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Sugar Valley Farm and the owners of the harness racing pacing standout Catch The Fire are excited to announce that The Adios victor will be joining the Sugar Valley Farm stallion roster for the 2021 season, while continuing his racing career. Catch The Fire will stand in Ohio for an introductory fee of $3,500. Catch The Fire, a son of standout stallion Captaintreacherous and out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Dream Outloud, is a top performer among the talented 2020 sophomore pacers. A Grand Circuit winner and KYSS 2-year-old champion, he has earnings of $655,001 lifetime and has proven to be a formidable competitor across the country and on all racetracks. Owner Charles Taylor is excited for this new opportunity, “Fire was exceptional right from the time he went into training. He has a flawless gait with no wasted motion. He has proven that with his sub 1:50 wins on all size tracks. He loves to race and has been very versatile in how he wins. He raced the best of his class every week. H never dodged the competition.” “He’s been a dream to drive. He’s just so smart on the track and does everything so easily. He’s incredibly versatile. To have a horse pace sub 1:50 miles on all sizes of racetracks is really something special,” said driver Mike Wilder. Sugar Valley Farm’s Joe McLead loves adding another strong pacing stallion to the Buckeye state, “He’s going to be a great addition to Ohio. He’s the Adios winner and a Jug elim winner and just an excellent individual. Being the first son of Captaintreacherous to come to the state makes it even better. He is a great addition to our roster that will allow us to cover all different maternal families. He’s the perfect fit to our puzzle. I was honored to have Mr. Taylor call to stand him. It’s going to be a lot of fun to manage his breeding career and watch him race when the breeding season is over.” For further information, contact Sugar Valley Farm at 740.363.5618 or email info@SugarValleyFarmStallions.com.   From Sugar Valley Farm

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 1, 2020--Catch The Fire hung tough against a host of pursuers Saturday to capture the $375,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows and provide an indelible harness racing career highlight for trainer John Ackley and driver Mike Wilder.   Chief Mate rallied for second at 50-1 while the hard-used No Lou Zing earned show. The winning time over a sloppy surface was 1:49.3.   This 54th edition of the Pace for the Orchids likely was the most unusual thanks to COVID-19 restrictions. Usually jam-packed stands seated only a handful of invitees. The apron, usually rocking with fans and live bands, was eerily silent. The presumptive heavy favorite, Papi Rob Hanover, was out of the final with a season-ending injury. As usual, though the horses provided more than enough drama to make up for any missing elements.   After Elver Hanover seized the early lead from post 9, Wilder and Catch The Fire quarter-poled to the point, where they faced a backside challenge from No Lou Zing.   "I was really worried about that horse," Wilder said. "He went a humongous trip in the elimination. He showed he can take a lot of air. I couldn't shake him, and then a whole heard of them came at me. But my horse dug in. He's true grit."   Five horses remained live in deep stretch, but none could reach Catch The Fire, the 9-5 wagering favorite off his elimination win last week. Last year's Kentucky Sires Stake champion, Catch The Fire soared over $400,000 in career earnings.       Charlie Taylor of CT Stables purchased Catch The Fire at Lexington for the bargain-basement price of $15,000. Ackley was so sure that Catch The Fire would go too dearly that he left the auction ring for a sandwich, only to return and find himself the trainer of a son of Captain Treacherous-Dream Outloud. Ackley, who trains a small stable at Ohio's Fayette County Fairgrounds and operated a forklift for 20 years before switching to racing, called the Adios victory the highlight of his career.   "Its a big win, to have a horse that can compete at this level and win," Ackley said. "No way I could have imagined this; it's fantastic."   For Wilder, the triumph was even more emotional. An Ohio native who has been a fixture at The Meadows for many years, Wilder and his family are exceptionally active in many aspects of racing and the community. His wife, Heather, is a popular interviewer on harness shows while serving as president of the United States Harness Writers Association Keystone Chapter. Their teenage daughters, Scarlett and Lauren, also are active in USHWA. Yet even though Wilder has amassed more than 8,300 career wins, he had never finished better than fourth in an Adios final. He choked up as he tried to describe his emotions.   "This means the world to me," Wilder said. "The Good Lord is in control of everything in this world, and I was the lucky man today. It means everything for my kids to see it and for my wife to be here. It's something I'll never forget. It's something that may never happen again, although you wish it would.   "I didn't even think about the empty stands. My family's here. My mother's here from Florida. It means the world to me."   Ackley said Catch The Fire will enjoy a week off while his connections determine his next engagement.   ADIOS NOTES: Trainer Ron Burke had his usual busy Adios Day, starting 26 horses on the 16-race card. They produced five victories for him . . . When Jeff Zidek called Saturday's Adios, he became only the fourth announcer to call the event over its 54 years. The others: Ken Kadar (1967-1973), Charlie Hinkle (1974-1975), Roger Huston (1976-2019).   By Evan Pattak for the MSOA        

