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CHESTER, PA -Jack Vernon had to overcome the tough first-over journey in the $18,000 featured trot at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon, but the fast Muscle Hill gelding not only did so, but came within a fifth of his lifetime best in stopping the timer in 1:53.2. Race favorite Tyson took command early, then submitted to a brushing move to control the pace by New Jersey Viking past the 27.3 opener. The new leader got a breather to the half in 57, but then Jack Vernon got underway under Andy Miller's handling, getting even with the pacesetter near the 1:24.4 ¾ pole, edging away on the turn, then withstanding the late comeback bid of Tyson by a half length. The victory was the third in a row for the Julie Miller trainee, who now has earnings of $191,248 for the Andy Miller Stable Inc. A pair of $14,500 diamondgaited events were also conducted on the "Trottin' Thursday" card at Philly. In the first, the Andover Hall mare Casa Palmera regained her winning ways, able to outclose Zlatan and Band's Houdini to win in 1:54 for her sixth win in 15 starts during 2018. George Napolitano Jr. handled sulky duties for trainer Ed Lohmeyer, who shares ownership with Dr. Patricia Hogan. Napolitano's trip in the other $14,500 event was much more adventurous -- you don't see a line like this too often: PP2 / x2oo / 3o / 2o / 2|1 / 4|2T. But such was the fate of the Napolitano-driven favorite Yuge, who broke on the lead late on the first turn, then recovered and pressured pacesetting second choice Crazy About Pat, who refused to surrender the lead under Eric Carlson's handling en route to a 1:55.1 triumph. Gilbert Garcia-Herrera trains and owns the veteran Crazed gelding, who in winning for the 36th time in his career boosted his earnings to $818,510. Tim Tetrick drove four winners on the Thursday card, cutting Napolitano's lead to 192-184 at the top of the Harrah's driver standings. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

HARRISBURG, PA - It is an annual harness racing tradition for the horse who accumulates the most "points" based on finishing position during the 20-stop Pennsylvania fair circuit to be awarded a blanket, done up in stable colors, during the Fair Banquet, held annually on a Saturday in January in conjunction with the USTA District 7 (Pennsylvania) meeting; this year's banquet will be held on Saturday, January 18 at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford PA. The blanketwinners for each of the eight Fair Sire Stakes divisions, classified by age, sex, and gait, are the following: Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt/Gelding : KEYSTONE BENTLEY, c, Cantab Hall - Armbro Blusher, trained by Todd Schadel, and co-owned by Todd and Christine Schadel. Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly: BUMPER HANOVER, Muscle Massive - By A Nose Hanover, trained by Todd Schadel, and co-owned by Todd and Christine Schadel. Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt/Gelding: WAY TO CLOSE, g, Western Terror - Tootsie J, trained by Todd Schadel, and co-owned by Todd and Christine Schadel. Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly: CREW SOCK HANOVER, Well Said - Chantal Hall, trained by Dave Brickell, and co-owned by Dave Brickell and Mitchell York. Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt/Gelding: GRAPPLE HANOVER, g, Andover Hall - Girls' Getaway, trained by Wayne Long, and owned by Denton Barrett and William Kreutzer. Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly: BLOW BACK, Explosive Matter - Greatest Desire, trained by Roger Hammer, and co-owned by Vicki Fair and Roger Hammer. Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt/Gelding: CIRRUS DE VIE, g, Real Artist - Walk On The Beach, trained by Roger Hammer, and co-owned by Vicki Fair and Roger Hammer. Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly: GEISHA SEELSTER, Well Said- Goddess's Princess, trained by Roger Hammer, and co-owned by Vicki Fair and Roger Hammer. GRAPPLE HANOVER was the only two-year-old pointwinning champion to repeat that feat at three. CIRRUS DE VIE was the only two-year-old Fair Championship winner to be leading pointwinner at three. (The 2018 Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championships will be held at The Meadows on Saturday afternoon, October 6.) Leading Pointwinners: (tie) BLOW BACK and CIRRUS DE VIE (amazingly, both Roger Hammer 3YO trainees had 2018 fair record of 14-8-6-0). Leading 2YO Pointwinner: BUMPER HANOVER. SELECTED STATISTICAL HIGHLIGHTS Winningest Fair Horse: CREW SOCK HANOVER, 10 (undefeated on the circuit in 2018). 26 2:00 miles recorded. Leader: CIRRUS DE VIE, 5. 25 divisional track records set. Leaders: (tie) CIRRUS DE VIE and CREW SOCK HANOVER, 3 each. 3 all-age track records set. Leader: CIRRUS DE VIE, 2. All-time divisional PA Fairs record set: --2PF, 1:58, CREW SOCK HANOVER, @ Bloomsburg --2TC, 2:00.3, (tied) KEYSTONE BENTLEY, @ Bloomsburg Fastest Miles of Season by Gait: --Trot: 2:00.1, SHOW ME THE MAGIC (3YO), @ Bloomsburg -- Pace: 1:55.1, VENIER HANOVER (3YO), @ Bloomsburg TOP FIVE DRIVERS TOP FIVE TRAINERS Todd Schadel 71 Todd Schadel 78 Roger Hammer 41 Roger Hammer 37 Tony Schadel 38 Linda Schadel 24 Eric Neal 31 David Brickell 23 David Brickell 23 Robert Krenitsky Jr. 17 From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association                

