CLEARFIELD – After one of the busier days in Clearfield County Fair harness racing history, driver-trainer Roger Hammer of Bedford had to concede he owns a pretty good crop of two-year-old filly pacers this year.
Three of them highlighted Pennsylvania Sire Stakes filly races with consecutive victories at the Driving Park Tuesday afternoon.
Wishfullartist, My Gal Hannah and Caramel Chinno made Hammer the leader for the Charles “Buster” DiSalvo Trophy with four wins at the halfway mark of the meet.
Third leaving the gate, Caramel Chinno was on top coming out of the first turn and clicked off fractions of :30.2, 1:02.1 and 1:31 to score in 2:03.3 and wind up with the W.G. Saterlee & Sons cooler blanket as well as the Fritz Beinhauer Memorial Trophy for the fastest mile on the 11-race card for two-year-old pacers.
“She hasn’t been beaten out here at the fairs,” Hammer noted after the chestnut filly’s fourth win.
Her other two starts were at the raceways, finishing sixth at The Meadows and Chester after being in the top three at the half-mile pole.
“At Chester, she got trapped in, and we couldn’t get out,” Hammer explained. “The other race was her first start and she didn’t know nothing.”
In the first division, Wishfullartist and Swingin Susie, driven by Winston Lineweaver for Ellen Warren of Marydel, Del., traded the lead three times in the first quarter before Hammer put his bay filly in front to stay.
Last Minute Cindy, with Wayne Long in the sulky, made up a lot of ground on the backstretch to briefly grab the second spot before going offstride.
Then, Swingin Susie challenged again in deep stretch, but Wishfullartist held on to win by a quarter of a length in 2:07.3. She has three wins and three seconds in six starts.
“This mare is no good racing on top,” Hammer said. “She won’t go until a horse comes after her. When that horse made a break, I thought I was done for, because I’d rather had him out there racing the whole way. Then, in the stretch, another one come out, and she thought it was all over.
“She’s a better mare out of the hole, but where she was in today, I wanted to put her right on top, figuring if a horse come to her, I could just sit out there and ride with her.”
My Gal Hannah really earned her third win to go with one second and two thirds.
Starting in the second tier, she was parked out most of the trip, inching ahead of pacesetter Countless Gold, driven by Cory Kreiser of Myerstown, at the half before Hammer tucked her into the pocket. My Gal Hannah passed Countless Gold in midstretch to win by 2-3/4 lengths in 2:05.3.
“Before the quarter, she made a little skip, and I just sat on the outside with her,” Hammer said. It was a tough mile, being hung out the whole way. When I got in the turn and gave her a little bit of a breather behind the guy, she rated back up and I came on back out with her again.”
Catch-driver Timmy Offutt guided Dancedowntheaisle to a come-from-behind win, her first, in the final division of the PASS filly race.
Owned and trained by Sherry Libengood of Dayton, the bay filly dueled the entire trip with Samanthas Playmate, driven by Bryce Truitt for owner Dennis Lane of Paramus, N.J. Dancedowntheaisle, in her sixth start, trotted past Samanthas Playmate in midstretch and pulled a way to win by 4-1/2 lengths in 2:07.3.
Chris Shaw was the winning driver in two of the five dashes in the PASS race for colts and geldings, both in wire-to-wire fashion.
His brother Jason’s Stripe’n Star, which has been in the money in all seen races, trotted the mile in 2:05.3 for a 10-length victory in the first division. The bay gelding lowered his lifetime mark by two seconds in his third win.
In the program closer, Chris Shaw sat behind undefeated Evening Shadows for an easy lifetime-best 2:05 trip.
“He ain’t been challenged yet,” Shaw said. “I never touched him with the whip. He just went right on.”
Evening Shadows, now five-for-five, is owned and trained by Charles Von See of Sun City Center, Fla.
Steve Schoeffel, another doublewinner, had everybody chasing Stealth Flight in the third division. The brown gelding posted his third win in six starts, scoring in 2:06 after being pressed most of the last half by Keystone Reactor, driven Kreiser.
“He was waiting on horses,” Schoeffel said. “When a horse comes at him, then he’ll go on. Once he opened up on him, then he kind of shut back down again.”
Red Burn, driven by Chris Shaw, got up for second but was 2-3/4 lengths back of Stealth Flight, owned by Schoeffel’s mother, Virginia, and wife, Kathy, of Evans City along with Jim Reuther of East Auroroa, N.Y., and Jerry Dedoszak of Varysburg, N.Y.
The other two divisions of produced thrilling finishes.
Young driver Eric Neal of Punxsutawney took Fool To Cry three wide in the final turn to track down three rivals, and the bay gelding owned by David and John Prushnock of Punxsy pulled away in deep stretch to beat fast-closing Lookout Josh, driven by Brad Provost, by 3-3/4 lengths in the second division.
Fool To Cry, which had placed third and second at Dayton in his only other starts, paced the mile in a 2:04.4, earning the Ron Lizotte cooler blanket for the fastest of the five dashes.
Lookout Macatoo had the fans in the grandstand roaring by nipping Hammer’s Roses Wild by a quarter-length at the wire in the fourth division, setting a lifetime mark with the 2:05.2 win that was his second in three starts.
Provost kept Lookout Macatoo, owned by Douglas Cullers and Thomas Hope of Greenville, Ohio, in the pocket most of the way. He made a bid at the half-mile mark but ducked back in and waited until the final quarter to make his move.
