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Butler Records Still Intact

Published: July 3, 2015 11:57 pm ET

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The fairgrounds half-miler in this northwestern Pennsylvania town was as fast for racing Thursday and Friday as most people could remember – but the spirits of Dauphin Hanover and Audie K could breathe easy at the end of the meet.

Dauphin Hanover’s 21-year-old track record for trotters, 2:03, and Audie’s 23-year-old mark for pacers, 2:00.2, still stood – but barely, after some swift three-year-olds gave the marks their best shot on Friday, after the freshmen raced Thursday.

Fastest trotter of the meet was the sophomore Andover Hall gelding Simeon, who flirted with local record-making but wound up winning in 2:03.2 for trainer/driver Dave Wade, also co-owner with Jerry Brittingham, William Peel III, and Delores Wade.

Three-year-old filly trotter Missive altered the Butler standard for her group to 2:03.4, a full second over the old mark of The Yankees Win, in triumphing for trainer/driver Steve Schoeffel and owning partners Lander Stables LLC and Kathy Schoeffel.

‘Beaner’ Schoeffel also drove Audie K to his pacing track record, and he came close to that gait’s all-age mark when he scored with the Western Terror gelding Royaltyhasarrived in 2:00.4. Steve also trains the swift sophomore for owners Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel and Michael Munn.

The 2:00.4 clocking was a Butler track record for the three-year-old pacing male set (Audie K was an older pacer at the time of his record), with that 2:00.4 erasing a mark established 23 … not years, but minutes earlier, by R N Nate, a Nuclear Breeze gelding owned, trained, and driven by Roger Hammer, whose 2:01 lowered by a tick the old divisional record of DVC Giftedindeed.

Hammer was the trainer/driver (and owner) for nine victorious horses over the two days, including, remarkably, all four winners of two-year-old trotting Fair Sire Stakes events. The fastest was the 2:09 time of the Great George Two filly, A Little Laid Back, which beat the 2:09.1 track record for baby trotting colts – but not the 2:08.2 mark for freshman trotting fillies.

In addition to Hammer’s ‘triple-niner,’ for the meet Chris Shaw drove six winners, Steve Schoeffel trained five winners – and 20-year-old Lester Smeal II had one winning drive, the first in his career and only in his third start, parading back Amber Eyes to the winners circle after taking a Quaker State event.

Also, Kevin Lare, normally a noted trainer, drove his first winner since January 9, 2013 (Dover Downs, Polished Terror) when he won with Well Lets See in a Fair Sire Stake two-year-old pacing colt division Thursday.

And perhaps best of all, horsemen got to race both days of the meet – the first time that’s happened in the first four starts of the local fair circuit in 2015.


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