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WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 18, 2020 -- Amigo Volo powered to a professional, purposeful victory in Friday's Keystone Classic at The Meadows, serving notice to his harness racing division rivals that he'll be a force to be reckoned with in rich late-season stakes. Patriarch Hanover took the other division in the $79,700 stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Considered one of the division's best early in the year, Amigo Volo finished third in his Hambletonian elimination and fourth in the final, despite being stuck with post 10. While that performance may have downgraded him in the eyes of some, he's now won three straight -- including the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stake championship -- and appears razor sharp. "He's on his way out to Lexington, so it was the perfect spot for him to come here and come calling through," said winning driver Dexter Dunn. "He's in his top form at the moment. As long as he keeps that form, I'm sure he'll be competitive in the big races." In the Keystone Classic, the Father Patrick-Margarita Momma gelding shrugged off the unexpected first-up challenge of long shot Focus Pocus and prevailed in 1:54.3. The pocket-sitting Harley K was 2-1/2 lengths back in second while Focus Pocus saved show.   Amigo Volo now has banked $966,644 for trainer Nifty Norman and owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Patriarch Hanover quarter-poled to the point for Matt Kakaley and downed early leader Town Victor by 3/4 lengths in 1:55.3, with Nezblanc third.   "He's just a step behind a couple of the top sires stake horses," Kakaley said of the son of Father Patrick-Personal Style, "but he gives his all every time, and he's made some money. He's had a respectable year so far." Ron Burke trains Patriarch Hanover, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $235,266, for Burke Racing Stable, William Switala, James Martin and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. $68,300 Keystone Classic -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace Speaking of peaking at the right time, Sandbetweenmytoes scored in 1:50 in Friday's co-feature, giving him three wins in the last four starts -- all in 1:50 or faster. Trainer Jim Campbell agreed that Fashion Farms' homebred Somebeachsomewhere-Galleria gelding is more confident and sure gaited than he was early in the season. "Unfortunately, his only bad race in the last four was the PA Sites Stake championship," Campbell said. "We'll take him to Delaware for the Jug. I think he'll get around there good. He gets around a five-eighths-mile track pretty good, and that's the best half-mile track in the country at Delaware. I don't foresee any problems." Sandbetweenmytoes quarter-poled to the top for Scott Zeron and defeated early leader Tru Lou by 2-1/4 lengths. Seeyou At Thebeach completed the ticket. The winner extended his career earnings to $177,142. You knew Burke would make some noise in this stake -- he sent out 10 of the 17 starters -- and he spoke loudly in the other split, sweeping the exacta with Cattlewash and The Greek Freak. Cattlewash shot the Lightning Lane for David Miller to prevail in 1:51. Ruthless Hanover earned show. "He's coming around at the right time, and I'm happy to be on board," Miller said. "If he goes to the Jug, he'll handle the half-mile track just fine. He's a beautifully gaited horse." The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Road Bet now boasts $424,908 in career earnings for owner William Donovan. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the 13-race card features a $26,773.07 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3). First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA                      

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 16, 2020 -- Drama Act overcame post 8 to score easily in 1:50, matching the stake record in Wednesday's $63,550 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old harness racing filly pacers at The Meadows. Drama Act was making only her second start since owner The OK Corral shifted her to the Ron Burke stable, but the trainer likes what he's seen so far of the daughter of Well Said-Lounge Act. "I think she's really a high-end filly," Burke said. "She won in 1:50 with her ear plugs in -- that's a special kind of mile. She has a few races left, and I think she'll get better as the year goes on." Drama Act needed almost the entire opening panel to make the point for Matt Kakaley, but she faced no serious challenges from there, defeating Keystone Eureka by 3-1/2 lengths, with the previously undefeated Seadog Lady third. Her time equaled the mark Lispatty established in 2016.   