BLOOMSBURG, PA - The 2018 Pennsylvania fair harness racing season came to its conclusion on Friday and Saturday with Sire Stakes action at the slick half-mile oval in this northeast Pe, The two most praiseworthy performers were victorious within the first 15 minutes of the racing on Friday, which was devoted to two-year-olds. First to the Bloomsburg winners circle was Crew Sock Hanover, a daughter of Well Said- Chantal Hall who was outside until past the half to gain command, then held off her stablemate Magic Speech by a length in 2:00.2 to emerge undefeated in her 10-start fair campaign. Trained and driven by Dave Brickell and co-owned by Brickell with Mitchell York, Crew Sock Hanover recalls the stellar success those two had with another freshman pacing miss just two years ago - Camera Lady, who led North American freshmen that year in wins; to this point, at 11 wins (including a p/m triumph), Crew Sock Hanover is tied for that distinction among pacers with Heythere Lisamarie. A race later, the Cantab Hall - Armbro Blusher freshman colt Keystone Bentley trotted the Bloomsburg oval in 2:00.3 to tie the PA fairs' age-gait-sex record previously established by Light Headed and Brannan Hanover, both at Bloomsburg in 2006. Trainer/driver Todd Schadel, co-owner with Christine Schadel, certainly seems to have the winning touch with trotters - he then completed a sweep of the 2TC divisions with the colt Oceanato Hanover (Donato Hanover - Ocean Love Potion, also co-owned by Christine), whose nine victories (six "A" Fair Sire Stakes event and three at the "B" level) tie him with Bat Chip Crazy for the continental lead among baby male trotters. (And Todd campaigned Light Headed, too!) The winner of the most points during the season-long fair competition gets a blanket done up in stable colors at the Fair Banquet held in conjunction with the USTA district meeting every January. Keystone Bentley had already clinched his blanket the week before, and so did his pacing counterpart amd stablemate Way To Close, with Roger Hammer catch-driving for his partner on the legendary trotter Vivid Photo, as the Western Terror - Tootsie J gelding won in 1:59.1 at Bloomsburg for Todd and Christine. Needing until the last card of the year to cinch her blanket status, the Muscle Massive - By A Nose Hanover trotting filly Bumper Hanover, also jointly owned by Todd and Christine, won in 2:03.1 to bring a third blanket to Team Todd; the other division went to another daughter of Muscle Massive, Touch Of Dough (dam Missing Dough) in 2:02 for driver Eric Neal, trainer/father Randall, and Neal Racing Stable LLC. On Saturday, Roger Hammer matched Todd Schadel's success by winding up with three of his sophomore charges getting the prized point blankets. The only one of the trio who won was the Real Artist gelding Cirrus De Vie, who welcomed the absence of archrival Venier Hanover by tallying in 1:59.1 for trainer/driver Hammer, co-owner with Vicki Fair, wrapping up his consistent fair season with a scorecard of eight wins and six seconds in fourteen starts, making him joint top pointwinner overall along with ... ...his stablemate, the Explosive Matter trotting filly Blow Back, who posted the exact same 14-8-6-0 record! Blow Back, starting from the second tier, missed a half-length to the 2:02 winning effort of the Crazed filly Won The War, guided by trainer Rick Beinhauer, also co-owner with Regina Beinhauer. The third Hammer blanket capturer (like the other two co-owned by Hammer and Vicki Fair), the Well Said pacing filly Geisha Hanover, won only once at the fairs, but she got a check in all 14 of her twicearound appearances, including this last one at Bloomsburg, to hold on by four points over Keystone Diamond, who was second to the 1:59 winner Dance For Kisses, driven by Todd Schadel's brother Tony for owner/trainer Justin Lebo. The sophomore trotting colts went in two divisions on Saturday, and after the Muscle Massive gelding Eiffel Hanover won the first in 2:02.4 for trainer/driver Steve Schoeffel and owners Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel, the Andover Hall gelding Grapple Hanover