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 1, 2020 -- While Saturday's $375,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids is set for approximately 4:02 PM, the Adios Day celebration kicks off at 11:15 AM with the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) live stream from The Meadows winners' circle. The live stream, which will feature celebrity guests, is available on the MSOA Facebook and YouTube pages. In addition, the MSOA will over free Adios Day programs and a virtual hat contest (sponsored by Altmeyer Wilder Racing) with a $250 top prize. Visit meadowsharnessracing.com for your free program or to enter the chapeau competition. The Adios, which goes as race 15, will feature a special Super Hi-5 wager with a $50,000 guarantee. Moreover, the entire pool will be paid out. Ordinarily, the Super Hi-5 jackpot is paid only if there is a single correct ticket with the top five finishers in their exact order of finish. However, The Adios Super Hi-5 pool will be split among all those with correct tickets. The last time The Meadows offered a mandatory Super Hi-5 payout, players bet so enthusiastically that the pool exceeded $300,000 and provided a healthy return for all winning ticketholders. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA  

After a season in which he was prone to missteps, No Lou Zing is finding his best harness racing stride this year. No Lou Zing's display of winning talent is not a surprise to driver Josert Fonseca, who will join the horse in making the biggest start to date in both their careers in Saturday's (Aug. 1) $375,000 Delvin Miller Adios final at The Meadows. No Lou Zing, who went off stride in all three of his races last year and was shut down before summer's end, has three wins and two second-place finishes this season. The gelding heads to the Adios off a third-placed-second effort in his elimination, which was won by Papi Rob Hanover in a world-record 1:47.1 last weekend. Papi Rob Hanover was scratched from the final because of a season-ending injury, leaving Catch The Fire, also an elimination winner last week, the 3-1 morning-line favorite. No Lou Zing, trained by Nancy Takter, is 7-1 and will start from post five in the nine-horse field of 3-year-old pacers. "I have a lot of confidence in him," Fonseca said. "He doesn't get tired at all. He's got a great engine, he's got great speed, and he'll just go forever. I think it's really an open race now that Papi Rob is not in there. They're all even, good horses. "You never know how a race is going to turn out, but if I can put him in the right spot, he'll get down there just as good as last weekend." No Lou Zing is a son of Sweet Lou out of Terroronthebeach. He was purchased under the name Lou's Beach for $145,000 at the 2018 Standardbred Horse Sale. He is owned by 3 Brothers Stables, Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms. "He was a very good-looking yearling," Fonseca said. "He started training down and always looked the part, he looked beautiful, but he made unnecessary breaks and things like that. He could qualify OK just babying him around, but every time we put him in a race, he would make a mistake. He got a little tense, you could feel it right away behind the gate. He just needed more time. "Training down this year in the winter, he grew so much more mentally and he got a lot braver and stronger. This horse is fast, he just had to learn and relax a little bit. We had to take our time. Before you knew it, he was getting better and better. We got a little more excited at the beginning of this year. We saw a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel." No Lou Zing started three times in conditioned races, finishing second to Splash Brother in his seasonal debut before winning back-to-back starts. He continued his winning ways in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes before his Adios elim. "Nancy has done a really good job with him," said Fonseca, a Takter assistant who has driven No Lou Zing in all but one of his eight lifetime starts. "I get along great with the horse. I think it's very beneficial for him; I know his weaknesses and his strengths. "He's been in great spirits this week. I think everything is in order so far and we just have to execute." The 31-year-old Fonseca had no knowledge of harness racing when he began working as a groom for Takter's father, Jimmy, eight years ago. Fonseca was born in Costa Rica, where he spent his early childhood before moving to New Jersey at the age of 8. He graduated from a high school located not far from Takter's stable but spent several years working in a variety of jobs before a friend introduced him to the sport. Fonseca began driving in 2018. He has won 27 of 158 starts, including four of 13 this year. "Obviously, this is what you dream of," Fonseca said. "Like I've said before, just to qualify a horse for anybody was a big deal and now I've been driving a little more. This is a great opportunity." The Adios is race 15, with an estimated post time of 4:02 p.m. (EDT). Here's the field with post positions, trainers, drivers and morning line odds: $375,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids 1. Later Dudes-Brian Brown-David Miller-8-1 2. Capt Midnight-Tony Alagna-Andrew McCarthy-4-1 3. Catch The Fire-John Ackley-Mike Wilder-3-1 4. The Greek Freak-Ron Burke-Matt Kakaley-5-1 5. No Lou Zing-Nancy Takter-Josert Fonseca-7-1 6. Sweet Truth-Ron Burke-Yannick Gingras-12-1 7. Chief Mate-Tony Alagna-Scott Zeron-20-1 8. Captain Barbossa-Tony Alagna-Brian Sears-6-1 9. Elver Hanover-Ron Burke-Chris Page-10-1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

