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Freshman trotters set new records at Dayton (PA); Shawn Johnston scores five in the sulky

Saturday, July 16, 2016  By: PA Fair Harness Horsemen’s Association


Dayton, PA --- Two-year-old trotters continue to put on a speed show on the Pennsylvania fair circuit in 2016, with the track standards at the oval in this west-central Pennsylvania borough rewritten for both sexes during Fair Sire Stakes action for freshmen on Saturday (July 16.)


First to add his name to the local records was the Great George Two gelding Gee Wizz George, who battled outside of pacesetter Sortie Hanover for over the last quarter-mile, then was just along at the wire by a head in 2:04.2, lowering the best time ever posted locally by a 2-year-old colt trotter (Albany House, 2012) by a tick while taking a new mark.


Trainer Jean Rastetter handles the fast freshman for owners Maryann and Richard Rastetter; for Ron Harvey, now driving only intermittently, his only two sulky successes since 2008 have come behind “George.”


But the title of “fastest two-year-old trotter ever at Dayton” was then transferred in … gee wizz, how long was it? … fifteen minutes, as in the very next race the Lucky Chucky filly Lovebeinglucky dispatched her competition by 8-1/4 lengths, coming home in :29.3 to complete a 2:04.1 mile. That clocking beat both the previous filly standard (2:05, Classical Original, 2003) and the newly-etched mark for overall fastest 2-year-old trotter ever locally.


Lovebeinglucky, who also added a personal speed badge, became the first horse to set two sectional standards at the fairs this year (her first came in a 2:05.4 mile at Butler) for red-hot trainer/driver Rick Beinhauer, who shares ownership of the precocious miss with Regina Beinhauer.


A third Dayton record was missed only by a fifth, as the Dragon Again filly Camera Lady sped off to a :28.4 personal last quarter to win in 2:01.2, just a tick off of DVC Jaded Attitude’s 2012 local record. Both of these fillies share the link of owner/trainer Dave Brickell, with Brickell also owning Camera Lady, now a winner four times in five starts, with Mitchell York.


On the human side of the equation, the day was dominated by 23-year-old driver Shawn Johnston, who had five victorious sulky assignments on the day, after never having had more than a one-day driving double in his 49 previous triumphs. The quintet raises Shawn’s fair total to 13 for the season, one behind Chris Shaw, who teamed with brother/trainer Jason for a win with 2-year-old pacing filly Gemalous to give them a category-leading 14 fair winners.


The 3-year-olds take to the track for their PA Fair Sire Stakes races Sunday (July 17) with the first of a dozen races set to go behind the gate at 1:00 p.m.

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