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Western Reserve Matinee Club

2003 Wa. Co. Fair Review: Thursday, September 11, 2003
Horse Dunkster
Dunkster and Driver Kurt Sugg on their way to setting a new track record of 1:57.3
Thursday, September 11 was the last day of racing at the fair -- but definitely not the least day of racing. There were 18 races, 111 horses entered, and two novelty races, a race under saddle and an Amish race. The track was lightning fast, but there were two horses that absolutely scorched the track and set new track records for their respective gaits.
DUNKSTER and local trainer-driver Kurt Sugg shattered the 11-year-old track trotting record of 1:583 in the sixth race, the Dr. Mairs Memorial Trot. Sugg took DUNKSTER right to the top off of the gate and never looked back, trotting every quarter under :30. ANASTASIA AJAY, driven by Don McKirgan, was the only horse that could trot with Sugg and DUNKSTER down to the quarter pole, which was reached in :292, a large gap existed back to third, where ULTIMATE MESSAGE and driver Jim Pantaleano were sitting. The top pair stayed one-two to the half-mile pole, reached in :584, where Sugg started to pull away from McKirgan and ANASTASIA AJAY. First it was one length and then three lengths as the leader hit the three-quarter pole in 1:283.
Horse Dunkster
Dunkster and Driver Kurt Sugg put it into another gear
Around the last turn and down the stretch DUNKSTER put it into another gear and stretched his lead over ANASTASIA AJAY to four and one-half lengths and crossed the wire in an astounding 1:573. ULTIMATE MESSAGE captured the show spot. DUNKSTER, a chestnut 4-year-old gelded trotter by Striking Sahbra, is owned by Scott Davis of Belle Valley, Ohio.

Horse Odysseus A
Odysseus A leading to the quarter-pole on his way to a new track record
Dunkster's record performance was immediately followed by another in the seventh race on Thursday. The $6,600 Max Kister Memorial Pace saw ODYSSEUS A and driver Dave Hawk fry the pacing track record set one day earlier by SECRET HARBOR and Greg Grismore.

Hawk took ODYSSEUS A right to the top from the rail post position and made a hard-leaving MATTS WALLER and Bret Miller take a seat in the two hole as MAGIC DART sat third going to the quarter pole in a blistering :271. They moved toward the half-mile and ODYSSEUS A’s stablemate, MONTURO and driver Josh Kash, pulled to challenge the leaders, but then hung on the outside of MATTS WALLER as ODYSSEUS A tripped the timer in :563.

Horses Monturo and Odysseus A
Monturo (far left) and stablemate Odysseus A box in Matt's Waller
They moved to the three-quarter pole with ODYSSEUS A in front and MATTS WALLER boxed-in at the rail by MONTURO. The three-quarters was timed in 1:252. They stayed that way until late stretch, at which point a tiring MONTURO drifted out and gave MATTS WALLER the room he needed to get out of the trap he was in -- but it was too late as ODYSSEUS A got to the wire first in a new track record time of 1:543.

ODYSSEUS A, an 8-year-old bay gelded pacer, is owned by Jenny Belcher and David Slyman of Ohio and is trained by Bob Belcher.

Viper Spur sitting last
Viper Spur and Kurt Sugg at the back of the pack would win down the lane
Wooster trainers found their niche on Thursday with many finishes in the money. The second race, the first division of the FFA Pace, saw two locally trained horses race: MR STAR and VIPER SPUR. Trainer Steve Landfair teamed up with driver Kurt Sugg on VIPER SPUR to get a win. VIPER SPUR and Sugg had to come from the back of the pack in the last turn and go four wide down the stretch to win it on the far outside in 1:59.4h. MR STAR trained by Gary Hites finished a disappointing sixth with driver Bruce Sturgeon in the bike.

Four Wooster Horses
Local horses sit 3-4-5-6 just past quarter-pole
The third race, first division of the Tri-County-Pace, saw four local trainers send their horses to post: CD BAD BOY and trainer Pat Clark, TOMMY D and trainer Kurt Sugg, REO LYNDA and trainer Gary Hites, and ALEXANDER F trained by Jon G. Wengerd. With four entries from Wooster and only six horses in the race you would have thought the odds of a Wooster win were great, but it was not the case as SUGARBUG and driver Charlie Wyers trounced the Wayne County trainers going gate to wire in 1:59.3h, PENTIUM CHIP was second, and Pat Clark driving CD BAD BOY up the inside down the stretch managed a third place finish. ALEXANDER F was fourth, REO LYNDA fifth, and the lone two-year-old in the race, TOMMY D, finished sixth.

