CLEARFIELD — Hockey Hanover remained undefeated while Selka Song and Triple T Lightning raced to their maiden wins during Clearfield County Fair harness racing for Pennsylvania Sire Stakes two-year-old trotters at the Driving Park Sunday afternoon.
Exciting finishes have been the norm for the loyal grandstand fans in recent years, but the good-sized crowd on hand for the first of four daily cards didn’t get to enjoy any, all seven races ending with the winner at least 2¼ lengths in front.
Hockey Hanover recorded one of those winners, stretching his career-opening streak of trips to Victory Lane to six in the Cecelia “Cece” Lizotte Memorial Division of the PSS “A” Colt Trot.
Wilbur Yoder drove the big bay gelding trained by John McMullen Jr. gate-to-wire in 2:08.4.
Yoder backed off the pace to 1:06.1 at the half and 1:37.4 at the three-quarter pole, and Hockey Hanover had plenty in reserve for a mild challenge at the top of the stretch from Dream Smasher, driven by Aaron Johnston.
Two of Hockey Hanover’s wins were in come-from-behind fashion at The Meadows near Washington, Pa., and Harrah’s Philadelphia Racetrack near Chester with clockings of 1:58.1 and 1:56, respectively.
Hauling in the biggest share of the $5,375 purse padded Hockey Hanover’s earnings to $30,199 for the McMullen Stables LLC of Armagh.
Selka Song’s maiden win was similar to Hockey Hanover’s trip with driver Roger Hammer sending to the front at the start and keeping her there to score by 2¼ lengths in 2:07.1 to earn the Walter Jackson Sr. cooler blanket in the PSS “A“ Filly Trot.
Trained by Hammer for Charter Oak Stable and Mark S. Behl of Aiken, S.C., Selka Song had one second and one third in five previous starts. Her purses added up to $6,470.
Clearfield County Fair campaigners Donna Marie Weyant and Sandra Jean Peterson of New Paris returned to the winner’s circle to hold The Progress Division blanket in front of Triple T Lightning and driver Chris Shaw after the first of two the PSS “B” Colt Trot dashes.
The bay colt benefited from breaks by early pacesetter Possess The Goal, driven by Steve Schoeffel, and then halfway leader Hashtag Fast, with Hammer in the sulky, to be a close second to the former at the three-quarter pole.
Shaw had Triple T Lightning ahead at the top of the stretch, and she went on to her maiden win by 2¾ lengths for a mark of 2:11.4 and boost her earnings to $4,855.
Blow Back was the third wire-to-wire victor, making perennial Charles “Buster” DiSalvo Driving Trophy Hammer contender the day’s lone doublewinner in the final race, the lone PSS Filly “B” Trot.
She tied her lifetime mark of 2:08, set in her other win at the season-opening Dayton Fair in mid-June, to claim the Robert Luce Memorial cooler for trainer-owner Hammer and co-owner Vicky Lynn of Bedford.
Blow Back has placed in four of her seven starts with overall earnings just under $8,000.
Won The War and Matter of Lindy established new lifetime marks with their second wins on the fair circuit.
Rick Beinhauer almost had an all-the-way win with Won The War, a bay filly he trains and co-owns with Tammy Stamm of Bentleyville.
Away first, Won The War briefly relinquished the lead to Mad Momma, driven by Hammer, going into the first turn but was back in from heading down the backstretch and left Brickell’s Secret Cookie 3¼ lengths back at the finish line of the PSS “A“ Filly Trot Ernest L. Peterson Jr. Memorial Division.
Her time, 2:07.2, erased the mark of 2:11 she se at the Hughesville Fair in late June.
Won The War has almost $9,000 in purses for seven starts.
Cory Kreiser of Myerstown owns, trains and drives Matter Of Lindy, the lone winner to storm from behind in the stretch.
The bay colt was last out of the gate but closed on Center Hanover, driven by Robert Rougeaux III, when Hesaboynamedsioux, with Shaw in the bike, went off gait before the first turn and U Mad Hanover, driven by Hammer, broke after being almost in a dead heat at the half.
Matter of Lindy still had ground to make up at the top of the stretch but went by Center Hanover near mid-stretch and prevailed by 2½ lengths in the PSS “B” Colt Trot A.E. “Gus” Mellott Jr. Memorial Division.
His time of 2:11.2 was a full second better than his maiden win at the Butler Fair two weeks ago as he upped his winnings to $4,757.
The meet began with Grapple Hanover posting his third straight win in just his fifth start by overtaking American Brexit, driven by Eric Neal, just before the three-quarter pole and stretching out his lead to 2½ lengths at the wire in the Earl Hallstrom Memorial Division of the PSS “A” Colt Trot.
Wayne Long was in the sulky for the bay gelding he trains for William Kreutzer of Rural Valley and Denton Barrett of Dayton, who have seen their freshman trotter pile up $12,973.
Grapple Hanover’s 2:05 dash was the fastest of the afternoon.
The seven-race purses totaled $29,600 for the 32 entries.
Noon will be post time for the remaining three programs, with seven dashes for 28 two-year-old pacers racing for $29,100 Monday.
Sunday’s results, with horse’s name, number in parenthesis, and jockey’s name:
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES TWO-YEAR-OLD “A” COLT TROT
Earl Hallstrom Memorial Division ($5,375) – 1. Grapple Hanover (1), W. Long; 2. American Brexit (4), E. Neal; 3. Eiffel Hanover (2), S. Schoeffel; 4. Willie B Worthy (3), H. Brocklehurst; 5. Yougottabecrazy (5), C. Kreiser. TIME: 2:05.
Cecilia “Cece” Lizotte Memorial Division ($5,375) – 1. Hockey Hanover (2), W. Yoder; 2. Dream Smasher (5), A. Johnston; 3. Exuberance (3), B. Brown; 4. McAdoo (1), R. Baggitt Jr.; 5. Dandolo Hanover (4), S. Schoeffel. TIME: 2:08.4.
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES TWO-YEAR-OLD “A” FILLY TROT
Walter Jackson Sr. Memorial Division ($5,375) – 1. Selka Song (1), R. Hammer; 2. Woman Possessed (2), A. Johnston; 3. Crazed Creek (4), W. Long; 4. Tell Me Something (3), J. Daugherty; 5. Andovermizbrenda (5), E. Neal. TIME: 2:07.1.
Ernest L. Peterson Jr. Memorial Division ($5,375) – 1. Won The War (4), R. Beinhauer; 2. Secret Cookie (5), D. Brickell; 3. Lightning Lois (1), S. Schoeffel; 4. Mad Momma (3), R. Hammer; 5. Broadway Voyage (2), C. Shaw. TIME: 2:07.
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES TWO-YEAR-OLD “B” COLT TROT
The Progress Division ($2,700) – 1. Triple T Lightning (2), C. Shaw; 2. Possess The Goal (3), S. Schoeffel; 3. Undisputed (4), B. Brown. TIME: 2:11.4. DNF – Hashtag Fast (1), R. Hammer.
A.E. “Gus” Mellott Jr. Memorial Division ($2,700) – 1. Matter of Lindy (1), C. Kreiser; 2. Center Hanover (3), R. Rougeaux III; 3. Hesaboynamedsioux (2), C. Shaw; 4. U Mad Hanover (4), R. Hammer. TIME: 2:11.2.
PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES TWO-YEAR-OLD “B” FILLY TROT
Robert Luce Memorial Division ($2,700) – 1. Blow Back (1), R. Hammer; 2. Worldly Hanover (2), H. Brocklehurst; 3. Explosive Bubbles (3), S. Schoeffel; 4. Halfway (4), B. Brown. TIME: 2:08.