CLEARFIELD – Steve Schoeffel of Evans City showed the Driving Park crowd why he is a three-time Clearfield County Fair harness racing driving champion with a five-win performance behind two-year-old pacers in Quaker State and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes events Tuesday afternoon.
Timmy Offutt bracketed the Schoeffel Show with victories in the first and last dashes, closing the nine-race card by guiding DVC Firm Believer on 2:01 trip that tied the two-year-old colt record at the half-mile oval.
Chris Offutt, Timmy\’s younger brother, and veteran Winston Lineweaver also drove into the winner\’s circle on a day the had several thrilling finishes.
Fans leaped to their feet right away when Pure Dixie, with Timmy Offutt in the sulky, held of fast-closing Buttercup Bob to win the first division of the Foster Kerr Memorial Pace for non-winners of $6,000 by a half-length in 2:02. One second was the best finish in 14 previous start for the three-year-old bay filly owned by Offutt\’s parents, Joey and Karen of Woodsboro, Md.
The Offutt family claimed the lion\’s share of the second division purse, too, as Chris steered his parents\’ Bad Storm around first-lap leader DVC Early Sunrise just past the three-quarter pole en route to a 2:05 score. A five-year-old bay gelding with a 1:59.1 win at Rosecroft Raceway, Bad Storm was two lengths in front at the wire.
Schoeffel swept both divisions of the Butch Flanagan Memorial Quaker State Pace with Moments That Last and Flight Forty Eight in just their second starts for owner Karl \”Terry\” Schoeffel, Steve\’s father. Moments That Last won by two lengths over Fantasy Character in 2:05.1 and Flight Forty Eight bested Blueridge Redman, driven by Timmy Offutt, by 2-1/2 lengths in 2:06.3.
Freshmen Pennsylvania Sire Stakes fillies were split into three divisions for the W.G. Satterlee & Sons, Inc. Pace, with Schoeffel-driven Pietra Hanover and Mud Pie Hanover continuing their winning ways on the fair circuit.
In the first dash, Pietra Hanover nipped Roger Hammer\’s Bell on Wheels by a neck with a 2:02.1 trip that equaled her lifetime mark set Saturday at the Bloomsburg Fair. The brown filly, now sporting four wins and three seconds in seven starts, is owned by Schoeffel\’s mother, Virginia, and wife, Kathy.
Mud Pie Hanover registered her third consecutive win in the third division, overtaking Hammer\’s Real Espresso in turn three on the first time around the oval and pulling away with a blazing 29-second final quarter for a 9-1/2-length victory in 2:02.3. The brown filly with four wins and three seconds in seven starts is owned by Schoeffel\’s wife, mother and mother-in-law, Marian Schilling.
Lineweaver\’s Allamerican Tender, owned by trainer William Kreutzer of Rural Valley and Denton Barrett of Marion Center, withstood a judge\’s inquiry to beat Ashley\’s Pride and driver Joey Offutt under the wire by a neck in 2:02.4. The three-wide finish would have been even more spectacular had not Sweetly Western, driven by Schoeffel, gone off gait in the stretch.
Ashley\’s Pride overcame two breaks, the first of which led to the inquiry, to make it a thriller.
\”She (Sweetly Western) should have won,\” Schoeffel said. \”I run her going down to the line. I pushed her off her feet. That was driver error. Kind of made me mad.\”
Schoeffel\’s final win came with Eagle All in the first division of the Ronald P. Lizotte PASS Colt Pace. The bay gelding owned by Schoeffel\’s friend John Kreiser of Lebanon went wire-to-wire in 2:04 to score for the third time in six starts.
\”This was a good day,\” said Schoeffel, who won the Charles \”Buster\” DiSalvo Trophy for the meet\’s winningest drive in 2002, 2003 and 2006. \”We raced six out of my barn, the ones I train, and four win. The last three or four years, we\’ve had good groups of horses. We\’re getting better.\”
Schoeffel had to be content with a close second for his father\’s A K in the finale but the bay gelding played a role in DVC Firm Believer\’s record-equaling victory by pressuring the brown colt throughout the final lap. The two were virtually side-by-side at the half and separated by just three-quarters of a length at the top of the stretch, but Timmy Offutt had DVC Firm Believer ahead by a length and a quarter at the wire.
