GRATZ PA – The three-year-old Well Said filly Crew Sock Hanover, who went last year unbeaten at the Pennsylvania county fairs, now has five wins in the 2019 Fair Sire Stakes “A” program, and she gave definite notice that she’ll be tough in her upcoming Fair Championship. She paced the fastest mile of the year at the Keystone fairs, 1:57.1, in winning during the Sunday program for sophomores at the Gratz Fair, who conducted races for two-year-olds the day before during a two-day Fair Sire Stakes meet.
Crew Sock Hanover took the uncovered route against the pacesetting April Ava, who cut fractions of :28, :57.2, and 1:26.4 in trying for a fifth win during an undefeated run at the fairs. But Crew Sock Hanover proved the stronger filly late, winning by 3½ lengths for driver Kyle Bolon and trainer David Brickell, the latter co-owner with Mitchell York.
Veteran horseman John Wagner, making a rare appearance on the local fair circuit, lowered the season standard for sophomore pacing colts behind the Western Terror gelding Find One More, a winner in 1:57.3, a circuit-leading third 2:00 mile of the year. Wagner, who owned a horse on the program, got several drives that might normally go to Tony Schadel, who was competing at Philly in the freshman Sire Stakes Championship card, and he catch-drove the winner for Tony’s brother and the horse’s trainer Todd Schadel, also co-owner with wife Christine.
Wagner also guided the Andover Hall gelding Andovers Asset to his seventh win of the year at the fairs for co-owners Tony and trainer Linda Schadel. Andovers Asset was one of several horses to go atop the fair seasonal standings with their seventh victory in “A” company; others were the Muscle Massive trotting filly RT Gloria De Dios, a 2018 Fair champion driven by Kyle Bolon for trainer Bob Rougeaux III and the Brocious Racing Stable Inc.; and the Father Patrick – Yankee Etta freshman trotter Penance, who overcame the trailing post seven for Team Bolon / Rougeaux / Brocious.
In addition to the two sophomore pacers who lowered the circuit’s best time at Gratz, the 2:02.4 mark for three-year-old trotting colts was reached for the fourth time, here by the Cantab Hall gelding Cantab Ed, owned by the Lone Wolf Stable and another successful teaming for driver Bolon and trainer Rougeaux. The other 2:02.4s were turned in by Andovers Asset (twice, but not at Gratz) and Grover Hanover.
Given the above results, it will surprise few that Kyle Bolon tied for leading driver of the meet at four wins with Shawn Johnston, nor will it be a shock that Bob Rougeaux III and Roger Hammer dead-heated on the training side by harnessing four winning charges.
There are only two more chances for horses looking to solidify their berths in the eight $25,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania Fair Championship at The Meadows on October 5. The trotters and pacers will go this coming Sunday and Monday during the Gratz Fair, then move on to Bloomsburg for fair action on Friday the 20thand Saturday the 21st to wrap up their 2019 tour of the Pennsylvania twicearounds.