Hughesville, PA — The horses are beginning to sort themselves out along the 2019 Pennsylvania fair circuit, but among the drivers there is already a clear pattern: Shawn Johnston is likely to dominate the proceedings on 2-year-old day, and Todd Schadel is likely to be the big gun when the 3-year-olds race.
This model held true during two days of racing at the Lycoming County Fair, where Johnston won six races on freshman Wednesday (July 10) and Schadel won seven on sophomore Thursday (July 11).
Among the 2-year-olds, the classes in the “A” Sire Stakes with the most interest were probably the trotting colts and pacing fillies, each split into two divisions, one of which saw a winning tendency extended and the other a streak broken.
In the colt trot, Stickler Hanover, an Explosive Matter–Secret Credit colt, earned his fourth win in five fair starts, a 2:09 triumph for trainer/driver Steve Schoeffel and owners Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel, Daniel Goehle, and Michael Munn.
In this event’s division conducted directly thereafter, Penance, a winner of three straight at the fairs including a 2:02.4 mile that equaled the circuit’s overall fastest trot of the year, had to settle for second behind Vulcan Hanover, a Donato Hanover–Variety Girl gelding who broke his maiden in 2:08.1, quickest mile at Hughesville among freshman trotters, for trainer Michael Whitaker, owner Shantae Gant, and catch-driver Shawn Johnston.
In the filly pace, Write All About It saw her win streak end at three when the Well Said–Light Up miss Search Light shined for her maiden victory in 2:06 for trainer/driver Todd Schadel and owner Dr. John Egloff.
Write All About It was backed by the father/son Team Johnston of driver Shawn and trainer Gary, and their Captaintreacherous–I Need Hotstuff filly Silly But Serious, who came back in the next race to record her third straight win, this one in 2:05.2, with Gary Johnston the co-owner with Joyce Benkart.
Fastest of the freshmen was the Delamarvalous–Life’sarealbeach gelding Life’s Marvalous, taking his fair record to 5-2-2-0 with a 2:03.3 lifetime mark for owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer.
On Thursday, Todd Schadel as trainer/driver won at least one of the four sex/gait sections of “A” Fair Sire Stakes events, and he swept two, one the single division colt pace with Way To Close in 2:00.1 for the fastest time of the meet. A Western Terror gelding who paced York in 1:57.4 in his last start, Way To Close is co-owned by his trainer/driver and his wife Christine.
Todd and Christine Schadel also had both winners of the sophomore filly trot, both daughters of Muscle Massive and winners in 2:04.1 — Ridinonarainbow and Bumper Hanover.
The overall fastest trot win time of the meet, 2:03.4, went to Todd’s brother Tony, who guided the Andover Hall gelding Andover Asset. Trainer Linda Schadel owns this one with driver/husband Tony.
Both divisions of the filly pace went in 2:00.4, with the Well Said–Chantal Hall filly Crew Sock Hanover rebounding after losing her perfect fair record last week, a dozen starts over last year and this, while winning from the difficult trailing post five for the ownership of driver Mitchell York and trainer Dave Brickell.
Todd Schadel won the other division with the Somebeachsomewhere distaff Queen Bee Hanover, lowering her lifetime best to 2:00.4 for owners George and Rose Bonomo.
The next stop on the PA fair circuit is a brand new one, at Silver Springs Ranch, a recently-built training facility with a half-mile track, which will have two days of Fair Sire Stakes racing on July 18-19.