CLEARFIELD — Announcer Jim McGettigan decided to have a little fun with the Clearfield County Fair harness racing fans when judge Doug Bishop relayed the official result of the photo finish after the second dash Monday afternoon at the Driving Park.
He asked them to pick, with applause, the winner of the stirring stretch duel between Keystone I Wish and Tropical Terror in the Betty & Richard Fink Memorial Division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Two-Year-Old Filly Pace.
It turned all of them were correct, for the photo showed a dead heat that several longtime fairgoers said they had never seen at the Driving Park half-mile oval.
Tropical Terror, sporting wins in all seven of her starts for purses of $16,118, was first out of the gate for driver Chris Shaw, but the inside position enabled driver Todd Schadel to put Keystone I Wish in front rounding the first turn.
The bay filly cut fractions of 29.1, 1:02 and 1:31.2 with a comfortable lead until Shaw took Tropical Terror outside coming out of the final turn to set up their exciting battle in the stretch.
Tropical Terror inched ahead as they neared the grandstand, but Keystone I Wish fought back in the final strides to create the dead heat in 2:03.2.
The still-undefeated Tropical Terror is trained by Shaw’s brother, Jason, and owned by his nephew, Mason, of Scenery Hill.
Schadel trains Keystone I Wish, a first-time winner in 2:00 at the Bedford Fair last week, and co-owns her with his wife, Christine. They are residents of Gratz, near Harrisburg.
Both drivers made it to the winner’s circle two other times to dominate the five divisions of the PASS 2YO Colt Pace.
Schadel had McKee Hanover sitting second to Let’s Go, driven by Jim Dodson, halfway through the Beardsley Funeral Home Division and took the bay colt he owns and trains outside in the stretch for a 3-3/4-length win in 2:05.3.
McKee Hanover was third at Bedford in his first start on the fair circuit after pacing at three different raceways. He’s nearing $5,000 in earnings.
Schadel was involved in another close finish with Breezy Acres in the finale on the nine-race card.
TSM Mr Mcoo, with Cory Kreiser in the sulky, beat Breezy Acres to the wire by a neck in 2:08 but was placed fourth in the Violet Lansberry Memorial Division because of interference in the final turn, according to Bishop.
That gave Breezy Acres his maiden win in just his second start for trainer Schadel and co-owner Roger Hammer of Bedford.
Shaw’s wins were back-to-back with Marshmellow Pulse in the Margaret Haney Memorial Division and Nippy in the Walter Jackson Memorial Division. Both pacers are owned by Mason Shaw and trained by Jason Shaw.
Marshmellow Pulse was the fourth different leader in the sixth race of the day, overtaking Given Up Terror and driver Wayne Long near the half pole and then posting the fastest time of the meet, 2:03, for a six-length victory.
The bay gelding now shows five wins and two seconds in seven starts, good for earnings of $9,841.
Shaw waited just a little longer with Nippy, sending him from third at the halfway mark into the lead around the upper turn, and the bay colt went on to score in 2:06.4 for a six-length win.
Like his stablemate, Nippy has been first or second in every trip behind the gate. He pushed his earnings over $11,000 with his fifth victory.
Hammer, a longtime favorite of fair fans, was a doublewinner with Rustlecafe in the lone Quaker State Pace and R N Nate in The Progress Division of the PASS Colt Pace.
Hammer grabbed the lead with Rustlercafe the first time down the backside and was 7-3/4 lengths ahead of Julio Lauxmont, driven by Cory Kreiser, at the wire to claim the W.G. Satterlee & Sons cooler blanket.
The win in 2:06.2 was the third for the bay gelding Hammer also owns and trains. He’s returned $6,420 in seven starts.
R N Nate went by Steve Schoeffel-driven Temple of Zoom the first time by the grandstand and pulled away from Spark of Fire, driven by Shaw, for his sixth consecutive victory, including one at Pocono Downs.
His time of 2:03.4 left Spark of Fire 9-1/4 lengths back.
R N Nate, who won a qualifying race at Pocono Downs in 1:54, has piled up nearly $19,000 in earnings.
Frisky Artist and SB Kilawatt City were the other two winners in the filly pace.
In the Butch Flanagan Division, Frisky Artist was first out of the gate for Aaron Johnson but dropped back to fourth and didn’t make a move until the second time around the oval.
