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Benezia Sets Crawford County Record

Published: August 19, 2019 8:13 pm ET

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The Pennsylvania fair circuit made its way to the northwest part of the state and the Crawford County Fairgrounds in Meadville PA – and unfortunately so did the bad weather that has plagued the mid-part of the season at the local fairs.

Rain washed out the Fair Sire Stakes races for three-year-olds on Monday, along with the Free-For-All Trot.

On Sunday, the Sebastian K S–Frou Frou freshman colt Benezia broke his maiden by winning an ‘A’ division of his Fair Sire Stakes, going wire-to-wire by 13 lengths for driver Steve Schoeffel, trainer Dan Walski, and the Walski Stables LLC. His time of 2:05.2 was a Meadville divisional track record for a race; there was a 2006 qualifier where the baby trotting male Penn Monie Mosie won in 2:05.1, and both times are carried in the Meadville record book (or will be until someone beats the “Q” record).

In the Boots Dunn Free-For-All Pace, named after the long-time patriarch of racing not only at Meadville but through all the Keystone state fair circuit, the Real Artist gelding Artists Ruffles went to the lead at the quarter and increased his margin from there, winning by 14-1/2 lengths in 1:59.4 for trainer/driver Roger Hammer, also co-owner with Vicki Fair. The clocking was just 2/5 of a second off the track divisional standard set three years ago by Ruffle Up – a full brother to Artists Ruffles when the two were Hammer stablemates.

The Ponder–Odds On Affair colt Champ Charbel kept up his winning ways during the card’s initial race, going clear by six lengths in a 2:02.4 mile, fastest in the Fair Sire Stakes, for driver Shawn Johnston and owner/trainer Joe Karrat. Champ Charbel started his fair campaign with two wins in ‘B’ company, and since going up to the ‘A’s he has a 5-3-1-1 record.

During the abbreviated meet, Hammer and drivers Kyle Bolon and Chris Shaw each guided two winners, while among trainers Hammer and Karrat both had doubles.

The state fair circuit continues through its busy summer with racing at the Indiana County Fair this Thursday and Friday, the former day for two-year-olds and the latter for three-year-olds. First post is set for 2 p.m. on both days.


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