Stickler Hanover and Dream Dancing repeated as Pennsylvania Fairs champions, and the unlikely duo of Andy Miller and trainer Todd Schadel teamed up for three crowns Monday at The Meadows.
The Meadows hosted all eight fairs finals with a number of horsemen enjoying big days. Brady Brown collected a pair of titles, as did Chris Shaw — both for trainer Mitchell York. Rick Beinhauer also reeled in two championships — one as owner/trainer, the other as owner.
Stickler Hanover was the picture of talent and versatility this year, succeeding at the fairs and in raceway overnights and stakes. On Monday, he zipped to the lead from post 6 for Brown and prevailed over Focus Pocus by a length in 1:56.3, with Manofmanymuscles fourth-placed third.
The three-year-old colt trotter, a son of Explosive Matter-Secret Credit, lifted his career earnings to $135,765 for trainer Steve Schoeffel and owners Virginia Schoeffel and Kathy Schoeffel.
“One more start, the Simpson, and then he’s done for the year,” the trainer said. “We’ll turn him out for a couple months, then hopefully he’ll be my Open horse.”
Dream Dancing needed the Lightning Lane to do it, but she edged the 1-9 favourite, Ginger Tree Carey, by a head in a career-best 1:53.1 for Shaw and York. Artistic Spirit completed the ticket.
“She can start and she can finish,” said York, who co-owns the three-year-old daughter of A Rocknroll Dance-Clearly Foxy with David Brickell. “She’s good pretty much anywhere on the track. We’ll probably race her a few more times this year.”
Dream Dancing, who dead-heated for last year’s championship win with Silly But Serious, increased her lifetime bankroll to $116,700. Interestingly, Silly But Serious also was in Monday’s field but couldn’t overcome post 9 and finished out of the money.
In the other championships:
2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot — Top Me Off
How does a top Grand Circuit driver like Miller end up at the PA Fairs?
“I’ve never been here for the fairs finals,” Miller explained, “but Todd had a lot in and said he needed a little help.”
And help Miller did. He steered Top Me Off to a 6-1/2-length blowout in 1:56.3, a life mark. Killer Instinct and By A Hoff Hanover rounded out the ticket.
“In the first quarter, I didn’t rush him too much,” Miller said of the Barhopping-Chiptomylou gelding who races for Todd Schadel, Christine Schadel, Rick Beinhauer and Regina Beinhauer. “Once I got to the front, it was just a little cruise around there after that.”
2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace — Terry A Hanover
Terry A Hanover had lost four straight races to Seth Hanover, but he nailed him Monday with the pocket trip Miller worked out, defeating his archrival in 1:55.2. Shakealeg Hanover, also conditioned by Todd Schadel, was third.
“When I put Andy up, I thought today would be the day,” Schadel said. “
Christine Schadel and Caitlin Solt campaign the son of Artspeak-Triplet Hanover.
3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace — Nome Hanover
Nome Hanover finished in the money in 16 or his previous 18 starts this year, so it was no surprise when he outkicked Full Send to defeat him by 2-3/4 lengths in a career-fastest 1:52.4 and complete the Miller-Schadel hat trick. Needham Hanover rallied for show.
“I parked him the whole mile at Bloomsburg, and he didn’t care,” Schadel said of the Well Said-Northern Cameo gelding he owns with Timothy Hayes and Megan Moschgat. “He just keeps going.”
2-Year-Old Filly Trot — Explosive Flower
Explosive Flower and Brown provided the day’s tote board pyrotechnics, rallying from well back to prevail in 2:00.1 at a juicy 28-1. Sunshineintherain recovered from an early break to finish second, with Frankkiss third.
“This filly’s been tough all year — she raced super,” said winning trainer Beinhauer, who owns the daughter of Explosive Matter-Seeuinthespring with Regina Beinhauer. “She’s controllable, very easy to rate and sound.”
2-Year-Old Filly Pace — Tiamogonedancen
Tiamogonedancen, a daughter of A Rocknroll Dance-Tiamo, danced smartly to the top and scored by 3-1/4 lengths in 1:55.3, a lifetime mark, for Shaw and York. Mountain Peaks and Catie Faye Hanover were second and third respectively.
“She had an injury early in the year, so she missed the first three or four fairs,” York said of the filly he owns with Brickell. “But she came on strong when she came back. She’ll get a couple months off now.”
3-Year-Old Filly Trot — Cocktails N Dreams
Cocktails N Dreams retook the lead and gamely held off Plumb to edge her by a neck in 1:57.3, fastest mark of her career, with Furious Fast third.
“I raced her a couple times earlier this year, and she was second or third in stakes,” said winning driver Aaron Merriman. “She’s not really a front-end horse, but I had to drive her to win.”
Linda Schadel owns the daughter of Father Patrick-Cocktail Attire and owns with Tony Schadel.
Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the 13-race card features a $62,943.23 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 p.m.
(Meadows Standardbred Owners Association)