Hammer Logs Three Wins, DiSalvo Trophy Goes to Schadel

CHARLES “BUSTER” DISALVO TROPHY for driver with most wins in the Clearfield County Fair harness racing meet is accepted by Christine Schadel, whose husband Todd claimed with nine trips to Victory Lane. Presenters were Dave Semelsberger, second from left, and Jim Semelsberger, right, friends of the DiSalvo family. Todd’s son Cody is on the left. Roger Hammer, a friend of the Schadel family, joined the celebration with two of his grandchildren. (Photo by Sue Kavelak)

CLEARFIELD — Without the usual drama of the Charles “Buster” DiSalvo Trophy chase for the driving title on the final afternoon of the Clearfield County Fair harness racing meet, Roger Hammer once again thrilled the Driving Park fans with the daily double and an upset winner Wednesday.

Todd Schadel of Spring Glen, a small community in eastern Schuylkill County, had locked up his first DiSalvo Trophy with nine wins on the first three days, but he was unable to accept in person because of a drive at the Harrah’s Casino and Racetrack in Chester.

So, DiSalvo family friends Dave and Jim Semelsberger presented the trophy to Schadel’s wife Christine and son Cody following the last race of the meet.

In the opener of the seven-race program for Pennsylvania Sire Stakes three-year-old pacers, Hammer guided Cirrus De Vie to victory in 1:59.2, just two ticks off the track record.

An anticipated duel between the bay gelding and Venier Hanover in the A Group dash never developed as Hammer sent the impressive sophomore around Steve Schoeffel and Karma Wins just past the quarter pole, and he was never seriously challenged in becoming the only five-time winner on the 2018 Pennsylvania Fair Circuit.

Venier Hanover, driven by Dave Brickell, finished seven lengths back after passing Karma Wins in deep stretch, the third time he’s placed behind Cirrus De Vie in their last five fair races. Brickell also trains and co-owns the bay gelding that has struggled after a dominating freshman campaign.

Last year, Venier Hanover amassed $95,758 with 13 wins, three seconds and four thirds in just 22 start. He broke eight division track records and was the 1-9 betting favorite in the Pennsylvania Fair Championships at The Meadows but settled for show money with Cirrus De Vie emerging the winner as a 25-1 longshot.

Cirrus De Vie, recipient of the Joey C cooler blanket, now sports 12 wins in 33 lifetime starts and $44,398 in earnings for co-owners Hammer and Vicki Lynn Fair of Bedford.

Hammer came right back to drive Marvalous Falcon to a similar trip to victory lane in the Gerry & Shirley Albert Memorial Colt and Gelding A Group Pace.

The bay gelding he also trains and owns moved a head in front of Love Cut, driven by Tony Schadel, at the quarter poll and eventually pulled away to go under the wire 7¾ lengths ahead with a time of 1:59.3.

Marvalous Falcon, second in a pair of $12,000 races at Pocono Downs in June, has three wins in 19 starts this year for lifetime totals of 10 wins in 33 starts, pushing his earnings over $40,000.

Hammer’s win with Birch Bark in the Backstage Crew Filly A Group Pace was entirely different.

They were third by nearly eight lengths at the quarter before closing to within one length of 2017 Pennsylvania Fair Two-Year-Old Champion Pretty Proud at the half.

HALF LENGTH is margin of victory for Birch Bark (1), driven by Roger Hammer, and Pretty Proud (3), driven by Steve Schoeffel, in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes 3-Year-Old Filly A Group Backstage Crew Pace. (Photo courtesy of FinishLynx)

Birch Bark, trained by Hammer for co-owner Fair, couldn’t narrow the margin until closing to within a head at the top of the stretch before powering past her Steve Schoeffel-driven rival in front of the grandstand to win by a half-length and lower her lifetime mark to 2:05.4.

Her third win in 14 starts this year and sixth in 24 lifetime starts upped her purses to $17,514.

Schoeffel was a doublewinner with Marvalous Song and Night Dreamer in B Group races.