WASHINGTON, PA, July 31, 2020 -- It was only three weeks ago that bettors dismissed Catch The Fire at 63-1 in his Meadowlands Pace harness racing elimination. Today, he's the 3-1 morning line favorite to win Saturday's $375,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows. The Adios goes as race 15 with an approximate post time of 4:02 PM, and it will offer a Super Hi-5 wager with a 20-cent minimum and a $50,000 guarantee. Moreover, while the Super Hi-5 jackpot typically is paid only if there is a unique winning ticket, the payout for the Adios Super Hi-5 jackpot is mandatory, meaning that all winning ticketholders will share the bounty. The card gets underway at the special post time of 11:25 AM, with advance wagering available Friday. The reversal of Catch The Fire's public perception seems somehow fitting in this topsy-turvy, COVID-19-distorted year, but it's attributable to two solid reasons. First is the horse's outstanding performance in his Adios elimination, which he won with a game 1:49.3 front-end performance for Mike Wilder, trainer John Ackley and owner Charlie Taylor's CT Stables. The second, of course, is the loss of presumptive Adios favorite Papi Rob Hanover, an early divisional leader, who's out for at least the balance of this year with a fractured coffin bone. But even as a yearling, the son of Captaintreacherous out of the Bettor's Delight mare Dream Outloud garnered little respect, bringing a modest $15,000 at Lexington. "We had just bought one for $40,000, and I thought Catch The Fire would bring $75,000 to $100,000, which we couldn't afford," Ackley recalls. "So I went for a sandwich. When I came back, Charlie told me he bought him for $15,000. I couldn't believe it. I went back to look at him again to see if I'd missed something. He is a tad on the small side, but you couldn't find a knock on his conformation." At 2, Catch The Fire more than justified the investment, winning the Kentucky Sires Stake championship and banking $258,547. Ackley, who's based at Ohio's Fayette County Fairgrounds, made harness racing his second career after putting in 20 years as a forklift operator. He's enjoyed success with Ohio-breds, although perhaps his best colt, a Pennsylvania-bred named Lex Vegas, was injured in a highway accident and didn't come back the same. Catch The Fire, who is eligible for most of the season's major stakes, clearly is Ackley's best shot at national impact. "I've known he was special since about the fifth day I had the harness on him," Ackley says. "We're proud to have one that can race at this level and be competitive." The horse also gives Wilder perhaps his best shot at Adios orchids. Wilder has been a top driver at The Meadows for years and has amassed more than 8,300 career victories, but his best Adios final finishes have been a trio of fourths with Basil Hanover, Tarpaulin Hanover and last year with Wild Wild Western. "It's always a thrill to get in the final," Wilder says. "This is our premier race at The Meadows and one of the premier races in our sport. It's a great thing to be part of it. "This horse shows up every time I race him. His strengths? Everything. He doesn't have to have the lead. He can come from the back. I can get caught in a bad spot, and he still can perform well. His versatility makes my job very easy." In addition to the Super Hi-5, the program offers two total-pool carryovers: $2,441.84 in the Early Pick 4 (race 3), $1,908.78 in the Early Pick 5 (race 2). The powerhouse card also features the $107,320 Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, a $59,088 Arden Downs stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers, and a $35,690 Arden Downs event for 2-year-old filly pacers. Other highlights include a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters: a $187,182 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event. Here's the field with post positions, trainers, drivers and morning line odds: $375,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids 1. Later Dudes Brian Brown David Miller 8-1 2. Capt Midnight Tony Alagna Andrew McCarthy 4-1 3. Catch The Fire John Ackley Mike Wilder 3-1 4. The Greek Freak Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 5-1 5. No Lou Zing Nancy Takter Josert Fonseca 7-1 6. Sweet Truth Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 12-1 7. Chief Mate Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 20-1 8. Captain Barbossa Tony Alagna Brian Sears 6-1 9. Elver Hanover Ron Burke Chris Page 10-1 by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, July 30, 2020 -- Saturday's $375,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids promises to be exciting, and now, The Meadows has upped the ante by adding a harness racing Super Hi-5 wager on the Adios with a $50,000 guarantee. Moreover, the entire pool will be paid out. Ordinarily, the Super Hi-5 jackpot is paid only if there is a single correct ticket with the top five finishers in their exact order of finish. However, The Adios Super Hi-5 pool will be split among all those with correct tickets. The last time The Meadows offered a mandatory Super Hi-5 payout, players bet so enthusiastically that the pool exceeded $300,000 and provided a healthy return for all winning ticketholders. In addition to the Super Hi-5, the program offers two total-pool carryovers: $2,441.84 in the Early Pick 4 (race 3), $1,908.78 in the Early Pick 5 (race 2). The Adios Day card gets underway at the special post time of 11:25 AM, with advance Adios wagering available beginning at noon Thursday. The Adios, which goes as race 15 with an approximate post time of 4:02 PM, anchors a powerhouse card that also features the $107,320 Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, a $59,088 Arden Downs stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers, and a $35,690 Arden Downs event for 2-year-old filly pacers. Other highlights include a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters: a $187,182 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event. While the Adios will be staged without spectators, the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) is keeping the event festive with a number of digital activities. First, the MSOA will live stream from the winners' circle beginning at 11:15 AM Adios Day. The live stream, which will feature celebrity guests, will be available on the MSOA's Facebook and YouTube pages. The MSOA also will offer free Adios Day programs and a virtual hat contest (sponsored by Altmeyer Wilder Racing) with a $250 top prize. Visit meadowsharnessracing.com for your free program and the chapeau competition. And if you enter, think orchids, think purple. The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association is sponsoring the live stream and events along with: Altmeyer Wilder Racing; Amulet Equine Rehab & Conditioning Center; Betts Racing; Billboards on Wheels; Buxton Racing; Corkboard Concepts; Dentons Cohen & Grigsby; Dirk