The Explosive Matter sophomore trotting colt Stickler Hanover, four days removed from lowering the all-time trot record at Clearfield (PA) to 2:01.1, came back Friday and trotted a 2:02.2 mile over the twicearound oval at the Crawford County Fairgrounds in Meadville, Pennsylvania, giving him not only that meet’s fastest trot, but equaling the quickest mile posted by pacers.
Stickler Hanover, the 2019 Fair Championship winner, is now six-for-eight in 2020, undefeated in three fair Sire Stakes and also a Stallion Series winner, and 14-for-23 lifetime, with earnings of $104,584 for trainer/driver Steve Schoeffel and owners Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel. The Schoeffels can surely do without the rare misstep “Stickler” made before the start here, but he quickly righted the ship and went on to a 1-1/4 length victory.
The other 2:02.2 performer at Meadville was the Western Ideal filly Shake N Go, making a successful debut at the fairs for driver Tony Schadel, trainer Rich Gillock, and the Bay Pond Racing Stable.
The first three-year-old to notch four “A” level wins was the Delmarvalous pacing gelding Lifes Marvalous, who drew off to win by over seven lengths in 2:04.4 for owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer. The Hammer barn completed a sweep of the division with a horse who had never raced at the fairs before Monday, but has adapted quickly – the Artspeak gelding Bipbopnallie, who won in 1:59.4 in a “B” event at Clearfield, and then here stepped up to “A” and overcame a second tier starting spot in a 2:02.3 triumph for driver Branden Smith and the ownership of Leblanc Racing Inc., Count De Money Stable, and William Lutz.
The two-year-olds raced the day before, and the high-percentage team of co-owners driver David Brickell and trainer Mitchell York swept the pacing events, with the Betting Line-Lazan Hanover filly Lazy Day Hanover not only winning in the fastest freshman time, 2:03.4, but also becoming the first horse to win five times at the fairs – she has performed the feat without losing. On the colt side, the Artspeak–Subtle Charm gelding Seth Hanover is now four-for-five at the fairs after posting a 2:05.3 victory.
The Father Patrick–Princess Pearl trotting colt Capo Dei Capi had taken four fair races to start the campaign, was second at Clearfield, but bounced right back to get to five fair wins with a 2:08.1 tally for the ownership of driver/husband Tony and trainer/wife Linda Schadel. Both Capo Dei Capi and Lazy Day Hanover have achieved their quintet in “A” competition.
Aaron Johnston drove four winners at Meadville to win a very close “photo finish” among sulky-sitters, with five other drivers notching three apiece. Roger Hammer sent out five successful charges from his busy barn to top that grouping.
The Pennsylvania fair circuit will be back in business at the Wayne County Fair in Honesdale next Thursday and Friday at 1 p.m., with entries due by Tuesday at 10 a.m.
(Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association & Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association)