CLEARFIELD — A quartet of two-year-old trotters building impressive résumés on the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Racing Circuit added to their win and purse totals with rather easy trips at the Driving Park Sunday afternoon.
What likely will be the largest crowd of the Clearfield County Fair’s four-day meet didn’t get to see any stirring stretch drives as Keystone Shotgun’s 4¼-length win in the Butch Flanagan Memorial Division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Colt Trot was the closest finish.
Popular driver Roger Hammer of Bedford guided Keystone Shotgun to a new lifetime mark, 2:06.4, after they raced past P Town Banker, with Brady Brown in the sulky, at the quarter pole.
The win was the third in seven starts for the bay gelding Hammer trains and co-owns with Todd Schadel of Spring Glen and pushed his earnings to $11,712.
Connie Jean, trained and driven by Schadel, also joined the five-figure earnings group and earned the Richard & Betty Fink Memorial cooler blanket with a wire-to-wire 2:07.2 trip for a 7¼-length victory in the first division of the PASS Filly Trot.
She has won three fair circuit starts to go with placing fourth at Pocono Downs and sixth at The Meadows in $20,000 TSS races.
The bay filly, which was fourths at Pocono Downs and Philadelphia her best finishes, already has returned $10,428 for owners Charles Keller III, Charles Keller IV and E. Dan Bittle of Frederick, Md., and Brett Bittle of Allentown, N.J.
Hammer, who recorded a milestone 4,000th win at The Meadows in Washington, Pa., on May 18, made a statement for the Charles “Buster” DiSalvo Trophy chase with two of his own freshman standouts.
The state fair circuit’s leading driver was third out of the gate with A Little Laid Back in the Kevin A. Beardsley Funeral Home Division of the PASS Filly Trot, but they inherited the second spot when Harder Kisses went off gate for Steve Schoeffel, shot past early pace-setter Poppet and Chris Shaw in front of the grandstand and were 10 lengths in front of She‘s Seaworthy and Schoeffel at the wire, stopping the clock at 2:06.
A Little Laid Back, a bay filly, has racked up $16,487 in earnings with six wins in seven fair starts.
High Octane is not far behind with $14,271 in purses after his fifth victory in six fair starts since early breaks left him far behind the field at Pocono Downs in late June.
The bay gelding never really was challenged after opening a six-length advantage with a 30.2 split in the first quarter and was eased to a 2:07.2 finish that was good for a 13¾-length victory in the Ward Fink Memorial of the PASS Colt Trot.
Keystone Blade made Schadel a doublewinner by tracking down Ginger Tree Nova and driver Sam Beegle in the backstretch of their second trip around the half-mile oval and then pulling away to finish five lengths in front for the PASS Colt Trot’s Foster Kerr Memorial Division cooler blanket.
His 2:05.2 score was the fastest time of the program.
Schadel and his wife, Christine, own the bay gelding, which was coming off his maiden win in 2:04.1 at the Bedford Fair last week. His earnings total $6,872 for seven races.
In the first dash of the meet, the Earl Hallstrom Division of the Quaker State Trot, Brady Brown took Winn Dixie Dunn to her second win in four starts and a new lifetime mark at 2:08.
Co-owned by Richard Gillock and Paula M. Sokol of Belle Vernon, the bay filly Dixie Dunn was pressured briefly by Chip’s HallofFame after the half but stretched her lead over the bay gelding trained and driven by Hammer to 6¼ lengths at the finish.
The lone maiden win was registered by Coauthor with Aaron Johnston in the sulky for the three-horse Auto Mart of Clearfield Division of the Quaker State Trot.
Bubzy, driven by Steve Schoeffel, was expanding his lead rounding the final turn when he went off gait, giving Coauthor an easy path to victory in his third race.
The bay gelding owned by Dr. William J. Solomon of New Freedom coasted down the stretch, winning by a whopping 16½ lengths in 2:13.
Two-year-old pacers will take to the track Monday for a 10-race card with $27,844 up for grabs. Post time will be noon.
Sunday’s results, with horse’s name, number in parenthesis, and jockey’s name:
QUAKER STATE TWO-YEAR-OLD TROT
Earl Hallstrom Memorial Division (Purse $1,387) – 1. Winn Dixie Dunn (1), B. Brown; 2. Chip’s HallofFame (3), R. Hammer; 2 Boom Boom (2), C. Shaw; 4. Naute E Caviar (4), W. Lineweaver. TIME: 2:08.
Auto Mart of Clearfield Division (Purse $1,337) – 1. Coauther (2), A. Johnston; 2. RT Ima Bee (3), B. Rougeaux III; 3. Bubzy (1), S. Schoeffel. TIME: 2:13.
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT
Kevin A. Beardsley Funeral Home Division (Purse $5,952) – 1. A Little Laid Back (4), R. Hammer; 2. Cantabby (1), W. Long; 3. Banker’s Delight (6), W. Daugherty Jr.; 4. She’s Seaworthy (5), S. Schoeffel; 5. Poppet (3), C. Shaw; 6. Harder Kisses (2), A. Johnston. TIME: 2:06.
Richard & Betty Fink Memorial Division (Purse $5,092) – 1. Connie Jean (1), T. Schadel; 2. Waterview Hanover (3), W. Daugherty Jr.; 3. Maybe Later (2), R. Hammer; 4. McKean County (5), A. Johnston; 5. Bambino Speed (4), H. Brocklehurst. TIME: 2:07.2.
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES TWO-YEAR-OLD COLT TROT
Ward Fink Memorial Division (Purse $3,958) – 3. High Octane (3), R. Hammer; 2. St Michel Hanover (1), T. Schadel; 3. Capture My Spirit (4), S. Beegle; 4. Grumpy Tom (2), C. Shaw. TIME: 2:07.2.
Butch Flanagan Memorial Division (Purse $3,958) – 1. Keystone Shotgun (3), R. Hammer; 4. P Town Banker (4), B. Brown; 3. Rail Kat (1), S. Schoeffel; 4. Branagan (2), C. Shaw. TIME: 2:06.4.
Foster Kerr Memorial Division (Purse $4,008) – 1. Keystone Blade (3), T. Schadel; 2. Ginger Tree Nova (2), S. Beegle; 3. TSM Titus T (4), A. Johnston; 4. Heroics (1), B. Brown; 5. Broadway Expresway (5), B. Rougeaux III. TIME: 2:05.2.