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WASHINGTON, PA, June 13, 2018 -- Barn Girl thwarted the late challenge of Ready Any Time and went on to capture Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Trot at The Meadows, her eighth win in 11 starts this year and the 50th victory of her career. Barn Girl endured a demanding opening quarter -- three wide in 27.1 -- before reaching the front, a trip that could have made her vulnerable. But in characteristic fashion, she dug in for Aaron Merriman when Ready Any Time loomed boldly and defeated her by 3/4 lengths in 1:54. The pocket-sitting Expose Yourself finished third. Bill Bercury trains Barn Girl, a 6-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $683,668, for Renee Bercury. It was one four wins on the 13-race program for Merriman. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the card features a pair of rich total-pool guarantees -- $12,500 for the Pick 4, $5,000 for the Pick 5 -- as well as a $2,404.55 carryover in the day's first Superfecta and a $2,517/70 jackpot in the final-race Super High 5. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Pompano Beach, FL...February 14, 2018...Sooo Handsome, who earned a world record mark of 1:09.3 for five-eighths of a mile on a similar sized track just a week ago at Pompano Park, smashed that mark on Tuesday night by sizzling that same distance in 1:09 for harness racing trainer-driver Rick Plano. The homebred five year-old gelded son of Cash Hall used his rail post position to perfection, out-dueling the anxious opposition early and sprinting through fractions of :27.2 and :55.2 before tacking on a 13.3 final eighth to hit the wire 5 1/4 lengths to the good over William Star, handled by Wally Hennessey, finished second while Legend Field, teamed up with Corey Braden, next. Love Hunter and Overnight Shipper completed the order of finish in this quintet. In reflecting on his second world record performance in just seven days, Plano said, "He did it very easily tonight. You know, he's a very good gaited horse and he's very handy, so all I did was ask him for a bit early and he gave it to me. He was on cruise control the whole way. "He's very fond of Florida and loves this weather. It's especially gratifying because he's a homebred and we have had him since day one." In response to whether a short distance event makes training for a longer event more difficult, Plano responded, "I usually train him a mile-and-a-half and then a mile-and-a-quarter, so I really don't think it will bother him. We'll see how he does against the Open horses where he's been competitive over the last several starts." Now showing a 3-2-0 scorecard in five starts this year, Sooo Handsome has banked $19,000 this semester and $112,340 lifetime in 73 starts to go along with his 1:54.1 mark at Pompano Park set as a three year-old. Off as the 1 to 10 favorite, Sooo Handsome paid $2.20 to win. Racing continues on Wednesday night duet of $11,000 Open Handicap trotting events highlighting the competitive card. Prairie Fortune makes a return following a brief respite from the racing wars and will have Born To Thrive, Zoraze, Uncle Hanover and Foundonabeach as his rivals while A TC Queenie looks for a repeat in the companion event for mares. The Super Hi-5 finale has ballooned to $193,652 for the Wednesday card with post time set at 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park  

Cartier Volo (Cash Hall) completed a double for her connections on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel as the three year old filly prevailed in the harness racing matinee's co-feature. Frank Coppola Jr. piloted Cartier Volo to her fifth win of the season for trainer Dave Spagnola and owner Mike Polansky while competing in the $11,250 feature for New York sired trotters. The sophomore moved out to the early lead and after getting past by a first-over rival, rallied back on the inside and wound up proving best in the co-feature, stopping the timer in 1:59. Coppola and Spagnola also teamed up for a Thursday score with Polansky's Yamaka (American Ideal) who came from off the pace to prevail in 1:57.3. Explosive (Chapter Seven) scored in the other co-feature, overcoming post position eight to win in 2:01 with Mark Beckwith piloting for trainer Brian Walker. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 7, 2017 -- Barn Girl zipped to the front for Aaron Merriman and had little trouble with the harness racing field or sloppy surface from there, powering to her 13th victory this year in Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Ahead by a length at the three-quarters, Barn Girl poured it on late and defeated Bags For All by 3 lengths in 1:55.1, with the pocket-sitting Glidinthruparadise third. Bill Bercury trains the 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie, who triumphed for the 24th time over the past two seasons and extended her career bankroll to $546,968, for Renee Bercury. Dave Palone collected four wins -- including three for trainer Ron Burke -- while Brady Brown enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 