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Pennsylvania fair racing season starts off with a bang at Dayton
Sunday, June 18, 2017 - by Publicity Office, Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association

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Dayton, PA --- As far as the 2017 fair harness racing season in Pennsylvania goes there were fast miles, track records and near track records flying on Saturday (June 17) and Sunday (June 18) at the Dayton Fairgrounds, which commenced with Venier Hanover's effort on Saturday.

The Dayton all-age track record for trotters also came within a hair of being broken, as on Sunday the Great George Two gelding Gee Wizz George came home in :59.3 to complete a mile in 2:01, just missing the clocking for the fastest local trot ever, which was the 2:00.4 hung up by sophomore Redder Than Red in 2012. Gee Wizz George won for driver Brady Brown, trainer Jean Rastetter, and owner Maryann Rastetter.

In addition to Venier Hanover, another horse who rewrote a Dayton divisional track record was the Ponder filly Keystone Nikki, who came a last half of :58.3 to stop the timer in 1:59.3. This time knocked a tick off Singalongwithbing’s track standard set last year. Behind this fast filly is driver Chris Shaw, trainer Jason, who is Chris's brother, and Jason’s owner/son Mason.

In all, there were four 2:00 miles over the weekend as 3-year-old pacing geldings Ginger Tree Marty (Sam Beegle) won in 1:59 and TSM Roger Houstont (Cory Kreiser) reported home first in 1:59.3. The latter effort, which featured a :28.2 last quarter, caught some by surprise, but just shows there are no soft spots anywhere in Pennsylvania.

Perennial fair kingpin Roger Hammer trained and drove six winners. The Shaw brothers ranked second for the weekend with Chris driving four winning horses and Jason harnessing three.

The fair circuit makes it second stop this coming weekend at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds in Hughesville. Post time is at 4 p.m. on Saturday with sophomores competing and post time for 2-year-old contests is Sunday at 12 noon.

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