Darla Martin Moves Into Driver's Lead at Effingham Co. Fair


Published on August 5 2014 10:29 am
Last Updated on August 5 2014 10:29 am
Written by Millie Lange

ALTAMONT -- Darla Martin showed just what the ladies could do as she moved into the driver's lead at the Effingham County Fair harness racing Tuesday.

Martin, who now lives in Greenville, hung back and then made the end exciting in the Non-winners $7,500 Lifetime Pace, the fourth race of the day. Hillcrest Dynamite opened up a four length lead at the start. Go Run N Tellthat knocked down the lead. Ava Destruction was fourth and moved up to challenge for the lead. Hillcrest Dyanmite still held the lead at the half but here came Ava Destruction. The two pacers were side-by-side before Ava Destruction pulled into ahead and drove clear for the victory.

Martin took Ava Destruction to the win in 2:00 3/5.

Martin then took the fifth race of the day, the ICF Maiden Trot 6 Year-Old and Under. Behind At Risk, Martin led by a length to start the race and by that same distance past the half. Beginning Balance took a spot behind At Risk but couldn't make up the ground down the homestretch as At Risk pushed ahead and won in 2:06 4/5.

That puts Martin into the driver's lead with 17 points while Freddie Patton Jr. sits in second with 15, Michael Rogers third with 14 and J.D. Finn in fourth with 12.

Kyle Wilfong drove Perfectly Clear to the early lead in the 2 & 3 Year-Old Open Pace, Division I, the first race of the day and never let up, finishing with a four length victory in 2:00 2/5. Wilfong, who had his first career drive in 2007, came to the Effingham County Fair two years later where he claimed the amatuer driving contest. From there he went on to win the Amateur National Championship.

Perfectly Clear is owned by Altamont native Angie Coleman and Rob Rittof.

In the second race, the 2 & 3 Year-Old Open Pace, Division II, Going Sumwhere was the first to leave the starting gate. All five horses were nose to tail down the backstretch. Going Sumwhere still held the lead but was challenged by Rds Master Revrac. Rds Master Revrac moved up and took the lead and led three across the track down the homestretch. But Togetherforever came on strong and made a charge down the stretch to pull out the victory in 2:02 4/5.

Togetherforever, driven by Michael Johnson, picked up its third win in nine starts.

The third race, the 3-Year-Old Open Trot, went to Morgans Majestic. Morgans Majestic took a 2 1/2 length lead at the quarter mile marker and opened that up to five lengths around the final turn. The Ladarrius Whitaker-driven horse won convincingly in 2:02 2/5.

Harness racing continues Wednesday with a 1 p.m. post time and finishes out Thursday before the thoroughbreds and quarterhorses move onto the track Friday.

Effingham County Fair

Harness Racing Results

Race One

2-3 Year-Old Open Pace, Division I

1. Perfectly Clear (Kyle Wilfong), 2. Dakota Snow (Michael White), 3. Star Gram (Thomas Graham Jr.), 4. Mator Mayhem (Michael Johnson), 5. Kay's Legend (Kyle Husted)

Time -- :30, 1:01, 1:32, 2:00 2/5.

Race Two

2-3 Year-Old Open Pace, Division II

1. Togetherforever (Michael Johnson), 2. Going Sumwhere (Darla Martin), 3. Rds Master Revrac (Paul Cavett), 4. Video Star (Kyle Wilfong), 5. Teaka Gram (Thomas Graham Jr.)

Time -- :31 4/5, 1:03, 1:32 1/5, 2:02 4/5.

Race Three

3-Year-Old Open Trot

1. Morgans Majestic (Ladarrius Whitaker), 2. St. Elian's Fire (Michael White), 3. Fancy Fee Ferge (Paul Cavett), 4. Dancinginthebreeze (David Fagan), 5. Vin (Thomas Graham Jr.)

Time -- :31, 1:01 4/5, 1:32, 2:02 2/5.

Race Four

Non-winners $7,500 Lifetime Pace

1. Ava Destruction (Darla Martin), 2. Hillcrest Dynamite (Paul Cavett), 3. Go Run N Tellthat (Kyle Wilfong), 4. Sugarcreekannie (Dakota Birch), 5. Marytakesthestage (Hugh Meek Jr.)

Time -- :30 2/5, 1:00 2/5, 1:30, 2:00 3/5.

Race Five

ICF Maiden Trot 6-Year-Old and Under

1. At Risk (Darla Martin), 2. Beginning  Balance (Kyle Husted), 3. Boovah Jack (Jamaica Patton), 4. Fox Valley Chile (Wyatt Avenatti), 5. Teela Girl (Stacy De Rousse), 6. Decisive (Eric Collier), 7. Stylish Big Guy (Paul Cavett)

Time -- :33 2/5, 1:05 4/5, 1:37, 2:06 4/5.

Harness Racing

Wednesday, August 6 Entries

Race One

Topline 2-Year-Old Pace

Purse: $2,000

1. Smokin Moni (Michael Cox), 2. Sunset Warriorette (Tannor Spittler), 3. Smile's Ride (Ray Gash), 4. Heartland Desire (Tom T. Tetrick), 5. Gorgeous Dune (Paul Cavett)

Race Two

Topline 3-Year-Old & Up Trot

Purse: $2,500

1. Maple Grove Tom (Freddie Patton Jr.), 2. Lw Jaynie Flyer (Cassidy Melloy), 3. Old Aunt George (Michael White), 4. Balanced Game (no driver listed), 5. Skyline Happy (Jared Finn)

Race Three

Topline 3-Year-Old & Up Pace, Division I

Purse: $1,500

1. Bc's Bad Cat (Tannor Spittler), 2. Judson Director (Tom T. Tetrick), 3. Mr Three Quarters (Freddie Patton Jr.), 4. Evergreensduneside (Paul Cavett), 5. Madoff (Randall Finn)

Race Four

Topline 3-Year-Old & Up Pace, Division II

Purse: $1,500

1. Wild Berry Muffler (no driver listed), 2. Queen Beatrice (Darla Martin), 3. Incredible Filly (Michael Cox), 4. Mighty Oak Perfect (Freddie Patton Jr.), 5. Bc's Southern Bell (Tannor Spittler)

Race Five

Topline 2-Year-Old Trot

Purse: $2,500

1. Jt's Valentine (Michael Cox), 2. Aka Clyde (Tom T. Tetrick), 3. Ozone Park (Ladarrius Whitaker), 4. Lonely Alone (Dirk Simpson), 5. Informed Decision (Jared Finn)

Race Six

Non-Winners $3,500 Lifetime Pace

Purse $1,320

1. Pink Shorts (Ray Gash), 2. Big Tan (Dirk Simpson), 3. Shotgun Season (Kyle Husted), 4. Lighten My Wealth (Tannor Spittler), 5. Frontier Kate (Phillip Finn Jr.), 6. Bc's Golden Girl (Ladarrius Whitaker)