This has been the Year of the two-year-old trotting filly along the Pennsylvania fair circuit, and that trend continued at the two-day meet in this west central Pennsylvania town on Monday and Tuesday.
The first-named day was given to freshmen, and it was the day when Ridinonarainbow trotted the half-mile track in 2:05.4 to equal the standing mark first set by Lady Broadway six years minus one day before. This was the second entry into the record books for the daughter of Muscle Massive–Cantab Cabela; at Hughesville she had rewritten that track’s standard to 2:02.4.
It has also been the year of Todd Schadel at the Keystone fair twice arounds, and this race reflects that fact as well as any – Todd trains and drives Ridinonarainbow, and he also trains second-place finisher Bumper Hanover, who also has accounted for a pair of track records. Todd and his wife Christina own both fast misses. Schadel was again the leading driver at a meet, with a 5-4 advantage on his brother Tony; he harnessed six visitors to Victory Lane at Indiana, while no other horsemen had more than two.
We have mentioned both Lady Rainbow and Tony Schadel so far; we should add that Team McMullen, which guided the fortunes of Lady Broadway and which has campaigned sparingly at the fairs this year, made its first 2018 visit to the circuit’s winner circle, and fittingly at their “hometown track,” as Tony Schadel guided Giant Possession to victory in the “B” event for this division.
Tony and his trainer/wife Linda are also the co-owners of another very nice baby, the Russell Hanover–Applique Hanover gelding Aflame Hanover, who overcame the second tier to win in 2:00.2. Already the fastest freshman of the fair circuit by virtue of a 1:58.3 mile at York, Aflame Hanover has bankrolled in excess of $37,000, with a 4-3-1-0 record at the fairs and a nose defeat in the “big” Sire Stakes, as well as a third in an Arden Downs Stake event.
Tuesday’s three-year-old action started out with a bang, as the very first race was the “A” division of the Fair Sire Stakes colt pace. It proved to be another chapter in the comeback of Venier Hanover; after a 13-1-3-0 start to the season between overnights and the early fairs, the Well Said gelding roared to his fifth straight score, in 2:00.1. Second again was the consistent Cirrus De Vie (Roger Hammer), who has a 10-7-3-0 record at the fairs.
One of the best rivalries of the fair season has been between sophomore filly trotters Blow Back and Critical Hanover. Blow Back won the Indiana matchup in 2:06.4 in a two-horse contest with her archrival. Critical Hanover is now 9-5-4-0 at the fairs, and the Explosive Matter distaff Blow Back is 10-6-4-0; after this win for trainer/driver Roger Hammer, co-owner with Vicki Fair, Blow Back now has a 4-3 head-to-head advantage.
Two-year-olds raced along the fair circuit at the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg on Tuesday; a full account of the meet there will be filed tomorrow after the three-year-old card. From there, the circuit goes right to Stoneboro for racing on Thursday and Friday.
(Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association)