Burke anticipates that Drama Act, who now has banked $157,982, will continue to race at 4. "She has the potential to do well -- especially on small tracks. She's a pretty nice horse," he said. $67,500 Keystone Classic -- 3-Year-Old Filly Trot Dune Hill figured to be a lock for her eighth straight victory; she was hammered down to 1-9. But she broke stride before the gate, a bit of serendipity that caught the attention of Jim Pantaleano aboard Miss McKee for trainer Jack Baggitt, Jr. but didn't change his approach a jot. "I talked to Jack before the race, and he indicated that she had good gate speed and to try to place her forward," Pantaleano said. "That was my strategy regardless of Dune Hill's condition. I tried to take care of her a little bit in the middle half, and I probably didn't need to be that careful because she was really strong finishing." Miss McKee prevailed in 1:55, 3-3/4 lengths better than Impulse Buy. Allswell Hanover completed the ticket. J.L. Sadowsky LLC campaigns the daughter of Muscle Massive-Dazzling Deb, who vaulted over $100,000 in career earnings. Sans Defaut has performed largely under the raider this year for Burke -- even though her win in the other Keystone Classic split sent her over $200,000 in lifetime earnings. But Wednesday's victory in what likely are her waning days of racing may have raised her profile. "I think she has a bit more to give," Burke said. "We want to finish the year strong with her. She's royally bred -- a full sister to Southwind Frank -- and I think she'll be bred at the end of the year." In the race, the daughter of Muscle Hill-Flawless Lindy idled until the field settled, powered to the lead and scored in 1:54.1. Perth Angel De Vie was second, beaten 2-3/4 lengths, with Electrapedia third. Sans Defaut races for Burke Racing Stable, Crawford Farms Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby. Burke enjoyed a four-bagger on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the 13-race program features a $24,658.78 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

Amigo Volo might not have been himself the week following last month's Hambletonian Stakes, but after a brief respite and consecutive wins, he appears primed for a strong finish to his 3-year-old harness racing campaign. A multiple world-record-setter and Breeders Crown champion at age 2, Amigo Volo has won four of nine races this season. He competes Friday in the first of two Keystone Classic divisions for 3-year-old male trotters at The Meadows, where he is the 6-5 morning-line favorite with regular driver Dexter Dunn. Amigo Volo finished fourth in the Hambletonian on Aug. 8 at The Meadowlands. He started from post 10, hustled to the front in a :26.2 opening quarter, and then had traffic issues after yielding the lead to Threefiftytwo. He made up multiple lengths in the stretch but ended up 4-3/4 lengths behind winner Ramona Hill. The next week, Amigo Volo finished third in a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes after holding the lead in the stretch. It was the gelding's sixth start in as many weeks, so trainer Nifty Norman gave the horse time to freshen up and Amigo Volo responded. He heads to the Keystone Classic off wins in the final preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and the series championship. "I'm very proud of the horse," Norman said. "We tried to have him at his best for the Hambo, and I thought he was, things just didn't work out for him. But I thought the horse really raced good that day. "Then there is always a little bit of a bounce after that. You can't be good all the time; for every up, there is going to be a down. He was a little bit down his next start. He was just flat, and that's not like him. So, we gave him a little bit of time off and he perked right up and has really done well. He's been super his last two races. He looks like he's back to himself again." Amigo Volo is a son of Father Patrick out of Margarita Momma. For his career, he has won 10 of 21 starts and earned $946,719 for owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. In addition to winning last year's Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male trotters and this year's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, Amigo Volo's victories include the 2019 Matron Stakes and divisions of the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. He holds world records for 2-year-old geldings on a five-eighths-mile track (1:52.4) and mile track (1:52.3). Amigo Volo is eligible to Bluegrass Stakes, Kentucky Futurity, Breeders Crown, and Matron the rest of the way. "Last year when we raced him weeks in a row, he really raced good like that," Norman said. "He likes to race, he's a game little bugger. "I couldn't be happier with the way he's heading into the rest of the season. I thought the big tracks would be a disadvantage for him, but he's strong again, so I think we'll be OK. He's a really solid little guy." Ron Burke-trained Patriarch Hanover is the 8-5 favorite in the second Keystone Classic division for the 3-year-old male trotters. He finished third in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. There also are two Keystone Classic divisions for 3-year-old male pacers. Jim Campbell's Sandbetweenmytoes is the 5-2 favorite in the first and Burke's Cattlewash gets the 5-2 nod in the second. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 15, 2020 -- Fighting Evil launched the decisive move past the three-quarters and rolled home in a harness racing career-best 1:52.2 in Tuesday's Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Darby Hanover took the other split in the $79,900 stake for freshman filly pacers. Sniper Hanover opened up a sizable lead after three-quarters but was no match for the rally of Fighting Evil, who overwhelmed her in the lane and held off Peep N Weep by a head for Mike Wilder. Ocean's Apart completed the ticket.   "This filly just loves to chase," said Dane Snyder, who trains the daughter of Sweet Lou-Evil Fight -- a $12,000 yearling acquisition -- for Danielle Snyder and Jason Ash. "She's not very big herself, but she has a big heart. She has one more race this year -- the Standardbred at Delaware. She's little, and she needs some rest." Although Darby Hanover was forced to a 27.4 opening panel to reach the point, she had little trouble thereafter, cruising home for Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller in 1:53.1. Natchez Belle was second, beaten 2-1/2 lengths, with Lady Newton third.   "When she came back to me at the half, she relaxed, so I felt all right from there on," Andy Miller said. "She's putting together a pretty nice year, and she has a few more races to go. She'll probably go to the Liberty Bell next. We might try a big race later in the year." The daughter of Betting Line-Darena Hanover has finished in the money in all seven career starts for owners Andy Miller Stable and Carroll Huffman. $85,000 Keystone Classic -- 2-Year-Old Filly Trot This year's Pennsylvania Stallion Series champion, Love Muffin, was out to extend her winning streak to three -- and she did just that with a front-end victory in 1:56.2 for Jim Pantaleano, trainer David Wiest and owners Edward Kimmel and Don Wiest. Long shot Cheesy Hanover was 2-3/4 lengths back in second with the first-over Frankly My Dear third. Although the daughter of Andover Hall-Pine Yankee has been ahead at every call in her current streak, David Wiest indicated she actually prefers chasing. "She'd do better off the pace, but she's that quick off the gate," he said. "She has two more races this year, both at Chester." In the other split, Julie and Andy Miller teamed up again to triumph with Pub Crawl who, on paper, at least appeared to lay over the field. The 1-5 favorite did nothing to dispel that notion, jogging in 1:56.1 and defeating Keystone Barracuda by 4 lengths. Myreanna earned show. "She's been racing some pretty good fillies, and she found a little better spot today," Andy Miller said. "She still has quite a few races to go. We'll probably go to the Liberty Bell next." The daughter of Bar Hopping-Myth now has banked $132,763 for Andy Miller Stable, Louis Willinger, Kapildeo Singh and Phillip Helmuth. Dave Palone collected three wins on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer Marcus Marashian. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the 13-race program features a $22,835.77 carryover in the final-race Super Hi 5. On the racing front, the card offers a pair of Keystone Classics: a $63,550 stake for 3-year-old filly pacers and a $67,500 event for 3-year-old filly trotters. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA      

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 14, 2020 -- Fresh off his harness racing triumph in the Pennsylvania Sires Stake championship, Southwind Gendry equaled the stake record 1:51.1 in Monday's Keystone Classic at The Meadows -- although he had to repel a pair of serious challengers to do it. Sweet Angel Boy took the other division in the $88,500 event for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Although Southwind Gendry typically rallies from mid-pack, David Miller quarter-poled him to the point Monday, where he faced determined bids from the first-over Whichwaytothebeach and the pocket-sitting Chase H Hanover. Southwind Gendry downed Chase H Hanover -- also the runner-up in the PASS final -- by 3/4 lengths, with Whichwaytothebeach third. The time matched the record Dragon Eddy established in 2014.   "He doesn't love the front, but he'll race on the front," said winning trainer Ron Burke. "When he does things he doesn't want to and still does them well, you know he's a pretty good horse." The Always B Miki-Gambler's Passion gelding now has banked $259,369 for Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, Knox Services and J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby. Sweet Angel Boy and Marcus Miller stung the favorite, Capt Jack Hanover with Dave Palone, through a 26.4 opening quarter before releasing him. That may have made the difference, as Sweet Angel Boy roared by the leader in the Lightning Lane to defeat him by 1-1/2 lengths in a maiden-breaking 1:52.4. Don't Blame Lou completed the ticket.   "I didn't have to sting Dave too much. His horse was pretty grabby, and Dave was just letting him rattle," Miller said. "But it worked out good. I've raced against this one several times; he's a nice horse." Jim King, Jr. trains the son of Sweet Lou-Aries Angel for Jo Ann Looney-King. $91,300 Keystone Classic -- 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot Arnold N Dicky had a little stake-record magic of his own as he scored in 1:54.2 to lower the previous mark of 1:54.4 set by Giveitgasandgo in 2016. Although the son of Bar Hopping-Kalibrated raced throughout the Commonwealth this season, all three of his career victories have come at The Meadows. "When he crosses over, he gets to feeling good about himself, and he's just waiting for you to ask on him," said winning driver Palone. "I wasn't crazy about the way he was gaited at Pocono -- both times -- but he loves it here. I love to race him when I can be aggressive with him because he doesn't think anybody can pass him." Take All Comers finished second, beaten 3-1/4 lengths, with Lindys Goin Crazy third. Chuck Sylvester trains Arnold N Dicky, who lifted his career earnings to $120,557, and owns with Amy Stoltzfus and Gilbert Short. In the other division, To Be Frank roared through the Lightning Lane for Tony Hall to edge Capstone by a head. The 1-5 favorite, Sunny Crocket, was a close-up third. It was the initial win in eight lifetime starts for the Southwind Frank-Kirsi Hanover gelding who, trainer Miles Wollam acknowledged, did not look much like a stakes candidate in his first few starts. "The owner wanted to keep going with him," Wollam said. "We got him in with some short fields, and he learned to be a race horse. We have high hopes for him next year because he improved all year long. He wants to do it -- that's the biggest thing." Olivia McElrath campaigns To Be Frank, who'll next race in the Standardbred at the Delaware Fair. Palone bagged four wins on the 13-race card while Burke and Hall each enjoyed a three-bagger. