CLEARFIELD — Narrow victories by Allstar Morning and La Fiesta in the middle of the Clearfield County Fair’s final harness racing card enabled Chris Shaw to walk back down the stretch at the Driving Park Wednesday afternoon clutching the Charles “Buster” DiSalvo Trophy as the winningest driver of the four-day meet.
“It means a lot to me,” the 28-year-old resident of the Meadowlands said after the trophy presentation in front of the grandstand. “I wanted it when I came here this week.”
His six wins were with horses trained by his brother, Jason, of Scenery Hill. All are owned by Mason Shaw, Jason’s three-year-old son.
“We’ve got a good group of two-year-olds, and our three-year-olds are banging it out here,” Chris Shaw said.
The DiSalvo Derby went right down to the final race for Pennsylvania Sire Stakes three-year-old pacers with Shaw one win ahead of Roger Hammer, who’s hauled 11 of the huge trophies back to Bedford.
And the Buster’s Sports Bar Division dash will be one the excited fans remember for a long time.
Hammer, who had closed to within one win of Shaw when Ruffle Up was victorious in the previous race, rushed Fangled Hanover out of the gate first with Shaw and Mister Chaos right behind.
Fangled Hanover broke in the first turn, but Hammer settled him down and had him back in front of Mister Chaos as the two bay geldings raced past the grandstand the first time.
That lead was short-lived, too, with Mister Chaos on the rail rounding the upper turn, but Shaw and Hammer were sitting side-by-side until the top of the stretch.
That’s when Wellsaidandone was pulled out of the pocket by Brady Brown to set up a thrilling finish.
They were three wide in deep stretch with Wellsaidandone speeding past both rivals in the final strides to edge Fangled Hanover by a head in 2:01.4. Brown’s textbook drive for trainer Mike Gillock and owner Harry Locke of Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, resulted in the sixth win of the year and the eighth in 24 lifetime starts for Wellsaidandone, a bay gelding with more than $38,000 in earnings.
Mister Chaos, the two-year-old colt winner in the Fair Final at The Meadows last year with Shaw in the sulky for trainer Bobby Rougeaux and owner D&P Racing LLC of Muncy, was a close third, but Shaw wasn’t disappointed with that finish since the DiSalvo Trophy was his.
“I’ll take it any way I can get it,” Shaw said.
And he was very happy to see Brown go the winner’s circle weith Wellsaidandone. Brown is his future brother-in-law.
“I date his sister, Ashley,” Shaw said. “She’s my fiancé.”
Shaw had watched either Hammer or Steve Schoeffel, a five-time DiSalvo Trophy winner, emerge as the top driver in all but one of the 10 years he’s been sitting in sulkies at the Clearfield County Fair.
“I’ve never been ahead going into the last day, or even tied,” he said.
Three wins Monday and one Tuesday had him in the latter position, a logjam that included Hammer, Wayne Long and Todd Schadel, with Schoeffel one back.
It became a three-driver duel when Long and Schadel did not return Wednesday, and Shaw broke away in the PASS Three-Year-Old Filly Pace.
Allstar Morning went gate-to-wire in 2:05.1 in the Betty Mae Waroquier Memorial Division, holding off hard-charging Hopeful Trust and driver Cory Kreiser by a half length. Bellas Quick, driven by Brown, third in the three-wide finish.
Allstar Morning took her earnings over $43,000 with her fourth consecutive fair circuit win, her seventh in 18 starts this year. The bay filly had one win in 12 trips as a two-year-old.
La Fiesta’s trip in the Michael Rowles Memorial Division was quite different.
Shaw took the 2013 Fair Final champion past Brown”s Above And Beyond coming out of the first turn, gave way to driver Todd Cummings and TSM Picassa at the half pole and reclaimed the lead for good in the upper turn. La Fiesta also won by just a half-length, scoring in 2:02.1 for her fourth win of the year and ninth in 26 lifetime races. She has earned $44,436 for the Shaw/Shaw/Shaw connection.
Hammer set the stage for the dramatic final race by guiding Ruffle Up to his first win in seven starts, a 3-3/4-length victory in the Ward Fink Memorial Division of the PASS Colt Pace.
The bay gelding’s time, 2:01, was the best of the week. Hammer, who also is Ruffle Up’s owner and trainer, received the Neeper’s Sweet Treats Trophy for the fastest dash of the day.
Schoeffel, who is just ahead of Shaw in the chase for driving honors on the Pennsylvania Fair Circuit, got his fourth win by taking A OK Hanover wire-to-wire in the Bob Schucker Memorial of the PASS Colt Pace.
The Hammer-trained bay gelding scored in 2:03.4 for a two-length win that was number four in 33 lifetime starts for owner Vicki Lynn Fair of Bedford and boosted his earnings to $19,328.