Simpson Stable; Hambletonian Society; Kahrig Racing; Keystone Films; Kristen's Beauty Salon; Pacing for the Cure; Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association; Saxton & Stump; Silverstone Decorative Concrete; Twaddle Racing; Visit Washington County PA; Washington Wild Things and Winbak Farm. The MSOA gratefully acknowledges the support of all sponsors. Here's the field with post positions, Sire - trainers, drivers and morning line odds: $375,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids 1. Later Dudes - Sweet Lou - Brian Brown - David Miller 8-1 2. Capt Midnight - Captaintreacherous - Tony Alagna - Andrew McCarthy 4-1 3. Catch The Fire - Captaintreacherous - John Ackley - Mike Wilder 3-1 4. The Greek Freak - Captaintreacherous - Ron Burke - Matt Kakaley 5-1 5. No Lou Zing - Sweet Lou - Nancy Takter - Josert Fonseca 7-1 6. Sweet Truth - Sweet Lou - Ron Burke - Yannick Gingras 12-1 7. Chief Mate - Captaintreacherous - Tony Alagna - Scott Zeron 20-1 8. Captain Barbossa - Captaintreacherous - Tony Alagna - Brian Sears 6-1 9. Elver Hanover -  Yankee Cruiser - Ron Burke - Chris Page 10-1 By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

Harness Racing This Week: Delvin Miller Adios, Adioo Volo and Arden Downs, The Meadows, Washington, Pa. and Hambletonian, Peter Haughton Memorial and Jim Doherty Memorial eliminations, Tompkins-Geers and Miss Versatility, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action begins this Wednesday (July 29) at The Meadows with two divisions in the $38,244 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the $37,644 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Saturday (Aug. 1) card at The Meadows features the $375,000 Delvin Miller Adios for 3-year-old male pacers and also includes the $107,320 Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, three divisions in the $59,688 Arden Downs for freshman colt and gelding pacers, and the $35,690 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit racing at The Meadowlands begins on Friday (July 31) with two $20,000 eliminations in the Jim Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters and a single $20,000 elimination in the Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters. On Saturday (Aug. 1), The Meadowlands will contest a pair of $50,000 Hambletonian eliminations for 3-year-old open trotters, plus the $84,800 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old colt pacers, the $53,100 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old filly pacers and the $40,000 fourth leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Manchego put on a display of devastating speed in a gate-to-wire victory in the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts Trot at Plainridge Park on Sunday (July 26) and set a new world record for older trotting mares over a five-eighths-mile track when she tripped the timer in 1:49.3. Manchego broke her own world record of 1:50.1 set at Hollywood Dayton Raceway in 2019. The time also smashed the all-age track trotting record at Plainridge Park, besting the 1:51.2 set by JL Cruze in the 2017 Spirit Trot. Manchego proceeded to the wire under no urging at all to win wrapped-up by 2-1/2 lengths. Tom Melanson photo. Dexter Dunn had Manchego revved up off the gate and shot right for the lead with Atlanta (Yannick Gingras) dropping in the pocket from post seven as the race passed the quarter in a blistering :25.2. The field remained in single file as Manchego marched to the half in :53.3 and the three-quarters in 1:21 with Atlanta in deliberate pursuit. As the pair trotted away from the field around the last turn, Gingras pulled Atlanta off the pylons to take her best shot at the leader. But as soon as she pulled, Manchego accelerated, opened up two lengths and proceeded to the wire under no urging at all to win wrapped-up by 2-1/2 lengths. Atlanta held on for second and Run Director (David Miller) closed fast to finish third. It was the 31st career win for Manchego ($3.00) and pushed her lifetime earnings to $2,342,705. The 5-year-old daughter of Muscle Hill-Secret Magic is owned by Black Horse Racing and is trained by Nancy Takter. One race earlier in the $100,000 Clara Barton Distaff Pace, Shartin N made herself right at home again at Plainridge as she broke the all-age track record of 1:49.1 that she set just last year. Tim Tetrick put Shartin N on the point immediately as Kissin In The Sand (Gingras) left from post four and followed closely with the two-hole trip. After the quick :26.2 quarter and with no pressure at all, Tetrick backed down the second panel to :28.1 and the race seemed well in control for him at that point. By the five-eighths, Gingras pulled Kissin In The Sand and tried to draw alongside Shartin N, but never got closer than a length around the far turn. Tetrick eased the lines a bit and gave Shartin N her head and the mare swelled up down the lane, opening up 2-1/4 lengths in a :27 last panel and won in 1:48.1. Stablemate Soho Burning Love A (Jordan Stratton) rallied late to finish second and 38-1 shot Philly Hanover (Dexter Dunn) completed the board. This was the 44th career victory for Shartin N ($2.60) who has now earned $2,244,946 for owners Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King and Tim Tetrick. The 7-year-old daughter of Tintin In America-Bagdarin is trained by Jim King Jr. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 217; 2. Brian Sears - 152; 3. Dexter Dunn - 117; 4. Andrew McCarthy - 110; 5. Tim Tetrick - 102. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 229; 2. Nancy Takter - 150; 3. Marcus Melander - 124; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 109; 5. Tony Alagna - 77. Owners: 1. S R F Stable - 55; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 46.9; 3. Courant Inc. - 45; 4. Brad Grant - 41.1; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 40.9. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack. The track will host 10 Grand Circuit events, led by the $1 million Hambletonian, the first leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, and the $300,000 Cane Pace, the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

