CLEARFIELD – JC Mik Mac Jillio gave driver Dave Brickell a great start to the third day of the Clearfield County Fair harness racing meet by setting a Driving Park record for 3-year-old filly trotters in the second of nine Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races Wednesday.
The bay filly, who has 15 wins in 32 lifetime starts, won the Second Division of the Dunlap-Swales Memorial Race by a whopping 14 lengths in 2:03.4, one-fifth of a second faster than the old mark set by Roydon Score in 2001 and matched by Victory Starburst in 2003 and Annabelle Lee in 2006.
Making the record extra special for Brickell is the fact that JC Mik Mac Jillio, tied for first place in her class in Pennsylvania fair circuit points with six wins in seven starts, is named after his six grandchildren, Jocelyn, Camden, Micalya, Mackenzie, Jillian and Olivia.
Then, the steamy afternoon turned into an unforgettable one for the 59-year-old owner-trainer from Smicksburg, a small town 14 miles southwest of Punxsutawney.
Four more victories followed, boosting Brickell past Winston Lineweaver into the lead for the coveted Charles \”Buster\” DiSalvo Trophy that goes to the meet\’s winningest driver.
Asked if he had ever accomplished anything to rival the five-win performance that ranks high among the best in Clearfield County Fair history, the state fair circuit\’s leading driver and trainer quickly replied, \”Never!\”
And the winning formula?
\”Just luck,\” he laughed.
A little luck, perhaps, but sitting behind a impressive quintet of colts and fillies contending for 3-year-old Pennsylvania Sire Stakes points championships on the fair circuit certainly is a factor.
While JC Mic Mac Jillio is a co-leader, Hardwood Hanover and KT Nickerin Dixie are one-three in the colt trotter standings, and She\’s So and DVC Dixie Cocktail are one-two in filly pacer points.
Brickell swept the two divisions of the Crawford Williams Memorial Filly Pace with fast trips by DVC Dixie Cocktail in the first and She\’s So in the second.
DVC Dixie Cocktail scored in 2:01.1 to beat Bigtime Hanover, driven by Steve Schoeffel, by 1-3/4 lengths. Owned by Dave and Ronna Brickell, the bay filly raised her win total to 13 in 34 races the last two years and went over $22,000 in earnings.
She\’s So registered one of the week\’s few come-from-behind victories, overtaking Schoeffel\’s Clear Character in the stretch for her seventh win in 13 starts this year with a 2:01.2 clocking. Clear Character finished 2-1/4 lengths back.
Brickell\’s two winners in the Ward Fink Memorial Trot had similar trips.
KT Nickerin Dixie inherited the lead in the First Division when Bahama Yankee went off gait on the final turn and was 11 lengths ahead of Joe Offutt\’s Whatawaste at the wire with a 2:05.3 clocking. Driver David Wade filed an objection regarding Bahama Yankee\’s break, citing a flat tire caused by Brickell and KT Nickerin Dixie, but it was not upheld.
KT Nickerin Dixie, is owned and trained by Ken Weaver of Home, which is between Punxsutawney and Indiana. The bay gelding has four wins in six fair races in addition to trotting a 2:01.1 mile for a victory at The Meadows.
In the Ward Fink Memorial Trot\’s Second Division, Brickell had Hardwood Hanover in the pocket behind Investor Springs when Rick Beinhauer\’s bay gelding went off gait entering the final turn. At the finish line, Harwood Hanover was 12-1/4 lengths ahead of Marion Marathon, winning in 2:05.4.
Owned by Jack Claypoole of Kittanning, the bay colt has six wins and three seconds in 10 trips to the post for earnings of more than $10,500 this summer, including a win in 2:01.3 at The Meadows.
Brickell just missed a sixth win with DVC Done Good in the Jay Master Memorial Colt Pace. Broule Hanover, driven by Bryce Truitt, won by a half-length with the fastest mile of the week, 2:00.3. Those two colts are tied for first place in their division of the fair circuit PSS point standings.
Broule Hanover, closing in on $20,000 in earnings this year, boasts a 1:56.3 trip at Dover Downs among his six wins in 20 races after going winless in five starts in 2006.
Also, Brickell was scheduled to drive Indiana Hanover in the First Division of the Dunlap-Swales Memorial Trot, but Schoeffel showed up to drive the bay filly owned by his mother, Virginia, and wife, Kathy. Indiana Hanover trotted the mile in 2:01.1 for her sixth win in 18 races by 4-1/2 lengths over Pete Kaiser\’s Wyndridge Prancer.
She was not raced as a 2-year-old because of EPM, a nerve disorder, according to Terry Schoeffel, Steve\’s father and the meet\’s official timer.
\”It\’s a very debilitating disease horses get from mosquitoes or being around possums,\” Terry Schoeffel said. \”They get real clumsy and stagger around. In the old days, we used to call it the \’wobbles.\’
\”You have to treat them and give them six to eight weeks of stall rest. Some horses, it works. Some horses, it doesn\’t. Actually, the treatment is made out of chicken combs.\”
Joe Offutt, always a fan favorite at the half-mile oval and winner of the first DiSalvo Trophy more than 20 years ago, stayed in the chase for driver honors by guiding Keepum Steppin to victory in the Third Division of the Dunlap-Swales Memorial Trot.
