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WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 21, 2019 -- Goes Down Smooth drew away from the harness racing field late with a powerful finishing kick that carried him to victory in a track-record 1:52.3 in Saturday's $75,299 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters at The Meadows. The mile lowered the mark set by Explosivebreakaway in another Keystone Classic division only about 30 minutes earlier. The event was contested over three divisions, with Lindy's Crazy Hall taking the other split. Goes Down Smooth battled three wide for the early lead, but after Matt Kakaley gave him a 29 second-quarter breather, the Muscle Hill-Peach Martini gelding made a shambles of the race, defeating Nextroundsonme by a widening 9-1/2 lengths. Darty finished third. " I let him trot out a little bit, but he did it real easy today," Kakaley said. "He's been good for quite a while now." Ron Burke trains the winner, who vaulted over $200,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, William Switala, James Martin and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The time also is a stake record and the fastest this year by a sophomore gelding trotter on a five-eighths-mile track. While Explosivebreakaway's 1:52.4 performance will go down as one of the most fleeting track records in The Meadows history, he had plenty to celebrate. He found the pocket for Tom Jackson in a blistering 26 opening panel. The Explosive Matter-Phaeton gelding brushed outside through the lane and downed Kate's Massive by 3-1/4 lengths, with Stonebridge Symba third. "I wasn't worried about my horse finishing; I was worried about the horse in front of me carrying me far enough," Jackson said. "He took me plenty far enough. We changed his shoes after his last race here, and he's been a different horse ever since." Fred Grant trains Explosivebreakaway, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $131,925, and owns with Janice Rubin, Steven Katz and Murray Brown. $75,300 Keystone Classic -- 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pacers Pyro and Highlandbeachlover captured the divisions in Saturday's other Keystone Classic. Kakaley hustled Pyro to the point from the rail and eschewed the opportunity to release a pair of early challengers and take a covered trip. " I wanted to line them up and have my colt in front, give him a shot on the lead," he said. "I thought he was the best. He dug in, and he was good." Kakaley knew his horse, as Pyro prevailed in 1:50.3, 1/2 length better than Waterway. Lyons Night Hawk completed the ticket. Pyro, a Sweet Lou-Whetstone Hanover gelding, now boasts $170,266 in earnings for Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, Phillip Collura and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Highlandbeachlover scored impressively in 1:51.1 after a desultory first quarter that frustrated Aaron Merriman, who couldn't put the Somebeachsomewhere-Rockn Highland gelding where he wanted to. "This horse isn't the easiest horse to drive, so I really didn't have a plan, to be honest with you," Merriman said. "This horse has some go, but there's nothing real easy about him. He was very resilient today. He's usually not a front-end horse, but I thought I better put him in the best stop to win," Aflame Hanover was second, beaten 1-1/4 lengths, with He's Packin third. The judges reviewed the actions of three horses, including the winner, before declaring the race official with the order of finish unchanged. Desyllas Racing, Elmore's Races Horses and William Beck campaign Highlandbeachlover. Winning trainer Kelly O'Donnell indicated the horse is eligible for stakes at the Red Mile but that his schedule has not been determined. In the $20,000 Open Handicap Pace, Windsong Leo made it three straight with a two-move victory in 1:49.2 for Dave Palone, trainer Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Collura. The 7-year-old Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding extended his lifetime earnings to $517,900. Burke fashioned a four-bagger while Tony Hall, Kakaley and Palone each piloted three winners on the 14-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the program features a pair of Keystone Classics for 3-year-old fillies -- a $65,500 trot and a $59,300 pace. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 14, 2019 -- Windsong Leo pounced on the tiring leaders and blazed home in 1:48.2, fastest ever by an older harness racing pacing gelding at The Meadows, in Saturday's $18,000 Open Handicap Pace. Tony Hall piloted six winners, including a pair for trainer Scott Betts, on the 13-race card. While Carolina Beach and Summer Travel threw down suicidal fractions of 25.2/53.3 swapping the early lead, Dave Palone had Windsong Leo neatly tucked away behind them in third. When the 7-year-old son of Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie attacked first over, the leaders were powerless to resist. Windsong Leo defeated Carolina Beach -- who held the previous mark of 1:49.1 along with Atta Boy Dan, Escape The News and Reggiano -- by 4 lengths, with the rallying R J P third. Ron Burke conditions Windsong Leo, who soared over $500,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. It was one of four victories on the program for Palone, including two for Burke. Following a break, live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, Sept. 21, when The Meadows kicks off five straight programs featuring Keystone Classic stakes. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak. for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association                

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 12, 2019 -- In 2017 when Mark Weaver of Weaver Bruscemi LLC was scouting harness racing prospects for Team Burke for the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids, he came across a handsome Somebeachsomewhere-Vysoke Tatry gelding named RJP. Weaver's group purchased him privately for $200,000 and did start him in the Adios, where he finished a respectable third to Fear The Dragon. He followed that up with a neck loss to Huntsville in the Cane Pace. But soon after a poor performance in the Little Brown Jug, RJP all but disappeared from the harness racing map. Now, thanks to an extraordinarily patient and painstaking rehabilitation, he's won four straight starts and will look to extend that streak in Saturday's feature at The Meadows, an $18,000 Open Handicap Pace. It goes as race 1, with RJP and Mike Wilder leaving from post 2. The card kicks off at 1:05 PM. Weaver indicates that RJP's owners spent more than a year trying to determine what was wrong with him before they sent him to Dr. Keith Brown, a Somerset, PA veterinarian, who diagnosed throat issues and performed surgery. RJP returned for an abbreviated 2018 season in which he was winless in 11 starts. Brown performed a second surgery and, as Weaver recalls, "took on RJP as a personal project." "Dr. Brown thought his breathing problems had become almost a mental thing and that he needed to relearn how to breathe while racing," Weaver says. "He jogged RJP out in the wilderness for eight or nine months, putting a lot of miles on him. To be honest, the owners, including me, wondered if enough was enough and if we shouldn't find a new vocation for him." Even in his July 18 qualifier, RJP -- who campaigns for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Jack Piatt II and Purnel&Libby -- was up to his old tricks. "He wasn't sharp and didn't come home well," Weaver says. "Ron made a couple rigging changes, and he's been racing great." He won a low-end conditioned event on July 26 and hasn't lost since. Is he ready for the track's elite pacers, including his stablemate, Windsong Leo, who leaves from post 5? "At this point, nothing would surprise me," Weaver says. "If he wins the Breeders Crown in 2020, it wouldn't surprise me. If he's a riding horse next month, it wouldn't surprise me. He's not your typical horse. You're not able to tell which way he's going." By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 11 -- Star Caviar had to duel three wide for the early lead, but once on top he was much the best in capturing his third straight harness racing victory in Wednesday's feature at The Meadows, an $11,800 Conditioned Trot. The first two wins in his streak came on the PA Fairs circuit, but Star Caviar showed plenty of raceway mettle, thwarting the extended first-over challenge of Just Fly Beyond to prevail for Mike Wilder in a career-best 1:56. The pocket-sitting Town Hall Justice was second, 2-1/4 lengths back, while Just Fly Beyond saved show. Spencer Kahrig trains Star Caviar, a 3-year-old Caviar Crown-Missy Star K gelding, for Melvin Straley. Tony Hall piloted five winners on the 14-race card while Brady Brown and Wilder each enjoyed a triple. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, first post 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 10, 2019 -- Continuing his harness racing comeback following a lengthy layoff, millionaire Il Sogno Dream overcame a demanding opening quarter and captured Tuesday's feature at The Meadows, a $12,700 Conditioned Trot. Although sidelined most of the first six months this year, Il Sogno Dream now has two wins and as many seconds in his last five outings. On Tuesday, he was three wide for much of the 27.2 opening panel before clearing to the lead for Aaron Merriman near the three-eighths. The 8-year-old son of Cantab Hall-La Reve held off the late charge of Gee Wizz George to down him by a length in 1:54, with Mac Deeno third. Chris