CLEARFIELD — Close finishes in half of the 10 races helped get the 2013 Clearfield County Fair Harness Racing Meet off to a great start Monday afternoon.
Those down-to-the-wire thrillers, coupled with three other dashes that were decided by less than three lengths, made it an exciting program for the fans in the Driving Park grandstand.
Four dozen two-year-olds trotted for purses totaling $27,207 in the Quaker State and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races, and only two of the winners were able to go gate-to-wire.
Newcomer Mark Mosher made an auspicious Clearfield County Fair debut to grab the early lead for the Charles “Buster“ DiSalvo Trophy that goes to the driver with the most wins in the four-day meet.
He swept the two Quaker States events with Muscle Pump Queen and Whichwayrightrleft, both leased by Sylvanus B. King Jr. of New Holland, and came back to score in the fourth dash with Tickettotheparty for lessee Clifton C. Green of East Earl.
All were first-time winners.
The only other driver who made it to the winner’s circle more than once was Marty Wollam, who guided Rudi’s Jet and Mickie The Mouch to back-to-back maiden wins in the eighth and ninth races for Ohio owners.
Muscle Pump Queen, whose previous two starts were at raceways, set the tone for the chilly July day in the filly division of the Quaker States Trot.
The bay filly earned the Earl Hallstrom Memorial cooler blanket by overtaking R-Lene’s Ellie, driven by Steve Schoeffel, in the final strides for the first of the card’s five come-from-behind victories.
Mosher kept Muscle Pump Queen in the pocket for both trips around the half-mile oval, and she responded in late stretch to set her mark at 2:14.4, besting R-Lene‘s Ellie by 1¼ lengths.
A nose separated Whichwayrightrleft and Bucks County, driven by David Brickell, in the Moyer’s Auto Body Division photo finish.
Whichwayrightrleft was third leaving the gate for the first time but moved up a spot when early leader Wingman Lauxmont went off gait on the backside. Bucks County inherited the lead and set the pace until Mosher took his bay gelding outside rounding the final turn. Whichwayrightrleft just did inch past Bucks County to stop the clock at 2:12.1.
The first of four dashes in the PASS Filly Trot had the fans standing and screaming for the third consecutive finish as Cantab Baby, driven by Roger Hammer for the Dunn Stable of Cochranton, held off hard-charging Broadridge by a half-length in 2:11.4.
The brown filly’s win was her second and boosted her earnings near $7,000 for five starts. She also claimed the Betty and Richard Fink Memorial blanket.
Mosher returned to the winner’s circle in the A.E. “Gus” Mellott Jr. Memorial Division, content to keep Tickettotheparty sitting third until the halfway mark when he drove him into the No. 2 spot.
It wasn’t until mid-stretch that the bay filly trotted past Fashion Entre to go under the wire in 2:10, winning by 2½ lengths after having placed no better than fourth in four previous starts, all at raceways.
In the Foster Kerr Memorial Division, undefeated Cantabs Lightning made it four wins on the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Racing Circuit this month for owner-trainer-driver Wayne Long of Camden, Del.
The bay filly relinquished her lead to Hammer’s Bella Palazzo going by the grandstand the first time, regained it at the three-quarter pole, lost it again in the final turn but came back again coming out of the turn to win by a half-length in 2:10.4.
Bessie, a bay Brickell owns, trains and drives, was a wire-to-wire winner by two lengths over She Nuit, driven by William Daugherty Jr., in the Hallstrom Family Division.
She scored in 2:11.2 for her third win in six starts on the fair circuit since setting her lifetime mark at 2:06.1 at The Meadows. Her earnings now top $6,000.
The fastest mile of the day was recorded by Ruiz, driven by 70-year-old Winston Lineweaver in the Butch Flanagan Memorial Division of the PASS Colt Trot.
The bay gelding owned by Neal Racing Stable LLC of Punxsutawney and trainer Eileen Lineweaver of Marydel, Del., went in front after Hammer’s Dyno Ryno broke after leading four rivals out of the gate and posting a 2:04.2 for a 4¼-length victory.
Ruiz has won three fair races and almost $4,500 since setting her mark of 2:02.1 in a qualifier at The Meadows on July 5.
Wollam notched contrasting victories in the next two dashes.
In the W.G. Satterlee & Sons, Inc. Division, Wollam and Rudi’s Jet kept Ramesses and then Poppa’s Pick in their rearview mirror all the way.
However, Mosher reined Poppa’s Pick outside and made it exciting before breaking just before the wire to lose by a neck.