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the 13-race card features a trio of rich wagering opportunities: a $21,237.71 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5; a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3); a $1,674.43 carryover in the Early Pick 5 (race 2). On the racing front, the program offers a pair of Keystone Classics for 2-year-old fillies with combined purses of $165,400. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 28, 2019 -- Dismissed at 9-1, Gingras Beach used a confident first-over move to notch his initial harness racing stakes victory in Saturday's $70,900 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Starship captured the other division in the event for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Gingras Beach had only three overnight races on his card and was third down the backside behind 3-5 favorite Patriot Nation. But Tony Hall didn't hesitate to send the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Ginger Shark after Patriot Nation without cover. "I had confidence in this colt," Hall said. "He felt great, and it looked like the leader was starting to press into the last turn. So I figured I would get him out and get him in motion. He was strong the whole back half." Gingras Beach roared past Patriot Nation and scored in 1:53.2, 2 lengths better than All Hands On Deck. Complete Kaos completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains Gingras Beach for Burke Racing Stable, Yannick Gingras, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. It was one of four wins for Hall on the 14-race program. Starship took advantage of an early break by chief rival Tru Lou to back down the second quarter to 29.2. The son of Captaintreacherous-Lifetime Star was unchallenged from there, scoring in 1:53.2 for trainer Kevin Lare and owner Frank Chick. Warrawee Veloce was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with Lyons Music third. "Kevin called me a couple hours ago and told me the horse's tendencies," said winning driver Dan Rawlings. "He said, 'he's not the greatest-gaited horse, but don't think something's wrong with him; go forward and you'll be happy with him.' He was right." $92,499 Keystone Classic -- 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers Speaking of first stakes victories, Drama Act and Ginger Tree Carey collected theirs in Saturday's co-feature. The other division went to Ashtini. Injury and illness had limited Drama Act to a pair of overnight events -- both victories. "She had an abscess in her foot that caused some time off," said Krista Harmon, who conditions the homebred daughter of Well Said-Lounge Act for The OK Corral. "Then, when she was ready to qualify, she got sick a couple times. What's her upside? I'm not sure we've hit bottom with her yet." The team's patience paid off Saturday, as Drama Act overcame a parked-out 26.4 opening panel and triumphed for Jason Merriman in 1:52.2, 3-3/4 lengths better than Alexa Skye. Dance Club earned show. Trainer Sam Beegle has selected Ginger Tree Carey's stakes engagements judiciously because of her diminutive stature. "She's only the size of a deer, and she's a June foal," Beegle said. "She had a little issue back in May, and we didn't rush her. She's done everything we asked her to do. She still has the Simpson and the Liberty Bell, and she has everything next year." The daughter of Sweet Lou-Ideal Weather showed a big heart in overtaking the leader, The Party's Rockin, late and defeating her by 1/2 length in 1:53.1 Speaking Of Coffee finished third. Ginger Tree Ventures, Henlopen Stable, Neil Chesen and Beegle campaign Ginger Tree Carey. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the card features a trio of rich wagering opportunities: a $5,000 total-pool guarantee in the Pick 4 (races 2-6); a $1,065.24 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-7), and a $1,477.49 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. For full results and entries click here. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 26, 2019 -- Keystone Eureka, a winner of a division of The Standardbred stakes at the Delaware County Fair on Jugette Day, will try to build on that achievement in Saturday's $92,499 Keystone Classic for freshman harness racing filly pacers at The Meadows. She'll leave from post 7 in race 9 with Tony Hall driving for trainer Ryan Miller and owner Miller Racing Stable. Saturday's card also features a $70,900 Keystone Classic for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. First post is 1:05 PM. Miller, 31, may not be a household name yet, but he's been immersed in the sport since he was a child learning the ropes at the small breeding operation of his grandparents, Doc and Dorothy Miller. Doc, by the way, is not a doctor; he's perhaps best known for his ownership of the champion mare Eternal Camnation, who banked nearly $3.75 million. "They let me bring in the mares in foal, and I just fell in love with horses," Ryan Miller recalls. "The funny thing is, no other grandchildren, nieces or nephews in the family likes horses, but from the moment I saw them, that's all I wanted to