needed a first or a second to take the points title and blanket. And Grapple came through for trainer/driver Wayne Long and owners Bill Kreutzer and Denton Barrett, finishing second to the 2:02.2 win of Possess The Stone, an altered son of Possess The Will who was catch-driven by Rick Beinhauer for trainer Scott Betts and owner Timothy Betts. FINISHING LINES - All of the above pointtotaling is subject to the ratification of the Harness Bureau of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission, officially in charge of the fair Sire Stakes program ... The top pointwinners declaring in will go in the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship card at The Meadows on Saturday afternoon, October 6 ... When the Commission's official numbers are compiled, early next week there will be one final release, reviewing the point champions, 2:00 miles and speed records, along with the final trainer and driver standings (hint on the last categories: think blue and white at the top). From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association  

GRATZ, PA - The Pennsylvania fair circuit's trotters, pacers, and horsemen moved to the eastcentral portion of the state on Sunday and Monday for the annual meeting in this town, which is the next-to-last start on the PA fair circuit this year - and thus important for horses looking to solidify spots in the Fair Championships at The Meadows on Saturday, October 6. One divisional track record was set during the meet, as the Russell Hanover - Applique Hanover freshman pacing gelding Aflame Hanover scorched the track with a 1:56.4 clocking while going wire-to-wire, far eclipsing the former mark of 1:58.1 set by Ya Gotta Go in 2010. Aflame Hanover, who is 5-4-1-0 at the fairs and has been competitive with "the big boys" on the pari-mutuel circuit, is owned by driver Tony and trainer/wife Linda. Ironically, the horse who finished the distant second to "Aflame," Way To Close, clinched the seasonlong points title for the baby pacing colts division with his place finish for Tony's brother Todd Schadel. Among the group's female counterparts, the star has been the Well Said - Chantal Hanover filly Crew Sock Hanover, who is trained and driven by Dave Brickell, also co-owner with Mitchell York - the same pairing behind 2016 North American freshman dashleader Camera Lady. At Gratz Crew Sock Hanover was the first horse to post parade for the weekend, and she was also the first horse home, the 2:00 mile running her record to 9-for-9 on the Keystone twicearounds. (And it took until this race for "Crew Sock" to clinch her points title.) Talk about dominating a division - in the two-year-old diamondgaited colt ranks, Todd Schadel swept the two "A" divisions with Oceanato Hanover (7-5-2-0 at the fairs) in 2:05 and Sinister Hanover in 2:04.1. And with those results, a third member of Team Todd, Keystone Bentley, mathematically eliminated the opposition to become the points champion. Among their filly counterparts, the winners were RT Gloria De Dios (2:02.2) and I'mallthatmatters (2:05). This is the only freshman section that did not have a horse "clinch" its point title - the two it will boil down to at Bloomsburg will be Bumper Hanover (second at Gratz) and Misty Lane (third). That the three-year-olds got to race at all on Monday was in part due to Gratz's track surface, probably the most "waterproof" on the circuit, but in probably larger part due to the efforts of the Wiest family, who handled a steady rain with skill and kept an excellent surface under the circumstances for the horsemen. Dave Brickell won Sunday's first race with Crew Sock Hanover, and he took the initial Monday contest with the redoubtable Well Said pacing gelding Venier Hanover, who came his own last quarter in 28.2 to post a 1:57.4 victory for Team Brickell/York. But Venier is not only not a "clinched" pointleader, he's not even in the lead in the division, as second again was Cirrus De Vie, the 2017 Championship winner, running his fair scorecard to 13-7-6-0 (all six seconds to you-know-who). Venier, who now has won eight in a row at the fairs, could even win at Bloomsburg this weekend, and if Cirrus De Vie finished second, "Cirrus" would be the pointleader (Venier was not at his best early in the year). The battle for point honors among the sidewheeling filly set is even closer after Monday wins by friendly rivals that date back to their high school wrestling days - Roger Hammer (Birch Bark, 2:01.2) and Same Beegle (Alexis May Hanover, 2:02.2). Geisha Seelster is currently in the lead, but depending upon Bloomsburg results both Keystone Diamond and Pretty Proud (the 2017 point and Championship winner) could take the honors. Given the tricky weather on Monday, the two three-year-old colt trotters, both