Brown was a doublewinner, scoring with Artista K in the Dave Franson Memorial Division of the PASS Filly Pace.
The brown filly trained by Mike Gillock for owner Robert Key of Leechburg nipped Shawn Johnston’s Wiggle It Hanover by a neck in 2:03. Winless in 15 starts as a freshman, Artista K registered her third victory, including a 1:59.2 trip at The Meadows for her maiden win, in 18 starts this year. She’s closing in on $30,000 in earnings.
Todd Cummings opened the program with back-to-back wins behind TSM Yankee Lauma in the lone Quaker State Pace and TSM Soul Sister in the PASS Filly Pace’s Cece Lizotte Memorial Division. Both fillies are trained by Robert Krenitsky Jr. for owner Theodore Tomson of Brackenridge.
Third at the three-quarters pole, Cummings took TSM Yankee Lauma outside and past Johnston’s Miss Daisy and Cory Kreiser’s Acelia coming out of the final turn and scored in 2:02.2 to claim the Donald & Marty Urban cooler blanket. Economic Turn, driven by Ed McNeight Jr., was 1-1/4 lengths back.
TSM Yankee Lauma, a winner as the betting favorite at The Meadows in late June, has seven wins and $18,289 in earnings for 22 lifetime starts.
Coming off a win in 1:56.2 at The Meadows last week, TSM Soul Sister made Cummings’ task easy by breezing to a seven-length win in 2:04, her third in six races this summer and her fifth in 17 lifetime starts. She’s earned $17,525.
The four-day meet attracted 176 entries for 34 races with purses totaling $107,784.
Only 11 drivers made it to the winner’s circle as eight posted multiple victories.
Wednesday’s results, with horse’s name, number in parenthesis, and jockey’s name:
QUAKER STATE THREE-YEAR-OLD PACE
Donald & Mary Urban Division (Purse $2,556) - 1. TSM Yankee Lauma (4), T. Cummings; 2. Economic Upturn (1), E. McNeight Jr.; 3. Miss Daisy (3), S. Johnston; 4. Loafer Lauxmont (5), S. Schoeffel; 5. Acelia (6), C. Kreiser; 7. Late Night Thunder (2), C. Shaw. TIME: 2:02.2.
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE
Cece Lizotte Memorial Division (Purse $3,030) - 1. TSM Soul Sister (2), T. Cummings; 2. I Plead The Fifth (1), E. McNeight Jr.; 3. Witch N Famous (5), R. Hammer; 4. Asbury Shark (4), S. Johnston; 5. Karen Irene (3), C. Shaw. TIME: 2:04.
Dave Franson Memorial Division (Purse $3,030) - 1. Artista K (4), B. Brown; 2. Wiggle It Hanover (5), S. Johnston; 3. TSM Seabiscuit B (3), T. Cummings; 4. Medoland Onyx (2), E. McNeight Jr. TIME: 2:03. Scratched – Your Valentine (1).
Betty Mae Waroquier Memorial Division (Purse $3,030) - 1. Allstar Morning (2), C. Shaw; 2. Hopeful Trust (4), C. Kreiser; 3. Bellas Quik (5), B. Brown; 4. Fixed Income (3), S. Johnston; 5. Sunsetonthebeach (1), R. Hammer. TIME: 2:05.1.
Michael Rowles Memorial Division (Purse $2,980) - 1. La Fiesta (3), C. Shaw; 2. TSM Picassa (5), T. Cummings; 4. Make ‘Em Sweat (2), S. Schoeffel. TIME: 2:02.1.
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
Bob Schucker Memorial Division (Purse $3,953) - 1. Waitingforthisone (4), S. Schoeffel; 2. Welcome Wagon (1), B. Brown; 3. A OK Hanover (5), R. Hammer; 4. Bwitchingtheshark (3), C. Shaw; 5. Voiceover (2), T. Cummings. TIME: 2:03.4.
Ward Fink Memorial Division (Purse $3,953) – 1. Ruffle Up (1), R. Hammer; 2. Spot Lauxmont (5), S. Johnston; 3. Spy The Lie (4), S. Schoeffel; 4. El Chivato (3), C. Shaw; 5. TSM Wulf Poof Toof (2), T. Cummings. TIME: 2:01.
Buster’s Sports Bar Division (Purse $3,953) - 1. Wellsaidandone (5), B. Brown; 2. Fangled Hanover (3), R. Hammer; 3. Mister Chaos (2), C. Shaw; 4. TSM Wulfit (1), T. Cummings; 5. Gambler Lauxmont (4), S. Johnston. TIME: 2:01.4.