17, 2017 -- Dreamsteeler exploded from the pocket at the top of the lane and got by a determined RV Janet to capture Tuesday's $13,000 conditioned trot at The Meadows at a healthy 21-1. RV Janet was so resolute on the front that no effective outside flow could form. But she couldn't shake Dreamsteeler, who responded to the urging of trainer/driver Tyler Stillings and edged RV Janet by a neck in 1:55.2. Fancytucky and Glidinthruparadise dead-heated for show. Rags To Riches Of PA campaigns Dreamsteeler, a 6-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Dream Street who now boasts $269,308 in career earnings. Aaron Merriman and Jim Pantaleano each piloted three winners on the 13-race card. On Wednesday, Oct. 18, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $20,000 total-pool guarantee for its Pick 5 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. The Meadows added the “instant” guarantee after Tuesday’s Pick 5 was uncovered, resulting in a two-day carryover of $7,314.28. In addition, Wednesday’s card includes a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4, a regular feature of each program at The Meadows. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (races 4-7) and Pick 5 (races 8-12) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows                

Last week's Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel saw harness racing rivals Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) and Up The Alley (Muscle Mass) hit the line at the same time. It was the first dead-heat in an Open thus far in 2017 at the Spa. In Tuesday's installment of the $18,000 Open, Cash Me Out and Up The Alley got away last and second to last as a speed duel ensued. After fractions of 27.3 and 55.2 were put up in the first half, Cash Me Out and Up The Alley made their moves. The Kyle Spagnola-trained Cash Me Out powered up first over and took over the lead with relative ease. Up The Alley followed that one's cover and as the front-runner tired, that tandem drew off from the field. Cash Me Out, who was driven by Billy Dobson, opened up a big lead around the final turn and wound up stopping the timer in 1:54 for his second consecutive score in the feature. Up The Alley (Dan Cappello Jr) came up second best and has now finished first or second in four consecutive tries in the Open. Longshot Tober (Brian Cross), who finished third behind the top tandem last week, did so once again on Tuesday night. Cash Me Out returned $6.50 to win in what was his sixth victory of the season. The exacta and triple came back $66 and $480.50, respectively. Cash Me Out is owned by the Traylor Racing Stable, LLC of Ballston Spa, NY. Their stable scored a pair of victories on the night as trotter Cash Poor (Jimmy Devaux) prevailed in the race following the Open on the Tuesday card. Live racing continues on Wednesday night at Saratoga with a fifteen race card featuring NY Sire Stakes for three year old colt and gelding trotters. First post time is set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 29, 2017 -- It took her three tries, but Barn Girl finally wore down a determined Goodtogo Hanover and captured Tuesday's $20,000 harness racing filly & mare  $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. The two mares dueled for the early lead, and when Goodtogo Hanover and Brian Zendt refused to release Barn Girl, Aaron Merriman settled her into the two hole. She pulled the pocket and attacked once again down the backside but still could not clear. Finally, when it looked as though Goodtogo Hanover might pull off the upset, Barn Girl gathered her talent and resolve in the stretch and downed her stubborn rival by a head in 1:55. Classical Annie was third. Bill Bercury trains Barn Girl, a 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie who won for the 22nd time over the past two seasons and extended her career bankroll to $511,108, for Renee Bercury. Mike Wilder piloted four winners while Tony Hall and Merriman each enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. Because Wednesday's card at The Meadows is the final program of the Mountain Laurel meeting, no pool can be carried over. Therefore, the Pick 4, Pick 5 and final superfecta all are "must pay." First post is 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Harness racing trainer Roger Hughes Jr. has been waiting a lifetime for Sultan Of Cash, and the 2-year-old trotting colt is delivering for Hughes and his family in a big way.   The son of Cash Hall trotted to a lifetime best 1:57.1 en route to winning his $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes-Leg 2 test handily on a blisteringly-hot and steamy Tuesday (July 18) at Scioto Downs. It was one of a quartet of Ohio Sires Stakes (OSS) for freshman trotting colts held that afternoon.   It was the fourth consecutive victory for Sultan Of Cash in as many lifetime starts, and pushed his career earnings to $43,615. Driver Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., was in the sulky behind the youngster, whom Hughes says has been perfect in every way.   "My grandfather had horses and that's how I got into the business," said Hughes, Jr., who works full time as a manager for an automotive manufacturing company, and trains at the Wilmington, Ohio county fairgrounds in his spare time. "I bought this colt last year at November Blooded Horse Sale after his pedigree caught my eye. I wasn't actually even at the sale; I was at work, but I called a buddy and said if this colt is available, I want him. I really didn't think I'd be able to touch him, but I got very lucky."   When the gavel fell for the last time, Hughes, Jr., had purchased the yearling trotter for $4,000.   "I was just looking through the sale book and saw that he had three full brothers who had taken marks of 1:56 or faster and that really appealed to me," Hughes Jr., admitted. "He's been a dream come true for my family. My sister and mother are involved with the horses too and having a horse in the sires stakes at this level is just anything beyond our wildest dreams."   Sultan Of Cash is the seventh foal out of the unraced Conway Hall mare Anything But Love and is a full brother to Catch The Dream 7, 1:52s ($548,463); My Future Ex 6, 1:55.4s ($100,990); and Moneydontbuyulove 3, 1:56.4f ($10,860).   Sent off as the 1-1 favorite, Sultan Of Cash was content to sit behind the leading Manny L (Kayne Kaufmann) through a :28 first quarter and :58 second quarter clocking before taking over the lead. Once on top, he trotted comfortably through a 1:27.1 third panel with a :30 final quarter brush to finish one length in front of 3-1 Countthebenjamins (Chris Page) with 11-1 Mr Jubilant (Aaron Merriman) nabbing show honors.   Count On Cody (Jason Brewer) captured his OSS test in 1:57.1 for trainer Marty Wollam and owners-breeders Acadia Farms, Canfield, OH and G&B Racing, New Wilmington, PA. The son of Full Count was on the front end for nearly the whole mile and now has $33,400 in earnings after finishing second in Leg 1 of this series on July 8 at Northfield Park. In My Dreams was second at 5-1 for trainer Hugh Beatty, while 10-1 Dontforgetmaster (Josh Sutton) was third.   Sugar Top (Peter Wrenn) and Joggintothebank (Dan Noble) gave the Scioto fans a healthy duel as they battled down the stretch in the third OSS division with the former prevailing by a head over the latter in 1:57. Woof, a 12-1 shot, was third for Dave Palone. Sugar Top, a son of Manofmanymissions, out of the Sir Taurus mare Sugar, was fifth in Leg 1 of the series at Northfield Park on July 8. Conditioned by Melanie Wrenn, Sugar Top is owned by Gene Oldford, St. Clair, MI and Wrenn Racing of Carmel, IN and now has $22,000 in career earnings.   Driver Kayne Kauffman piloted 12-1 Cash Lane to a wire-to-wire victory in the final OSS division, with the son of Cash Hall stopping the timer in 1:56.2. Owned by Richard Finfrock of New Carlisle, OH, Cash Lane upped his career earnings to $23,200 with the win. Trained by Mike Polhamus, Cash Lane had finished a modest fourth in Leg 1 at Northfield. Win Chaser was second, two lengths behind the winner, at 5-2 for trainer Anthony MacDonald, while 43-1 longshot Banker Twentyfive was third for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.   Kimberly Rinker  

Smalltownthrowdown (Cash Hall) was the champion of the three year old colt and gelding division of the New York Sire Stakes for trotters in 2016. Following his championship campaign, Smalltownthrowdown changed connections and moved to the stable of trainer Rene Allard. The talented highstepper made his debut for Allard in Sunday afternoon's feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. After using two winning qualifiers as preps, Smalltownthrowdown had post three in the $14,000 Open Trot on Sunday and moved out to the early lead with Billy Dobson in the sulky. The favored Cash Me Out (Mark Beckwith) was relegated to the pocket and tracked the leader throughout. The six-horse feature saw a blanket finish with five of the six separated by only a neck at the wire. When the dust settled, it was Smalltownthrowdown who emerged victorious in the mile clocked in 1:55.2. Boli (Wally Hennessey) hit the board for the ninth consecutive start as he finished second while Cash Me Out had to settle for third after the scramble in the stretch in the feature. Smalltownthrowdown paid $7.60 to win and started an exacta and triple that came back $45.60 and $122.50, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee that starts at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Lucid Thoughts (Cash Hall) has been a picture of consistency this season. The nine year old harness racing trotter hit the board in twelve of his fifteen starts this season heading into his try in the $14,500 Open Trot on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Shawn Gray piloted the John Macdonald trainee and got away in the two-hole behind Cincinnati Miss (Frank Coppola Jr) who won the Open just two weeks ago. Cincinnati Miss carved out the fractions and after checking in at three quarters in 1:26 extended her lead around the final turn. Longshot Lucid Thoughts then gathered a head of steam and came charging hard in the stretch. The veteran high-stepper reeled in Cincinnati Miss in the final strides before stopping the timer in 1:55.1, a time that matched the effort from trotting mare Charmed Life on April 23rd as the fastest of the season for a trotter at Saratoga. Cincinnati Miss was the runner-up while the favored Boli (Wally Hennessey) was late on the scene to earn the show spot. Lucid Thoughts paid a hefty $33.40 to win in the upset while the exacta and triple came back $178 and $310, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

