Harness racing on the fourth of July has been a tradition at the Cannon Valley Fair in Cannon Falls, Minnesota for as long as anyone can remember and this year’s edition was a tremendous success.
A packed grandstand full of very enthusiastic fans was on hand for an 11-race offering, which highlighted Minnesota-sired two and three-year-old trotters and pacers as well as a traditional Free For All Pace and several blanket races to honour the memory of prominent figures and past contributors to Minnesota harness racing.
One of the most impressive performances of the afternoon was turned in by sophomore pacing filly Wavzeka, who was the 2022 County Fair Pacer of the Year. She turned in a very sharp gate-to-wire score in 1:58.1 for a new career mark in her $6,000 division of the three-year-old pace. Her final quarter clocking of :28.2 was tied for the fastest of the day (with Polar Storm and Chef Curry). Completing the top three were Positively Special and Whackitifyougotit. Wavzeka is a daughter of Arts Chip and now has eight career wins from 21 outings for owner/breeder Jay De Long and trainer Justin Anfinson. She was piloted to victory by Todd Warren, who had five driving wins on the afternoon.
What Ya Thinkin (pictured above) was razor sharp and powered to the front where he remained throughout to take the $2,500 Free For All Pace, tying the track record in 1:56.2 and registering his sixth win of the season. He is an eight-year-old Whats Up Now gelding owned by Brady Anderson and trained and driven by Brady Jenson. His victory pushed his career earnings over the $100,0000 mark. Marced Magic was second best in the record mile and Etbauer was home third.
The other pacing winners included freshmen Karpathian Nights (Justin Van Oterloo) in 2:06.3 capturing the Don and Marlene Mattson Memorial, Wisco Incredible (Warren) in 2:03.2 and Rocklikeahurricane (Warren) in 2:06.3; and the other sophomore pacing winner was Polar Storm (Rick Magee) in 2:01.3 to capture the Eldridge Banks Memorial.
The trotting winners included freshmen Wisco On A Mission (Warren) in 2:21, Al-Mar Puredelight (Warren) in 2:24.1 and SV Strawberry Wine (De Long) in 2:19. Sophomore trotting winners included Wisco Tootsie (Rick Magee) in 2:08 and Teeter Trotter in 2:05.4.
Trainer Dan Roland sent out three winners from five starters.
The next stop on the Minnesota County Fair harness racing schedule will be at the Nicollet County Fair in Saint Peter on Wednesday, Aug. 9 with first post at 1 p.m. (CDT).
The live racing season remains in full swing at Running Aces, with action offered three nights a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays starting at 7 p.m. (CDT).
(With files from Minnesota Harness Racing)