Marvalous Song took the lead going into the first turn of the Butch Flanagan Memorial Pace and gradually increased it to finish 6½ lengths ahead of Whisperstemtation, a bay filly owned, trained and driven by Lester G. Smeal II of Morrisdale.

The 2:04 score was the fourth win this year for the bay filly trained by Jason Shaw for his young son Mason of Scenery Hill. She has nine wins and purses totaling $57,497 in 34 lifetime starts.

Schoeffel had an easy trip with Night Dreamer in Brooke Erin Yeager Memorial Colt and Gelding B Group finale, breezing to a 2:07.2 twice around.

The 3¾-length win was the second this summer and the third in 32 lifetime starts for the bay gelding trained by Jason Shaw. He had returned purses of $31,501 to owner Amanda Shaw of Scenery Hill.

Rains that began late in the morning ended right before the third race that Dance For Kisses ruled, going wire-to-wire for driver Tony Schadel.

A 2:01.2 trip in the Buster’s Sports Bar Filly A Group Pace made it four wins in 18 lifetime starts for the sophomore owned and trained by Justin Lebo of Carlisle. She has placed 10 of 13 races this year to boost her earnings to $43,112.

The lone Maiden winner was Keepofftheflowers in a thrilling finish to the Michael “Mikey” Rowles Filly B Group Pace.

Wayne Long kept the bay filly in the pocket behind Schoeffel and Goddess’s Legacy before making his move coming out of the final turn.

Keepofftheflowers, trained by Brian Indof for owner Frank Indof of Belle Vernon, didn’t inch in front until deep stretch but was 1½ lengths ahead when she stopped the clock at 2:05.4.

Hammer, a 13-time DiSalvo Trophy winner, wound up with six wins, while Schoeffel and Long had three. In all, 10 drivers made it to Victory Lane.

The meet attracted 119 trotters and pacers that raced for purses totaling $120,450.

Wednesday’s results, with horse’s name, number in parenthesis, and driver’s name:

PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT AND GELDING A GROUP PACE

Joey C Division ($5,375) – 1. Cirrus De Vie (1), R. Hammer; 2. Venier Hanover (3), D. Brickell; 3. Karma Wins (4), S. Schoeffel; 4. Legendary Ron (5), T. Schadel; 5. Ginger Tree Toby (2), E. Neal. TIME: 1:59.2.

PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT AND GELDING A GROUP PACE

Gerry & Shirley Albert Memorial Division ($5,375) – 1. Marvalous Action (4), R. Hammer; 2. Love Cut (5), T. Schadel; 3. Gypsy Terror (2), S. Schoeffel; 4. Fight Through It (1), E. Neal; 5. Twisted Sweetness (3), J. Lebo. TIME: 1:59.3.

PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY A GROUP PACE

Buster’s Sports Bar Division ($5,300) – 1. Dance For Kisses (3), T. Schadel; 2. Geisha Seelster (1), R. Hammer; 3. Bindi (4), E. Neal; 4. Battle Of Cannae (2), W. Long. TIME: 2:01.2.

PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY A GROUP PACE

Backstage Crew Division ($5,300) – 1. Birch Bark (1), R. Hammer; 2. Pretty Proud (3), S. Schoeffel; 3. TSM Déjà Vu (2), E. Neal; 4. Keystone Mai Girl (4), T. Schadel. TIME: 2:05.4.

PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY B GROUP PACE

Butch Flanagan Memorial Division ($2,650) – 1. Marvalous Song (1), S. Schoeffel; 2. Whisperstemtation (2), L. Smeal II; 3. Getoffmycloud (3), E. Neal. TIME: 2:04.

PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY B GROUP PACE

Michael “Mikey” Rowles Memorial Division ($2,650) – 1. Keepofftheflowers (1), W. Long; 2. Goddess’s Legacy (2), S. Schoeffel; 3. Urban Resort (3), E. Neal. TIME: 2:05.4.

PENNSYLVANIA SIRE STAKES THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT AND GELDING B GROUP PACE

Brooke Erin Yeager Memorial Division – 1. Night Dreamer (1), S. Schoeffel; 2. Rescue Hanover (2), L. Smeal II. TIME: 2:07.2.

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