late bloomers at the fairs, were as impressive as anybody - Tymal Advocate won in 2:00.3 to run his recent fair record to 4-for-5, while Show Me The Magic has triumphed in 5 of his last 7 fair outings after a 2:01 score. The sectional point title, though, will be another three-way late battle, among Grapple Hanover, Eiffel Hanover, and Yougottabecrazy. The only fair competitor who had been able to clinch a point title before Gratz, the three-year-old Blow Back, was second at Gratz to Bellamente in 2:03, with Blow Back now showing a still-impressive 13-8-5-0 fair scorecard. She'll have to stay at her best through Championship time, though, to deny Critical Hanover (11-6-5-0 at the fairs), who won the other Gratz division in 2:01.2. Todd Schadel again was the big winner at Gratz, with six victories on both the training and driving side, and is uncatchable no matter the results at Bloomsburg, which races on Friday at 1:00 p.m. and Saturday at 11:00 a.m. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association  

MEADVILLE, PA - The Pennsylvania fair circuit, which lost three of its first five cards to bad weather but had had only one interruption since (at Bedford Fair, losing one-plus of the two cards at that meet), was washed out of both cards of the two-day Sire Stakes meet scheduled for the Crawford County Fairgrounds in this northwest Pennsylvania town on Tuesday the 11th and Wednesday the 12th. Hard rain on Monday combined with little wind and a passing shower at key times rendered the track surface unable to allow safe racing. Bad weather/ rain has been plaguing the east part of the country recently (with more seeming likely to follow). And that last parenthetical remark is very meaningful, in that there are only two more stops on the Keystone State fair circuit this year, and the storm in the Atlantic is threatening possible nasty weather at the end of the week. It is hoped - especially by horsemen and horses who are "on the bubble" in the pointstandings in their respective divisions - that the Sunday-Monday meet at Gratz will not be visited by moisture, although the Gratz track can take a weather beating as well as any track on the circuit. After that, the last chance for horses to display good form, to either make the October 6 Fair Championships at The Meadows or to get in another race to maintain their current good form, would be at Bloomsburg the Friday and Saturday after that, the 21st and 22nd. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

BLOOMSBURG, PA - "Considering that this harness racing track was 3-4 feet underwater about three weeks ago, the horsemen can't say enough to praise John Brokenshire and his crew at Bloomsburg for the outstanding job that has been done here." That was said by PHHA president (and winner of the meet's first race) Sam Beegle after the northeast Pennsylvania oval and attendant areas had been worked back into masterful shape by Brokenshire, only in his second year in charge of the racing at Bloomsburg, and his co-workers, producing three track records and five 2:00 miles during the two-day "Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes meet" at the fairgrounds on Monday and Tuesday. The Dave Brickell Stable, with Brickell as trainer/driver and co-owner with Mitchell York, produced the two outstanding performances of the meet. The first came during the Monday two-year-old racing, when the Well Said - Chantal Hall pacing miss Crew Sock Hanover toured the Bloomsburg oval in 1:58 - which is the fastest time ever produced by her age, sex, and gait at any Pennsylvania fair; the old mark of 1:58.2, co-held by Ellen Hanover (2004) and Bell on Wheels (2009), both at Bloomsburg, was bid a fond adieu by the winner, now undefeated in eight fair outings and victorious nine times overall. And all this from the people who two years ago brought you Camera Lady, winningest two-year-old in North America with 15 trips to Victory Lane. And all this from the people who last year brought you Venier Hanover, who as a freshman set eight track records while the dominant force on the Keystone twicearounds. Another offspring of Well Said, the gelding started off slowly this year but recently has been ablaze, taking his sixth straight start, in 1:55.1, reducing Alastor Hanover's 2006 local 3PC standard of 1:56.4 dramatically. The third track record notched at the Bloomsburg fairgrounds came from the Muscle Massive - Missing Dough two-year-old trotting filly Touch Of Dough, who a race after Crew Sock Hanover reduced her mark by six full seconds to 2:01, a time also a fifth quicker than the 2006 local performance of Shesfastandfurious. Touch Of Dough has now won five of her last six starts for driver Eric Neal, trainer/father Randy Neal, and Beal Racing Stable LLC. Fastest