Beaver trains Il Sogno Dream, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $1,128,533, for Bill Manes, Dan Manes, Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher. Tony Hall and Merriman each collected three wins on the 14-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the program features a $2,412.72 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 9, 2019 -- Classicality dominated Monday's $20,000 Open I Handicap Trot at The Meadows, scoring in 1:53.1 and soaring over $700,000 in harness racing career earnings. Classicality zipped to the top from post 5 for Brian Zendt, and with Barn Girl challenging but parked, no outside flow could develop. The 9-year-old Classic Photo-Penn Worthy Lane gelding drew away late to triumph by 8-1/4 lengths. Maewegonow was second while Rainbowinthewest and the game Barn Girl dead-heated for show. Lisa Dunn trains and owns Classicality, whose official bankroll now stands at $704,687. Aaron Merriman piloted three winners on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer Robert Barnard and owner Christian Apel, while Tony Hall also enjoyed a triple that featured two victories for trainer Tim Twaddle. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the program offers three rich wagering opportunities: a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4 (races 3-6); a $1,063.95 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6), a $1,776.44 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 7, 2019 -- Reigning Dan Patch awardee Warrawee Ubeaut became a millionaire, Adios champion Southwind Ozzie won his fifth straight stake locally and Millies Possession completed a sweep, as each captured a Pennsylvania Sires Stake harness racing championship final Saturday at The Meadows. The Meadows hosted all four PASS finals for 3-year-olds, each worth $253,000, as well as $50,000 consolations in each division. The results were a mix of the expected and the surprising. Warrawee Ubeaut, Southwind Ozzie and Millies Possession all triumphed as heavy favorites, but Capt Chaps Hanover sprang a 94-1 shocker in the Colt & Gelding Trot. Trainer Ron Burke snared a pair of titles with Warrawee Ubeaut and Capt Chaps Hanover. A look at each division: $253,000 Championship - 3-Year-Old Filly Pacers Warrawee Ubeaut showed a champion's moxie as she found a seat briefly from post 8, moved to the point shortly thereafter and toyed with the field the rest of the way, scoring in 1:50. Treacherous Reign was second, beaten 4-1/4 lengths, with Philly Hanover third. "She's really figured it out now," said winning driver Yannick Gingras of the daughter of Sweet Lou-Great Memories. "It took a little while, but she's racing the horses, not herself. Between the three-eighths and the three-quarters, she relaxed on her own. That's what makes the difference now." The win lifted her bankroll to $1,071,553, which Burke, who conditions her for Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, J&T Silva-Purnell&Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, called a significant milestone -- for Warrawee Ubeaut and Sweet Lou's ownership syndicate. "She's the first Sweet Lou to go over $1 million; I'm sure there will be others, but she's the first," Burke said. "It's been really tough. The sires stakes are tough in PA this year." He said Warrawee Ubeaut would next race in the Jugette at Delaware, Ohio. $253,000 Championship -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers Southwind Ozzie took the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids in 1:48, second fastest in the 53-year history of the event. But Saturday, he would be facing millionaire Captain Crunch, last year's divisional champ who was making his second start off a layoff of nearly a month. Would the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Solara be up to that level of competition? Indeed he would be, as he moved uncovered from fourth for Brian Sears, wore down Captain Crunch in the lane and edged the rallying Captain Victorious by a head in 1:49.4. Wild Wild Western earned show in the Lightning Lane while Captain Crunch was fourth. "He's won that way before," Sears said. "He's a big horse with a big set of lungs. He can go a long way. I knew he was capable of doing it, and he got it done." Bill MacKenzie trains Southwind Ozzie, who now boasts career earnings of $515,263, for Vincent Ali, Jr. and Alma Iafelice. $253,000 Championship -- 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters Millies Possession hadn't been on the lead at the quarter in any of her 10 previous starts but lost only one of them; she employed the same methodical style in the championship. Dexter Dunn allowed the dust to settle before sending her to the lead, which she reached near the three-eighths. She steadily lengthened her advantage, prevailing