The bay filly beat Randy Neal\’s Heirodynamic to the wire by 1-1/2 lengths with a 2:04 trip. Truitt\’s Penn Tag was another half-length back in third place.
Like Indiana Hanover, Keepum Steppin did not race as a 2-year-old but has bounced back in strong fashion. She has three wins, including one in 1:59 at The Meadows, and three seconds in 11 starts.
\”She got sore when we trained her down last year,\” said Chris Offutt, Joe\’s son and co-owner of Keepum Steppin with his uncle, Bernard. \”So, we kicked her out to pasture to let her get better. We brought her back this year and she\’s been good ever since.\”
In the Second Division of the Ward Fink Memorial Trot, R T Gizmo remained second in fair circuit PSS colt points with a wire-to-wire dash in 2:03.3 that beat Truitt\’s Forrest County by five lengths. Forrest County was coming off a victory in a Quaker State race Tuesday.
Robert Rougeaux drove R T Gizmo, owned by Harold Brocious of Marion Center, to his fourth win in 15 starts this year. The bay gelding has seven wins and more than $20,000 in earnings lifetime.
The Clearfield County Fair record for driver wins in a day is unknown, but Schoeffel recalls winning seven of eight races one afternoon. He\’s won the DiSalvo Trophy three of the last five years.
Brickell is more than satisfied with his five firsts that have him one ahead of Lineweaver and two up on Offutt and Truitt going to the final card.
Pennsylvania Sire Stakes 2-year-olds will bring down the curtain on the 2007 meet Thursday as they trot and pace for $17,500 in purses. Post time is 1 p.m. for the first of nine races.
Wednesday\’s results, with place, horse\’s name, post position in parenthesis and driver\’s name:
Dunlap-Swales Memorial 3-Year-Old Filly PASS Trot
First Division – 1. Indiana Hanover (1), S. Schoeffel; 2. Susquehanna County (3), B. Truitt; 3. June Part (4), R. Neal; 4. Wyndridge Prancer (2), Z. Kaiser; 5. My Elusive Dream (5), L. Lambert. Time: 2:06.
Second Division – 1. JC Mik Mac Jillio (1), D. Brickell; 2. Miss Katie Lane (3), J. Offutt; 3. Princes Q T Pie (2), Z. Kaiser; 4. Triple T Dawn (4), B. Truitt. Time: 2:03.4 (Track record for 3-year-old filly trotters).
Third Division – 1. Keepum Steppin (1), J. Offutt; 2. Heirodynamic (4), R. Neal; 3. Penn Tag (2), B. Truitt; 4. RT Ima Lady (3), R. Rougeaux. Time: 2:04.
Ward Fink Memorial 3-Year-Old Colt PASS Trot
First Division – 1. KT Nickerin Dixie (5), D. Brickell; 2. Whatawaste (2), J. Offutt; 3. RT Mr Magoo (4), R. Rougeaux; 4. Bahama Yankee (1), D. Wade; 5. Mesquite Grill (6), M. Albaugh; 6. Hogue\’s Rockie (3), J. Green. Time: 2:05.3.
Second Division – 1. R T Gizmo (2), R. Rougeaux; 2. Forrest County (3), B. Truitt; 3. Pine Hill Gigolo (4), S. Schoeffel; 4. Bellimbusto (5), Z. Kaiser. Time: 2:03.3. Scratched – Mablesyrup (1).
Third Division – 1. Hardwood Hanover (3), D. Brickell; 2. Marion Marathon (2), C. Flickinger; 4, placed 3. Tuscarora Pay Cash (5), C. Shaw; 3, placed 4. (Investor Springs (1), R. Beinhauer; 5. Tag Party (4), W. Lineweaver. Time: 2:05.4.
Crawford Williams Memorial 3-Year-Old Filly PASS Pace
First Division – 1. DVC Dixie Cocktail (1), D. Brickell; 2. Bigtime Hanover (2), S. Schoeffel; 3. Lady Down The Hall (4), J. Offutt; 4. Big City Hanover (3), W. Lineweaver; 5. Maggies Indian Art (5), C. Shaw. Time: 2:01.1.
Second Division – 1. She\’s So (5), D. Brickell; 2. Clear Character (2), S. Schoeffel; 3. Au Artist (3), W. Lineweaver; 4. Avila Hanover (1), R. Neal; 5. Miss Unimpossible (4), J. Horten. Time: 2:01.3.
Jay Master Memorial 3-Year-Old Colt PASS Pace
1. Broule Hanover (3), B. Truitt; 2. DVC Done Good (2), D. Brickell 3. Future Art (4), J. Offutt; 4. Spinx (1), W. Lineweaver; 5. Big Bad Shady (5), C. Shaw; 6. Jack\’s Pride (6). Time: 2:00.3.