Stoneboro, PA --- There’s a scene in Mel Brooks’ classic movie Blazing Saddles where a report of trouble caused by Mongo (played by Alex Karras) reaches the office of the new sheriff (Cleavon Little). The sheriff starts to strap on his guns to go and investigate the disturbance, but is stopped by a veteran gunslinger named “The Kid” (Gene Wilder), who advises the green sheriff:
“No, you don’t want to shoot Mongo. It’ll only make him mad.”
Roger Hammer, in a traffic accident Wednesday and released from the hospital Thursday afternoon, added on six winners during the 3-year-old action at the Great Stoneboro Fair Saturday to the triple he posted Friday, leaving him and his neck/body brace to drive back home to Bedford with nine wins during the two-day meet.
But Hammer would be the first to agree that the biggest story Saturday was McAlvin, a McArdle pacing gelding who posted the fastest time ever at the Stoneboro half-miler when he won a division of the Sire Stakes in 1:57, knocking two-fifths off a second off the 11-year-old mark of J T Arturo (and no points for guessing who drove J T Arturo on his record day).
McAlvin also equaled the fastest mile of the Keystone fair year (his own, at Gratz), and now has four magic miles (including the 1:58.2 all-age record at Meadville) in his undefeated five-race campaign at the fairs in 2013. McAlvin and his connections -- driver Chris Shaw, trainer Bob Krenitsky, Jr., and owner Julie Krenitsky -- now must focus on making the Fair championship: with four stops on the circuit left, McAlvin is presently nine points short of the last qualifying spot, and 14 horses are ahead of him in the standings.
The other two divisions of the sophomore colt pace were won by Roger Hammer-owned, trained and driven horses: Camturo Beach (2:01) and Enjoy The Ride (2:02.2).
Among the pacing fillies, early-season sensation She’salilfireball turned the tables from Wednesday’s 1-2 finish at Wattsburg when she defeated In A Better Place, the leading point winner among all fair campaigners, in 2:01. Both horses started along the inside, but In A Better Place did not live up to her name when she drew post five on the four-wide track, and that might have factored in the victory for the “Fireball,” a daughter of Allamerican Native, who scored for driver Aaron Johnston and owner-trainer Bob Grover.
On the trotting side, Hammer and owner-trainer-breeder Boots Dunn won two of three divisions in the Sires events for both sexes. The SJ’s Caviar gelding Ruddy Rusty, now undefeated in eight fair starts, was the fastest of the quartet in 2:02.4; he was joined on the male side by Classicality (2:04.2). The filly winners for the “golden oldies” were Lindyofalifetime (2:03.3) and Boo’s Party Girl (2:04).
Finishing Lines: Stoneboro’s racing ended fair action in the western part of the state for the year (excepting the $200,000 Fair championship night at The Meadows on Saturday evening, Oct. 5); they draw Sunday for Tuesday twilight and Wednesday afternoon action at Port Royal, and will then visit York, Gratz and Bloomsburg to conclude the twicearound year…At Port Royal on Tuesday, there will be a ceremony honoring the Zendt Family, including localite and patriarch Wilbur Zendt, before the 4:30 p.m. scheduled start…And for those keeping score, Hammer’s sulky tally for Stoneboro was 19-9-4-1-.608.