trotting mile of the meet overall came from the Donato Hanover sophomore gelding Show Me The Magic, a four-time fair winner who completed the mile in 2:00.1 for driver Tony Schadel and his dad, trainer/owner Bruce Schadel. The other 2:00 performers during the meet were the Western Terror - Tootsie J two-year-old pacing colt Way To Close, home in 1:58.3, a new mark, for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, co-owner with wife Christine; the Somebeachsomewhere sophomore pacing filly Keystone Diamond, here overcoming the second tier to tally in 1:59.1 to become a winner of five straight in the fair "A" class, also trained and driven by Todd Schadel and owned by him in partnership with Dr. John Egloff; and the A Rocknroll Dance gelding Legendary Ron, who went in 1:59.3 in the "B" class of the three-year-old colt pace for Todd's brother Tony Schadel, whose wife Linda is trainer and co-owner. Todd Schadel and Roger Hammer each drove four winners during the two-day stand to tie atop the sulkysitters category; Schadel sent out five winners from his barn (Roger drove the other winner) to come out ahead in the conditioners derby. The fair circuit will now go west for one final time, racing at the Crawford County Fair in Meadville next Tuesday the 11th and Wednesday the 12th in a two-day "Sire Stakes meet," before ending its season "over east" during the fairs at Gratz on Sunday the 16th and Monday the 17th and then at Bloomsburg on Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association

STONEBORO, PA - Trainer/driver "Smilin'" Dave Brickell, in partnership with co-owner Mitchell York, was the star of the show at the two-day meet held in this northwest Pennsylvania city, setting a track record for freshman pacing fillies with Crew Sock Hanover at 1:59 and equaling the fastest mile of the fair season at 1:57.2 with the sophomore pacing gelding Venier Hanover - the seventh straight fair victory for "Crew Sock" and the sixth in a row with "Venier." Crew Sock Hanover was first in the spotlight during Thursday's activity for two-year-olds. The daughter of Well Said-Chantal Hanover was extended late to get the nod over her stablemate Magic Speech in a 28.1 last quarter, with the 1:59 final clocking reducing TSM Maija Star's old mark by just shy of three full seconds. Crew Sock Hanover has yet to taste defeat in her seven appearances on the Keystone twicearound circuit. The filly pacers produced a close finish, but their colt counterparts produced an even-closer one: in a two-horse contest, the camera could not separate the Slickest Hanover - Not So Precious gelding Slickslidenaway and the Well Said gelding Delightful Fashion in 2:01.4. Trainer Stephen White guided Slickslidenaway to his maiden victory for owners Susan Sickle, Thomas Sickle, and Jeanne Carr, while Mike Wilder was in the sulky behind Delightful Fashion as he took his first "A" level win for trainer Rich Gillock and owner Harry Locke. The title for fastest freshman trotter again went to a female over a male, as has been the norm on the circuit so far this season. RT Gloria De Dios, a daughter of Muscle Massive out of the Quaker State Series star RT Sun Pocono, recorded her fourth win in five fair outings while lowering her mark to 2:05 for driver Kyle Bolon, trainer Bob Rougeaux III, and the Brocious Racing Stable Inc. The very first horse to post parade on Friday's card for sophomores was the Well Said gelding Venier Hanover, who has regained the form that made him the terror of the circuit at two, winning in 1:57.2 in a mile with back fractions of 57.2- 27.4 for team Brickell / York. Second in the mile was Cirrus De Vie, who has a fair scorecard of 11-7-4-0 (no points for guessing the horse that beat him four times, although in fairness "Cirrus" won with "Venier" in the beaten field five times early in the year). Third was Love Cut, the horse who had first set the 1:57.2 seasonal standard winning a "B" Sire Stakes event. The trotting fillies again went faster than the colts, and even came within a fifth of equaling the pacing fillies. The Explosive Matter miss Blow Back trotted her mile in 2:02.2 for trainer/driver Roger Hammer, co-owner with Vicki Fair, and amazingly, like her stablemate Cirrus De Vie has a fair record of 11-7-4-0. The race before, the Well Said filly Alexis May Hanover "upheld the pride" of the pacing set, recording her first "A" win while overcoming the trailing post five in 2:02.1 for trainer/driver Sam Beegle (like Hammer a member of the Bedford [PA] Sports Hall of Fame) and the ownership of the Arthur Bay Stable, Darryl Breniser, and Don Marean. The family Schadel were again in the spotlight for the leading horsemen's awards, but at Stoneboro it was trainer Linda Schadel and driver/husband Tony who each recorded three wins to take local honors. The fair circuit now makes an eastern cameo for a two-day Sire Stakes meet at the Bloomsburg Fair, with racing on Monday and Tuesday at 1 p.m. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

