The 2012 season on the Pennsylvania County Fair Racing Circuit got underway on Saturday (June 16) in Wattsburg, the first time the Erie County oval hosted the season opener, featuring sophomores in Sire Stake action.
Brian Zendt cashed in with four winners on the afternoon, tops among drivers, while Boots Dunn posted three wins as a trainer.
The day’s richest events, two $5,817 divisions of the three-year-old filly trot. Zendt and Dunn teamed to win in 2:07.1 with Barefoot Brook, fresh off a Stallion Series win at Harrah’s Philadelphia. The daughter of Cantab Hall is now two-for-five on the season.
In the second division, Bill Kirwan’s Erin Kristen was a winner for trainer John McMullen and driver Dave Brickell. The Chip Chip Hooray filly was an upset winner in 2:10, her second career victory.
Three $3,900 groups of colt trotters next faced the starter, and Zendt captured the first with Trustworthy Kid, owned by the Dunn Stable and trained by Boots Dunn. The SJs Caviar gelding scored for the second time in his career, trotting in 2:12.3.
Bob And Bobby (Andover Hall), already a nine-time winner in 24 career starts going into the day, captured the second split in 2:09.3. Steve Schoeffel catch drove for owner Susan Daugherty and trainer Bill Daugherty.
Zendt and Dunn came back to win the third division, as Redder Than Red, making his first start since the Currier And Ives at The Meadows, won in 2:06.4. Redder Than Red is a homebred son of SJs Caviar.
State-bred sophomore filly pacers were featured next in three $3,900-plus divisions. Nuclearccino, a daughter of Nuclear Breeze, gave owner-trainer Roger Hammer his first fair circuit win of the year, pacing in 2:07.1. Chris Shaw picked up the catch-drive.
Wanna Go Fast, a filly by Yankee Cruiser, gave Schoeffel his second win as a driver on the day and first as a trainer. Virginia, Kathy and Brooke Schoeffel own in partnership with Trish Adams. Wanna Go Fast has now won twice in five seasonal starts. The winning time was 2:05.3.
In the final filly pacing division, TSM Pearldrop, a recent purchase by owner Gary Johnston, won in 2:06 for trainer Aaron Johnston and driver Shawn Johnston. TSM Pearldrop, by Allamerican Ingot, broke her maiden in her 18th career effort.
Colt pacers were featured in the closing set of races, and Anotherbugga (Allamerican Ingot), a newcomer to the fair circuit from Maryland, paced one of the fastest miles in the history of the Wattsburg Fair, scoring in 2:02.2. John Bell owns and trains, while Jim Dodson picked up the winning catch drive.
Nate Breeze, by Nuclear Breeze, won the second division in 2:04. Brian Zendt catch-drove for owner-trainer Roger Hammer.
Finally, Hershey Please closed out the day with his first career win in his 15th start. The son of I Am A Fool, trained and reined by Steve Schoeffel, paced the mile in 2:06.1. Steve Lander and Kathy Schoeffel co-own.
The first two-year-old Sire Stakes of the year will take place on Sunday at Wattsburg. Post time is 1 p.m.
For additional photos, video and information from the PA Fair Circuit, visit the Standardbred Breeders of PA website, www.standardbredbreederspa.org and the PA Fair Horsemen's website, www.pafairharness.com.
(PA Fair Harness Horsemen's Association)