Horse The Weddings Over
The Weddings Over moving on the far outside in the eighth race
Race 8, Richard H. Snyder Memorial Trot for two and three-year-old Maidens, gave local trainer-driver Jon G. Wengerd and his three-year-old Overcomer colt, THE WEDDINGS OVER, a third place finish. STRIKING JOY and driver Clair Umholtz won by eight lengths in 2:08.2h. TIME INTHE BOX and driver Eldon Spearman were second.
12 Race Action
Doctor Gus leads, Single Bubba sits second on the rail, followed by Knoteworthy Wolf
The twelfth race, second division of the Tri-County Pace, saw two local horses entered: KNOTEWORTHY WOLF for Jon G. Wengerd, and SINGLE BUBBA for Dan Miller. However, the Wayne County trainers’ hope for a win got stomped as DOCTOR GUS and driver Jim Pantaleano went wire to wire winning by over 12 lengths in 1:59.2h. SINGLE BUBBA put in a valiant effort to finish second, while WAKESHIRE WILLIS was third. KNOTEWORTHY WOLF managed to get fourth.
Solar Laser Breaks Stride
Solar Laser breaks at the quarter in Race 13 and does not finish the race
Ralph Miller started his horse SOLAR LASER in the thirteenth race. A Non-Winners of $3,000 lifetime condition trot, but after driving him hard to the quarter pole the horse made a nasty break and Ralph decided to pull him up and not finish the race.
Race 17 Action
M-TwentyTwo leads them down to the quarter-pole
The seventeenth race, third division of the FFA Trot, saw six horses go post-ward and three entries from area trainers: IRISH JAKE for the Gary Hites stable, M-TWENTYTWO from the Ron Wagner Stable, and BOSTON BLAZE out of the Jon G. Wengerd barn. But it was Ron Wagner and M-TWENTYTWO who threw down the gauntlet and played “catch me if you can” by firing off the gate and taking the lead, trotting down to the quarter in 30.4. In the turn past the quarter BOSTON BLAZE and trainer-driver Jon Wengerd pulled from the back and started grinding his way toward the front to challenge the leader. By the half in 1:02.3 he was sitting second on the outside about a length off M-TWENTYTWO. ARNON and Bill Irvine sitting in the pocket behind Wagner made a break just past the half, as did a fourth sitting IRISH JAKE.
Race 17 Action
M-TwentyTwo (right) and Boston Blaze outside (left) followed by Irish Jake and Arnon
They headed down to the three quarter pole as a team, tripping the timer in 1:32.4. While ARNON and IRISH JAKE, both back trotting, stalked the leaders five lengths back. However, the grinding outside trip caught up with BOSTON BLAZE in the final turn and he jumped offstride. Leaving M-TWENTYTWO and Wagner with clear sailing to the wire, crossing it in 2:04.1h. IRISH JAKE made it a Wooster-perfecta getting up for second, and ARNON took the show spot. BOSTON BLAZE scraped out a fifth place finish once he got back trotting.
Horse Irish Jake
Irish Jake and driver Bruce Sturgeon

Race 18 Action
Old Mac Moon leading to the three-quarters with Kurt Sugg showing Striking Lighting the whip sitting right behind second
Race eighteen saw trainer Tony Raber send his trotting mare STRIKING LIGHTING out to the track for the fourth division of the FFA Trot. She gave it the old college try”, but couldn't catch the Belcher trainee of OLD MAC MOON and driver Dave Hawk. They went gate to wire in 2:01.4h, winning by seven lengths over place finisher STRIKING LIGHTING. CINDERELLA'S MAN and driver Jim Larrabee took third.

An overall recap of Thursday’s races saw four divisions of the FFA TROT with the blanket trophy going to BRIGHTON ROCK N who trotted in 2:01.3h. Other divisional winners were, OLD MAC MOON in 2:01.4h, M-TWENTYTWO in 2:04.1, and MAINGATE MS FINAL in 2:06h.

The FFA PACE only had two divisions and the trophy went to JENDEH who got a big upset win over BEEDIS by pacing in 1:58.3h. The other division was won by VIPER SPUR in 1:59.4h.

The Non-Winners $3,000 Lifetime Trot had two divisions with the blanket going to MARIO'S ROYALTY for an effort of 2:06.1h. The other division was won by ROMANZA in 2:08.3h.

The Non-Winners $2,000 Lifetime Pace had two divisions with the trophy blanket going to FAST GOIN ALEXIS who paced home in 2:02.4h. The other divisional winner was DAZZLING ROXANN in 2:05.2h.

The Richard H. Snyder Memorial Trot for Maiden 2-3 Year Old Trotters had two divisions with JANES FIRST HERO taking home the trophy for trotting in 2:06.1h. STRIKING JOY and driver Clair Umholtz took the other division in 2:08.2h.

The Tri-County Pace, Wayne, Stark, Medina Owned or Trained had two divisions the fastest being DOCTOR GUS in 1:59.2h. SUGARBUG took the other division in 1:59.4h.

The Max Kister Memorial Pace had only one division racing for a $6,600 purse that went to ODYSSEUS A who set a new track record by pacing in 1:54.3h!

The Dr. Mairs Memorial Trot had two divisions and the trophy and a new track record went to DUNKSTER who trotted home in 1:57.3h. The other division was won by MOLDED BAY in 1:59.1h.

The Riding Under Saddle race was won by Nadine Case riding GAINESVILLE in 2:05.3h.

Race 18 Action
Amish horses Yankee and Duane Duane racing up the backstretch
The Amish Race saw YANKEE and Merlin Hershberger win a half-mile dash in 1:10.2h.
See the archived Thursday, Sept. 11, 2003 Wa. Co. Fair Entries
See the archived Thursday, Sept. 11, 2003 Wa. Co. Fair Results

Last Updated: September 14, 2003; 12:55 PM EDT