do." Miller, who is based in Greenville, Ohio, got serious about his future profession early, participating in a Harness Horse Youth Foundation camp and matriculating at SUNY Morrisville, from which he was graduated with a business management degree in the equine program. He apprenticed with Ray Schnittker for about six years and has operated his own stable since then. Despite his youth, Miller has enjoyed considerable success with his stable of about 16 head. He trained the trotter Magic Vacation, who went in 1:55.3 to set the track record for freshman geldings at Scioto Downs. Among his older campaigners, the pacer he named for his grandparents, Docdor Friskie, is the most prominent and still adding to his $265,454 bankroll. Miller gave $60,000 for Keystone Eureka, a daughter of Somebeachsomwhere-Sir Erika Z Tam, and is pleased with her performance -- first or second in seven of her eight starts. "The draw shouldn't affect her," he says. "She has an extremely quick switch. If Tony wants her on top, she'll get there for him. She's probably the most versatile filly I've ever sat behind." Yet Miller deliberately has kept his youngster away from the more heralded stars of her division. "I'm kind of a realist," he says. "We kept her in the (PA) stallion series because we hoped to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Will she be a Breeders Crown filly next year? She's probably not of that stature. Maybe she'll become a good Open mare, something I can breed myself. I'd be interested in that." On the wagering front, Saturday's program offers two carryovers -- $2,046.92 in the Pick 4 (races 3-6), $966.51 in the final-race Super Hi-5. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 25, 2019 -- Askmelater Hanover rolled to the front and easily turned back the late challenge of Saxon to score in 1:55.2, the fastest harness racing division in Wednesday's $90,299 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. The event for freshman colt and gelding trotters was contested over three divisions, with Stickler Hanover and Patriarch Hanover taking the other splits. Saxon stalked Askmelater Hanover from the pocket and moved wide for the stretch drive. But the Explosive Matter-A Youre Adorable gelding had plenty in the tank and downed Saxon by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:55.2, with Rock Party third. "He had the horse he needed to beat on his back," Palone said, "so I just wanted to stay on the gas around the last turn a little bit and not turn it into a complete sprint. He picked me up like a horse is supposed to. When I kicked the plugs out, he trotted back off." Julie Miller trains Askmelater Hanover for Scott Woogen and Brenda Messenger. A son of Explosive Matter-Secret Credit, Stickler Hanover scored on the front end in 1:57.1, quickest of his career. Brady Brown had been racing the youngster primarily from behind but changed his strategy for the Keystone Classic. "The way the race looked, I figured if I could get to the front and control everything, I didn't think they'd beat him," Brown said. "At the three-quarter pole, I kicked out the ear plugs and chirped at him once, and he kept right on trotting." Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel, Daniel Goehle and Michael Munn own Stickler Hanover. Jim Pantaleano and trainer Ron Burke each enjoyed four wins on the 14-race card while Dave Palone fashioned a triple. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday when the card features a pair of Keystone Classics -- a $92,499 stake for 2-year-old filly pacers and a $70,900 event for freshman colt and gelding pacers. On the wagering front, the program offers two carryovers -- $2,046.92 in the Pick 4 (races 3-6), $966.51 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. 24, 2019 -- Next Level Stuff and Perth Angel De Vie each jogged to convincing victories -- and life marks -- in Tuesday's $85,900 Keystone Classic for 2-year=old filly trotters at The Meadows. Dave Palone sent Next Level Stuff forward with a quarter-pole move, only to encounter stiff resistance from the leader, Rebecca. "I didn't expect to have to work that hard to make it back to the front, but I did," Palone said, "She did the rest on her own. I think she'll be a sires stake filly next year." Once she crossed over, the daughter of Sebastian K S-Nantab took complete control, drawing off late to down Miss Kendra D by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:55.2, a career best. The stubborn Rebecca finished third. Jim Campbell trains the homebred Next Level Stuff for Runthetable Stables. Perth Angel De Vie hadn't seen the front in her last six outings, but in the Keystone Classic, she reached the point early with a bonus -- the half in a slowish 59 worked out by driver Bryce Brocklehurst. "A cheap half like that definitely helped," he said. "I felt pretty good about things then. As long as she felt good on the gate, I wanted her to be up close. I think that's probably it for her this year." The daughter of Explosive Matter-Dream Angel prevailed in 1:56.4, a life mark, 3-1/2 lengths better than Cocktails N Dreams. Just For Me Nu completed the ticket. Harold Brocklehurst conditions the winner for Double R Farms, David Obley and Richard Williams. Live racing continues Wednesday at The Meadows, when the card features a $90,299 Keystone Classic for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 23, 2019 -- Trillions Hanover continued her red-hot ways Monday at The Meadows, capturing her third straight -- all stakes -- in a division