CLEARFIELD – Narrow victories by pacers Step Back Jack and Lady Down The Hall, who were a neck ahead of fast-closing rivals at the finish line, and trotter Susquehanna County provided most of the excitement for Clearfield County Fair harness racing fans in the Driving Park grandstand Tuesday afternoon.
Five of the winners in the seven Quaker State races were in front at every call by announcer Jim McGettigan, and all of the 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds on the lead after one trip around the half-mile oval wound up in the winner\’s circle.
Driver Winston Lineweaver opened a lead in the Charles \”Buster\” DiSalvo Trophy standings with two wins for the second day in a row, while Bryce Truitt also reined two winners to share second place with Chris Shaw, Joe Offutt and Monday double-winner Terry Brown. The DiSalvo Trophy goes to the driver with the most wins during the four-day meet.
Shaw was in the sulky behind Step Back Jack as they outlasted Offutt\’s Blissfull Doll in the exciting finish of the First Division of the Butch Flanagan Memorial Pace for 2-year-olds. The time for Step Back Jack\’s maiden win was 2:09.3. The bay gelding was eighth in a $7,500 claiming race at The Meadows and second at the Butler Fair in his only other starts. Blissfull Doll, a bay filly, showed a first and two thirds on the state fair circuit.
The drivers switched places in the First Division of the Richie Salvatore Pace for three-year-olds as Offutt\’s Lady Down The Hall held off Shaw\’s Big Bad Shady in the last half mile of a stirring duel to win in 2:03.2, the fastest clocking of the day.
Offutt is co-owner and trainer of the bay filly, now with two wins 10 starts this year and five in 24 trips to the post lifetime.
Her earnings top $16,500.
Truitt and Susquehanna County were a winning tandem for the second time in two weeks as they beat Heirodynamic to the wire by three-quarters of a length in the First Division of The Progress Trot. The 2:08.2 trip pushed Susquehanna County\’s earnings over $15,000. The bay filly, who earned her maiden win in her 41st start July 18 at the Hughesville Fair, denied Heirodynamic her first victory. Heirodynamic, a bay filly who has placed in nine of 15 lifetime starts, is owned by driver Randy Neal and trainer Clifford Neal of Punxsutawney.
Truitt then swept The Progress Trot by reining Forrest County to an easy victory by 4-3/4 lengths in the three-horse Second Division. The bay gelding\’s 2:05.4 trip earned owners John D. McMullen Jr. and Michelle McMullen of Armagh the Fritz Beinhauer Memorial Trophy for the fastest trotting time of the day.
Lineweaver scored with Stillabigtherapy in the Second Division of the Butch Flanagan Memorial Pace and Au Artist in the Second Division of the Richie Salvatore Memorial Pace.
He guided Stillabigtherapy past early pace-setter Tea Room Artist coming down the stretch the first time and breezed to a four-length victory in 2:09.3 after Offutt\’s 2-year-old bay filly went off gait entering the final turn. Stillabigtherapy\’s best finish in four starts, all Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races, was a second at the Dayton Fair.
Lineweaver used a similar strategy with Au Artist in the final race of the afternoon, and the 3-year-old bay filly responded with a new lifetime mark of 2:03.3, winning by 2-3/4 lengths over Sphinx, driven by Shaw. Au Artist had won in 2:04 at the Butler Fair. She had paced a 1:56.2 mile to finish second in a $9,000 claiming race at The Meadows on June 11.
The Moyer Auto Body Shop Trot for 2-year-olds was a ho-hummer for Dancen S J, as the bay colt led wire-to-wire for driver John Green, earning his first win in six starts with a 2:13.4 clocking. It\’s About Time, with Truitt in the bike, finished 3-1/2 lengths back.
Nine Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races for 3-year-olds are on Wednesday\’s card. A total of 45 entries will be trotting and pacing for purses which total $16,036.
The meet ends Thursday with races for Pennsylvania Sire Stakes two-year-olds. Post time is 1 p.m. both days.
Tuesday\’s results in order of finish, with the horse\’s name, post position in parenthesis, followed by driver\’s name:
Moyer Auto Body Shop Quaker State 2-Year-Old Trot
1. Dancen S J (3), J. Green; 2. It\’s About Me (1), B. Truitt; 3. Marion Mania (2), R. Neal; 4. Viking Springs (5), C. Shaw; 5. DNJ\’s Merry Dancer (4), W. Lineweaver. Time: 2:13.4.
Butch Flanagan Memorial Quaker State 2-Year-Old Pace
First Division – 1. Step Back Jack (1), C. Shaw; 2. Blissfull Doll (3), J. Offutt; 3. Wow Man Bingo (2), C. Flickinger; 4. Top Flight Jet (5), A. Johnston; 5. Dark Lightning (4), S. Claypoole. Time: 2:09.3.
Second Division – 1. Stillabigtherapy (1), W. Lineweaver; 2. Sound Dragin (2), C. Shaw; 3. DVC Early Sunrise (3), K. Redmon; 4. Tea Room Artist (4), J. Offutt. Time: 2:09.3.
The Progress Quaker State 3-Year-Old Trot
First Division – 1. Susquehanna County (1), B. Truitt; 2. Heirodynamic (3), R. Neal; 3. Miss Katie Lane (2), J. Offutt; 4. Tag Party (4), W. Lineweaver. Time: 2:08.2.
Second Division – 1. Forrest County (1), B. Truitt; 2. Whatawaste (2), J. Offutt; 3. Tuscarora Pay Cash (3), C. Shaw. Time: 2:05.4.
Richie Salvatore Memorial Quaker State 3-Year-Old Pace
First Division – 1. Lady Down The Hall (2), J. Offutt; 2. Big Bad Shady (4), C. Shaw; 3. Wallrose Maxine (3), J. Green; 4. Tina Turk (1), R. Neal; 5. Maggie\’s Indian Art (5), W. Lineweaver; 6. Sweetthoughtlegacy, G. Barry. Time: 2:03.2.
Second Division – 1. Au Artist (4), W. Lineweaver; 2. Sphinx (2), C. Shaw; 3. Future Art (2), J. Offutt; 4. Avila Hanover (1), R. Neal; 5. Satisfied Customer (3), A. Johnston. Time: 2:03.3.