in 1:53.4, 2-3/4 lengths better than Grimmie Hanover, with Fade Into You third. "Dexter knows her and is very patient with her," said winning trainer Jim Campbell. "He had her in good position again this week. He's been terrific with her all year. She'll probably go to Lexington next. We'll use that to prepare her for the Breeders Crown." Fashion Farms bred and owns the daughter of Possess The Will-Fashion Athena, who boosted her lifetime bankroll to $475,517. Millies Possession became the first 3-year-old filly in PASS recorded history to sweep all four preliminary legs and the championship. $253,000 Championship - 3-Year-Okd Colt & Gelding Trotters The situation for Capt Chaps Hanover seemed hopeless -- trailing by 6-1/2 lengths at the three-quarters, a wall of horses in front of him. But when the Lightning Lane magically opened, the Explosive Matter-Choose Happy gelding shot through for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., to pull off the stunning upset in a career-best 1:54. The front-ending Marseille was second, 3/4 lengths back, while Ginger Tree Skyr completed the ticket. "In the last turn, I was just hoping for a check," Wrenn said. "I had a little trot, the inside just opened up, and there were a bunch of tired horses from the early fast pace. It surprised me that he was able to go by all of them. I couldn't believe there were that many tired horses." Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and J&T Silva-Purnell&Libby campaign the winner, whose career earnings now stand at $218,806. Sent off at 94-1 odds, he paid $190;.20 to win. PASS NOTES. The fastest mile occurred in a consolation, when Aflame Hanover took the event for 3-year-old colt & gelding pacers in 1:49.1, breaking the stake record 1:49.3 set by Santastics Pan in 2014. Andrew McCarthy drove for trainer Linda Schadel, who owns the Russell Hanover-Applique Hanover with Tony Schadel. The other consolations went to Mass Fortune K, Trillions Hanover and Cloud Nine Fashion, who gave Campbell and Fashion Farms a PASS double. By Evan Patta, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 5, 2019 -- Nearly $1.3 million in purses -- and four Pennsylvania Sires Stake championships -- will be on the line Saturday at The Meadows when the track hosts all four $253,000 PASS harness racing finals for 3-year-olds as well as $50,000 consolations in each division. The championships will feature some of the brightest stars in the sophomore ranks, including a pair of Dan Patch Award winners -- Captain Crunch and Warrawee Ubeaut -- and the once-defeated Millies Possession, who swept all four PASS preliminary legs. First post for the 15-race card is 1:05 PM. Here's a look inside the championships: $253,000 Championship -- 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters (race 6) Unraced at 2, Millies Possession has nine wins in 10 starts this year, the only blemish -- if you can call it that -- a second-place finish to When Dovescry in the Hambletonian Oaks. The Fashion Farms homebred daughter of Possess The Will-Fashion Athena has banked $349,017. Perhaps the most interesting thing about her is an unhurried style so different than that of most young trotters. In fact, in her last six outings, she hasn't been on the lead before the half. Will that be her approach Saturday? "It all depends on how the race shapes up," said her trainer, Jim Campbell. "If they're really winging it, we won't have to be too worried about being on the front end. She's pretty versatile. We haven't done anything different with her this week; she's had a good week so far." Millies Possession goes from post 7 for Dexter Dunn. $253,000 Championship -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters (race 8) Easily the most wide-open final; only two of the nine combatants enter the championship off wins. One of those is Goes Down Smooth, who has captured three of his last four starts, all stakes. But Matt Kakaley will have to work out a trip from post 9 for the Muscle Hill-Peach Martini gelding, who's conditioned by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable, William Switala, James Martin and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. $253,000 Championship -- 3-Year-Old Filly Pacers (race 9) This has been the glam PASS division with outstanding performers such as Warrawee Ubeaut, Stonebridge Soul and Treacherous Reign trading blows all season. Yet the championship will be shaped in part by a key defection. Tall Drink Hanover had won four straight stakes, highlighted by her Shady Daisy triumph in 1:48, fastest this year by a sophomore filly. But with two from his stable, Treacherous Reign and Odds On St Lucie, in the championship, trainer Tony Alagna sent Tall Drink Hanover elsewhere. "We kept her eligible to the Simcoe, which conflicts with the championship," Alagna