After getting rained out on Thursday at Hughesville, the Pennsylvania fair circuit had a dry weekend at the home track of the late great Boots Dunn, the Crawford County Fair in this northwest Pennsylvania city, for a two-day Sires Stakes event.
After being photoed out of third (timed in 1:53.1 – :27.2) in a Pennsylvania Sires Stakes pari-mutuel division on Thursday behind Wild Bill, the full brother to Meadowlands Pace winner Huntsville, Venier Hanover shipped the 366 miles from Chester to Meadville and appeared none the worse for wear, coming back with only two days in between races to take Sunday's "A" section of the freshman colt pace Fair Sires Stakes in 2:02.2 for trainer/driver Dave Brickell and co-owner with Mitchell York. The Well Said gelding is now three for four at the fairs and five for seven overall, with that quintet of victories tying him for the North American lead among 2 year olds – a position Brickell knows all too well from his perch behind Camera Lady last year.
Cruiserwillwin, also with just two days in between starts, posted the fastest time for the second straight meet when he won Saturday's sophomore colt pace "A" cut with a 2:01.4 triumph for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, co-owner with Christine Schadel. The altered son of Yankee Cruiser had a good "tightener" two starts back at Gratz, where he went 1:25.3 to the three-quarters, only to tire a little late as Ginger Tree Marty missed the track record by a tick with a 1:55.2 win; the trips have been kinder to Cruiserwillwin since, and he's made the most of the opportunities.
In terms of prime speed with respect to gait, possibly the most impressive winner at Meadville was the Tom Ridge sophomore colt Bet On Tom, who trotted in 2:03.1 to defeat two tough horses in Gee Wizz George and Lima Moonshine. Cory Kreiser steered the winner for trainer for trainer Gary Johnston and owner Dr. William Solomon.
Other horses who added to lustrous fair records by winning at Meadville in "A" Sire Stakes action included 3TF All Set Lets Go, undefeated in four starts; 3PF Gemalous, a win in all but one of her six fair starts; and Grapple Hanover, now 3 for 4 in the 2TC ranks. Gemalous combined with Keystone Nikki for a Shaw brothers sweep of the 3PF "A" section; Grapple Hanover was the second half of Sunday's "Daily Double" behind the filly Crazed Creek, giving trainer/driver Wayne Long a sweep of the baby freshman trots.
Chris Shaw guided seven winners to Victory Lane on the weekend, including five on Saturday, to lead at Meadville and expand his seasonal advantage to 28-17 over "fair king" Roger Hammer. Jason Shaw and Wayne Long each harnessed four successful starters at Meadville to tie for meet honors; Shaw's four-bagger brings him within one, 18-17, of circuit leader Roger Hammer. (PHHA)