Hammer roars back to take driver lead at Day 2 of Harness Racing|
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
After getting shut out in three harness races Monday during the first day of competition at the 152nd Clearfield County Fair, Bedford's Roger Hammer roared back with a vengeance on Tuesday afternoon.
The 10-time Buster DiSalvo Trophy winner picked up four victories, including three in a row, and posted three of the four fastest times as 2-year-old pacers took center stage on Day 2.
The four wins put him atop the standings in the DiSalvo Trophy race, one ahead of Dave Brickell, who won twice on Tuesday.
Hammer began his three-race run in the second event, piloting Life'sarealbeach to a very easy 10¾-length victory in The Progress 2-year-old filly pace.
Life'sarealbeach briefly took a back seat to Soft Velvet, who is also owned by Hammer but was driven by Chris Shaw, before turning on the jets down the backstretch just before the quarter-mile mark and never looking back, easing to the win - her third in seven starts - in 2:02.3.
Hammer rode Cebu Hanover to an equally impressive win in the Dunlap-Swales Memorial 2-year-old pass pace, crossing the finish line in 2:03 for a wire-to-wire victory. Cebu Hanover took the race by 8¾ lengths and would have won by much more had Hammer not eased off the pedal down the stretch.
Cebu Hanover set a new lifetime mark with her time.
Quik Response gave Hammer his third consecutive win by overtaking Wayne Long aboard Real Leggy down the stretch in the Ward Fink Memorial 2-year-old pass pace, equaling Life'sarealbeach's time from two races prior.
Real Leggy took the lead from Quik Response at the half-mile mark and held the advantage until the stretch, where Hammer moved to the outside for the 1-length victory.
Brickell put a brief halt to Hammer's momentum, driving DVC Jaded Attitude to an easy win in the Auto Mart of Clearfield 2-year-old filly pace. DVC Jaded Attitude posted the fastest time of the afternoon, crossing the line in 2:02.2, and won for the fifth time in eight starts in 2012.
After watching Brickell win the final filly pace, Hammer revved up Falcon's Breeze in the Richie Salvatore Memorial 2-year-old PA Sires colt pace.
Falcon's Breeze took the lead at the ¼-mile mark and kept a comfortable lead to the finish.
Delightful Cash, driven by Cory Kreiser provided a bit of a challenge down the backstretch around the ¾-mile mark, but Hammer and Falcon's Breeze pulled away for a 7¼-length victory in 2:04.4.
The win was the sixth in eight starts for Falcon's Breeze.
Hammer posted a fourth- and a third-place finish in the next two races, while Aaron Johnston grabbed his first win of the week and Brickell inched closer to the DiSalvo lead with his third.
Johnston guided Mein Schatz to his second win in five starts in the Crawford Williams Memorial 2-year-old PA Sires colt pace, pulling away from the pack when Timmy Offutt and Steve Schoeffel got together coming down the stretch.
Offutt had West Coast Breeze in the lead at the half, while Schoeffel and Jungle of Terror skipped to the front at the backstretch.
When the field came down the stretch, Offutt and Schoeffel collided and Johnston pulled away for a 4-length win in 203.3.
Jungle of Terror came across the line second, but was placed third due to interference after a judge's inquiry. West Coast Breeze moved up to second.
Brickell aboard Coffee Vendor pulled out the day's only photo finish, holding off Johnston and Lauxmont Party by a neck in a time of 2:07 in the E. Jay Master Memorial.
Hammer had Bone Taker out in front at the midway point, where Johnston made a move and overtook the leader.
Brickell challenged at the ¾-mile mark, and the battle for first raged down the final stretch between him and Johnston.
After a brief lightning delay, Brady Brown drove Captain Kubota to a wire-to-wire victory on 2:10 in the David E. Franson Memorial. Brown held off Kreiser and Mcscape Artist by a length in a race that saw the four horses entered never change their running order.
Wayne Long started Tuesday's program with a win in the Kevin A. Beardsley Funeral Home 2-year-old Quaker State pace.
Long and Fool Bewitch U stalked two different race leaders from fourth place and then the pocket before overtaking the field for the 2¼-length win in 2:06.2. It was Fool Bewitch U's second victory in as many starts.
Today's nine-race program features 2-year-old trotters. Post time is noon.
NOTES: Eric Neal is in third place in the DiSalvo chase with two wins - both came on Monday. Eight different drivers are tied for fourth with a win apiece ... Tuesday's total purse was worth $27,850.
Harness Racing - Day 2
2-year-old pace Quaker State
Kevin A. Beardsley Funeral Home
1. Fool Bewitch U (Wayne Long), 2:06.2; 2. Dixie Terror (Travis Kolaczynski); 3. Rampaga K (Brady Brown); 4. Nuclear Attraction (Timmy Offutt); 5. Sheza Skipalong (Cory Kreiser); 6. Dinger One (James Dodson).
2-year-old Filly Pass Pace
1. Life'sarealbeach (Roger Hammer), 2:02.3; 2. Powerful Pulse (Brown); 3. Flirtin (Eric Neal); 4. Star Dancer (Offutt); 5. Soft Velvet (Chris Shaw); 6. Miss York County (Bryce Truitt).
1. Cebu Hanover (Hammer), 2:03; 2. RT Redyourrights (Robert Rougeaux III); 3. DVC Justlikemagic (Dodson); 4. Lil Miss Hot Pants (Aaron Johnston); 5. Caviart Ginger (Brown); 6. (DNF) Poetry Jam (Brett Ecker).
Ward Fink Memorial
1. Quik Response (Hammer), 2:02.3; 2. Real Leggy (Long); 3. The Right Move (Kolaczynski); 4. Vahina (Johnston); 5. Shot at a Job (Ecker); 6. Shakira Babe (Kreiser).
Auto Mart of Clearfield
1. DVC Jaded Attitude (Dave Brickell), 2:02.2; 2. Family Fiesta (Offutt); 3. Blue Beyond (Steve Schoeffel); 4. Metropromiss (Brown); 5. Royal Native (Neal); 6. Frothie Latte (Hammer).
2-year-old Colt Pace PA Sires
Richie Salvatore Memorial
1. Falcon's Breeze (Hammer), 2:04.4; 2. Delightful Cash (Kreiser). 3. Employess Go Wild (Kolaczynski); 4. Angelslittlerascal (Brown); 5. Wrongwaytogo (Shaw).
Crawford Williams Memorial
1. Mein Schatz (Johnston), 2:03.3; 2. West Coast Breeze (Offutt); 3. Jungle of Terror (Schoeffel); 4. Enjoy the Ride (Hammer); 5. Native Ability (Brown).
E. Jay Master Memorial
1. Coffee Vendor (Brickell), 2:07; 2. Lauxmont Party (Johnston); 3. Bone Taker (Hammer); 4. Fast Fast Faster (Schoeffel); 5. Yankinmychain (Brown).
David E. Franson Memorial
1. Captain Kubota (Brown), 2:10; 2. Mcscape Artist (Kresier); 3. Vincere (Johnston); 4. RR's Squatn Image (Neal).