corner of the state on Tuesday and Wednesday for a pair of days of action at the Greene County Fair in this hometown of harness racing's alltime winningest driver, Dave Palone. The Tuesday card featured two-year-old racing, with the names of the fastest winners on both gaits having a religious theme behind them. Quickest overall was the Ponder pacing gelding Aquinas, named after the noted philosopher/ theologian , who scored his maiden victory in 2:05 for driver Shawn Johnston, trainer Gary Johnston, and owner Dr. William Solomon. Unusually, the time was recorded in the "B" division of the Fair Sire Stakes divisional event; "A" winner Next Shot required 2:05.4 to get home first. On the trot, RT Gloria De Dios took a maiden mark of 2:07.3, with the Muscle Massive filly successful in the "A"s for driver Kyle Bolon, trainer Robert Rougeaux III, and the Brocious Racing Stable Inc. All the Brocious horses have their names start with "RT" (for "Rocky Top," possibly after the famous country song); gloria de dios is Spanish for "glory of God." Fastest mile of the meet, as one would suspect, came when the three-year-olds gathered on Wednesday. The Delmarvalous pacing gelding Marvalous Falcon, a winner in 2:03.1, knows a thing or two about Fair Sire Stakes racing at both the "A" and "B" levels - he now has two 2018 victories in each classification. At Waynesburg, Brady Brown guided him for breeder/owner/trainer Roger Hammer (more on him in a minute). Aaron Johnston started a sulky sweep of the sophomore colt trot with the quickest diamondgaited winner, the Cantab Hall gelding Willie B Worthy, home first in 2:06 for owner/trainer Lisa Dunn; he followed up in the very next race with 2:07.2 winner What A Hunk, giving both three-year-olds two straight wins at the "A" level. Two final notes, both from Tuesday's two-year-old racing: --In the "B" colt trot, Ulterior Hanover posted a clocking of 2:00.2. Now, you get extra points if you figured out that the race was a walkover, and that that was the gelding's clocking at the ¾ pole - he zipped home in 34.1 to complete a 2:34.3 mile, for which he got the entire $2550 purse. --The ubiquitous Roger Hammer had one baby entered, a pacing filly named Turn Marvalous, who finished second under his guidance. This was his only Tuesday drive at Waynesburg - and it came in the middle of a 718-mile roundtrip commute to and from Honesdale PA, where he raced Monday and Wednesday. Honesdale started its second meet, the "fair meet," on Wednesday, and a report on the Wednesday and Thursday action at the northeast Pennsylvania oval will be done after Thursday's races. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association  

HONESDALE, PA - On Sunday and Monday, the Wayne County Fairgrounds in this far northeastern of Pennsylvania towns staged the first half of their unique doubleheader - they have their "two-day Sire Stakes meet," permissible at five locations under Pennsylvania law, and then on Wednesday and Thursday they will have the "agricultural fair meet" two-day harness racing stand. The two-year-olds proved to be a bit quicker than their three-year-old counterparts in terms of accomplishments lining up against previous standards, with two divisional track records equaled on Monday, while Sunday's three-year-old competition naturally produced the faster raw times. It didn't take long for the Honesdale record book see its first alternation Monday, as in the opening contest the Western Terror-Tootsie J freshman pacing gelding Way To Close reported home in 2:01.4 for trainer Todd Schadel, co-owner with Christine Schadel. But it was not Todd in the sulky behind the winner, as he handled stablemate Motive Hanover, who finished second, while Roger Hammer drove the new standard sharer - fitting in that Roger campaigned the first of the division's standardbearers, Artist's Falcon, when that colt entered the annals two years ago. The other horse equaling a Honesdale standard was the Muscle Massive - Missing Dough trotting filly Touch Of Dough, who ran her fair record to three wins in five starts by trotting her mile in 2:07, equaling the local mark first reached by AJ Peyton Rose in 2009. Eric Neal, who drove five winners at the meet, guided the baby for his father Randal and the Neal Racing Stable LLC. The real star of the day, and the meet, was two-legged - Todd Schadel. The Schadel barn sent out seven of the eleven winners on the Monday card, with Todd guiding five of them; Vivid Photo co-owner Hammer handled the other two, and Todd finished second behind him in both incidences. Combined with a trainer/driver triple on Sunday, Todd's two-day totals were 18-10-4-1-.697 as a trainer, while on the sulky side his stats were 18-8-6-1-.648. The sophomores on Sunday produced a pair of magic miles, with the Real Artist gelding Cirrus De Vie the only PA fair horse to have six wins as he continued his undefeated twicearound ways with a 2:00 mile. Trainer/driver Roger Hammer co-owns the in-form sidewheeler with Vicki Fair. Last year Cirrus De Vie had four seconds and two thirds behind Venier Hanover, who was sensational at the fairs at two; this year Cirrus had finished ahead of Venier in five straight starts - but Venier finally drew apart from Cirrus this week, and he celebrated by not only winning but by going a tick faster than Cirrus De Vie. Trained/driver Dave Brickell, co-owner with Mitchell York, is certainly hoping this win may augur a change of 2018 fortune for the winning son of Well Said. Fastest sophomore trotter was the Donato Hanover gelding Show Me The Magic, making his first fair start of the season a successful one in 2:03.3 while in reign to Drew Chellis. Todd Schadel's father Bruce is the trainer and owner of the sophomore, who has now won two of his last three. Honesdale will now draw on Tuesday for its Wednesday-Thursday "second meet"; there was a draw Monday for fair action on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Greene County Fair in Waynesburg PA, 358 miles from Honesdale (and Dave Palone's hometown). From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

