CLEARFIELD — Venier Hanover has been hailed as one of the best two-year-old colt pacers in the country, and Clearfield County Fair harness racing fans will attest to that after watching the bay gelding shatter the Driving Park division record in Monday afternoon’s first Pennsylvania Sire Stakes dash.
Dave Brickell of Smicksburg, near Punxsutawney, drove Venier Hanover to his seventh win in 10 starts in 1:59.4, which wiped out the 2:01.4 mark established by Love of Art in 2002 and matched by DVC Done Good in 2006, DVC Firm Believer in 2009 and Luscious Al in 2009.
The Pennsylvania Fair Circuit sensation, whose mark of 1:53.3 came in a July 13 win as the betting favorite at The Meadows, was on the rail at the start of the lone PSS “A” Colt Pace but was fourth leaving the gate.
He was third coming out of the first turn, and Brickell was content to keep him behind Legendary Ron, driven by Tony Schadel, and Cirrus De Vie, with Roger Hammer in the sulky, until the closely-bunch trio emerged from the lower turn of the half-mile oval.
Cirrus De Vie showed up on the lead and held on until deep stretch when Brickell urged Venier Hanover past the bay colt trained and co-owned by Hammer for a ¾-length win that was, by far, the most exciting finish of the seven-race card.
Those two also were one-two in fair duels at Meadville July 22 and Bedford three days later.
The Driving Park record is the third for Venier Hanover, recipient of the Auto Mart of Clearfield cooler blanket. He obliterated the Dayton Fair standard by 2-2/5 seconds with a 1:58 mile in his first race June 17 and chopped 2-3/5 seconds off the Butler Fair divisional mark with a 2:00.4 trip June 29.
Brickell also trains and co-owns the freshman sensation with Mitchell York of Cranberry. They’ve seen their standout pile up $40,613 in earnings already.
Marvalous Falcon is the only rival to beat Venier Hanover to the wire in seven fair races, winning by four lengths in 2:01.4 June 25 after Brickell’s entry had to make up ground from the second tier start that left him sixth and outside early on.
Venier Hanover emerged victorious in two races since then, but Marvalous Falcon has flashed signs of his potential with a near-record 1:58.2 score at the Gratz Fair July 8 and a 1:55.2 clocking at The Meadows July 19.
The bay gelding bred, owned, trained and driven by Hammer added a third win to his ledger in the afternoon’s second race, which was the first of two PSS “B” Colt races.
After taking the lead from Ding Ding Dinger, driven by James Dodson, coming out of the first run, Hammer had Marvalous Falcon gradually stretch the margin to 10½ lengths by the time he hit the finish line in 2:01.1.
His share of the Richie Salvatore Memorial purse hiked his winnings to $13,499 for seven starts.
The second PSS Colt “B” race cooler, sponsored by W.G. Satterlee & Sons, Inc., was claimed by So Articulate with his second ‘W’ in six starts.
Driven by Chris Shaw, the bay colt trained by brother Jason Shaw, was fourth and last down the backside the first time, second at the half-mile pole before chasing down Marvalous George and driver Cory Kreiser early in the stretch.
So Articulate was 2¼-lengths in front at the end of his 2:06 trip, increasing his earnings for co-owner Mason Shaw of Scenery Hill and Robert Kane of Winter Haven, Fla., to $4,567.
The PSS “A” Filly Pace winners were Amusing Dragon in the Betty Mae Waroquier Memorial Division and Pretty Proud in the Richard & Betty Fink Memorial Division.
Amusing Dragon, driven by Aaron Johnston for owner Dr. William Solomon of New Freedom, surprised most of the chart readers with her maiden win, coming on strong in the final half to track down Tsm Deja Vu, reined by Cory Kreiser, coming out of the final turn and pull away to prevail by 3¾ lengths in 2:04.4.
Hammer’s four-time winner Geisha Seelster opened the door for those two when he broke in the first turn, but came back to just miss placing second by a head.
Amusing Dragon has earned $6,657 in seven races.