WASHINGTON, PA, July 28, 2020--When Papi Rob Hanover blazed to a world-record 1:47.1 in last week's eliminations for the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids, the harness racing world eagerly anticipated what he might do for an encore in the $375,000 Adios final on June 1. Alas, it won't happen, as Papi Rob Hanover has been withdrawn from the final with what his owner, David McDuffee, describes as a stress fracture of his left front coffin bone.   With Papi Rob out, attention turned to Catch The Fire and The Greek Freak, the other elimination winners, who got to select their post positions.The connections of Catch The Fire, after winning the draw for selection order, choose post 3, while The Greek Freak's camp opted for post 4. Papi Rob Hanover's withdrawal opened a spot for Captain Barbossa, who drew in as the fourth place finisher with the highest career earnings.   The Adios, which goes as race 15 with an approximate post time of 4:02 PM, anchors a powerhouse card that also features the $107,320 Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, a $59,088 Arden Downs stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers, and a $35,690 Arden Downs event for 2-year-old filly pacers. Other highlights include a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters: a $187,182 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event. The card gets underway at the special post time of 11:25 AM.   McDuffee said Papi Rob Hanover, a son of Somebeachsomewhere-Panera Hanover nearing $1 million in earnings after only 16 career starts, including a second-place finish in the Meadowlands Pace, won't race again this year.   "I don't think his injury happened at The Meadows," he said. "I believe it occurred in the Meadowlands Pace when he hopped for a moment and David (Miller) had to take hold of him. If he'd shown any signs of injury, we wouldn't have raced him at The Meadows. You saw how easily he won his elimination."   He said he won't make a hurried decision on the horse's future.   "It's not a life-threatening injury; it will heal in time," he said. "There could be a lot of records he could set at 4. Stallion-wise, he's also generating a lot of interest. He's a very special, smart horse. Papi Rob will be heard from again."   Trainers Tony Alagna and Ron Burke each will be represented by three horses in the Adios. Here's the field with post positions, trainers and drivers:   $375,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids   1. Later Dudes Brian Brown David Miller 2. Capt Midnight Tony Alagna Andrew McCarthy 3. Catch The Fire John Ackley Mike Wilder 4. The Greek Freak Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 5. No Lou Zing Nancy Takter Josert Fonseca 6. Sweet Truth Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 7. Chief Mate Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 8. Captain Barbossa Tony Alagna Brian Sears 9. Elver Hanover Ron Burke Chris Page   By Evan Pattak, for the MSOA  

Columbus, OH — Papi Rob Hanover has suffered a broken coffin bone and his owner David McDuffee indicated that he is done racing for the rest of the year and is probably headed to stud according to a story posted on the Harness Racing Update Facebook page. On Saturday (July 25), Papi Rob Hanover and regular driver David Miller recorded a 1:47.1 world record for a 3-year-old colt on a five-eighths-mile track when he won his Adios elimination at The Meadows by 10-1/2 lengths. “There’s no question there is a fracture there that will prevent him from racing this year, anyway,” McDuffee said of the career winner of $927,979 trained by Brett Pelling. “It’s, obviously, a very tough thing to even think about for him because I think everybody started to realize what a great horse he is and that his best days were, obviously, ahead of him.” McDuffee said while it is possible Papi Rob Hanover could race next year and beyond, his preference is to find a good stallion home for the son of Somebeachsomewhere out of Panera Hanover. To read the complete story on Harness Racing Update’s Facebook page, click here.

Washington, PA - (July 26, 2020) August 1st will be the 54th running of the Delvin Miller Adios Stake at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino. In addition to this important harness racing stake for three-year-old pacing colts, the remainder of the card is also full of stakes races. The sister stakes The Adioo Volo for three-year-old pacing fillies will also be presented. Two-year-old pacers will show their talents on Saturday as the Arden Downs Stake for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies will be raced. To round out the stakes competition three-year-old Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Stallion Series races for trotting fillies will be raced on this jam-packed day of racing. The entry box closes at 9 AM sharp Tuesday for all of these races. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, these races will be held without spectators in attendance. Races can be viewed on The Meadows website https://www.meadowsgaming.com/racing. Wagering and viewing is also available through Xpressbet.com and Hollywoodraces.com. by Mark Loewe, for The Meadows        