CLEARFIELD, PA - Tuesday and Wednesday were devoted to three-year-old Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes at the end of the four-day meeting in this northcentral Pennsylvania town, and the same pattern repeated from the Sunday/Monday opening sessions for harness racing two-year-olds: the trotters, who went first in each "group," got the better of the weather. Another pattern that repeated was that in general the trotting fillies went a little bit faster than their colt counterparts. The fastest mile of Tuesday was turned in in the very first race of the day by the Crazed filly Critical Hanover, who won her third straight on the county fair circuit, overcoming the outside post four (!) for a 2:03.4 victory for the dominant performer of the meet, trainer/driver Todd Schadel, and for his wife and son, owners Christine and Cody Schadel.  In the other "A" 3FT, Schadel's co-owner on the storied Vivid Photo, Roger Hammer, won with the Explosive Matter miss Blow Back, running her fair record to 5-3-2-0 in 2:04.2 for trainer/driver Hammer, also co-owner with Vicki Fair. Quickest of the trotting males was the Muscle Massive gelding What A Hunk, a 2:04.4 winner for driver Steve Schoeffel, trainer Bill Daugherty Jr. (a perennial factor among the fair trotting set), and owner Susan Daugherty. Winning for the third time at the fairs was Grapple Hanover, an Andover Hall gelding who went just a tick behind What A Hunk for trainer/driver Wayne Long and the partnership of William Kreutzer and Denton Barrett. The rains came back for the pacers on Wednesday, and again the track crew at Clearfield worked wonders to keep the surface safe and raceable. The Daily Double even managed to produce a pair of sub-2:00 miles as trainer/driver Roger Hammer swept the "A" male events, with Cirrus De Vie becoming the first horse to win at the fairs five times this year as he kept his circuit record spotless with a 1:59.2 mile, only 2/5 off the divisional track record, with Hammer sharing ownership with Vicki Fair. In the other cut, Marvalous Falcon, a double winner in the "B"s, survived being three-wide to the quarter (in a five-horse field) to post a 1:59.3 time, a seasonal best, for his scrappy breeder/owner/trainer/driver. Earning filly honors was the A Rocknroll Dance miss Dance For Kisses, who traversed a "sloppy +3" oval in 2:01.2 for her second fair win. Tony Schadel handled the sulky duties for owner/trainer Justin Lebo. Todd Schadel, with nine sulky victories, won Clearfield's annual Buster DiSalvo trophy for that accomplishment; all his winners were from his barn, so he also topped that category. Schadel now has 25 wins on the fair circuit in both categories, six ahead of friendly rival Hammer. The Pennsylvania Fair circuit will be doing a "split" for next week's racing. Some horses will go to the far northeast corner of the state, to Honesdale, which will conduct its two-day meet on Sunday and Monday and then its fair meet on Wednesday and Thursday. The other group will be 358 miles away in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania, where the Greene County Fair will race at Waynesburg on Tuesday and Wednesday. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

CLEARFIELD, PA - Sunday and Monday's first two days of a four-day meet at the Clearfield County Fairgrounds in this northcentral Pennsylvania town were devoted to two-year-olds, and trainer-driver Todd Schadel was by far the dominant force during the two sessions, visiting Victory Lane seven times after the 15 races. One track record was established over Sunday's card for trotters over a track rated "good," as Bumper Hanover, a Muscle-Massive - By A Nose Hanover filly, won her fourth straight on the twicearound circuit, taking an "A"-class Fair Sire Stakes contest in 2:03.3, a time which knocked 4/5 of a second off the previous standard set by JC Mik Mac Jillio a dozen years before (She had earlier tied the divisional mark at York, also 2:03.3.) Todd Schadel was not only the trainer-driver of the new track recordholder, but he also co-owns the quick miss with Christine Schadel - in fact, Todd and Christine co-own all four of the barn's winning Clearfield freshmen trotters. Fastest male among the Sunday freshman trotters was Keystone Bentley, a son of Cantab Hall - Armbro Blusher, who after two second and a third against the "A" Sire Stakes horses, finally made his breakthrough in 2:06.1 for Team Schadel. Pacers went to the gate on Monday, when the track was rated "slow" (and kudos to the Clearfield track crew for their hard work