Red Cash (Cash Hall) set a harness racing new lifetime mark on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel. John Podres owns and trains the six year old mare who came up second best while a beaten favorite during Monday's Memorial Day matinee. On Thursday, Red Cash moved first over on the favored Crazycat (Mark Beckwith) in the $9,000 feature for New York sired trotters. Red Cash cleared the lead and powered away to win in a career best 1:57.3 at odds of 5-2. Reigning Autumn (Alek Chartrand) came from the back of the pack to finish second while Crazycat had to settle for third. The win was one of three consecutive on the card for driver Jimmy Devaux who piloted a pair of winners for Harry Reddick Jr. on the day, guiding pacers Freedom Reigns and Dandy Do Right to Monday scores. Friday night racing will feature the New York Sire Stakes for the first time this season as three year old pacing fillies take center stage at the Spa. First post time is set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Lucid Thoughts (Cash Hall) has spent much of 2017 finishing second and third. The John Macdonald trainee had hit the board in nine of his eleven harness racing seasonal tries but was winless as he drew the rail for Sunday's Winners Over trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Lucid Thoughts was part of a significant three-horse speed duel in the early stages of the $14,000 Sunday feature but Macdonald would not relinquish the lead. Parking out a pair of rivals, the 8-5 co-favorite Lucid Thoughts went to the half in 55.3 but looked none the worse for the wear in the race's second lap as he cruised to his first win of the year, a victory that came in 1:55.2. Photo King (Jay Randall) sat just off the early speed and was the runner-up while Cincinnati Miss (Frank Coppola Jr) closed for third. While Lucid Thoughts was co-favored, the exotics paid well in the Sunday feature with an exacta of $51.50 and a triple that returned $449. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon with a matinee that kicks off at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella

WASHINGTON, PA, May 16, 2017 -- Stuck three-wide through a sizzling 26.4 opening quarter, Barn Girl showed her grit when she held off all harness racing challengers to capture Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. When Barn Girl finally reached the front near the three-eighths, she shrugged off the first-over move of Bessie. A more serious threat was Princess Pablano, who went three-wide down the backside and drew even with Barn Girl into the final turn. But Barn Girl drew off for Aaron Merriman in late stretch and downed Princess Pablano by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:53.4. Bessie persevered for show. Bill Bercury trains Barn Girl, a 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie who has won 18 times over the past two seasons and $455,108 for her career, for Renee Bercury. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) went coast to coast in the Sunday harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The longtime top-flight highstepper secured his second victory of the year in the Open Trot as driver Jimmy Devaux moved him out to the early lead. Cash Me Out went the distance on the engine on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the Spa City. The Kyle Spagnola trainee earned just shy of $200,000 last year and has picked up right where he left off in '17. The six year old trotter got the best of his rivals in the $16,000 Open on Sunday and did so at odds of 3-5. Cincinnati Miss (Frank Coppola Jr) finished second while Ulster (Dan Cappello Jr) earned the show spot. The exacta paid $16 while the triple came back $62. Cash Me Out, who stopped the timer in 1:55.4 in his Sunday score, is owned by Traylor Racing LLC of Ballston Spa. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon with a 12:15pm first post. Mike Sardella