WASHINGTON, PA, July 25, 2020--Papi Rob Hanover blazed his way to the $375,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids in a world record 1:47.1, a world record for a 3-year-old colt on a five-eighths mile track. Also winning eliminations Saturday at The Meadows were The Greek Freak and Catch The Fire.   Joining the three winners in the Aug. 1 final are Later Dudes, Chief Mate, No Lou Zing, Sweet Truth, Capt Midnight and Elver Hanover. Connections of the elimination winners will choose their post positions Tuesday, with their order of selection determined by random draw. All other post positions will be randomly drawn.   The Adios Day card is a blockbuster, featuring two Grand Circuit stakes in addition to the Adios as well as Pennsylvania Sires Stake and PA Stallion Series action.   The Meadowlands Pace runner-up, Papi Rob Hanover was comfortably in front after quarter-poling to the point for David Miller following Captain Barbossa's unrealistic 25.3 opening panel. The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Panera Hanover reached three-quarters in 1:20.3, but he wasn't done yet, clicking off the final panel in 26.3. Sweet Truth was second-placed third,10-1/2 lengths back, while No Lou Zing was elevated to second.       Brett Pelling, who trains Papi Rob Hanover for David McDuffee, said he wasn't concerned that the swift mile might leave him short next week.   "He came out of the Meadowlands Pace great, and he proves he needs to race. He just needs more racing," Pelling said. "Every race has been better than the one before, so he's on the right track.   "Could he bounce off that? He's a big, strong horse. Nothing's ever knocked him around yet, so he'll be fine."   The time knocked a tick from Betting Line's previous world record. In addition, the mile is the fastest ever paced at The Meadows, lowering Bolt The Duer's former standard of 1:47.4.   Catch The Fire endured a demanding opening panel--26.2 while wide--and held on gamely to score in a career best 1:49.3 for Mike Wilder, trainer John Ackley and owner CT Stables.Capt Midnight was a head back in second, with Elver Hanover third.       "He could have been fourth or fifth in the Meadowlands Pace final, but we got hung up at the top of the lane," Wilder said. "When you're going miles in 1:47, you can't get stopped. Today I wanted to make my own luck. He showed up like he always does."   After a brief skirmish for the lead, The Greek Freak controlled the mile and earned his berth in the final with a 1:49.4 win, fastest of his career and his fourth straight victory. His job was made a touch easier by the break of the pocket-sitting Sandbetweenmytoes as the field straightened for home. Later Dudes was second, beaten 1/2 length, while Chief Mate completed the ticket.       "He's getting better every start," said winning driver Matt Kakaley."He was really, really good again today. We got an easy second quarter. That's what we wanted to do, save some for next week. I'm really happy with him and looking forward to next week."   Ron Burke conditions the Captaintreacherous-Thirty X gelding for Burke Racing Stable, Piatt Racing, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   By Evan Pattak, for the MSOA        

Harness Racing This Week: Spirit of Massachusetts and Clara Barton, Plainridge Racecourse, Plainville, Mass.; Nadia Lobell, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; Tompkins-Geers, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Delvin Miller Adios eliminations, The Meadows, Washington, Pa. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action begins this Friday (July 24) at Harrah's Hoosier Park with the $100,000 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old pacing fillies. The Saturday (July 25) Grand Circuit card at The Meadowlands features the $89,100 Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old trotting colts and a pair of $42,700 divisions of the Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Saturday Grand Circuit action also includes three $25,000 Delvin Miller Adios eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers at The Meadows. On Sunday (July 26), Plainridge will feature the $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts for open trotters and the $100,000 Clara Barton for pacing mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Tall Dark Stranger is a danger, especially with his back to the wall. Pushed to the max by old rival Papi Rob Hanover, Tall Dark Stranger battled back in deep stretch to win the $636,650 Meadowlands Pace by a neck on Saturday night (July 18) at The Meadowlands. Tall Dark Stranger battled back in deep stretch to win the $636,650 Meadowlands Pace by a neck. Lisa photo. In a gutsy effort, Tall Dark Stranger, the 1-2 favorite, captured the first major stakes of the season for 3-year-old pacers. Normally, the Pace follows the North America Cup, but the ongoing pandemic shuffled the calendar. This time, the Pace was the division's lead-off event, and it was a dandy. Tall Dark Stranger, last year's Dan Patch Award winner, took charge with a strong move down the backstretch. Papi Rob Hanover and driver David Miller ranged up to challenge on the turn and fought their way to a clear advantage in the stretch. Even driver Yannick Gingras thought he and Tall Dark Stranger were finished. "Honestly, at the top of the stretch, I thought he was beat," Gingras said. "This horse is just so gritty. He wants to fight them off. Papi was a half a length by me." Tall Dark Stranger wasn't done in this shootout. He surged again, pushing back to secure the win and give Gingras his second Pace win. It wrote another chapter in a rivalry that dates back to the 2019 Breeders Crown, where Tall Dark Stranger was elevated to victory when Papi Rob Hanover was disqualified for interference. "I said after the Breeders Crown that he was coming back to win that race," Gingras said. "There are a lot of doubters out there, but tonight is the proof that my horse loves to fight." Tall Dark Stranger improved his season mark to 3-for-3 with the 11th win of his 12-race career. Nancy Takter, daughter of Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, got her first Pace victory, following Linda Toscano as consecutive female training winners of The Meadowlands Racetrack's signature event. It was also the second straight Pace win for sire Bettor's Delight following last year's 27-1 upset by Best In Show. Tall Dark Stranger became the sport's latest millionaire for the ownership team of Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. The time for the mile was 1:47.2. Brett Pelling, all-time Pace training leader with four wins, settled for second and third, with Papi Rob Hanover and Allywag Hanover. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 195; 2. Brian Sears - 127; 3. Dexter Dunn - 117; 4. Tim Tetrick - 92; 5. Scott Zeron - 87. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 195; 2. Nancy Takter - 120; 3t. Marcus Melander - 104; 3t. Ake Svanstedt - 104; 5. Tony Alagna - 50. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 45; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 38.4; 3. Crawford Farms Racing - 38; 4. S R F Stable - 35; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 33.4. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at The Meadows and Meadowlands Racetrack. The Meadows will host six Grand Circuit events, led by the final of the Delvin Miller Adios for 3-year-old pacing colts. Meadowlands Racetrack will host eliminations for four lucrative stakes, led by the Hambletonian for 3-year-old colt trotters, as well as the Tompkins-Geers for 3-year-old pacers and the fourth leg of the Miss Versatility for trotting mares. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

