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WASHINGTON, PA, March 10, 2020 -- Feel The Muscle overcame post 9 by following cover and kicking home strongly to score in Tuesday's Dale McConnell Memorial Trot at The Meadows. Enzio sprang a 9-1 upset in the other $12,500 second-leg split in the harness racing series for 3- and 4-year-old colts, stallions and geldings. The Dale McConnell is one of four late-closing series The Meadows currently is featuring, with the championship leg of each set for Friday, March 20. Feel The Muscle picked up the live backside cover of Danny's Boy. When Mike Wilder tipped him off that cover through the final turn, the 4-year-old Muscle Hill-Macy Lane gelding roared past Danny's Boy and downed him by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:56.4 -- a life mark despite the sloppy conditions. Long shot Norwegian Dad rallied for show.   Charlie Norris trains Feel The Muscle for Share A Horse Inc. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Open Handicap Pace, Lakeisha Hall rallied wide through the stretch to triumph in 1:53.2 for Dave Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Jack Piatt II. The 7-year-old daughter of Third Straight-Lantana Hall now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $772,489. Burke collected four wins and Palone three on the 13-race card. After multiple carryovers, the Super Hi-5 was hit, with the sole winning ticket returning $22,913.72 Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, first post 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, March 6, 2020 -- Rock N Teen let Zanetti do the heavy lifting on the front end, then blew by him in the lane to score in a career-best 1:53, fastest harness racing division in Friday's Wilbur Zendt Memorial Pace at The Meadows. Gumption and Arrhythmic Storm also captured $12,500 opening-leg splits in the event for 3- and 4-year-old colts, stallions and geldings. The series honors the memory of Zendt, a trainer, driver and patriarch of one of The Meadows most prominent and successful clans. It's one of four late-closing events that kicked off this week at The Meadows, with the championship leg of each set for Friday, March 20. Zanetti reeled off a blistering 1:23.3 three-quarters, making him vulnerable to the pocket-sitting Rock N Teen. Indeed, when Mike Wilder cut him loose, the 3-year-old Rock N Roll Hanover-Dance With Me Tina gelding roared passed and defeated Zanetti by 1-3/4 lengths. Chicken Nugget completed the ticket. Norm Parker trains Rock N Teen for owner/breeder Bob Key.   Tony Hall collected four wins on the 13-race card, including three for trainer Scott Betts, while Dave Palone and trainer Ron Burke each enjoyed a triple. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the program features an $18,605.15 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4 (races 3-6). First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA - March 6, 2020 -- Reading, Writing & Harness Racing. That may be a twist on the traditional version of the "Three R's," but it was the order of the day Thursday when The Meadows drivers participated in national Read Across America Week/Dr. Seuss Day activities by reading to students at a local school. Drivers Jason Merriman, Dan Rawlings and Mike Wilder visited Trinity North Elementary School near The Meadows and read to children in grades K-4. The horsemen read selections from Dr. Seuss and Bonnie Worth's If I Ran the Horse Show: All About Horses. This marks the fifth consecutive year in which the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) and its members have participated in the event. Wilder has been a volunteer reader every year. "When our qualifiers were finished, I got pretty excited about going to the school," Wilder said. "I couldn't wait to get there and see the kids' faces light up." After reading, the drivers took questions -- some about racing, some about their personal lives. "They asked what's your horse's name, so I explained that we drive many horses," Wilder said. "They asked how many wins do you have, have you ever been hurt, how fast do the horses go. For young kids, they asked pretty good questions. "The whole event is a great deal. I love it and would never turn down the opportunity." By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association                            

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 5, 2020 -- Officially My Way had it her way on the front end, scoring her second straight harness racing victory in Wednesday's feature at The Meadows, a $12,400 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Officially My Way was pressed early in a three-ply battle for the lead, but driver Mike Wilder threw on the brakes once on top, giving the 4-year-old daughter of Art Official-Eagle Way comfortable internal panels of 58.3. Officially My Way had plenty in reserve, defeating Play To The Crowd by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:54.2, with Lady Grande third.   Tom O'Donnell owns and trains the winner, who boosted her career bankroll to $133,084. Dave Palone piloted three winners on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer Mike Palone, while Wilder also fashioned a triple. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the program features a $9,788.34 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $1,691.27 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, Jan. 31, 2020 -- Bettor Than Spring fended off multiple challenges to capture Friday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $15,000 Conditioned Pace, and help his driver, Mike Wilder, to a five-bagger. Tony Hall also enjoyed a stellar afternoon, with four wins on the 13-race card. Once Bettor Than Spring was forced to a 26.2 opening panel on a "good" surface, he faced multiple threats, including a Lightning Lane brush from the pocket-sitting Do Work Son. But the 5-year-old Bettor's Delight-Spring Break gelding toughed it out and downed Do Work Son by 1/2 length in 1:53, with Mister Spot A third.   Randy Bendis trains Bettor Than Spring, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $185,746, and owns with Jack Piatt II and R. Lewis Hauber. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the program features a $5,000 total-pool guarantee in the Pick 4 (races 3-6) and a $3,552.82 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, Jan. 13, 2020 -- Explosive Leggs moved determinedly first over, collared the leader, Just Maybe The One, in the shadow of the wire and captured Monday's co-feature harness racing trot at The Meadows, an $11,500 Conditioned evemt. Just Maybe The One threw down a 27.4 third quarter but couldn't shake Explosive Leggs, who defeated him by 1/2 length in 1:55 for Tony Hall. Lars Perry finished third.   Carl Cocciolone trains the winner, who now boasts career earnings of $257,095, and owns with Mark Sosovicka. In the other co-feature, also an $11,500 Conditioned Trot, IC Caviar overpowered the field with a 1:55.1 front-end victory for Mike Wilder and trainer John Sullivan, who owns the 9-year-old Malabar Millennium-Lady Caviar gelding with Michael Marocco. IC Caviar pushed his lifetime bankroll to $286,985.   Mike Wilder collected four wins on the 13-race card while Greg Wright, Jr. fashioned a training/driving double. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the program features a $5,000 total-pool guarantee in the Pick 4 (races 3-6). First post is1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 8, 2020 -- Mass Fortune K wore down the determined Maewegonow and edged her by a neck to capture Wednesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $13,500 Conditioned Trot. Mass Fortune K was third down the backside when Mike Wilder sent him after Maewegonow, the 2019 Trotter of the Year at The Meadows. Mass Fortune K surged at the wire to score in 1:56 for trainer Norm Parker and breeder/owner Bob Key. Matterlei rallied from last for show.   A 4-year-old son of Muscle Massive-Ice Fortune K, the winner lifted his career bankroll to $242,654. Tony Hall and Jim Pantaleano each collected three wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the program features a $4,151.70 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $701.91 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6). First post is1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 26, 2019 -- Breaktime Hanover waited patiently inside, then charged through the Lightning Lane to pull off the mild 5-1 upset in Thursday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $13,500 Conditioned Pace. Breaktime Hanover grabbed the early lead from post 7 but found himself shuffled to third at the three-quarters. The 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Best Chance Hanna gelding surged when Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. pointed him inside and scored in 1:53.1. Statham N was second, 1/2 length back, with the first-over Bit Ofa Tiger N third. Ron Burke trains Breaktime Hanover, who lifted his career bankroll to $175,337, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Breaktime Hanover Mike Wilder piloted four winners and Dave Palone three on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Friday, first post 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 16, 2019 -- Jimmy's Little Girl found herself in unfamiliar territory when forced to move three wide near the three-quarters. But she was up to the task as she captured her second straight leg -- and third consecutive win overall -- in Tuesday's Holiday Series for $10,000 claiming filly and mare pacers Monday at The Meadows. The series concludes Friday, Dec. 30, with a championship leg worth an estimated $15,000 to $20,000. Jimmy's Little Girl began her current streak with two front-end victories, yet the 6-year-old daughter of Big Jim-Sheer Horse moved wide willingly for Mike Wilder and scored in 1:56 in the slop. Big Chute missed by a head in the Lightning Lane, while Velocity Gretchen earned show. Sarah Andrews trains Jimmy's Little Girl, who extended her lifetime bankroll to $123,371, and owns with Brian Carsey and Adam Friedland. It was one of five wins on the 13-race program for Wilder. Elsewhere on Monday's card, Perlucky won his third straight in the $20,000 Open 1 Handicap Trot, exploiting a pocket trip and prevailing for Dave Palone in 1:54.3. Ron Burke conditions the 4-year-old Lucky Chucky-Paper Girl gelding, who now boasts career earnings of $340,909, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura. With his two Monday victories, Tony Hall raised his career total to 5,997. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the program features a $101,806.41 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post for the 13-race card is 1:05 PM. On Wednesday, The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will host a holiday party in the Racebook. All guests are invited to attend, enjoy free refreshments from 1 PM to 3 PM and play Plinko. Prizes include a t-shirt, a mystery voucher, a race program and "Pick a Prize." by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 9, 2019 -- Hammered down to 1-9, Jimmy's Little Girl was every bit as dominant on the harness racing track as she was on the board Monday at The Meadows, cruising to victory in the opening leg of a series for $10,000 claiming fillies and mares. The Meadows currently is hosting six Holiday Claiming Series; all begin this week, and all conclude with Dec. 30 championship legs that carry estimated purses between $15,000 and $20,000. Soon after Jimmy's Little Girl released The Spinster N near the quarter, Mike Wilder sent her to the point again. The 6-year-old daughter of Big Jim-Sheer Hose never had an anxious moment thereafter, scoring in 1:54.2 in the slop. The Spinster N held second, 2-1/2 lengths back, with Velocity Gretchen third. Jason Robinson trains Jimmy's Little Girl, who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $117,621, for Robert Main. In the $20,000 Open 1 Handicap Trot, Whats The Word shot the Lightning Lane to pull of a 10-1 upset for Aaron Merriman, trainer Scott Betts and owners Tim Betts, Nick Catalano and Stephen Moss. Wilder, who tallied 17 wins last week at The Meadows, continued to pile up victories, with four more on the 13-race card. Tony Hall and Dave Palone each fashioned a triple while Bob Key enjoyed a big day with three wins, all with horses he bred and owns. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the program features a trio of rich wagering opportunities: an $85,012.93 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5; a $5,000 total-pool guarantee in the Pick 4 (races 3-6); a $1,099.56 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6). First post for the 13-race program is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 3, 2019 — Enjoying a bit of class relief, Art Of Norma moved impressively first over, made short work of the leader and captured Tuesday’s harness racing co-feature at The Meadows, an $11,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Art Of Norma had been collecting checks, but no wins, against the track’s elite pacers, and the drop in class was just what the doctor ordered. When Brady Brown moved her down the backside, she easily overtook the leader, Our G G, and prevailed in 1:55, 1-1/2 lengths better than the rallying Ms Cheesman. Danikova Hanover finished third. Paul Kennedy trains Art Of Norma, a 4-year-old daughter of Art Official-Up Front Norma who now boasts $124,261 in career earnings, and owns with Keith Pippi. In Tuesday’s other co-feature, an $11,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Trot, Matterlei extended her winning streak to three for Dave Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Mike Wilder piloted five winners on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer Jason Robinson. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the program features a $74,304.52 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $3,536.66 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6). First post for the 13-race card is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 2, 2019 -- Icanflylikeanangel relentlessly pressured the harness racing leader, Final Breath, passed him in mid-stretch and went on to capture Monday's $20,000 Open Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Icanflylikeanangel was fifth past the half when Mike Wilder sent him first up. Despite having to negotiate a "good" surface, the 5-year-old Archangel-Fox Valley London gelding wore down Final Breath and prevailed in 1:54, matching his career best. Whats The Word shot the Lightning Lane for second, 1-1/4 lengths back, while Final Breath saved show. Randy Bendis trains Icanflylikeanangel, who extended his career bankroll to $291,776, and owns with Pollack Racing LLC. Tony Hall and Wilder each piloted four winners on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the program features a $68,077.56 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. 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. 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. 15, 2019 -- The last time we heard anything of Paulie Walnuts Gualtieri, he was clinging to life after being whacked in the bloody turf war between his Sopranos gang of New Jersey and their New York rivals. That was in 2007. Yet Paulie Walnuts will race at The Meadows in Saturday's Florida Pro, a $186,016 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for freshman colt and gelding trotters. Of course, it won't be Tony Sirico, the actor who portrayed Paulie Walnuts in the long-running HBO series The Sopranos. Rather, it's his harness racing equine namesake, a promising youngster who's seeking his first stakes win for owner Howard Taylor and trainer Bill Mullin. The Florida Pro goes as races 1, 2 and 10, with Paulie Walnuts and Mike Wilder leaving from post 3 in race 2. First post is 1:05 PM. Paulie Walnuts (Andover Hall-D Liteful Hanover) was bred by Steve Jones of Cameo Hills Farm. Jones, who likes to have fun with foal names, is a Sopranos devotee. "I watched that show religiously from start to finish, and Paulie Walnuts is my favorite character," Jones says. "He has so many quirks -- his mannerisms, his rings, the way he holds his hands, the way he tilts his head. He's certainly a favorite of mine. I wanted to use his name somewhere along the way." It wasn't the first time Jones dipped into Sopranos lore for a foal name. In 2001, he named a baby Mr Bada Bing after the topless joint that Tony Soprano's gang operated. "He was a full brother to Deweycheatumnhowe, but he wasn't as successful," Jones recalls. Mullin, meanwhile, is a fan of the Paulie Walnuts character as well. "I didn't miss too many episodes," he says. "What I remember about Paulie Walnuts is that skunk hair-do." Mullin picked up Paulie Walnuts when Taylor shifted him from the Gareth Dowse stable and made only a few rigging changes, including a switch to aluminum shoes behind. Has Mullin seen anything of the casual violence of Paulie Walnuts in his equine namesake? "Not at all," Mullin says. "He's a gentleman, a pro. He picks up on everything you want him to. In his first couple starts, he showed that he has speed, and I think he wants to be a racehorse. "He's not staked to much this year, but if he performs well in the four or five shots he has remaining, he'll have more next year." Can he win Saturday? You bet, or as Paulie Walnuts might say, "Fuhgeddaboutit." Saturday's program also features an $80,000 PA Stallion Series event for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters and a $1,319.68 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. Paulie "fuhgeddaboutit" Walnuts in Meadows PASS

WASHINGTON, PA, June 4, 2019 -- Dismissed at 22-1, Keystone Riptide wore down a game Touchamatic, snapping that harness racing rival's six-race winning streak and capturing Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Open Pace at The Meadows. Although Touchamatic was parked throughout a contested 26.1 opening quarter, she refused to yield to the first-over challenge of Keystone Riptide and Mike Wilder. At the wire, though, Keystone Riptide thrust her nose in front and triumphed in 1:52, with Magic Forces third. Randy Bendis trains Keystone Riptide, a 6-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Keystone Rebecca who now boasts $314,780 in career earnings, and owns with Pollack Racing. Jim Pantaleano and Wilder each enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Wednesday, when the card features a pair of carryovers: $1,393.04 in the Pick 5, $352.84 in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

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