of the $59,300 Keystone Classic. Sweet Cherry took the other split in the event for 3-year-old filly pacers. Trillions Hanover entered the Keystone Classic off impressive victories in the Lady Maud and a Pennsylvania Sires Stake leg but appeared to be idling outside after leaving from post 7. According to winning driver David Miller, that was all according to plan. "I was waiting until the dust settled," Miller said. "When she got half in 56, I was pretty confident she could get home from there. She's always been pretty good. She's tried racing against the 'Group 1' fillies. She could compete with them, but she never could beat them. But she's been pretty steady all year." The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Tulu Hanover reached the point near the three-eighths and easily thwarted the Lightning Lane challenge of the pocket-sitting Rockn Philly, downing her by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:51.3. Alii Nui finished third. Tom Fanning trains Trillions Hanover, who now boasts $231,805 in career earnings, for VIP Internet Stable, Falcon Racing and Paul Lang. Sweet Cherry achieved the lead with a quick first-over blitz, then dug in late to hold off Skater Chick by a length in a career-best 1:51.1, with Philly Hanover third. Tim Tetrick, who drove and co-owns the daughter of Sweet Lou-Cherry Tree Coco with Jo Ann Looney- King, noted that she's changed her style recently -- with positive results. "I thought after the third quarter when I had to use her so hard she'd fold up, but she held them off," Tetrick said. "She never used to like the front end. We protected her and protected her. The last few times I've just been racing her and trying to wear them out. It's been working for her." Jim King, Jr. conditions Sweet Cherry. $65,500 Keystone Classic -- 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters American Kronos and Magical Beliefs each won a split in Monday's co-feature. American Kronos prepped for the Keystone Classic with a pair of tests against tough mares at Pocono. She captured both, and winning driver Troy Beyer indicated that experience helped sharpen her. "I tripped her out last week and kind of gave her an easy race coming into this," Beyer said. "She was ready to go today, and I thought the front was the best place to be. Her win at Pocono last Sunday helped her confidence a little bit. She felt real brave on the front." In the Keystone Classic, the daughter of Donato Hanover-Glide About quarter-poled to the top and had little trouble defeating Firedbylindie by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54.4, with Hanovers Best third. Julie Miller trains American Kronos for Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and David Goodrow. With their checks, American Kronos and Firedbylindie each became a $100,000 performer. Magical Beliefs powered off the cones in the stretch for Miller and roared past Jezzys Legacy to down her by 1/2 length in 1:55.2, matching her life mark. Fade Into You completed the ticket. "With the passing lane, I wasn't worried about finding room," Miller said. "So I took my chances and sat in with her. She likes it like that, too." Linda Toscano conditions the daughter of Cantab Hall-Frisky Magic, who now has banked $284,457 for Highland Green Farms, South Mountain Stables and R-And-I Farms. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the program features an $85,500 Keystone Classic for freshman filly trotters. On the wagering front, the card offers a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4 (races 3-6) and a $1,095.59 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6). First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association                                              

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. 29, 2018 -- Dan Rawlings enjoyed the most productive day of his career Saturday at The Meadows, winning seven of the day's 13 races, including a Keystone Classic division with Scuola Hanover. E Dee's Well Said took the other split of that $61,500 stake for 3-year-old filly pacers. Rawlings, a 37-year-old Maine native who's been based at The Meadows since 2009, swept the early Daily Double and was on his way. He won at odds ranging from 3-5 to 14-1 and brought three home for trainer John Sullivan. "When I looked at the program," he said, "I thought I could win two races. I had horses that were competitive in competitive classes. Everything just worked out real well. Once the favorite ran. Once I got a good second-over trip. Another time, a horse that could have beaten me got buried. I made some good decisions and had a little luck. It happens." Rawlings had extra incentive, as his son David was in the paddock, celebrating his sixth birthday. In the Keystone Classic, Rawlings sent Scuola Hanover to the front at the quarter, and the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance-So Artsi turned back the determined uncovered bid of Cult Icon and downed her by a length in a career-best 1:52. Dreams On Me was a close-up third in the Lightning Lane. "I didn't pop the earplugs when she was challenged," Rawlings said. "She heard the horse, pinned her ears and wanted to go on. I just let her do it." Andrew Stafford trains Scuola Hanover, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $192,531, and owns with Art Stafford and Thomas Ireland. E Dee's Well said entered the Keystone Classic off a stunner -- a second-place finish in the Jugette at 62-1. She showed that was no fluke when she launched a first-over move