at keeping the fair track raceable despite steady rain). Crew Sock Hanover, a Well Said-Chantal Hall filly, remained undefeated after three fair starts and is now a four-time winner overall, needing only 2:07 to get the job done in an "A" Fair Sire Stake for trainer/driver David Brickell, also co-owner with Mitchell York. That clocking was obviously far behind the 1:56.1 record which Crew Sock Hanover took at The Meadows in the very first start of her career. Todd Schadel was again in the winners circle three times as trainer/driver on Monday, including with the fastest pacing male, the Well Said-Maeve Hanover gelding Motive Hanover, who took a maiden mark of 2:01.4 for Schadel, also co-owner with his son Cody. The other "A" winner in this section, the A Rocknroll Dance - Guan Yin gelding Dancin Yin, was also impressive, posting his second straight triumph while getting home in 2:02.3 for driver Atlee Bender and trainer Erv Miller, whose Ervin Miller Stable Inc. co-owns with Omer Miller. The three-year-old are slated for the final days of the meet, with trotters on Tuesday and pacers on Wednesday. Both days the action is scheduled to start at high noon. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

HUGHESVILLE, PA - The Pennsylvania harness racing fair circuit returned to the Lycoming County Fair in this northcentral Pennsylvania town for racing on Wednesday and Thursday, and by the end of the meet much Wite-Out was used keeping the record books up to date - sometimes with a double coating in the same category - as the Keystone trotters and pacers put on quite a speed show. For one example, consider the three-year-old pacing colt Cirrus De Vie, the only four-time winner on the Pennsylvania twicearound circuit this year under the guidance of trainer/driver Roger Hammer, also co-owner with Vicki Fair. The gelded son of Real Artist toured the Hughesville oval in 1:57.3, eclipsing the former all-time local standard of 1:58.1 set by Royaltyhasarrived set in 2015. Less than 90 minutes later, that "all-time" clocking would be eradicated from the record books, as the Delmaravlous gelding Love Cut was clocked in 1:57.2 to be the new Hughesville King of Time for driver Tony Schadel and trainer Linda Schadel, who are co-owners with Elizabeth and James Schadel (combined ages of the latter two: around 14). Making the feat more spectacular is that Love Cut's record mile came in a "B" division of the Fair Sire Stakes! Another lower-level performer who would "B"-come a divisional recordholder was the Delmarvalous filly Marvalous Song, a three-year-old pacer who toured the track in 1:58.3 for driver Cory Kreiser, trainer Jason Shaw, and owner Mason Shaw, clipping a full second off the 2016 standard of Devious Behavior. There was a second track record set (actually equaled) and rewritten the same day (Wednesday), in this case within 40 minutes: the Crazed filly Critical Hanover equaled the 2016 2:01.4 sophomore filly trotter mark of Keystone Wonder for trainer/driver Todd Schadel and owners Christine and Cody Schadel, only to see his partner on the storied Vivid Photo, Roger Hammer, guide Blow Back to a 2:01.1 time in the same division to take the local record. Hammer trains and drove the Explosive Matter miss, and he is co-owner of her with Vicki Fair. Thursday's racing, for two-year-olds, would see both marks for fillies reset, starting with the day's first contest, where Todd Schadel guided the Muscle Massive filly Ridinonarainbow to a 2:02.4 Hughesville record, knocking a full second off the 2015 mark of A Little Laid Back (driven by - payback time! - Roger Hammer). Todd also trains the filly, perfect in three purse starts, and co-owns her with wife Christine. On the pace, trainer/driver Dave Brickell, also co-owner with Mitchell York, completed the Daily Double with the Well Said filly Crew Sock Hanover, home in 2:01.1 for her third purse win, and no hard feelings emerged because the mark she broke was that of the Brickell/York filly Camera Lady, who had gone in 2:01.4 in 2016. Todd Schadel visited the Lycoming Fair Victory Lane seven times as both trainer and driver in the two days, taking over the seasonal lead from Roger Hammer - the score is now 15-11 on the driving side and 14-12 on the training side (the difference coming when Todd won with part of Roger's entry, R N Artist, in the free-for-all pace at York last week). The fair circuit next sets up shop in the hometown of local Sports Hall of Famers Hammer and Sam Beegle, Bedford PA, for racing on Monday the 23rd and Tuesday the 24th. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association

