Donnellson, IA — Harness racing took center stage Wednesday (July 10) at Iowa’s oldest county fair. The Lee County Fair in Donnellson, Iowa, kicked off fair week with a full card of eight races.
With an estimated turnout of 400 spectators, track announcer Tony Paris kept the large turnout entertained and educated. Explaining the program, sharing how he calls the race using the driver’s colors and giving credit to the backside, Paris made the night’s races exciting to attend.
Races one and two featured 2-year-olds breaking their maidens. Stoneville Music took the 2-year-old trot, winning in 2:23.1. 2-year-old pacer Cal’s Hope held on for his first lifetime win in race two, pacing home in 2:17.
The next two races belonged to Gary Liles, capturing the first driving double of the night. JR’S Broadway, a 3-year-old gelding by Broadway Or Bust, made it look easy in race three, picking up the win, gate-to-wire in 2:12.4.
In Race four, it was all I’ll Deal A Queen. Hot Day Cool Night, driven by Elliott Scheck, left the gate smartly, but Liles drove the 3-year-old filly by Idealism, to take the lead at the quarter pole. From there she never looked back, taking the win in 2:11.4.
Not to be outdone, driver Cary Sturtz got the second driving double on the card. Max Trax Go N Spi, a 3-year-old trotting Colt by Swan Of A Beach, battled Smarty Tart Gonspi down the lane, making a trip to the winner’s circle for race five.
Sturtz’s second win came in race eight, the second FFA Trot. Trot T Trot Gonspi gained the lead after a break by Chipper Girl and Night Rail. The 5-year-old mare, owned by Kathleen Raymond, took charge and trotted home in 2:19.
The feature races of the night were race six, the first FFA Trot, and race seven, the FFA Pace.
With the backdrop of the sun setting, Awesomely Awesome trotted for the win in race six. Dan Roland left the gate with the 7-year-old mare and didn’t look back. This makes her third win in a row for owner Kennedy Roland, Dan’s daughter.
Pretty Boy Swag was looking for his third win of the season as well. Driver/trainer Duane Roland charged to the lead as the gate folded. Pretty Boy Swag was in full command of race seven, setting fractions of :29.1, :57.1, 1:32.2, pacing the mile in 2:05.
Next on the Iowa harness racing calendar is a full weekend at Keokuk County Fair in What Cheer. Ten races fill the card on Friday (July 12), 12 races on Saturday (July 13), and Sunday (July 14) wraps up the meet with seven races on the card. Post time each day is 12:30 p.m. (CDT).