Venier Hanover, a two-year-old gelding by Well Said-Valmctorian, certainly put on a show on the first day of the 2017 Pennsylvania fair racing season – in the very first race of the year, the precocious baby toured the half-mile track at the Dayton Fairgrounds in 1:58, missing the all-age track record of J T Arturo by a single tick in only his second career start.

The sensational clocking also shattered the 2:00.2 divisional Dayton standard set by Marvalous Artist last year.

Early fractions in the magical mile were 31, 1:00.2, and 1:30, with Venier Hanover and trainer/driver Dave Brickell tacking on a 28 last quarter to come up just shy of the all-age record, a startling outing nonetheless for the youngster, whose only other purse start resulted in a 1:54 victory at The Meadows. Brickell and co-owner Mitchell Young are certainly no strangers to freshman stardom, as they were the team behind last season’s pacing filly Camera Lady, who led all North American two-year-olds in victories with 15.

Pedigree fans can also find the seeds of greatness in Venier Hanover – sire Well Said is well-known, and Venier’s third dam is Oxford Mary Ann, the dam of Cambest, whose T1:46.1 record stood as harness racing’s fastest mile for 23 years before being eclipsed by Always B Miki last season.

– by Jerry Connors