After a cool but sunny Monday (Aug. 26) of racing two-year-olds, the skies threatened the three-year-old action on Tuesday (Aug. 27) at the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg, Pa. After hard work by the track crew enabled the races to continue as scheduled, the three-year-old A Rocknroll Dance colt Under Paid to pace a mile in 2:00.3, just two-fifths of a second behind the all-time Wattsburg standard.
In his division of the “A” Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes for his class, Under Paid and driver Aaron Johnston were in charge for the mile, posting splits of :29.2, 1:00.3, and 1:31. Under Paid came home in :29.3, just two ticks shy of the all-time local mark shared by Venier Hanover and Midway Island. Under Paid has now won three straight: his fair debut, a pari-mutuel Stallion Series event and at Wattsburg, with trainer Ron Burke taking a rare dip into the fair waters and emerging successful for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Lawrence Karr, and Phil Collura.
A Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes champion in 2018, the Muscle Massive trotting filly RT Gloria De Dios has continued her solid form into her sophomore season, becoming the first horse in 2019 to win six times in the “A” Sire Stakes level with a 2:05.4 victory, the fastest trotting mile of the meet. Now a 12-time career winner, RT Gloria De Dios was driven by Kyle Bolon for trainer Robert Rougeaux III and the Brocious Racing Stable Inc.
The most impressive horse on the Monday card for two-year-olds was the Father Patrick-Yankee Etta trotting gelding Penance, who won his fifth “A” fair event in 2:06.3, just three-fifths shy of the divisional track record set by Tag The Lady 10 years ago. Penance, who also was a winner of a division of the Arden Downs Stakes, has the same connection as RT Gloria De Dios: driver Kyle Bolon, trainer Bob Rougeaux III, and the Brocious Racing Stable LLC.
Bolon won twice on both Monday and Tuesday to emerge as the short meet’s top driver with four victories. Roger Hammer trained three juvenile winners and added a sophomore win to take honours as the leading trainer with four triumphs.
The Pennsylvania fair circuit is right back in action at Stoneboro, Pa., Thursday (Aug. 29) and Friday (Aug. 30), with the racing scheduled to start at 11 a.m.
(with files from the MSOA, PFHHA and PHHA)