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Rivalries spice up Honesdale (Pa.) Fair
Thursday, August 10, 2017 - by Publicity Office, Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association

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Honesdale, PA --- Two days of harness racing were held during the Wayne County Fair proper on Wednesday (Aug. 9) and Thursday (Aug. 10). The sulky stars of the short stay were two pairs of longtime friendly rivals, Sam Beegle and Roger Hammer of Bedford Sports Hall of Fame glory and brothers Todd and Tony Schadel.

In the 3-year-old colt pace A divisions Wednesday, Hammer and Beegle, recent honorees by the Keystone Chapter of USHWA at their hometown fair, had the winners, who were the fastest visitors to Victory Lane for the meet. First on the track was Beegle, who trains and guided the Yankee Cruiser gelding Ginger Tree Marty to his sixth win of the fair campaign, and fourth in a row, going the mile in 2:01.1, for Ginger Tree Stable LLC and Bob Reber.

A race later, Hammer was in the sulky behind Artists Ruffles, a Real Artist gelding who won for the first time in 23 overall starts in 2017 after winning 10 times at the fairs last season. But Artists Ruffles, with his 2:00.4 clocking, may have indicated that he’s ready to make up for lost time for trainer/driver Hammer, who also co-owns with Vicki Fair.

Among their A distaff counterparts, Bella Ragaza (2:06) posted her sixth straight victory and Camera Lady (2:04.3), last year’s winningest 2-year-old in North America, won for the fifth time at the fairs this year, keeping them on pace behind Gemalous, a winner at Waynesburg earlier that day, in a torrid battle for divisional supremacy in that category.

Tony Schadel drove both winners in the A events on the trot. In the colt contest it was with Photo Bomber in 2:04.1, which is by far fastest trotting mile of the session, and on the filly side with Drinking Class (2:09.1) – a horse trained by his brother Todd. This race would greatly impact the leading horsemen’s totals at meet’s end.

On Thursday when the freshmen came out Todd Schadel drove an A winner in three divisions: the filly trot with Critical Hanover (2:10), the colt trot with Bela’s Big Boy (2:11.1) and a division of the colt pace with Platinum (2:08.2). The other division of the 2-year-old colt pace was by far the fastest of the day. It came with a horse that driver Tony and trainer Linda Schadel had recently acquired and were racing for only the second time – the A Rocknroll Dance gelding Legendary Ron, who stepped home in :30 to complete a 2:05.2 maiden victory.

In the final meet standings, Tony Schadel drove five winners and Todd Schadel trained five winners to lead their categories. The race where Tony drove a Todd-trained horse proved to be the difference for bragging rights in the horsemen’s competitions, as Todd (and Roger Hammer) had four sulky victories, and Linda Schadel had four conditioning successes.

This busiest of Pennsylvania fair weeks – six cards within five days – is followed by activity that slows down only a little next week, with racing at the famed Arden Downs on the Washington County Fairgrounds on Monday and Tuesday and then at Dayton Fair on Wednesday and Thursday.

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