that erased a 5-1/2-length deficit and carried her to victory for Jim Pantaleano in 1:53, also a life mark. Ana Hanover was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with Aldine Hanover third. "I haven't changed anything on her," said winning trainer Christen Pantaleano. "She's had so many bad posts, and she's been chasing horses for so long. I think the Jugette pushed her confidence over the edge." She said the daughter of Well Said-Eternity's Delight, who lifted her career earnings to $146,702 for C Jimmy D's Racing, would be pointed to the Simpson. In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, Vague Traces sprang an 11-1 upset despite racing outside most of the back half. The 6-year-old Always A Virgin-Village Junior gelding triumphed in 1:50.1 for Tony Hall and trainer Sarah Andrews and now has banked $328,416 for owner Michael Jurczykowski. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features a pair of rich pool guarantees -- $12,500 for the Pick 5, $7,500 for the Pick 4 -- as well as the Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows          

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 27, 2018 -- When Christen Pantaleano dropped E Dee's Well Said into last week's Jugette, some observers might have concluded the trainer had "Jugette Fever" and was racing just to say she did. Her filly's credentials -- success in late closers at The Meadows, second in the Pennsylvania Sires Stake consolation -- didn't seem to justify a battle with the finest harness racing 3-year-old fillies in the sport. But if Pantaleano suffered from that disease, she was cured by watching E Dee's Well Said finish second, beaten a diminishing length by Alexa's Power, at an astronomical 62-1. The daughter of Well Said-Eternity's Delight earned more than $57,000, the biggest payday of her career. "If the race had been a few steps longer," she says, "we would have won it all. It was by far the greatest thrill of my life." On Saturday at The Meadows, E Dee's Well Said will try to maintain her momentum in the $61,500 Keystone Classic. She'll go from post 7 in race 4 with regular pilot (and Christen's husband) Jim Pantaleano, who guided her in the Jugette. First post is 1:05 PM. E Dee's Well said was purchased for $35,000 as a 2-year-old for C Jimmy D's Racing LLC, an investors' group that Christen Pantaleano manages. "She was very scrappy," the trainer recalls. "We took a chance on her, and as soon as we got her to the barn, she was game for everything. I always thought that she would be great on a half-mile track, and Jimmy always has been a great half-mile-track driver. From the time we bought her I told Jimmy, 'She's going to the Jugette.' "When I staked her to the Jugette, I thought they would go heats, which didn't happen. I thought she would be amazing in heats because absolutely nothing affects her." E Dee's Well Said has the Simpson and the Pegasus remaining this year. Prompted by her filly's stunning debut on a half-mile oval, Christen Pantaleano already is working on a plan for her 4-year-old campaign. "I would love to take her to Yonkers and see what she can do. She has so much potential, and she has an amazing attitude." Saturday's card includes a number of attractive wagering opportunities, including a pair of rich pool guarantees -- $7,500 for the Pick 4, $5,000 for the Pick 5 -- as well as a $957.10 jackpot for the Super Hi-5. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 25, 2018 -- Trailing by 10 lengths at the half, Worldly Hanover unleashed a powerful three-wide move into the final turn that carried her to a 10-1 upset victory in Tuesday's $75,700 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Megadolce took the other division in the stake for 3-year-old harness racing filly trotters. Worldly Hanover was racing for the third time in eight days, including two Pennsylvania Fair stakes with her trainer, Harold Brocklehurst, in the sulky. But winning driver Bryce Brocklehurst, Harold's son, indicated the daughter of Donato Hanover-Wherley responded well to the heavy schedule -- and the sloppy surface -- to prevail in 1:57.1. "She had a pretty good hold of me the whole mile, and they were going pretty good fractions up front, so I felt pretty good about it," he said. "My dad kind of raced her easy at Bloomsburg because he knew we had this race coming up. It was a tightener for her, really." Super Trump used the Lightning Lane for second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Donato's Jewel third. Double R Farms, David Obley and Richard Williams campaign Worldly Hanover, who will appear next on Saturday, Oct. 6, when The Meadows hosts all eight PA Fairs championships. Megadolce grabbed the early lead but was shuffled mildly to third before Tony Hall steered her to the Lightning Lane. The daughter of Cantab Hall-Bella Dolce had just enough racetrack to down Bandol Rose by a nose in 1:56.4. The first-over Lima Charisma completed the ticket. "She felt great. I just had to wait for the passing lane to open up," Hall said. "The leader looked pretty strong, so I was pretty confident we would have a shot." Megadolce now has earned $138,124 for trainer Nifty Norman and owner David McDuffee. Dave Palone piloted four winners -- including three for trainer Ron Burke -- on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, when the program features a pair of rich pool guarantees -- $10,000 for the Pick 5, $7,500 for the Pick 4 -- as well as a $694.60 jackpot in the Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM.  