WATTSBURG, PA - As they have been for much of the summer on the state fair circuit, the harness racing fillies, especially the trotting fillies, provided the majority of the notable achievements during the two-day meet Tuesday and Wednesday at the Erie County Fairgrounds in this northwest Pennsylvania town. An alteration in the Wattsburg record books was needed on Wednesday, three-year-old day, after the Donato Hanover filly Worldly Hanover ran her fair record to 2 for 2 after trotting a 2:04.4 mile, lowering the 2014 mark established by Static Electricity from 2:05.2. Harold Brocklehurst trains and drove the talented miss for Double R Farms LLC, David Obley, and Richard Williams, and to give some perspective on the quality of her clocking, Worldly Hanover went as fast as the "A" pacing filly division did, when the Ponder filly Amusing Dragon won for driver Aaron Johnston, trainer Gary Johnston, and owner Dr. William Solomon. One of the oldest military strategies in the books is "Divide and conquer," and that's just what General Roger Hammer did in the three-year-old pacing colt ranks: he sent his Cirrus De Vie out at Indiana yesterday and finished second to the streaking Venier Hanover, then came to Wattsburg on Wednesday and won with his other high-class sophomore colt, Marvalous Falcon, posting the meet's fastest time, 2:01.4, in winning for breeder-owner-trainer-driver Hammer. During Tuesday's racing for two-year-olds, the fillies went faster than the colts on both the pace and the trot. On the pace, the Well Said - Treat Me Good filly Sure R Lookin Good ran her fair record to 4-3-1-0 with a 2:03.3 triumph for driver Eric Neal, trainer Robert Krenitsky Jr., and owner Julie Krenitsky; the colt pace went in 2:04.3. On the diagonally-gaited side, Eric Neal came right back with the Muscle Massive - Missing Dough filly Touch Of Dough taking 2:09 to run her recent tally to four wins in her last five races for trainer Randal Neal and the Neal Racing Stables LLC; the baby colt heats did not produce a mile faster than that. The meet awards for leading driver and trainer were settled in a manner that may be unique in harness annals. Going into the last two heats on Wednesday, Eric Neal had four victories, and Aaron Johnston had two - and in both of the end-card heats, a horse Aaron was listed on was scratched. But since he was listed on both horses in the first, scheduled to be a two-horse contest, Johnston kept the drive behind walkover Urban Resort. Then, going into the last race, with the drivers score Eric Neal 4 - Aaron Johnston 3 and the trainers score Gary Johnston 3 -- Cory Kreiser 2, another two-horse field was cut in half by scratches - with Gary Johnston's trainee scratched, and Aaron picking up the drive on the remaining entrant, Flying Monkey ... trained by Cory Kreiser. After that walkover, Eric Neal and Aaron Johnston ended up with four winning drives, and Cory Kreiser and Gary Johnston wound up with three winning pupils. (There will likely be differing viewpoints on walkovers in the next discussion among Team Johnston.) Not missing a beat, the Pennsylvania fair circuit will be in action on Thursday and Friday at Stoneboro, with first post at 11 a.m. (The street address in the PA Fair Harness Guide is in error; plug your GPS with Mercer Road in Stoneboro to get where you need to.) From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association

STONEBORO, PA -- Horsemen racing at the Stoneboro (PA) Fair on Thursday and Friday should note that the 2018 PA Fair Harness Guide contains the wrong address: you can find the fairgrounds at 2381 Mercer Road, Stoneboro PA 16153.   From PHHA / Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association  

INDIANA PA - This has been the Year of the Two-Year-Old Trotting Filly along the Pennsylvania fair circuit, and that trend continued at the two-day harness racing meet in this westcentral Pennsylvania town on Monday and Tuesday. The first-named day was given to freshmen, and it was the day when Ridinonarainbow trotted the half-mile track in 2:05.4 to equal the standing mark first set by Lady Broadway six years minus one day before. This was the second entry into the record books for the daughter of Muscle Massive - Cantab Cabela; at Hughesville she had rewritten that track's standard to 2:02.4. It has also been the Year of Todd Schadel at the Keystone fair twicearounds, and this race reflects that fact as well as any - Todd trains and drives Ridinonarainbow, and he also trains second-place finisher Bumper Hanover, who also has