Washington, PA — Last year, Bettor Strait N Up captured both the points title and the championship of the Pennsylvania Fairs 2-year-old pacing fillies division. Now, as the points leader in her division this year, she can repeat that feat if she wins Friday’s final for sophomore pacing fillies at Hollywood Casino at The Meadows.
That would complete an unprecedented “double double” for Bettor Strait N Up, as no horse has swept the points title and championship at 2 and 3 since point totals became part of the equation in 2002.
The Meadows will host all eight PA Fairs championships, each with a purse of $25,000, meaning a total of $200,000 will be up for grabs in the finals. First post is 5:10 p.m.
Linda Schadel, who trains Bettor Strait N Up, and her husband and co-owner Tony Schadel, the horse’s regular driver at the fairs, acquired the daughter of Betting Line-Strait N Great as a yearling in an unusual way. The breeder bought her back at Lexington and later called Linda to gauge her interest in the filly.
“We had a brother to her dam and really liked him,” she recalls. “They bought her back for $9,000, and that’s what they asked for her. She was absolutely a great buy.
“It would be cool if she could get that double double. She’s a very good half-mile-track horse, and we’re hoping that she can handle the big track, too. She looks the part, and she wants to do her job. That’s a tough bunch of fillies in there.”
Bigger tracks have been a challenge for Bettor Strait N Up. Although she took eight fairs stakes this year, she’s winless in 11 starts at the state’s pari-mutuel tracks. Moreover, among her rivals in Friday’s final is Mitchell York’s Sweet And Feisty (post two, Ronnie Wrenn Jr.), who’s earned more than $93,000 this year and took a sparkling mark of 1:50.4 at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Linda and Tony will send out three other finalists Friday; here are Linda’s capsule reviews:
• Ivy Stud (3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace, race one, post four, Aaron Merriman). “He’s an underdog, but he can be a very good big-track horse. Maybe the fairs didn’t suit him too well.”
• Make Me An Offer (2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace, race eight, post nine, Tony Schadel). “That’s a tough post, and he hasn’t been the horse we thought we had. Maybe he’ll be better next year.”
• Phannys Matter (3-Year-Old Filly Trot, race nine, post three, Merriman). “She has a lot of pedigree behind her, and she may be a better big-track horse. If I get the right money for her, I might sell her, but if not, I have no problem keeping her.”
The Schadel name will be quite prominent Friday. In addition to the quartet representing Tony and Linda, Tony’s brother, trainer Todd Schadel, and his wife Christine, will send out 11 finalists from their stable; their son Cody will drive five of them.
To kick off the festivities with a Schadel flavor, Elizabeth Schadel, 12-year-old daughter of Linda and Tony, will sing the National Anthem.