said. "Since we had two other fillies make the final, we chose the Simcoe for her to try to optimize our fillies to the best of their ability. Treacherous Reign came out of her last race great. We've been treating Odds On St Lucie for some throat irritation." The draw favors Treacherous Reign, as the daughter of Captaintreacherous-Scandalous Hanover leaves from post 3 for Dunn and owners Alagna Racing, Big Als Stables, Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham. Warrawee Ubeaut and Stonebridge Soul drew posts 8 and 9, respectively. $253,000 Championship -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers (race 10) Captain Crunch returned from a freshening of nearly a month with a strong show finish in the Simcoe, clocked in 1:49.4, and could be even sharper in the championship. "The break was something we planned because there weren't any races on bigger tracks for him after the Cane Pace," said Nancy Johansson, who trains the millionaire son of Captain Treacherous-Sweet Paprika for 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms. "He was a little short (in the Simcoe) and should be tighter Saturday. He needed that start." A potential factor: Captain Crunch will be making his first career start at The Meadows while his chief rival, Southwind Ozzie, has won all four of his races here, including a spectacular 1:48 victory in the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids. ""He's a good-gaited colt, so that shouldn't be a problem," Johansson said. "I'm not really concerned about him getting over the track." Captain Crunch goes from post 7 with Scott Zeron aboard while Southwind Ozzi and Brian Sears start from post 5. The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will present blankets to the champions as well as gift bags to their grooms. Visit the MSOA table in the Racebook to register for fan activities. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 5, 2019 -- French Moni earned the lion's share of the francs with a front-end victory in Wednesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $13,500 Conditioned Trot. French Moni grabbed the lead for Jim Pantaleano in a contested 27.2 opening panel and had to repel the first-over challenge of Try Try Again, the 1-2 favorite. The 5-year-old son of Love You-Touch Of Money slowed appreciably in the lane, getting the last quarter in 31. But that was good enough to down My Indiana by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:55.3, with Joey third. Scott Betts trains French Moni, who extended his career bankroll to $111,019, for Timothy Betts and Stephen Moss. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday when the card features four Pennsylvania Sires Stake championships -- each worth $253,000 -- for 3-year-olds. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 3, 2019 -- Mike Wilder collected harness racing career win 8,000 Tuesday at The Meadows when he drove Music N Small Talk to victory in race 13. He achieved his milestone in dramatic fashion, winning six on the day and sweeping the final three events on the card. "You always dream about getting milestones and winning a lot of races, but it's a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication and a lot of help along the way," Wilder said. "I've worked for a lot of good barns that had a lot of good horses. I'm very blessed and fortunate to be able to do what I've done." A native of Springfield, Ohio, Wilder, 47, began jogging horses when he was 8 under the tutelage of his stepfather, David Ritter, who trained Standardbreds at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. Wilder was a phenomenon at Lebanon Raceway, where he won 13 driving titles, and he captured two driving championships at Scioto Downs before moving his tack to The Meadows in 2001. Throughout his career, Wilder has been a model of consistency. He's piloted at least 198 winners in each of the last 26 years, and he's earned more than $1.1 million in purses for the last 21 years consecutively. For Wilder, harness racing is a family affair. His wife Heather is an in-demand MC for harness awards banquets as well as a contributor to Harness Racing Update. She recently was elected president of the United States Harness Writers Association Keystone Chapter. "She loves everything about the sport," Wilder said, "and she's happy to do anything that will help harness racing." They both help Heather's father, noted trainer Dan Altmeyer, with his 10-horse stable, and they're assisted in that task by their teenage daughters Scarlett and Lauren. "Scarlett is a senior in high school this year, and when school started, I lost my help," Wilder joked. Although Wilder continues to roll up wins at a relatively young age, he foresees a day when he'll change his focus. "You'd like to drive forever, but