Pretty Proud, driven by Steve Schoeffel for owners Barbara and James Richardson of Washington, Pa., and trainer Rich Gillock of Belle Vernon, only had to contend with Jazzhands Hanover, with Shaw in the sulky, in what be the first two-horse race for the Clearfield County Fair.
The bay filly went gate-to-wire in 2:03.2 for her fourth win in six starts, boosting her earnings to $14,780.
In the PSS “B” Colt races, Marvelous Song came from behind to win the E. Jay Master Division while Goddess’s Legacy led all the way for her maiden win in the Moyer’s Auto Body Division.
Wayne Long’s Battle of Cannae and Hammer’s Birch Bark were the pacesetters before Shaw made his move with Marvalous Song down the backstretch and finally grabbed the lead early in the stretch.
The Team Shaw filly made it three wins in six starts with a new lifetime mark of 2:05.4, beating Birch Bark to the wire by 2½ lengths, to send his earnings to $9,943.
Johnston had no problems posting his second win of the day as Goddess’s Legacy left the two other starters behind in a wire-to-wire victory with a 2:07 score.
The bay filly has returned $2,999 in six starts for owners Kelly Rader of Evans City and Robert Jesteadt of Prospect.
At the halfway mark of the four-day meet, the Charles “Buster” DiSalvo Trophy chase is a dead heat between Hammer, a 12-time winner, and Shaw, who ruled in 2016 for his second time in three years.
Eight races are on Tuesday’s card for three-year-old trotters, with purses of $32,250 at stake. Post time will be at noon.
Monday’s results, with horse’s name, number in parenthesis, and jockey’s name:
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES TWO-YEAR-OLD “A” COLT PACE
Auto Mart of Clearfield Division ($7,875) – 1. Venier Hanover (1), D. Brickell; 2. Cirrus De Vie (2), R. Hammer; 3. Legendary Ron (3), Tony Schadel; 4. Hidden Act (5), W. Long; 5. Night Dreamer (5), C. Shaw. TIME: 1:59.4 (Track record for 2YO colts and geldings).
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES TWO-YEAR-OLD “A” FILLY PACE
Betty Mae Waroquier Memorial Division ($5,300) – 1. Amusing Dragon (3), A. Johnston; 2. Tsm Deja Vu (4), C. Kreiser; 3. Geisha Sheelster (2), R. Hammer; 4. Whisperstemtation (1), L. Smeal II. TIME: 2:04.4.
Richard & Betty Fink Memorial Division ($5,225) – 1. Pretty Proud (2), S. Schoeffel; 2. Jazzhands Hanover (1), C. Shaw. TIME: 2:07.2. Scratched – Bindi (3).
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES TWO-YEAR-OLD “B” COLT PACE
Richie Salvatore Memorial Division ($2,750) – 1. Marvalous Falcon (4), R. Hammer; 2. Ding Ding Dinger (1), J. Dodson; 3. Ginger Tree Toby (3), N. Cook; 4. Ricks Wild Card (5), S. Schoeffel; 5. Rescue Hanover (2), L. Smeal II. TIME: 2:01.1.
W.G. Satterlee & Sons, Inc. Division ($2,700) – 1. So Articulate (4), C. Shaw; 2. Marvalous George (2), C. Kreiser; 3. Sergeant Dinger (1), J. Dodson; 4. Ginger Tree Mcdade (3), N. Cook. TIME: 2:06.
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES TWO-YEAR-OLD “B” FILLY PACE
E. Jay Master Memorial Division ($2,700) – 1. Marvalous Song (4), C. Shaw; 2. Birch Bark (1), R. Hammer; 3. Battle of Cannae (3), W. Long; 4. Boys Mover Over (2), C. Kreiser. TIME: 2:05.4.
Moyer’s Auto Body Division ($2,650) – 1. Goddess’s Legacy (1), A. Johnstown; 2. Tsm Gusta T (2), C. Kreiser; 3. Urban Resort (3), B. Brown. TIME: 2:07.