Hammer wasn’t surprised Roses Wild didn’t hang on.
“He can pace fast, but he’s sulky,” Hammer said. “He won’t try all the time. You can’t catch him with the whip. If you do, he’ll stop. So you just hope he keeps going and get what you can get.”
Come-from-behind wins by Pinkalicious and Born for Speed in the Butch Flanagan Memorial Quaker States Filly Pace got the program off to an exciting start.
Driver-trainer Long had Pinkalicious right behind or beside Sam’s Diamond throughout the opener. The bay owned by L. A. Express Stable of Lincoln University inched in front at the three-quarter mark and went on to a five-length win, matching his lifetime mark set at Hughesville, 2:07.3.
Schoeffel was the catch-driver for Born For Speed and was content to sit in fourth place for the first trip around the half-mile oval. He moved the bay gelding owned by Martin Frank Baxendell of Belle Vernon into third at the three-quarter mark, second at the top of the stretch and then past Bermuda Rough, driven by Chris Shaw, in mid-stretch.
Born For Speed, which had finished far back in two raceway starts, registered his first win in 2:08, with Bermuda Rough 3-1/4 lengths behind.
Tuesday’s payouts added up to $27,769.6 for a two-day total of $54,546.60.
Wednesday’s purses will be $26,496.60 for three-year-old trotters. Post time will be noon for the first of the nine races that attracted 46 entries.
Tuesday’s results, with place, horse’s name, post position in parenthesis and driver’s name:
Butch Flanagan Memorial Quaker States 2-Year-Old Pace
First Division (Purse $1,297.88) – 1. Pinkalicious (4), W. Long; 2. Sam’s Diamond (1), J. Brewer; 3. Caviart Grace (2), B. Weaver; 4. White Birch Baby (3), S. Johnston. Time: 2:07.3.
Second Division (Purse $1,297.88) – 1. Born for Speed (1), S. Schoeffel; 2. Bermuda Rough (4), C. Shaw; 3. What A Jolt (2), A. Johnston; 4. DVC Havenly Cam (3), T. Offutt. Time: 2:08.
* * * * *
W.G. Saterlee & Sons Pennsylvania Sire Stakes 2-Year-Old Filly Pace
First Division (Purse $3,102) – 1. Wishfullartist (2), R. Hammer; 2. Swingin Susie (3), W. Lineweaver; 3. Metrodisle (5), J. Offutt; 4. Last Minute Cindy (4), W. Long. Time: 2:07.3. Sc – Blissful Artist (1).
Second Division (Purse $3,102) –1. My Gal Hannah (5), R. Hammer; 2. Countless Gold (4), C. Kreiser; 3. TSM American Gal (3), B. Provost; 4. Fantasize (2), B. Truitt; 5. Western Dawn (1), W. Long. Time: 2:05.3.
Third Division (Purse $3,102) – 1. Caramel Chinno (2), R. Hammer; 2. Unreal Appeal (5), S. Schoeffel; 3. Crafty Friend (3), J. Brewer; 4. Sabine’s Dragon (1), T. Offutt; 5. Twincreeks Mystic (4), C. Shaw. Time: 2:03.3.
Fourth Division (Purse $3,052) – 1. Dancedowntheaisle (1), T. Offutt; 2. Samanthas Playmate (2), B. Truitt; 3. Bliss My Britches (3), C. Shaw; 4. Mandys Dads A Lair (4), B. Provost. Time: 2:07.3.
* * * * *
Ron Lizotte Pennsylvania Sire Stakes 2-Year-Old Colt Pace
First Division (Purse $2,611.15) – 1. Stripe’n Star (3), C. Shaw; 2. Jus Another Joe (2), D. Brickell; 3. My Edward (6), B. Truitt; 4. Tsmstriking Dragon (4), B. Provost; 5. Ding Dong Ditch (1), W. Long. Time: 2:05.3. Sc – New Idea (5).
Second Division (Purse $2,611.15) – 1. Fool To Cry (2), E. Neal; 2. Lookout Josh (5), B. Provost; 3. Mythbuster Hanover (3), S. Schoeffel; 4. Move Maker (5), G. Heit III; 5. Wynwood Art (1), B. Truitt; 6. DVC Hipnjazzy (4), R. Hammer. Time: 2:04.4.
Third Division (Purse $2,611.15) – 1. Stealth Flight (1), S. Schoeffel; 2. Red Burn (3), C. Shaw; 3. What R U Doin (5), R. Hammer; 4. Keystone Reactor (4), C. Kreiser; 5. Yourgonnamissme (2), B. Provost. Time: 2:06.
Fourth Division (Purse $2,611.15) – 1. Lookout Macatoo (1), B. Provost; 2. Roses Wild (4), R. Hammer; 3. Four Starz O (5), S. Schoeffel; 4. Down Right Hanover (3), T. Offutt; 5. Precise Accusation (2), R. Rougeaux III. Time: 2:05.2.
Fifth Division (Purse $2,611.15) – 1. Evening Shadows (1), C. Shaw; 2. T. Boone (2), R. Hammer; 3. Little Mans Magic (4), D. Brickell; 4. Special Agent Gibz (5), S. Gastelu; 5. Fast Heat (3), J. Offutt. Time: 2:05.