this game will soon enough catch up to you," he said. "I definitely would like to evolve into training, kind of follow in my father-in-law's footsteps. I know there's only one Dan Altmeyer, but he's a great teacher. "I love being around babies and training them. Someday I'd like to do the baby scene in Florida in the winters and come back up here in the spring. When that will be I don't know, but like I said, we can't drive forever." By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 31, 2019 -- Bluebird Recon let Summer Travel do the heavy lifting, then blew by him in the lane to spring a 14-1 harness racing upset in Saturday's $20,000 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Although Summer Travel reached the point from post 8, he needed a 26.3 opening panel to get there. He was strong enough to discourage any backside challengers but could not hold off the pocket-sitting Bluebird Recon, who roared past for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and downed Summer Travel by three-quarter lengths in 1:51.2. Macadoodledoo completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains the 4-year-old Net Ten Eom-Colette gelding, who vaulted over $100,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Dave Palone and Burke each fashioned a four-bagger on the 13-race card while Tony Hall enjoyed a triple. After a Labor Day break, live racing at The Meadows resumes Tuesday, first post 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 28, 2019 -- Sister Sledge did it all in Wednesday's $180.502 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for harness racing freshman filly trotters at The Meadows. She extended her career unbeaten streak to six, completed a sweep of PASS preliminary legs and triumphed in a stake-record 1:54.1. In the other division of the Delmonica Hanover, as the stake is known, 11-1 Shishito rallied from well back to spring the upset. Throughout her streak, no rival had been closer than a length to Sister Sledge at the finish. That was the case Wednesday as well, as she forged to the lead from the rail for Yannick Gingras and defeated the first-over Sorella by 2-1/2 lengths, with Aperfectcrystal third. "She has a crazy amount of speed; she hasn't been tired yet," Gingras said. "Today I actually was hoping a couple would leave and we could race her from behind. But nobody left, so she took things in hand." The time erased the stake record of 1:55 established by Can't I in 2016. The daughter of Father Patrick-Behindclosedoors now has banked $138,563 for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Jason Melillo, J&T Silva-Purnell&Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Sister Sledge figures to be the heavy favorite in the $250,000 PASS championship, which is set for Sept. 8 at Harrah's Philadelphia. Shishito was away sixth for Aaron Merriman and trailed by 7-1/2 lengths at the half before picking up live cover and beginning her advance. She edged Sans Defaut by a head in a career-best 1:55.1 while Sherry Lyns Lady earned show. "She's been good every race so far," said Per Engblom, who conditions the daughter of Father Patrick-Yoga for Black Horse Racing and John Fielding. "I think she's a very nice filly. She's pretty much fully staked after this." Engblom noted that Shishito is dually eligible in Pennsylvania and Kentucky and appears to have earned a berth in each state's sires stake championship. $60,000 PA Stallion Series -- 2-Year-Old Filly Trotters Wednesday's subfeature became a showcase for Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim Campbell, who teamed for a double with Next Level Stuff and Madame Sherry. Miss Wilia took the third split. Next Level Stuff vaulted to the front from post 7 and never let the pocket-sitting Perth Angel De Vie get close, downing her by 3-1/4 lengths in a stake-fastest 1:56. Andela completed the ticket. "We had hopples on and off her, and we ended up taking them off," Campbell said of the daughter of Sebastian K-Nantab, who overcame mid-season gaiting issues to win two consecutive stallion series splits. "She does have a nice way of going. Hopefully, she'll mature a little bit more." Miss Wilia also scored her second straight stallion series victory by moving first up for Dave Palone and defeating Keystone Candace by 4-3/4 lengths in 1:57.1. Early leader Path Of Totality saved show. Rick Zeron trains the daughter of Andover Hall-Miss Athens for owners/breeders Charles Receski and Thomas Brice. "Rick called me this morning and advised me to be careful getting her away," Palone said. "She sat in nice and comfortable. When I moved her, she marched right up to the leader; from the middle of the last turn, I never thought anybody would get her." Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the card features a carryover of $1,100.72 in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 27, 2019 -- Suddenly Royal abandoned the pocket past the quarter and made the move stand up as she won her third straight -- and gave harness racing driver Jim Pantaleano one of his five victories on the 13-race card -- in Tuesday's feature at The Meadows, a $13,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Although Suddenly Royal was sitting behind the 2-5 favorite, Lakeisha Hall, Pantaleano wanted that one in his rear-view mirror and took the point. Suddenly Royal downed Lakeisha Hall by a length in 1:52 over a "good" surface, with Easy Three third. Suddenly Royal appeared to bear out briefly down the backside, but following an inquiry, the judges did not disturb the order of finish. The 4-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Resilient is owned by A Piece Of The Action LLC and trained by Christen Pantaleano, who sent out three of her husband's winning quintet. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the program features a pair of stakes for freshman filly trotters -- a $180,505 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $60,000 PA Stallion Series event -- as well as a $969.04 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 27, 2019 -- The Washington County Animal Response Team (WaCART) provides irreplaceable services throughout Washington County, rescuing animals trapped in life-threatening situations. Yet the agency has been hampered in its efforts by the lack of a truck to haul the trailer that houses its emergency equipment and supplies. Now, WaCART has launched a campaign to raise funds to purchase a truck . . . and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) is helping. The MSOA, which represents horse owners, trainers and drivers who compete at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, has contributed $2,000 to the campaign. Ultimately, WaCART needs to raise $68,160 to purchase the truck and such safety equipment as scene lightning and a radio/repeater system. The organization has collected close to $20,000 and hopes to complete the campaign and acquire the truck next year. "We're delighted to assist WaCART with this acquisition, which will help it save the lives of animals," said Rich Gillock, MSOA president. "Many of their emergency calls involve horses in life-or-death situations, so their work is near and dear to the hearts of MSOA members." WaCART is a volunteer organization, part of a statewide network of county-based units called the Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team. The groups rescue livestock and domesticated and exotic animals, though other wildlife is outside their purview. They don't handle cases of animal neglect or abuse but sometimes are asked to assist agencies that do. For example, in a recent incident involving German shorthaired pointers abused at a puppy mill, WaCART volunteers helped secure 94 dogs and transport them to the local fairgrounds; from there, appropriate care/placement agencies took over. Ed Childers, WaCART coordinator, says his group averages about 15 rescue missions per year, ranging from horses stuck in sinkholes to cows stranded in ravines. Sometimes, though, valuable time is lost while WaCART hunts down a truck to haul the supply trailer. "That can add at least 30 minutes to the process," Childers said. "Very often, the animals in need of recuse don't have that extra 30 minutes." WaCART has targeted a van that includes shelving, a bulkhead and storage compartments. "We'll be able to house the van in a heated garage bay at the North Strabane Fire Department, which is centrally located and would be available to us round the clock," Childers said. Both Childers and Gillock noted that WaCART and the MSOA are discussing other collaborative efforts, including WaCART's training MSOA members in emergency rescue techniques. Childers indicated his group recently conducted successful training with horsemen at Parx Casino and Racing, a Thoroughbred venue near Philadelphia. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 26, 2019 -- Three divisional leaders -- Tall Drink Hanover, Warrawee Ubeaut, Stonebridge Soul -- each looked to burnish her credentials in Monday's Romola Hanover, a $167,677 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for harness racing sophomore filly pacers at The Meadows. Tall Drink Hanover and Warrawee Ubeaut did just that, but Stonebridge Soul fell to 15-1 outsider Sweet Lucy Lou. Tall Drink Hanover has an impeccable pedigree -- she's by Captaintreacherous out of the Dragon Again mare Take Into Account -- yet Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz and Myron Bell's Riverview Racing LLC were able to pick her up at Harrisburg for only $35,000. "Thirty-three fillies by Captaintreacherous sold the first day of the sale, and she