Rudi’s Jet registered his first win in three starts in 2:11.3. The chestnut Colt is owned by Wollam of Vienna, Ohio, and Hans Bachmann of Lexington, Ohio.
In the Richie Salvatore Memorial Division, Wollam sat in the pocket with Mickie the Mouch until the final turn when he took the chestnut colt owned by Anthony Minute of Walton Hills, Ohio, outside of Brickell’s Mr Weaver and assumed command early in the stretch.
The 2:10.4 win came on the heels of sixth-place and seventh-place finishes in Mickie the Mouch’s only other starts, both at The Meadows.
The Auto Mart of Clearfield was no contest after Broadway Charm, driven by Schoeffel, went by Southbound N Down in the first turn.
Broadway Charm flashed under the wire in 2:06.3, a new lifetime mark. He was a whopping 18½ lengths ahead of Southbound N Down, in his third win.
The bay gelding owned by Susan Daugherty of Mercer has a second and a third in his other two starts and sports more than $6,000 in winnings.
Eleven races for two-year-old pacers make up Tuesday’s card. Post time is at noon.
Monday’s results, with place, horse’s name, post position in parentheses, and driver’s name:
Quaker State 2-Year-Old Trot
Earl Hallstrom Memorial Division (Purse $1,260) – 1. Muscle Pump Queen (4), M. Mosher; 2. R-Lene’s Ellie (1), S. Schoeffel; 3. Remarkable Tsunami (2), S. Miller; 4. Lajama (3), J. Kirkbride. TIME: 2:14.4.
Moyer’s Auto Body Division (Purse $1,285) – 1. Whichwayrightrleft (4), M. Mosher; 2. Bucks County (2), D. Brickell; 3. Swift Tsunami (5), C. Shaw; 4. Maxaroni N Cheese (1), B. Brown; 5. Wingman Lauxmont (3), W. Long. TIME: 2:12.1.
Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Filly 2-Year-Old Trot
Betty & Richard Fink Memorial Division (Purse $3,028) – 1. Cantab Baby (2), R. Hammer; 2. Broadridge (1), A. Johnston; 3. Marion My Way (3), M. Mosher; 4. Ashley Madison (4), L. Merriman. TIME: 2:11.4.
A.E. Gus Mellott, Jr., Division (Purse $3,078) – 1. Tickettotheparty (1), M. Mosher; 2. Fashion Entre (2), R. Hammer; 3. Merrylegs (4), M. Wollam; 4. Glide by Shooting (5), C. Shaw; 5. Candyandcaviar (3), D. Brickell. TIME: 2:10.
Foster Kerr Memorial Division (Purse $3,078) – 1. Cantabs Lightning (4), W. Long; 2. Bella Palazzo (1), R. Hammer; 3. Irenic (3), A. Johnston; 4. Sheema Star (2), B. Brown; 5. Static Electricity (5), C. Shaw. TIME: 2:10.4.
Hallstrom Family Division (Purse $3,078) – 1. Bessie (1), D. Brickell; 2. She Nuit (5), W. Daugherty, Jr.; 3. My Own Way (3), B. Brown; 4. Coltrane’s Quest (2), R. Hammer; 5. Isabella Hanover (4), M. Mosher. TIME: 2:11.2.
Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Colt 2-Year-Old Trot
Butch Flanagan Memorial Division (Purse $3,100) – 1. Ruiz (4), W. Lineweaver; 2. Ada Glide (1), M. Mosher; 3. Blazin’ Tsunami (5), E. Petersheim; 4. Aston Hanover (3), C. Shaw; 5. Dyno Ryno (2), R. Hammer. TIME: 2:04.2.
W.G. Satterlee & Sons, Inc. Division (Purse $3,100) – 1. Rudi’s Jet (3), M. Wollam; 2. Poppa’s Pick (5), M. Mosher; 3. Ramesses (4), C. Shaw; 4. Paterno (1), R. Hammer; 5. Marion Malibu (2), D. Brickell. TIME: 2:11.3.
Richie Salvatore Memorial Division (Purse $3,100) – 1. Mickie The Mouch (2), M. Wollam; 2. Mr Weaver (3), D. Brickell; 3. Formidable Tsunami (1), S. Miller; 4. Flynn Rider (4), W. Lineweaver; 5. Something To Order (5), M. Mosher. TIME: 2:10.4.
Auto Mart of Clearfield Division (Purse $3,100) – 1. Broadway Charm (3), S. Schoeffel; 2. Southbound N Down (4), C. Shaw; 3. Borrowed Time (2), M. Mosher; 4. Rags to Richness (5), R. Hammer; 5. Superstarmaster (1), N. Morford. TIME: 2:06.3.