The bay filly trained by Gary Johnston and owned by Kelly and Thomas Schoeffel of Evans City was on top at the three-quarters pole but had to hold off Clear Winner, driven by Steve Schoeffel, at the wire.
Frisky Artist won by a head in 2:05 for his second victory. He’s been no worse than third in his seven starts, with earnings of $8,150.
With just one third to show for five starts, SB Kilawatt City recorded his maiden win with a 2:06.2 trip that more than doubled his earnings with a $2,021 payoff.
Brady Brown drove the bay filly owned Joseph, M.M. and C.F. Bresnahan and D.L. Kerr of Butler in the lone gate-to-wire win of the chilly afternoon.
Three-year-old trotters and pacers will take to the track Tuesday and Wednesday in programs that will start at noon.
Monday’s results, with horse’s name, post position in parenthesis, and driver’s name:
QUAKER STATE TWO-YEAR-OLD PACE
W.G. Satterlee & Sons Division (Purse $2,526) - 1. Rustlercafe (2), R. Hammer; 2. Julio Lauxmont (3), C. Kreiser; 3. Frat Rocus Betty (4), C. Shaw; 4. Redfish Falls (5), D. Brickell; 5. With Courtesy (1), S. Johnston. TIME: 2:06.2.
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Betty & Richard Fink Memorial Division (Purse $4,092) - 1. (dead heat) Keystone I Wish (3), T. Schadel, and Tropical Terror (4), C. Shaw; 3. Keystone Mai Way (2), A. Johnston; 4. Allstar Ballet (5), C. Kreiser; 5. Joltstheice (1), J. Dodson; 6. Vicki On The Beach (6), Roger Hammer. TIME: 2:03.2.
Butch Flanagan Memorial Division (Purse $4,092) - 1. Frisky Artist (4), A. Johnston; 2. Clear Winner, S. Schoeffel; 3. Lulu B (5), B. Brown; 4. TSM Regan (2), C. Kreiser; 5. Fashion ( Blazer (1), R. Hammer; 6. Eat Lightning (3), C. Shaw. TIME: 2:05.
Bob Luce Memorial Division (Purse $4,042) - 1. SB Kilawatt City (4), B. Brown; 2. Super Scene (1), C. Kreiser; 3. Nanny Bob (5), R. Hammer; 4. Coffee House (2), A. Johnston; 5. Fiesta Lauxmont (3), S. Schoeffel. TIME: 2:06.3.
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES TWO-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Beardsley Funeral Home Division (Purse $2,574) - 1. McKee Hanover (5), T. Schadel; 2. Let’s Go (1), J. Dodson; 3. TSM Starquest (2), C. Kreiser; 4. Koi Lauxmont (3), S. Schoeffel; 5. Light After Terror (6), B. Brown; 6. Gallery Opening (4), A. Johnston. TIME: 2:05.3.
Margaret Haney Memorial Division (Purse $2,574) - 1. Marshmellow Pulse (3), C. Shaw; 2. Given Up Terror (1), W. Long; 3. Clearnbreezie (4), R. Hammer; 4. Soul Mining (6), S. Johnston; 5. John Paul (5), A. Johnston; 6. Dinger Three (2), J. Dodson. TIME: 2:03.
Walter Jackson Memorial Division (Purse $2,574) - 1. Nippy (6), C. Shaw; 2. Pulsating (3), A. Johnston; 3. Dinger Four (4), J. Dodson; 4. Dwalin (5), W. Long; 5. Cole Meister (1), L. De Simone. TIME: 2:06.4. DNF – Hurrican Isaac (2), R. Hammer.
The Progress Division (Purse $2,574) - 1. R N Nate (2), R. Hammer; 2. Spark of Fire (4), C. Shaw; 3. Temple of Zoom (3), S. Schoeffel; 4. Code Meister (1), L. De Simone. TIME: 2:03.4. Scratched – Official Stripes (5) and Modern Yankee (6).
Violet Lansberry Memorial Division (Purse $2,574) - 1. Breeze Acres (3), T. Schadel (finished 2nd, placed 1st); 2. Sharkhart (2), C. Shaw (finished 3rd, placed 2nd); 3. Littledidiknow (4), B. Brown (finished 4th, placed 3rd); 4. TSM Mr Mcoo (1), C. Kreiser (finished 1st, placed 4th). TIME: 2:08.