was the next-to-last," Bell said. "People who'd already bought fillies weren't looking for her; we were. We were lucky enough to get a $100,000 filly for $35,000." Indeed, she entered the Romola Hanover off three straight victories, all stakes, that included a 1:48 mile in the Shady Daisy at the Meadowlands, fastest this year by a 3-year-old filly. On Monday, she got away third, gobbled up the field when Andrew McCarthy asked her to, and scored in 1:50.1, lifting her career bankroll to $573,556. Rockn Philly was second, 3-3/4 lengths back, with Pretty N Fast third. "I think she'll be good from here on out," said winning trainer Tony Alagna. "She actually was good early but didn't have much go her way. She's very versatile and can do it a lot of different ways." Warrawee Ubeaut, last year's Dan Patch Award winner, was just as impressive, stalking Alagna's Treacherous Reign from the pocket and blowing by late to triumph for Yannick Gingras in 1:49.2, 3 widening lengths better than Treacherous Reign. Trillions Hanover completed the ticket. "All this year we've been working to make her a complete racehorse and not just go down the road and be hot," said Ron Burke, who trains the daughter of Sweet Lou-Great Memories. "You saw that today. She sits in, does what she's told and then reacts. By the end of the year I still think she's the best filly." Warrawee Ubeaut now has banked $945,053 for Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, J&T Silva-Purnell&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. When 1-5 favorite Stonebridge Soul led narrowly out of the final turn, it seemed victory was secure as her chief challenger, Sweet Lucy Lou, hadn't won a stake all year. But the daughter of Sweet Lou-Ultimate Bet still had pace aplenty, and when Eric Goodell found a seam for her between horses, she poured through and edged Stonebridge Soul by a neck in a career-best 1:51.4. Odds On St Lucie earned show. "The last three-eighths is her thing," Goodell said. "That's when she starts getting into gear. She paces as hard at the wire as she can. (Going between horses) was important because she runs in. I didn't want to have to work her around horses because she might not have got by." Robert Cleary conditions Sweet Lucy Lou, who extended her lifetime bankroll to $130,034, for Royal Wire Products. The top fillies in the division will reconvene Sept. 7 at The Meadows for the PASS championship. On that date, the track will host all four $250,000 PASS championships and all four $50,000 consolations. Monday's program also featured a $40,000 PA Stallion Series stake, with Demi Hill and Sweet Cherry taking the splits. Mike Wilder collected three wins on the 14-race card. Tuesday's program at The Meadows features three rich wagering opportunities: a $5,000 total-pool guarantee in the Pick 4 (races 3-6); a $4,724.08 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6); a $660.96 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug 25, 2019 -- Monday's $167,277 Pennsylvania Sires Stake has drawn many of the division's top 3-year-old filly pacers, none of them hotter than Tall Drink Hanover. The daughter of Captaintreacherous-Take Into Account has won three straight -- all stakes -- defeating most of those rivals in the process, and her 1:48 mile in the Shady Daisy was a thing of beauty. She'll try to extend that streak when she leaves from the rail in the ninth race with regular pilot Andrew McCarthy aboard. First post is 1:05 PM. Although Tall Drink Hanover banked $362,414 at 2 for trainer Tony Alagna and owners Alagna Racing LLC, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing, she started this year more slowly. While she captured a Lynch Memorial elimination, she was last in the final. That followed a seventh-place finish in the Fan Hanover final. But she was most impressive in the Shady Daisy at the Meadowlands, when, despite a parked-out first quarter, she downed such outstanding fillies as Dan Patch Award winner Warrawee Ubeaut, Stonebridge Soul and Alagna's Treacherous Reign. It was then, and still is, the fastest mile this year by a 3-year-old filly pacer. Tall Drink Hanover sold for $35,000 at Harrisburg, something of a bargain considering her blue-blood pedigree. She'll benefit from the luck of the PASS draw, as all the foes she vanquished in the Shady Daisy will go in other divisions: Treacherous Reign (race 7, post 1, Dexter Dunn); Warrawee Ubeaut (race 7, post 3, Yannick Gingras); Stonebridge Soul (race 8, post 6, Tim Tetrick). Monday's card also features a $40,000 PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore filly pacers and a pair of carryovers -- $4,236.22 in the Pick 5 (races 2-6), $428.60 in the final-race Super Hi-5. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

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