The Pennsylvania Fair Circuit came to the westcentral Pennsylvania town of Indiana, famous as the home of actor Jimmy Stewart, for two days of harness racing, with Thursday devoted to two-year-olds and Friday to three-year-olds.
The highlight of Thursday’s racing was that both divisions of the “A” Fair Sire Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies came within sight of the local divisional track record of 2:05.4, first established by Lady Broadway in 2012 and then equalled by Ridinonarainbow in 2018. The Explosive Matter–Truffles miss Ruffle My Truffles went first and won in 2:06.3 for trainer/driver Roger Hammer and owners Glenn Dyke and LeBlanc Racing Inc. In the very next race, the Southwind Frank–Tymal Elvira filly Till Im Gone won in 2:06.2 for driver Wayne Long, trainer Bob Rougeaux III and the Brocious Racing Stable Inc.
Also on Thursday, the Betting Line–Strait N Great pacing filly Bettor Strait N Up was the first freshman to get seven “A” fair wins this year in a 2:05.3 victory, with Shawn Johnston catch-driving for trainer Linda Schadel, the latter co-owner with Tony Schadel.
Then came the three-year-olds on Friday, and another big day for Todd Schadel trainees, with the barn’s seven winners including six of the seven “A” events in the Fair Sire Stakes.
Nineteen-year-old Cody Schadel, more and more an important cog in the operation of Team Schadel, had the two highlight miles behind horses trained by his father. Cody set the only track record entering the Indiana books in 2021, as the Cantab Hall trotting filly Cheesy Hanover, winning for the seventh straight time, sped to a 2:03 victory, reducing the old mark of R T Sun Poco (2009) and A Little Laid Back (2016) by three-fifths of a second. Cody's mother, Christine, and father own the talented filly.
Cody also posted the fastest mile of the meet, 1:59.2, in a “B” event for Fair Sire Stakes pacing colts. The Sweet Lou gelding Blazing Light had been 0-for-25 lifetime before dropping from “A”s last week, and here he got the job done in fine style in his second straight victory for Todd and Christine Schadel.
Among the Schadel barn’s accomplishments with Todd driving, one must list the 2020 Fair Champion, the Bar Hopping colt Top Me Off, who is the only fair competitor with eight victories on the circuit, remaining undefeated at the twice-arounds with a 2:03.1 win for Todd and Christine, co-owners with Rick and Regina Beinhauer; also, his pacing equivalent as defending Fair Champion, the Artspeak colt Terry A Hanover, winning in “only” 2:00.4 for Christine Schadel and Caitlin Solt.
The circuit swings about as far northwest as you can go in Pennsylvania, to the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg, PA. The draw is Saturday for Monday and Tuesday racing beginning at noon.
(Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association, Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association)