YORK, PA - The Pennsylvania fair harness racing circuit checked into this southcentral Pennsylvania town for a weekend of sulky sport on Saturday and Sunday - and emerged with all eight of its season's records for the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes rewritten. Another horse, the Lear Jetta mare Knuckle Up, rewrote a line in the all-time York annals when she won a free-for-all trot in 2:02 for trainer/driver Pete Kaiser, co-owner with Ronde Dalton. The previous local standard for older trotting mares was 2:04.4, set by Keystone Call Girl a dozen years ago. The two-year-old trotting filly Bumper Hanover equaled Lyrical Lady's 2010 divisional mark when she was victorious in 2:03.3 for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, who also co-owns the Muscle Massive miss with wife Christine. The clocking is also lower than any time posted by a three-year-old at the PA fairs this season. Todd's brother Tony can say, "Hey, I have the fastest horse on the pace, whether two or three," as in the very first race of the meet he sulkysat behind the Russell Hanover gelding Aflame Hanover in a 1:58.3 mile, missing the track mark that Venier Hanover set last year by a tick. Also a winner at Hughesville Fair and fourth, beaten less than three lengths, in a Pennsylvania All-Stars contest. "Aflame" is trained by Tony's wife Linda, and they share ownership. Another young star, multi-Amateur Driver of the Year Hannah Miller, also visited the winners circle at York with a son of Muscle Massive, Grandpa Erv, who is trained by Hannah's father (not grandfather) Erv Miller and is owned by the Ervin Miller Stable Inc. and Michael Anderson. He's two-for-two at the fairs as well. But to show that Saturday was not just a showcase for youth, 87-year-old Don Wiest guided the Donato Hanover filly Sigilwig to victory despite a trailing post seven. Many veterans were asking if Don was the oldest driver ever to win at the Keystone State fairs - any help answering this question would be appreciated. On Sunday, the three-year-olds steeped into the spotlight, and a pair of pacers, the Real Artist gelding Cirrus De Vie and the Bettor's Delight filly Pretty Proud, ran their fair tallies to three-for-three. First up was Cirrus De Vie, coming off equaling the Butler all-age track record of 2:00.2; at York the divisional Championship winner at two recorded a time of 2:00 for trainer/driver Roger Hammer, who also co-owns with Vicki Fair. Pretty Proud, also a Championship winner at two, got her third win in succession with a 2:01.3 victory, but she was fully extended at the finish, with Dance For Kisses, who had driver Justin Lebo looking for his first career sulky success, charging at her late but coming up a head shy. Pretty Proud was driven by Steve Schoeffel for trainer Rich Gillock, who also co-owns the filly with Barbara and James Richardson. Todd Schadel trained and drove five winners at York, including four two-year-olds, to take weekly honors; Roger Hammer, who had three wins on each "side" during the weekend, leads the seasonal starts with 10 wins in each category. The fair circuit returns to the Lycoming County Fair in Hughesville for 4:30 p.m. action this Thursday and Friday. Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association  

PROSPECT PA - The late horseman Terry Schoeffel was very proud of his star horse Audie K, who set the track record of 2:00.2 at the Big Butler Fair here way back in 1992 (racing for a purse of $925). He and Audie K are still proud today at the fairgrounds above, for the time recorded by the older performer has never been broken at Butler - it has been equaled, by sophomore male Star Of Terror in 2016, and now by Cirrus De Vie in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes three-year-old colt pace on Friday, after the Thursday card for two-year-olds had been washed out (three cancellations out of six scheduled cards so far - but the batting average will undoubtedly go well above .500). Cirrus De Vie had won last weekend at Hughesville, with the time disallowed due to exigent circumstances, but this equaling of the all-time record at Butler shows the Real Artist gelding at the top of his game in the early stages of the summerlong fair tour. Roger Hammer trains and drove the winner, and he co-owns him, now a winner of $52,533 and his two-year-old Fair Championship, with Vicki Fair. Like Cirrus De Vie, the Yankee Glide filly Kylah is a two-time winner at the 2018 fairs, and like "Cirrus" she earned herself some space in the Butler annals in the race immediately after his, with her clocking of 2:03.4 equaling the trotting record in her division, first put up by Missive in 2015 and then matched a year later by Regal Woman. Just a head off the win in her Fair Championship at two, Kylah has come back strongly at three, with Shawn Johnston in the sulky today for trainer LaDarrius Whitaker and owner Shantae Gant - both from the hot Standardbred state of Louisiana. Other double winners on the year in "A" Fair Sire Stakes competition are the 3TC Eiffel Hanover, in 2:05.2 for Terry Schoeffel's training/driving son Steve, and 3PF Pretty Proud, first home 2:02.4 for driver Schoeffel and trainer Rich Gillock. Roger Hammer as trainer/driver had two horses who recorded their second wins in the "B" class, 3PG Marvalous Falcon in 2:02.4, and 3PF Birch Bark in 2:06. Those three wins gave Hammer the most victories for the one-day meet on both the training and driving side. His seven driving wins including Hughesville put him one ahead of Schoeffel for the circuitlong lead, and the seven conditioning triumphs have him far out in front - Gillock and Schoeffel are next in line with three. The PA Fair Circuit now makes an unprecedented early summer turn - to southcentral Pennsylvania and the York Fairgrounds. The racing there has usually been conducted in mid-September, but this season the trotters and pacers will take to the track on Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8. from the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