DVC Firm Believer sports five firsts and three seconds in nine starts for Offutt and his brother-in-law, first-time owner Ryan Knott of Walkersville, Md.
DVC Firm Beliver\’s 2:01 equaled the two-year-old colt pacing record set by Love of Art in 2002. Offutt also was his driver.
\”Love of Art was the favorite horse I had a few years ago,\” Offutt said. \”I always drove him and got along with him real good. He won a lot of races at the fairs.
\”Now, I got this one. He\’s my favorite now.\”
Tuesday\’s purses of $24,992 boosted the two-day total to $49,704, eclipsing last year\’s four-day payout.
Racing continues Wednesday as 33 trotters will line up behind the gate with $24,178 in purses at stake, including a Clearfield County Fair one-dash record of $10,083 for the PASS three-year-old colts in the last of seven races.
Tuesday\’s results in order of finish, with the horse\’s name, post position in parenthesis and driver\’s name:
Foster Kerr Memorial Pace for Non-Winners of $6,000
First Division (Purse $550) – 1. Pure Dixie (1), T. Offutt; 2. Buttercup Bob (3), E. McKnight, Jr.; 3. Sweetthoughtlegacy (4), C. Shaw; 4. Peanut Brittle (2), S. Schoeffel. Time: 2:02.
Second Division (Purse $525) – 1. Bad Storm (2), C. Offutt; 2. DVC Early Sunrise (1), C. Shaw; 3. Top Flight Jet (3), A. Johnston, 3. Time: 2:05.
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Butch Flanagan Memorial Quaker State 2-Year-Old Pace
First Division (Purse $1,312) – 1. Moments That Last (4), S. Schoeffel; 2. Fantasy Character (5), E. McKnight, Jr.; 3. DVC Fine Tuned (1), W. Lineweaver; 4. Roany Pony (2), A. Johnston; 5. DVC Flashlite Pete (3), R. Rougeaux. Time: 2:05.1.
Second Division (Purse $1,287) – 1. Flight Forty Eight (4), S. Schoeffel; 2. Blueridge Redman (1), T. Offutt; 3. Tarra Risen Dragon (3), A. Johnston; 4. Keystone Ramon (4), C. Shaw. Time: 2:06.3.
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W.G. Satterlee & Sons, Inc. Pennsylvania Sire Stakes 2-Year-Old Filly Pace
First Division (Purse $3,628.34) – 1. Pietra Hanover (1), S. Schoeffel; 2. Bell on Wheels (4), R. Hammer; 3. Miss Valley (2), J. Green; 4. Cold Kiss (3), C. Shaw; 5. Wallrose Ricki (5), T. Williams. Time: 2:02.1.
Second Division (Purse $3,628.33) – 1. Allamerican Tender (4), W. Lineweaver; 2. Ashley\’s Pride (3), J. Offutt; 3. Sweetly Western (1), S. Schoeffel; 4. Jin Bloosom (5), R. Rougeaux; 5. Roan Palone (5), C. Flickinger. Time: 2:02.4.
Third Division (Purse $3,578.33) – 1. Mud Pie Hanover (4), S. Schoeffel; 2. Real Espresso (3), R. Hammer; 3. RT Atta (1), R. Rougeaux; 4. Lady Thunder (2), C. Flickinger. Time: 2:02.3.
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Ronald P. Lizotte Pennsylvania Sire Stakes 2-Year-Old Colt Pace
First Division (Purse $5,266.50) – 1. Eagle All (1), S. Schoeffel; 2. Western Rerun (4), J. Offutt; 3. SBM Spooninthecash (3), J. Brewer; 4. Blueridge Demondog (5), C. Shaw; 5. Quentin Paul (2), T. Williams. Time: 2:04.
Second Division (Purse $5,216.50) – 1. DVC Firm Believer (2), T. Offutt; 2. A K (1), S. Schoeffel; 3. Firethorn (4), W. Lineweaver; 4. Do Me Bliss (3), R. Hammer. Time: 2:01 (Ties track record for 2-year-old colt pacers).