accounted for a pair of track records. Todd and his wife Christina owns both fast misses. Schadel was again the leading driver at a meet, with a 5-4 advantage on his brother Tony; he harnessed six visitors to Victory Lane at Indiana, while no other horsemen had more than two. We have mentioned both Lady Rainbow and Tony Schadel so far; we should add that Team McMullen, which guided the fortunes of Lady Broadway and which has campaigned sparingly at the fairs this year, made its first 2018 visit to the circuit's winner circle, and fittingly at their "hometown track," as Tony Schadel guided Giant Possession to victory in the "B" event for this division. Tony and his trainer/wife Linda are also the co-owners of another very nice baby, the Russell Hanover - Applique Hanover gelding Aflame Hanover, who overcame the second tier to win in 2:00.2. Already the fastest freshman of the fair circuit by virtue of a 1:58.3 mile at York, Aflame Hanover has bankrolled in excess of $37,000, with a 4-3-1-0 record at the fairs and a nose defeat in the "big" Sire Stakes, as well as a third in an Arden Downs Stake event. Tuesday's three-year-old action started out with a bang, as the very first race was the "A" division of the Fair Sire Stakes colt pace. It proved to be another chapter in the comeback of Venier Hanover; after a 13-1-3-0 start to the season between overnights and the early fairs, the Well Said gelding roared to his fifth straight score, in 2:00.1. Second again was the consistent Cirrus De Vie (Roger Hammer), who has a 10-7-3-0 record at the fairs. One of the best rivalries of the fair season has been between sophomore filly trotters Blow Back and Critical Hanover. Blow Back won the Indiana matchup in 2:06.4 in a two-horse contest with her archrival. Critical Hanover is now 9-5-4-0 at the fairs, and the Explosive Matter distaff Blow Back is 10-6-4-0; after this win for trainer/driver Roger Hammer, co-owner with Vicki Fair, Blow Back now has a 4-3 head-to-head advantage. Two-year-olds raced along the fair circuit at the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg on Tuesday; a full account of the meet there will be filed tomorrow after the three-year-old card. From there, the circuit goes right to Stoneboro for racing on Thursday and Friday. Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association  

  WATTSBURG PA -- A reminder to all horsemen who intend to race at the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg PA this Tuesday and Wednesday: Post time each day is at 11:00 a.m., despite what might be read elsewhere.   Declarations for both days of racing on Wattsburg are due on Monday at 10 a.m., in accordance with the normal PA fair circuit rules.   PHHA / Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association    

CHESTER, PA - On Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, both Warrawee Ubeaut and Treacherous Reign performed as expected in their final round preliminary of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies, both winning in 1:51.3 to have people looking forward to their $252,000 Championship battle at The Meadows on Saturday afternoon, September 1. Treacherous Reign was up first, and she showed gameness in her victory. 50-1 shot Stonebridge Soul went right out to the top despite the outside post eight, having the lead to the 27.2 quarter before Andrew McCarthy moved Treacherous Reign to the lead well before the 56.1 half. The victorious daughter of Captaintreacherous - Scandalous Hanover was able to hold first-over She's Allright at bay through and past a 1:23.2 3/4s. but there was one more battle - to her left - to be won. The longshot Stonebridge Soul had never disengaged after surrendering the lead early, and in fact she was clawing back at the winner inch by inch through the lane. But Treacherous Reign downed her game rival by a neck to go 3-for-3 in her Sires prelims, including an upset of Warrawee Ubeaut in her previous start, and the winner of four of five lifetime starts may be peaking at an opportune time for trainer Tony Alagna and the ownership of Alagna Racing LLC, Big Als Stables, Let It Ride Stables Inc., and Mr. Dana Parnham. The connections on Warrawee Ubeaut have said they looked forward to the time when she could "race off of a helmet" and not have to move to the lead early because of her credentials and overwhelming support. In this race driver Yannick Gingras showed no thought of starting quickly with the daughter of Sweet Lou - Great Memories, settling fifth early in a 26.3 initial panel. At the 55.4 half she was given her cue to go, and go she did, with a 26.4 individual third quarter carrying her right up to the lead, and she widened her advantage to 3¾ lengths at the wire while reducing her mark. After starting her career with three