HUGHESVILLE PA - After a rainout at Bedford got the 2018 Pennsylvania harness racing fair season off to a soggy start earlier in the week, the weather was cooperative at the Lycoming County Fair's 2-day event, which takes place in this northcentral Pennsylvania city not far from the "Little League" town of Williamsport. The track had been worked on, reconfigured over the winter/spring season, and soon after the three-year-olds got underway on Saturday, the times revealed that the track may have come up "short" in its refurbishing and remeasuring. An examination on Sunday confirmed this fact, so while the Saturday winners had those times disallowed, they got to keep the purse money that many of them earned quite impressively. The dominant two-year-old of 2017 on the fair circuit was Venier Hanover, with eight divisional track records and a tying of the all-age record at Wattsburg, 2:00.1. But in the last fair event of 2017, the Fair Championship at The Meadows, Cirrus De Vie had Venier's number, posting an upset triumph to the mutuel tune of $54.20. And it seems that Cirrus kept that number throughout the winner, because in the first fair contest for the two as sophomores, the Real Artist gelding again upended his more decorated foe, as one of trainer/driver Roger Hammer's four winners on the day. Hammer co-owns Cirrus De Vie with Vicki Fair. Hammer and Fair came back to win with the Explosive Matter trotting filly Blow Back while looking good in the process, and then breeder/owner/trainer/driver Hammer again was in the spotlight with the Delmarvalous pacing gelding Marvalous Falcon while taking a "B" Sire Stakes contest, in a style that would make you think he could fit right in with the "A"s right now. On Sunday, both winners in the freshman colt pace "A" section paced back to the impressive lines they have already shown. First it was the Russell Hanover gelding Aflame Hanover, winning his first purse start in 2:04.2 from the second tier for driver Tony and trainer Linda Schadel, who are the co-owners. Then it was the Delmarvalous gelding Next Shot, already sporting a 1:58.1 win at The Meadows, who turned in a 2:04.1 mile in a race which featured back numbers of 59.1 - 29.3. Trainer/driver/owner Cory Kreiser had little to do in the bike but plan a schedule for the precocious two-year-old. On the pacing filly side, a sweep was effected by trainer/driver Dave Brickell, who knows a little bit about this division, as his work with Camera Lady showed a couple of years ago. The Well Said filly Magic Speech made her purse debut a successful one in 2:05.4, and then another daughter of Well Said co-owned by Brickell and Mitchell York, Crew Sock Hanover, needed only 2:08.1 to win her heat - only twelve seconds slower than the win she had posted recently at The Meadows. Among the two-year-old trotters, the Muscle Massive filly Ridinonarainbow was the most advanced, winning in 2:07.2 for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, co-owner with Christine Schadel; none of the other five heats for baby trotters beat 2:11. The quartet of winners Roger Hammer trained during three-year-old day gave him the lead in the conditioners' colony; he also drove all four, and that number was matched by Steve Schoeffel, winning two races each day, as they are the joint early kingpins among the sulkysitters. And it didn't rain. And everyone hopes that the rain, rain stays away when the fair circuit moves on to Butler for racing this Thursday and Friday at 10 a.m. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

BEDFORD PA - The 2018 Pennsylvania fair harness racing circuit begins Wednesday in this southwestern Pennsylvania town, the first of twenty stops at fairground sites around the state, ending around Little Brown Jug week. This was will be the first fair season in many years that will not benefit from the watchfulness and helpfulness of Sue Brickell, who passed away last month after a long and courageous fight with cancer. A memorial service will be taking place in Punxsutawney PA, near her home of Rochester Mills PA, on Tuesday afternoon, which would have been her 68th birthday. It might be appropriate that her brother-in-law Dave Brickell will have the likely star of the opening day of the season, the three-year-old pacing colt Venier Hanover, as sophomore Sire Stakes action rolls out the year. At two, the altered son of Well Said, co-owned by trainer/driver Brickell and Mitchell York, set eight divisional track records along the fair trail, including an equaling of the all-age track record at Wattsburg, 2:00.1. The local Bedford marks are 1:57.2 for his division and 1:56.3 for the all-age track record (set 32 years ago by Keystone Famous); Venier may be able to at least flirt with those times if on his best game. In the two-year-old action on Thursday, Team Brickell/York have the fastest winner so far, also a Well Said offspring, a filly named Crew Sock Hanover, who shocked a pari-mutuel field at 20-1 in her first betting start, winning in 1:56.1. Also sure to draw attention is Cory Kreiser's Delmarvalous colt Next Shot, who made his pari-mutuel debut a successful one in 1:58.1, with a 27.3 last quarter. (And he's in the "B" division of the Sire Stakes!) "Hometown heroes" Sam Beegle and Roger Hammer, both in the local Sports Hall of Fame and both honored during the fair last year by the Keystone Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association, are scheduled for action during the season-opening event. For the first time, this year all of the fair draws will be handled out of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association's office at Harrah's Philadelphia, with executive director Mike Harant overseeing. But the same local people will be doing their invaluable jobs during the actual racing at the fairs. From here, the Pennsylvania fair circuit goes to Hughesville, racing this Saturday and Sunday, and then on to Butler. After that comes a major change, as the racing at the York Fair, traditionally held in September, this year has dates of July 7 and 8. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

HARRISBURG, PA - Susan Brickell, one of the most stalwart of supporters and workers on the Pennsylvania fair circuit and the winner of the 2008 Mary Lib Miller Award, the highest honor given by the Keystone Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association, passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer in Florida on May 19, one month before her 68th birthday. At the time of her passing she was with her husband Dean and brother-in-law David. Brickell, based in Rochester Mills PA, about 75 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, served as clerk of course at the majority of fairs in Pennsylvania over the last couple of decades, and also was a race secretary, a charter, and a board member of the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association. She trained a generation of people how to serve in the various functions needed to keep the fairs going. Her work supporting the fair horsemen and helping to make their financial situations secure earned her the 2008 Mary Lib Miller Award. An accomplished horsewoman involved with several breeds of horses, one of Sue's favorite horses was the trotter BS Woody, who raced from age two to age ten. As a three-year-old in 2005, "Woody," whom Sue trained and co-owned with Dean, won his last eleven races on the fair circuit, and then won the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship at Pocono Downs. A memorial service for Sue Brickell is tentatively being planned for her birthday, June 19. Updates on that event, and further information about her life, will be posted when available. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

BEDFORD PA -- The best humans and horses on the Pennsylvania fair circuit this past year were honored this past Saturday (January 13) at a banquet held at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in this town in the southwest portion of the state, a dinner held after the USTA District 7 meeting earlier in the afternoon. Blankets in the stable colors were given to the connections of the horse who earned the most points based on finish during the 20-stop Keystone State fair circuit. Honored were: TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLT - GRAPPLE HANOVER (265 points), trained by Wayne Long for owners William Kreutzer and Denton Barrett. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLY - CRITICAL HANOVER (303 points), trained by Todd Schadel for owners Christine and Cody Schadel. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLT - VENIER HANOVER (410 points, most of any 2YO), trained by Dave Brickell, who shares ownership with Mitchell York. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLY - PRETTY PROUD (365 points), trained by Rich Gillock, who shares ownership with Barbara and James Richardson. THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLT - PHOTO BOMBER (336 points), trained by Linda Schadel, who shares ownership with Tony Schadel. THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLY - ALL SET LETS GO (453 points, most of any horse at the fairs in 2017), trained by John McMullen Jr. for his family's McMullen Stable LLC. THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING COLT - CRUISERWILLWIN (352 points), trained by Todd Schadel, who shares ownership with Christine Schadel. THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLY -- BELLA RAGAZA (443 points, most of any pacer), trained by Linda Schadel, who shares ownership with Roxanna Buffington. The team behind the winner of the Fair Championship races at The Meadows in early October was awarded with a personalized jacket commemorating their achievement; those horses were: TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLT - HOCKEY HANOVER, Stallion Series champion and Fair Champion at 2, trained by John McMullen for his McMullen Stable LLC. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLY - NICOLE HANOVER, trained by Tom Loughry for Brocious Racing Stable Inc. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLT - CIRRUS DE VIE, trained by Roger Hammer, also co-owner with Vicki Fair. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLY - PRETTY PROUD, also top divisional pointwinner, trained by Rich Gillock, who shares ownership with Barbara and James Richardson. THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLT - ROCKEFELLER LINDY, trained by William Daugherty Jr. for owner Susan Daugherty. THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLY - ALL SET LETS GO, Fair Champion at both 2 and 3, also top divisional pointwinner, trained by John McMullen for his family's McMullen Stable LLC. THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING COLT - MIDWAY ISLAND, fastest-ever Championship winner at 1:52.2, trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver-Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc., and David Wills. THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLY - BELLA RAGAZA, also top divisional pointwinner, trained by Linda Schadel, who shares ownership with Roxanna Buffington. Personalized jackets were also awarded to the PA Fairs' "Top Guns": Chris Shaw, the leading driver of the cotton candy circuit in 2017, and Roger Hammer, for the umpteenth time the leading trainer. The various horsemen's associations involved in conducting the banquet were gracious enough to let the Keystone chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association honor the people they voted into the second group elected to the Pennsylvania Harness Hall of Fame: Walter "Boots" Dunn, Roger Hammer, Harry Harvey, Jim Simpson, and "veteran" Judge Joe McGraw. Many in the extended families of these outstanding horsemen continue to have connections with the fair circuit, and they proudly came before the crowd for the tribute to the Pennsylvania champions honored. A $40 ticket to the PA Fair Banquet continues to be the best value in harness racing: that $40 ticket, gathering approximately 150 people, enabled attendees to be eligible for drawings for approximately $12,000 in harness equipment and other prizes - which means that an average ticket to the dinner yields a 100% profit on average. Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association (PHHA) Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association (PFHHA)

HARRISBURG PA - Here is a list of the top harness racing point earners, accrued on a 35-25-15-10-8-5-4-2 basis based on order of finish (9 for a rainout), during the 20-stop (some stops conflicting) Pennsylvania fair season during 2017. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLT - GRAPPLE HANOVER (265 points), trained by Wayne Long for owners William Kreutzer and Denton Barrett. TWO-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLY - CRITICAL HANOVER (303 points), trained by Todd Schadel for owners Christine and Cody Schadel. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING COLT - VENIER HANOVER (410 points, most of any 2YO), trained by Dave Brickell, who shares ownership with Mitchell York. TWO-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLY - PRETTY PROUD (365 points), trained by Rich Gillock, who shares ownership with Barbara and James Richardson. THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING COLT - PHOTO BOMBER (336 points), trained by Linda Schadel, who shares ownership with Tony Schadel. THREE-YEAR-OLD TROTTING FILLY - ALL SET LETS GO (453, most of any horse at the fairs in 2017), trained by John McMullen Jr. for his family's McMullen Stable LLC. THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING COLT - CRUISERWILLWIN (352 points), trained by Todd Schadel, who shares ownership with Christine Schadel. THREE-YEAR-OLD PACING FILLY -- BELLA RAGAZA (443 points, most of any pacer), trained by Linda Schadel, who shares ownership with Roxanna Buffington. All of last 2016's 2YO Fair Champions were the leading pointwinners in 2017 except PF Gemalous, who was third in points in 2017. (Note: none of the four 2YO Championship winners in 2016 led their divisions in points last year.) SELECTED STATISTICAL HIGHLIGHTS Number of 2:00 miles - 28. Multiple 2:00 horses - Venier Hanover 7, Ginger Tree Marty 5, Midway Island 4, Camera Lady and New Heaven (trotter) 2. Most 2:00 drives - Chris Shaw 9, Dave Brickell 8, Sam Beegle 5, Roger Hammer 3. Number of divisional track records - 21. Multiple track record setters - Venier Hanover 8, Midway Island 4, New Heaven and Nicole Hanover 2. All-age track record miles - 8. Multiple performers -- Midway Island 3, New Heaven 2. Winners of five or more "A" fair races, per division: 2TC - Grapple Hanover and Hockey Hanover 5. 2TF - Nicole Hanover 6, Won The War 5. 2PC - Venier Hanover 11. 2PF - Geisha Hanover and Pretty Proud 6. 3TC - New Heaven 6, Photo Bomber 5. 3TF - All Set Lets Go 12, Opal Hanover 5. 3PC - Ginger Tree Marty 8, Midway Island 5. 3PF - Bella Ragaza 10, Camera Lady 9, Gemalous 6. FIVE LEADING DRIVERS FIVE LEADING TRAINERS Chris Shaw 64 Roger Hammer 55 Roger Hammer 61 (tie) Todd Schadel 32 Todd Schadel 32 (tie) Jason Shaw 32 Tony Schadel 28 Linda Schadel 26 (tie) Wayne Long 27 Dave Brickell 25 (tie) Steve Schoeffel 27 Publicity Office, Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

