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Standardbreds blitz fair’s record book

Standardbreds blitz fair’s record book Standardbreds blitz fair’s record book

The harness racing action at Thursday and Friday’s annual Harrison County Fair was as scalding as the temperatures and humidity, which topped out at around 85 degrees and almost 100 percent.
The standardbreds didn’t seem to mind it as much as the spectators: early speed held up, and chances were if a horse were leading at the halfway point, it was likely going to hold on for the win.
Both the pace and trot track records fell, equaling the effort in 2000 when both standards were blown away.
On Thursday, the highlight was a photo-finish in the final race. Not only would the winner receive a blanket for the fastest trot of the day, it would also claim the fastest time ever on the 1/2-mile crushed limestone track.
With a half-mile to go, Sunday Express, driven by her driver, owner and trainer, Harold Ruddick Jr., held a slim lead over Suzi’s Golden Girl. The two standardbreds dueled neck-and-neck the rest of the way and came across the line in what looked like a dead heat.
After a short delay for the print of the final result, it was declared that Sunday Express had defeated her adversary by inches and was the new track champion with a time of 2:04.
The old mark of 2:04 3/5 was set in 1999 by Music In Motion.
Then, on Friday, the best race was saved for last.
In a battle between the Beanblossom and Neafus Stables, Neafus came out on top.
The Beanblossom Farm had three standardbreds entered while the Neafus clan had a pair.
In the race, Ndana Whosier was locked in a duel with Hoosier Favorite, but trainer-driver Mike Neafus pulled Ndana, owned by New Middletown’s Kenneth Gehlbach, away at the end. Whosier picked up the top pacing honors for the day as well as the new track record in 1:57 2/5. The old mark of 1:57 4/5 was set in 2000 by To Tough To Tame.
Hoosier Favorite was trained and driven by Dave Beanblossom of Laconia and owned by Jim Beanblossom of Laconia.
In other action Thursday:
Betruetous won with a new mark of 2:07 after holding off a late charge by Bubba Beach Slide to pick up his second career win.
Willy Be Big, a 3-year-old colt driven by Rocky Loney, was first by four lengths in 2:05 3/5. Finishing second after making a stretch charge was Fort Cheyenne, who is trained and driven by Dave Beanblossom of Laconia and owned by David Arboe of Clarksville, TN.
Mac’s Golden Cam, driven by Michael Neafus of Corydon, scored a win in 2:05 after holding off a late rally by Sparky L.
In the fourth race, Hi Moon Star, owned by Charlie M. Conrad, Don Conrad and Josh Whitelow (all of Corydon), picked up a blanket in memory of Gordon Brown for his trot win in 2:07. Charlie M. Conrad trained and drove the standardbred, which picked up a new record.
After a recall on the initial start of the fifth race, Apple Sider tacked on her second win with a new record of 2:08 2/5 for trainer-driver Mike Hollenback. Emma May, trained and driven by Neafus and owned by Dave Limeberry of Corydon, was runner-up.
Trotter Padre’s Miranda led gate-to-wire in the sixth race, bringing home her third win in 2:07 for owner-trainer-driver Don Swartzentruber and earning a blanket in memory of Cliff Limeberry.
Picking up his second pacing win in four starts was Steer Clear, who scored a first in a new record of 2:03 2/3 in the seventh race, a pacer for elite 2-year-olds that had a purse of a whopping $11,200.
Steer Clear also picked up ‘Fastest Pace of the Day’ honors.
Corydon’s Neafus piloted Bubba Billypromise, owned by Jean Brown of Laconia and trained by Beanblossom, to a second, and Melvinator, trained and driven by Beanblossom and owned by Allan Bottorff of Corydon, was third.
There was none better than Bug Me Chris in the eighth, who was the first standardbred that day to come from behind in the second half of the race to win. Chris, who has three firsts in seven starts this season, won in 2:09 and gave driver Rocky Loney his second victory of the afternoon.
Early speed held up once again on Friday: however, there would be no closers able to pull off a victory from behind the pace.
In the first race, 2-year-old Sabrina’s Dream scored a new record of 2:08 in her fourth trotting win of the season for trainer-driver Hollenback, who came back in the second race to score a 23-length maiden win driving Riverbend Cindy in 2:08 4/5.
Mac BM Work Force scored his fourth win in seven starts for driver Don Swartzentruber and lowered its lifetime mark to 2:11 1/5 in the third.
In a rare feature of ‘boys vs. girls’ (colts vs. fillies) in the fourth race, Corydon’s Neafus drove Hi Amp to his first victory in 17 starts in 2:00 2/5 for owner-trainer Wayne Cunningham Jr. of Corydon. Driver Charlie M. Conrad of Corydon wound up second, handling the reigns for Way To Go Chief, a colt trained by Harold Barnes and owned by Travis Mack of Holton.
Conrad came back in the fifth to win in 2:03 2/5 with Tiara Rellim, a 3-year-old filly trained by Conrad and owned by Barbara Bottoms of Frankfort, Ky. Conrad also trained Imjustpassingthru, which finished third in the same race for owners J.B. Dalyrumple and S.N. Conrad of Greenfield.
Mac Only Bill, trained and driven by Dossie Minor, won the sixth race (the standardbred’s third lifetime) in a record of 2:01 4/5.
In addition to the ‘Hoosiers’ who made the final, record-breaking race so exciting, Hoosier Sandslide was third. The colt pacer was driven by the meet’s top driver, Mike Hollenback. The lessee-trainer is Dave Beanblossom.
In other harness racing last week around the area, Connersville’s fair hosted a second-place finish by Fort Cheyenne for David Arboe of Clarksville, Tenn., and trainer-driver Dave Beanblossom.
At the Kentucky Fair Finals, held at Bluegrass Downs in Paducah, Signing Off won for Fred Schroeder and Robert Schnute and driver Charlie M. Conrad and Jen Bo Jenna took a new record, winning in 1:57 3/5 for Schroeder, Schnute and Charlie M. Conrad, who also handled driving duties.
Around the Fur was second for Schroeder, Schnute and Don Conrad and trainer-driver Charlie M. Conrad.
In a consolation race, People Of The Sun was third for Schroeder and trainer-driver Charlie M. Conrad.
Hoosier Harem was third at Indiana Downs in Shelbyville for Don and Charles Conrad and Josh Whitelow of Corydon, with Charlie M. in the bike.
Rounding out the week at Bluegrass Downs, Saturday Surprise raced Friday and Sunday, picking up a third and a win for Celine Wilkenson and trainer-driver Jay Wilkenson of Corydon.
Dirk’s Fantasy won for lessee-trainer Virgil Phillips of Big Springs and driver Jay Wilkenson.
Charlie M. Conrad had a training-driving twin-win with My Bell Boy and Buff The Stuff. Bell is owned by the combo of Schnute and Schroeder, and Buff is owned by Bottoms.
Devine Brown N finished third for Allen Hanselman and trainer-driver Gary Neafus of Corydon.