wins including two in Sires competition, Warrawee Ubeaut went a faster pace than she ever had in his last race, and Treacherous Reign caught her on the money by a half-length. But Warrawee Ubeaut, now also 4-for-5 in her career, showed no ill effects from the defeat here today for trainer Ron Burke and the ownership of Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phil Collura, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. (As for Gingras, he was off to the airport to catch a flight to Toronto, where Manchego was to take on Atlanta in their big head-to-head confrontation.) The Harness Bureau of the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission is the official keeper of PA-sired competition points, but an unofficial tally of the standings after the races yielded these horses as the leading pointwinners: 1. Warrawee Ubeaut, 2. Treacherous Reign, 3. Rockin Philly, 4. Bestseller Hanover, 5. Sylph Hanover, 6. She's Allright, 7. (tie) Stonebridge Soul and Sweeter Lulu, 9. Sweet Chrome, 10. Art Lecture. Like Warrawee Ubeaut, Sylph Hanover and She's Allright are part of the Burke Brigade. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

MEADVILLE, PA - The Pennsylvania fair circuit checked into the Crawford County Fair in the northwestern part of the state for two days of racing on Wednesday and Thursday. Each day there was a free-for all event honoring the late local legend Walter "Boots" Dunn in addition to the state Fair Sire Stakes. Boots's longtime friendly rival Roger Hammer swept the two divisions of the FFA pace, both in 2:02: with the Nuclear Breeze gelding R N Nate, a horse which he bred, owns, trains, and drove, and with Mcjaggersonthemove, who was claimed for $7000 by owner/trainer Ryan Shafer and has now three for five for his new connections. Both horses overcame the outside post six. The FFA trot was won by a Lucky Chucky horse with an even-better recent win ratio: Thanks For Playin came to town having won his last four starts at Ocean Downs, and he gave new owner-trainer-driver Lester Mullet a quick return with a 2:06 tally. In the Fair Sire Stakes, last year's terror Venier Hanover is quickly becoming this year's terror Venier Hanover, as the Well Said gelding, who set eight divisional track records at the fairs this year including the local freshman standard, strung together his fourth straight victory after a slow start to his campaign. He won in 2:01.2, fastest of the meet, over Cirrus De Vie, who has a 9-7-2-0 fair record, the two losses to Venier the last two times they have met. Here Dave Brickell got a 28.1 individual last quarter out of Venier Hanover to catch Cirrus De Vie by two lengths for trainer/driver Brickell, also co-owner with Mitchell York. Hammer's Cirrus De Vie may be feeling the wrath of the rejuvenated Venier, but the veteran horseman won the other section of the "A" colt pace in 2:02.2 with Marvalous Falcon, again in a breeder/owner/trainer/driver capacity. Almost as quick as Venier Hanover (just a tick behind in final time) was the Somebeachsomewhere sophomore sidewheeling filly Keystone Diamond, who has now won her last three fair outings for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, who shares ownership with Dr. John Egloff. On the trotting side, the fillies went faster than the colts among both the sophomores (Thursday) and freshmen (Wednesday). Swiftest was another Todd Schadel pupil, Critical Hanover, a daughter of Crazed who is owned by his wife Christine and his son Cody. Todd guided her to a 2:03.4 ¾-length victory over Blow Back (Hammer), and these two are marvels of consistency: Critical Hanover is now 8-5-3-0 at the fairs, Blow Back 9-5-4-0. Honors among the freshmen were won by the Muscle Massive - R T Sun Poco miss RT Gloria De Dios, now unbeaten in three fair starts with a 2:06.2 score for driver Kyle Bolon, trainer Bob Rougeaux III, and the Brocious Racing Stable Inc. (RT Sun Poco may have been the top performer in the last few years of the old Quaker State series.) The freshman pacing filly Crew Sock Hanover has now won five straight at the fairs after Well Said - Chantal Hall baby stepped home first in 2:03.1 for Team Venier Hanover, Dave Brickell and Mitchell York. Fastest of all the freshmen was yet another Todd Schadelite, the gelding Motive Hanover, also by Well Said and out of Maeve Hanover, who has now taken three straight after a 2:02.3 tour of the double oval for Todd and co-owner/son Cody. The Pennsylvania fair circuit again "splits" this coming week, with racing at Indiana on Monday and Tuesday and Wattsburg (Erie County) on Tuesday and Wednesday. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

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

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