WASHINGTON, PA, July 23, 2020 -- Papi Rob Hanover, runner-up in last week's Meadowlands Pace, has been installed as the heavy 3-2 morning line favorite in his harness racing elimination division for the $450,000 (est) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows. Also tabbed as morning line favorites in Saturday's eliminations are Sandbetweenmytoes (3-1) and Elver Hanover (5-2). The first three finishers in each elimination return for the Aug. 1 final. The action-packed eliminations card, which kicks off at 12:45 PM, also features a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers -- a $188,682 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event -- and a $16,582.20 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. Here are the eliminations fields with post positions, trainers, drivers and morning line odds: Adios Elimination, Race 5 1. Later Dudes Brian Brown David Miller 5-1 2. Roll With JR Jeff Cullipher Corey Callahan 8-1 3. Sandbetweenmytoes Jim Campbell Dave Palone 3-1 4. The Greek Freak Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 7-2 5. Put To Right Tony Alagna Andrew McCarthy 6-1 6. Captain Groovy Ray Schnittker Mark MacDonald 9-2 7. Chief Mate Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 7-1 Adios Elimination, Race 8 1. Somebodyitreasure Andrew Harris Brett Miller 12-1 2. Tru Lou Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 12-1 3. Sweet Truth Ron Burke Yannick Gingras 8-1 4. Papi Rob Hanover Brett Pelling David Miller 3-2 5. Sea Of Life Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 4-1 6. Captain Barbossa Tony Alagna Andrew McCarthy 4-1 7. No Lou Zing Nancy Takter Josert Fonseca 7-1 Adios Elimination, Race 9 1 .Rockin The Aces Robert Cleary Brett Miller 9-2 2. No Quarter Brian Brown Dave Palone 9-2 3. Mac's Big Boy Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 15-1 4. Elver Hanover Ron Burke Chris Page 5-2 5. Capt Midnight Tony Alagna Andrew McCarthy 7-2 6. Seriously Hanover Ron Coyne, Jr. Scott Zeron 7-1 7. Catch The Fire John Ackley Mike Wilder 5-1 by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA  

Howard Taylor's horses are keeping him up at night, but only for the best of reasons. Taylor, a longtime owner who has experienced his share of success over the years, is enjoying a month to remember and hoping the good times continue as the calendar advances. Among Taylor's July highlights: Trotting mare Atlanta winning the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial over rival Manchego, 3-year-old pacing colt Tall Dark Stranger capturing the Meadowlands Pace after a dramatic stretch duel with rival Papi Rob Hanover, 3-year-old trotting colt Back Of The Neck winning consecutive stakes to stamp himself a prime contender for the Hambletonian, and a sparkling debut from 2-year-old female pacer Somethingbeautiful, who is a half-sister to Taylor's stakes-winner Shnitzledosomethin. "I can't even believe it, it's like everywhere I look," said Taylor, who this year is third in purses among North American owners. "It's almost an embarrassment of riches; I'm on Cloud Nine. "I don't want to go to sleep at night because I'm afraid that when I get up it will be a dream." This weekend, Taylor will watch Captain Groovy compete in the first of three seven-horse eliminations for the Delvin Miller Adios for 3-year-old pacers at The Meadows. The top-three finishers in each elim advance to the Aug. 1 final. Captain Groovy, trained by Ray Schnittker and driven by Mark MacDonald, will start from post six in his elimination. The race includes The Greek Freak, who brings a three-race win streak to the event, and Meadowlands Pace finalist Roll With JR. Last year, Captain Groovy started his campaign with four consecutive wins -- three in divisions of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series and the other in a division of the Pennsylvania All-Stars. He was winless in his remaining five races, with three coming on the Grand Circuit, but was third in a division of the International Stallion Stakes at Lexington's Red Mile. Captain Groovy opened this season with consecutive victories in conditioned races, including a 1:48 score over older horses on June 20 at The Meadowlands. That time is tied for second fastest among all 3-year-old pacers this year. He then finished second in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at Harrah's Philadelphia and fourth in a PASS split last week at The Meadows. "Last year, he started out like some sort of a monster," Taylor said. "Ray did the right thing, he put him in the Stallion Series to get him some education and not stretch him out expecting he would be real good at the end of the year. Then he sort of flattened out, but when he went to Lexington he raced real well. "We turned him out sort of fresh, and when we brought him back this year, I couldn't believe how good he was. The second start, he came first up against some good older horses and blew them away. I was in shock. I'm just hoping it's not a repeat of last year. I don't know what to think about that horse. He's made me a liar every day, both ways." Captain Groovy is a son of Captaintreacherous and first foal out of Lets Groove Tonite. He sold for $90,000 at the 2018 Lexington Selected Sale and in addition to Taylor is owned by Schnittker, Ted Gewertz, and Mary Kinsey