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98 horses race at county fair

98 horses race at county fair
98 horses race at county fair
Lucks On Your Side leads the pack during Thursday afternoon’s Race 7 at the Harrison County Fair in Corydon. Harness racing also took place Friday afternoon at the fairgrounds. Kaitlyn Clay

Indiana Sired Fair Circuit harness racing for 2- and 3-year old trotters and pacers, colts and fillies, came to the Harrison County Fair on Thursday and Friday afternoons. A total of 24 races across the eight divisions of ISFC racing took place, involving 98 horses. The 2-year-olds were making only the second start of their careers, most having raced the previous week at the fair in Converse.

The highlight for local fans came Friday when Corydon native Charlie Conrad drove his 2-year-old trotting filly Sassy Babe to victory, beating the field by a wide margin in a time of 2:14:0 for the mile.

The Corydon fair was unquestionably dominated by Winchester reinsman Doug Rideout, who is known throughout Indiana for his skill and expertise in developing young trotters but has been known to also race a pacer sometimes.

A total of 11 horses trained by Rideout were entered over the two days, and eight of them were winners, a winning percentage of 73%. One filly finished second in her race, and two others nabbed third-place money.

Larry King of Wilshire, Ohio, had the most entries for trainers with 21 horses making the trip to race in Corydon.

Rideout’s eight driving wins in 11 races included one win driving a horse trained by Mervin Schmucker. In one race, Rideout had two entries and his other horse was driven to victory by Robert Taylor with Rideout finishing second.

Clay Craib of Anderson won three races, and Kevin Lambright, Terry Skinner, Jordan Ross and Charlie Conrad all had two wins each. Logan Loney, Clifton Bell, Robert Taylor, Mathew Avenatti and Michael Deitweiler each had one win.

All but two of the drivers at the fair were men. Lexi Sarkine of Converse drove 3-year-old pacing filly to a sixth-place finish, and Carrie Hollman of Milan was second with her 2-year-old filly trotter. Hollman has raced at Corydon and other places in Indiana on the fair circuit for many years. Sarkine is not only an accomplished Indiana harness racing trainer and driver, but is well known as an equestrian, competing in hunter jumper and dressage classes riding thoroughbreds.

None of the fastest times in the eight divisions of racing threatened any of the existing track records for Corydon, as wet conditions slowed the competitors.

Rideout had the fastest horses in five of the eight divisions. Rideout’s fastest winners were Pure Silky in 2:04:0, the fastest 2-year-old pacing filly; Swan Fine Lady in 2:06:4, the fastest 3-year-old trotting filly; Southern Swan Man in 2:06:0, the fastest 3-year-old trotting colt; Crecia in 2:10:0, the fastest 2-year-old trotting filly; and Lonestar Fashion in 2:14:0, the fastest 2-year-old trotting colt.

Craib drove the fastest 3-year-old pacing filly when Dirty Talk stopped the clock in 2:02:2, and Lambright of Anderson drove the fastest 3-year-old pacing colt with Vel Lets Roll South in a time of 2:00:1.

The most impressive division winner of the fair came in the Thursday races involving 2-year-old pacing colts when LuckyChris, owned by D and R Racing of Benton, Ky., paced home in 2:01:0 for trainer Curtis Rice and driver Clifton Bell. Making only his second life-time start, this son of noted Indiana sire Luck Be With You will be one to watch as the summer racing unfolds.