Dayton, PA — Prime time for the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Racing Circuit continued unabated with Wednesday (Aug. 17) and Thursday (Aug. 18) racing at the Dayton Fairgrounds in Armstrong County, in this borough in the west-central part of the state.
The freshmen were out first Wednesday, with the Betting Line–Parlee Beach gelding Rusty Beach producing the fastest mile of the day, 2:01.2, for driver Eric Neal and trainer Richard Dunn, the latter co-owner with MBC Stables.
On the trot, the International Moni–Arrowstar colt Action Shot was the fastest freshman at 2:04.4, coming in his next start after tying the all-age track trot record at Honesdale of 2:02. Trainer/driver Todd Schadel shares ownership of the four-time winner with his wife Christine and Rick and Regina Beinhauer.
There was an upset as Rambling Ruby, the first horse to reach seven victories at the state’s fairs this season, was beaten by a maiden, the Stay Hungry–Take That Hanover pacing filly Tahini Hanover in 2:03. Trainer Wayne Long was in the sulky behind Tahini Hanover for owner Bill Kreutzer.
During the Thursday action for 3-year-olds, the Explosive Matter trotting filly Heart Matters joined Rambling Ruby as a seven-time winner on the circuit, with the fastest mile on her gait at Dayton, 2:02.3, another distinction in a summer where she currently has the fastest overall trotting mile of the year, 2:00.3 at Bedford. Heart Matters now has six straight victories and a Stallion Series triumph among her nine seasonal conquests for the Schadel/Beinhauer combine also behind Action Shot.
Fastest pacer of the meet was Buchannon Hanover, who with four 2:00 victories is the only PA fairs performer with more than one. At Dayton, the Always B Miki colt only needed 2:00.4 to record his sixth straight win for trainer/driver Todd and co-owner Christine Schadel.
Right behind in the speed category was the Betting Line miss Cathy Hanover, who now has won three of her last five starts after a 2:01 victory for driver Aaron Johnston, trainer Nathan Bresnahan, and owner Matthew Miller.
The powerful barn that Todd Schadel has put together again enabled him to top the meet in driving (six) and training (seven) victories. Others who had great success at Dayton were drivers Wayne Long and Eric Neal, who drove four and three winners, respectively, and trainers Long and Mitchell York, who harnessed three successful charges. Driver Long and trainer York both had three wins with 2-year-olds on Wednesday.
Just as the meet was winding down at Dayton, another was just starting up at Meyersdale in Somerset County, 100 miles due south, with 2-year-olds on Thursday and 3-year-olds Friday. A full recap of that meeting will appear at the conclusion of its racing, as will a summary of the Saturday-Sunday races at the Crawford County Fair in Meadville, the end of the biggest week of action at the Pennsylvania fairs this year.