Arnold. Taylor has never owned an Adios winner, with his best finish of second coming in 2010 with Versado. Captain Groovy's driver, MacDonald, won the Adios in 2012 with Bolt The Duer. "(Captain Groovy) has got the speed to go with anyone," Taylor said. "I'm hoping for the best. When he's on, he's as good as any. I'm hoping this is a good week." The second elimination of the Adios features Meadowlands Pace runner-up Papi Rob Hanover as well as Pace finalist Captain Barbossa and recent PASS division winners Sea Of Life and No Lou Zing, who has won three consecutive starts since a second-place finish in his seasonal debut. In the third elim, 2019 Ohio Sire Stakes champion and world-record-holder Elver Hanover will look to rebound from his first loss in 11 career races against a field that includes 2020 New Jersey Sire Stakes champ Rockin The Aces and Meadowlands Pace finalists Capt Midnight and Catch The Fire. Racing begins at 12:45 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at The Meadows. The $25,000 Adios eliminations are races five, eight and nine. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

WASHINGTON, PA, July 21, 2020--A deep, talented field of 21 top 3-year-old colt and gelding harness racing pacers, lead by Meadowlands Pace runner-up Papi Rob Hanover, will contest the $450,000 (est) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows.   Three $25,000 eliminations are set for Saturday, July 25, with the top three finishers in each elim advancing to the Aug. 1 final. The eliminations will go as races 5, 8 and 9, with first post at 12:45 PM.   Papi Rob Hanover's loss in the Meadowlands Pace final was a heartbreaker. He held a narrow lead at the top of the stretch but was beaten a neck by a game Tall Dark Stranger, who isn't eligible for the Adios. Papi Rob Hanover leaves from post 4 in race 8 for David Miller and trainer Brett Pelling.   Tuesday's draw for post positions also revealed strong contingents from trainers Tony Alagna and Ron Burke; with five horses apiece, they'll account for nearly half the field. Especially interesting in the Burke Brigade is Elver Hanover, who began his career with 10 straight victories only to taste defeat last week in an Ohio Sires Stakes leg. Chris Page will pilot him from post 4 in race 9.   Saturday's action-packed program also includes a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers:a $188,682 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event.   Here are the fields for the Adios eliminations with post positions, trainers and preliminary driver assignments:   Adios Elimination, Race 5   1. Later Dudes Brian Brown David Miller 2. Roll With JR Jeff Cullipher Corey Callahan 3. Sandbetweenmytoes Jim Campbell Dave Palone 4. The Greek Freak Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 5. Put To Right Tony Alagna Andrew McCarthy 6. Captain Groovy Ray Schnittker Mark MacDonald 7. Chief Mate Tony Alagna Scott Zeron   Adios Elimination, Race 8   1. Somebodyitreasure Andrew Harris Andrew McCarthy 2. Tru Lou Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 3. Sweet Truth Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 4. Papi Rob Hanover Brett Pelling David Miller 5. Sea Of Life Tony Alagna Scott Zeron 6. Captain Barbossa Tony Alagna Andrew McCarthy 7. No Lou Zing Nancy Takter Josert Fonseca   Adios Elimination, Race 9   1 .Rockin The Aces Robert Cleary Brett Miller 2. No Quarter Brian Brown Dave Palone 3. Mac's Big Boy Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 4. Elver Hanover Ron Burke Chris Page 5. Capt Midnight Tony Alagna Andrew McCarthy 6. Seriously Hanover Ron Coyne, Jr. Scott Zeron 7. Catch The Fire John Ackley Mike Wilder   by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, July 17, 2020 -- Saturday's harness racing stakes program at The Meadow will have the look of a preview for the $450,000 (est) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids. That's because 44 of Saturday's competitors are Adios eligibles looking to punch their tickets to one of the premier events for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Nineteen of these outstanding sophomores will vie in the Bye Bye Byrd, a $193,156 Pennsylvania Sires Stake, while the other 25 are set for a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event. Eliminations for the Adios will take place Saturday, July 25, with the final the following Saturday. The draw for eliminations post positions is set for Tuesday, July 21. Saturday's 15-race card also features the $42,610 James Manderino, an Arden Downs stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters, and an $8,881.21 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. Many of the Adios hopefuls enter Saturday's stakes action off fine performances, but the work of Sandbetweenmytoes (race 10, post 3, Dave Palone) was downright eye-popping. Stuck first over in the slop, he persevered and captured a July 10 PASS split at Harrah's Philadelphia in a career-best 1:50.4. A Fashion Farms homebred, Sandbetweenmytoes appeared destined for greatness. He's by Somebeachsomewhere out of Galleria, who won more than $1.8 million and a pair of Dan Patch Awards. Yet his freshman statistics were only okay -- one victory, $29,397 on his card. Still, his trainer, Jim Campbell, saw signs that this gelding could be special. "He kind of showed us that at Lexington last year when he paced a good last quarter and performed well after that," Campbell said. "He's come back better than I anticipated." Campbell agrees that last week's determined win was a "breakthrough" race. "He did it the hard way, coming first over and beating a good horse on the front." Despite that, Campbell isn't ready to commit Sandbetweenmytoes to the Adios. "It depends on how he races Saturday," Campbell said. "We're hoping he gives us a good reason to put him in the Adios. You know how competitive it will be with so many pacers able to go so fast." It's a good bet the connections of 43 other Adios hopefuls are thinking much the same thing. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

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