BLOOMSBURG PA - The Somebeachsomewhere sophomore gelding Midway Island posted the fastest mile in the long and proud history of Pennsylvania fair harness racing on Saturday when he won in 1:53.4 at the Bloomsburg (PA) fairgrounds in this northeast Pennsylvania town. Chris Shaw stated his intentions early when he sent Midway Island to the quarter in 28, opening a five-length lead, then had doubled his lead by the half with a 27.2 second quarter, putting him at the midmarker in 55.2. The pair went on in 28.2 to get to the 1:23.4 ¾-pole 15 lengths ahead, then continued on to post a 13¼-length victory in the record clocking, taking down the previous all-time Keystone State fair standard, a 1:54 mile posted by four-year-old Alastor Hanover right at this track, ten years minus three days ago. Ironically, the name replaced as the 3PC local track record holder is also "Alastor Hanover" (1:56.4); the overall 3PC record for PA fairs obviously also fell (Lahaye, 1:55.1, Gratz, 2009). Midway Island also posted an all-age track record (1:58, Meadville) and tied another (2:00.1, Wattsburg) while posting four 2:00 victories on the cotton candy circuit. Ironically, the sophomore needed this start to guarantee his spot in the Pennsylvania Fair Championships at The Meadows on Saturday, October 7: though being undefeated through his first four fair starts gave him enough points to qualify, the state rules state that a horse must start five times at the fairs, or he can be "bumped" by any entrant with fewer points but the requisite number of starts. It's a great story - but it's an even better one when you realize that 17 minutes earlier, driver Shaw, trainer Ron Burke (who was 11-for-11 at the fairs this year), and owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services Inc., and David Wills had a horse of theirs post the fastest trotting mile in Bloomsburg history, as the Yankee Glide gelding New Island toured the twicearound in 1:58.3. Despite having to come first-over, New Heaven smoked his last half in 57.4 to win by 5¼ lengths. The only record New Heaven didn't break was the 1:58.2 all-time Pennsylvania fair mark set by five-year-old Shark Kosmos at Gratz in 2003 (another irony: former pacing recordholder was a Roger Hammer production, as is still-current trotmaster Shark Kosmos). All the other relevant records fell: the local all-age record (3TF T V Star Kosmos, 1:59, 2003); the divisional track record (1:59.4, shared by Giant Checkerboard [1997] and Reputation [2008]); and the Pennsylvania all-fair divisional mark (3TC S J Better Days, 1:58.4, Gratz, 2011). Ron Burke might have won 11 in a row, but a three-year-old trotting filly went him one better - the Donato Hanover miss All Set Lets Go, who, after starting her fair season with a third, then ran off 12 consecutive victories, including a 2:01.4 triumph on Saturday for driver Roger Hammer, trainer John McMullen Jr. and his family's McMullen Stable LLC. The filly accumulated 453 points in the fair scoring system - and wrested the all-over #1 spot on this last day of the 2017 circuit. All Set Lets Go and her pacing counterpart Bella Ragaza has started the day even with 418 points, but Bella Ragaza couldn't quite get to Victory Lane, finishing second and coming up 10 points shy (while leading his division). Her conqueror here was no fluky winner - it was the Dragon Again filly Camera Lady, last year's winningest two-year-old in North America with 15, and in tremendous form going to her Championship battle with Bella Ragaza, with nine fair wins, including her last four trips to the gate. Trainer Dave Brickell, co-owner with Mitchell York, had two fillies in the one-heat event and tapped Chris Shaw to do the driving behind Camera Lady on Saturday (Brickell finished third with Cajun Moonlite). Moving on to the two-year-old action held Friday, and needing to keep things short after the historic display by the three-year-olds, we'll summarize: "Venier Hanover, fastest Pennsylvania fair freshman ever." The altered son of Well Said-Valmctorian, trained and driven by David Brickell, who is co-owner with Mitchell York ("Team Camera Lady"), had lowered Pennsylvania freshman annals with his 1:56.4 mile at Gratz last week, and then came back five days later to lower that mark to 1:56.1, also busting past the 1:57 local record co-held by Dixie Pride and Shu Hanover (both in 2003). Venier Hanover ended his 2017 fairs season with a 12-11-1-0 record, an all-age 2:00.1 track record at Wattsburg (tied by Midway Island the next day), eight divisional track records, seven miles in 2:00 or less, and the most points acquired by freshmen at 410. Chris Shaw saw his seasonlong driving victory total dwindle to 60-59 after Friday's action and a Roger Hammer quadruple to his single victory, but four wins on Saturday to Hammer's double gave the 2017 driving title to Shaw by a 64-61 title. Hammer, who was top driver for the meet with six, also was leading trainer at Bloomsburg with four wins and finished his runaway season's training title with 55 harnessed victorious chargers, far ahead of Todd Schadel and Jason Shaw, who dead-heated for second with 32. The PFHHA and PHHA want to thank Bloomsburg Superintendent of Horse Racing John Brokenshire for his excellent stewardship in this, his first year of charge of the racing at "Blom." A longtime equine enthusiast, Brokenshire's major contribution may have been persuading the Bloomsburg fair board to conduct its harness racing at the start of the fair, rather than in mid-fair, after tractor pulls and whatnot made the racing surface subpar and open to rainouts. No track mark had been set at Bloomsburg since 2008 - it's not hard to see what a "perfect" Bloomsburg surface can mean to quality harness racing, and the track today was in great shape largely through Brokenshire's leadership. Publicity Office, Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

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