Cash Me Out (Cash Hall) made his return a winning one at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Sunday afternoon. A red hot Kyle Spagnola stable sent its prized six year old out to compete in the $12,000 Open Trot on Sunday off a qualifier two weeks ago and a scratch last week. Jimmy Devaux was aggressive at the start with Cash Me Out who moved out to the lead in a first quarter of 28 seconds flat. Despite putting up a quick half of 57.3, Cash Me Out had plenty left for the final lap and drew away from his rivals in the field of six before stopping the timer in 1:55.3, the fastest trotting mile of the year thus far at Saratoga. Twisted Pretzel (Mark Beckwith) was the runner-up in his first crack at the Open this year while longshot Lucid Thoughts (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot. Cash Me Out was the 9-5 second choice in the betting and led an exacta and triple that paid $36.40 and $174, respectively. Cash Me Out, who is owned by Traylor Racing LLC, was a nominee for Trotter of the Year last year after a $196,000+ season by way of eleven wins and twelve seconds. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon with a 12:15pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Pompano Beach, FL...March 14, 2017...Sooo Handsome, bred, owned, trained and driven by Rick Plano, pulled off a minor upset at Pompano Park on Tuesday night (March 14), squeaking by the favored Prairie Fortune, with John MacDonald in the bike, in the final stride for a nose victory in 1:55.3. The four year-old gelded son of Cash Hall, second to Prairie Fortune one week ago, turned the tables on that 1 to 2 favorite by gaining a good early spot, taking up the chase on the backside and wearing Prairie Fortune down in the very last stride. Massive Lightning, driven by Mickey McNichol, rallied to finish third, though 2 ¾ lengths away, with Explosive Muscles, last half way through the mile, fourth. Massacaia picked up the nickel in the septet of classy trotters. As the outset, it was Celebrity Maserati leaving with alacrity with Sooo Handsome, leaving from the coveted post five, away well to settle in the garden spot. Diamond Dagger, the only mare in the field, was on the prowl from third with Massacaia next, Massive Lightning fifth, Explosive Muscles sixth and Prairie Fortune, handicapped with the outside post, trailing. With an opening quarter in :27.2, Celebrity Maserati was gliding along on the lead with Sooo Handsome still second and Massacaia next as Diamond Dagger was now fourth and hung out to dry like wet laundry. At the :56.2 half, Prairie Fortune was on the move from the back of the pack and, once they straightened away for the journey up the backside, MacDonald sent Prairie Jaguar on a double-bubble binge that took him to the front past the third station in 1:25.3. Meanwhile, Sooo Handsome was able to wend his way to the outside but was still two lengths away turning for home. In the lane, Prairie Fortune was trying desperately to protect the lead with Sooo Handsome gnawing away with every stride, finally claiming the top prize in the very last stride. After the race, driver Rick Plano said, "This horse tends to be a little lazy leaving but, with the five post here winning at such a high rate (24.6%), and everyone else leaving from that post, I thought I'd try and leave a little, too. "I wasn't going to get by the '2' horse (Celebrity Maserati), so it was kind of a blessing to settle into second. On the backstretch, John's (MacDonald) horse (Prairie Fortune) was brushing very hard, so when he went by us, I was fortunate that I had a chance to pull and try and follow him. "I didn't know if I could catch him in the lane and, at the wire, I still didn't know if I got him. "Guess that's what they have a photo finish camera for. "This horse (Sooo Handsome) can be very good when he's in the mood and, tonight, he was in the mood!" Sooo Handsome won for the third time in 10 starts this semester, good for $21,000 in bounty. Lifetime, the four year-old now boasts $56,680 with 11 wins in 37 career starts. As the second choice at 9 to 2, Sooo Handsome paid $11.80 to win. In the $10,000 Open 2 Trot, it was San Handicap victorious for Ricky Macomber, Jr. in 1:55.4. The four year-old altered son of Swan For All scored a one length victory over My Revenuer (Bryce Fenn) with Tater Twister (Mike Simons) third after cutting panels of :27.3, :57 and 1:26 for faltering ever-so-slightly in the final stages of the mile. Modern Mercury, closing fastest of all, finished fourth after dawdling at the back of the back of the pack until the stretch call. Fleetwood Hall picked up the final award in the field of seven. Swan Handicap, away in good order and settling in third as Tater Twister put up all the early numbers, pulled on the backside and went a game first over journey, pulling on even terms with the leader once they straightened away for home and then on to victory--his second of the year in 10 starts. Trained by Jamie Macomber for owner Matthew Rheinheimer, Swan Handicap won for the 10th time in his career stretching 43 starts. He's now banked 79,159 lifetime---18,640 this year. As the 3 to 2 favorite, Swan Handicap paid $5.00 to win. Racing continues on Wednesday night with Godiva Seelster looking for a repeat victory in the $11,000 Open Pace for Mares. The seven year-old daughter of Camluck, with 40 career victories in her grand career, will have Wally Hennessey in the bike and is listed as the 3 to 2 morning line favorite. Misssomebeach Blue, OK Heavenly, Goldstar Rockette, Jets Are On and Sweet Bet complete the talented field of ladies. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Pompano Park  

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