Hughesville, PA — The Pennsylvania fair harness racing season got underway on Wednesday (July 8) and Thursday (July 9) with a two-day Sire Stakes event at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds.
Seth Hanover, an Artspeak-Subtle Charm gelding, stopped the timer in 2:00.4 — the fastest mile of the meet — to win the single ‘A’ division of his Sire Stakes. Driver David Brickell and trainer Mitchell York share ownership in the fast youngster who already has won a qualifier in 1:55.2 at The Meadows.
The Possess The Will gelding No Name Yankee, who was coming off a 1:57.2 victory at The Meadows, established the fair circuit standard for trotters with a 2:02.1 mile in his ‘A’ Sire Stakes division in line to owner-trainer Roger Hammer.
Hammer also owns and trains Caffeine Buzz, a 3-year-old gelded son of A Rocknroll Dance whose 2:02.1 win in a ‘B’ division of the Sire Stakes in line to Branden Smith was faster than any of the three ‘A’ winners.
The only Fair Sire Stakes champion from age 2 who won his 3-year-old fair debut was Stickler Hanover, who took his division in 2:07.3 for trainer-driver Steve Schoeffel. The Explosive Matter colt now has three wins in four seasonal starts for owners Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel.
Roger Hammer trained six winners during the 32 heats of racing over the two days to emerge as the leading conditioner, while Todd Schadel’s six wins earned him top driving honors. Five different Schadels appeared in either the training or driving win columns: Todd (six driving and four training), brother Tony (five driving), sister-in-law Linda (three training), father Bruce (two training), and son Cody (one driving).
The next stop on the Pennsylvania fair circuit is at Silver Springs Ranch, near The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where racing will take place next Thursday (July 16) and Friday (July 17).