York, PA --- In a battle of unbeatens, usually something has to give.
Not much gave in a division of the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes for pacing colts during a day devoted to freshmen at the York County Fair on Monday (Sept. 9), as A OK Hanover, now undefeated in five starts on the circuit, edged out El Chivato, who had been 5-for-5 on the local circuit, by a nose in 2:02.1.
A Yankee Cruiser colt, A OK Hanover and owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer hung up very fast fractions while El Chivato raced midpack, being six lengths to the good at the three-quarters, but here came El Chivato, eating up ground rapidly for driver Chris Shaw. The margin shrank with every step of the stretch drive, but on the money A OK Hanover held off his hard-charging foe by the slimmest of margins.
Both stamped themselves as major factors for their championship final at The Meadows on Oct. 5 -- if they qualify for the final, as both have spent a good bit of time at the raceways, including Stallion Series action. El Chivato is currently eight points adrift of the eighth and last qualifying point total, A OK Hanover 12. Both are likely to need winning performances at Gratz and Bloomsburg, the last two stops on the fair circuit, and the defection of a couple of rivals, to make the championship.
It would be surprising if Fly Past Hanover or Broadway Charm missed their championship, as they added to their point accumulation by taking two of the three divisions of the Ralph Jones Memorial Trot for males, a race named after the late legend and benefactor of local fair racing.
Fly Past Hanover, a gelded son of Cantab Hall, missed the divisional track record by a fifth, posting a 2:04 score, while the Broadway Hall gelding Broadway Charm won in 2:05, the team taking the Daily Double by a near combined 25 lengths for driver Steve Schoeffel, trainer Bill Daugherty, Jr., and owner Susan Daugherty.
Schoeffel in all had five wins on the day to solidify his spot atop the fair colony driver standings.
The Team Shaw pacing filly La Fiesta became the first fair horse to clinch her divisional point total championship when she finished second after a hard first-over trip to Bellas Quik, having amassed 61 points to 49 for nearest rivals Ardelle and Hopeful Trust with just two stops and 10 points to go at the 2013 PA fairs.
Finishing Lines: The 3-year-olds are featured at York Tuesday, with first post at 10:30 a.m.…As alluded to above, here’s the rest of the PA fair schedule for this year: this coming Sunday and Monday at Gratz at 11:30 a.m., and then three days of racing at Bloomsburg: a rescheduling of all eight Bloomsburg Stakes to the Friday before the main racing week, Sept. 20, at 2 p.m., and then the final Sire Stakes preliminary opportunity of the year on Monday and Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.