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 24, 2018 -- Im Your Captain converted a lengthy quarter-pole move to victory in 1:53.4, fastest in Monday's $78,698 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. The stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters was contested over three divisions, with Mississippi Storm and Make It A Double taking the other divisions. Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller made it a double, indeed, with Im Your Captain and Make It A Double. Im Your Captain entered the Keystone Classic off a victory in the Old Oaken Bucket at Delaware, and Miller drove him as if he were the best, launching that quarter-pole move from fourth. "I thought he was as good as anything in there," Miller said, "and I just didn't want to rush him out of the gate and make a mistake. So I just moved him up the front side, and he did the rest. He finished with his earplugs in and kind of coasted. I just kept him to his task." The son of Muscle Hill-Frisky Strike drew off late to down Jackie's Jim by 3-3/4 lengths, with Meadowbranch Ricky third. Andy Miller Stable and Black Horse Racing campaign Im Your Captain, who boosted his career bankroll to $128,373. Mississippi Storm also entered the Keystone Classic off a strong performance -- a victory in a Liberty Bell split -- and he had little trouble muscling to the early lead and scoring in 1:54.2, a life mark. The pocket-sitting Mr Contestant was second, 2 lengths back, while Rich And Miserable rallied for show. "I'd never driven him before, so I didn't know what to expect," said winning driver Jim Pantaleano. "He was very handy. I kicked out the plugs at the head of the stretch, and he still had plenty left. I was happily surprised." Ton Fanning conditions the Cantab Hall-Mississippi Beauty gelding, who now has banked $153,908 for Joseph Smith. Make It A Double stretched out 3-5 favorite Scirocco Rob before yielding to the pocket. That might have been the decisive move, as the Donato Hanover-Dodger Blues gelding overtook Scirocco Rob near the wire and defeated him by a length in 1:54.3. Stonebridge Gamble completed the ticket. "I was stuck between horses, and I wanted a two-hole trip, so I kept going," Miller said. "I had to use my horse and make the favorite work a little to get where I wanted to be. The horse trotted good late." Make It A Double lifted his lifetime earnings to $94,011 for Andy Miller Stable, Jason Allen and Douglas Allen. Miller indicated Im Your Captain and Make It A Double would be pointed to the Simpson for their final starts this year. In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, Classicality zipped to the front from post 8 and collected a comfortable 2-1/2-length victory in 1:55.1 for Brian Zendt and owner/trainer Lisa Dunn. The 8-year-old Classic Photo-Penn Worthy Lane gelding won for the 50th time in his career and extended his career bankroll to $647,812. Stake racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the card features a $75,700 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old filly trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 22, 2018 -- Pocketed by Winston early, Wheels On Fire got his revenge late when he blew by Winston to score in L51, fastest division in Saturday's $75,000 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. The stake for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers was contested over three splits, with No Easy Day and Shadow Cat taking the other divisions. Trainer Ron Burke enjoyed a Keystone Classic double with Wheels On Fire and No Easy Day. Wheels On Fire dueled with Winston from the gate but retreated to the two hole for Mike Wilder. "He's a big horse, and he's pretty aggressive," Wilder said. "But once I got him settled down in the hole, he was great. In the last turn, I thought he couldn't lose. When I pulled him, he just exploded. He's very athletic for the size of him." In the lane, the Somebeachsomewhere-Ab Fab gelding roared by outside to down Winston by a length, with another Burke trainee, Aleppo Hanover, third. Bill Donovan campaigns Wheels On Fire, who won for the eighth time in 18 career starts. No Easy Day worked out a similar pocket trip before out-kicking his stablemate, Go West Go Fast. In the stretch and defeating him by 2 lengths in 1:51.2. Yupper completed the ticket. Before getting his picture taken, No Easy Day had to survive an inquiry for a possible pylon violation. "He won from last on Adios Day in 1:50, so the option to take back was there if it looked a little crazy getting away," said winning driver Tony Hall. "But there was kind of an even flow, so it looked like I could get away quickly. He had a lot of go." Thomas Dillon owns No Easy Day, a Somebeachsomewhere-Wish All You Want gelding. Shadow Cat was unhurried early, but when he tipped off the live cover of Kwik Talkin for Aaron Merriman, he was much the best, prevailing by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52.1. Daddyofemall rallied for second while Kwik Talkin was third. "He's big and gangly and doesn't steer the best," Merriman said. "He got a little bit green when he got by his cover. He doesn't have that knockout punch yet, but he has a lot of ability." John Butenschoen conditions the Somebeachsomewhere-Shady Past gelding, who completed the Keystone Classic sweep for his daddy and extended his career bankroll to $123,574 for William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick. In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, Windsong Leo notched a facile 1:50.4 victory -- his 15th this year -- for Dave Palone, Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phil Collura. The 6-year-old Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding now boasts career earnings of $350,350. Stake racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features a $78,698 Keystone Classic for sophomore colt and gelding trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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