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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

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 15, 2019 -- Arthur Pendragon moved steadily first over and wore down the harness racing leader, Dapper Dude, to take Friday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Arthur Pendragon was third when Mike Wilder sent him after Dapper Dude, a millionaire who seldom gives up the lead late. But the determined Arthur Pendragon edged him by a head in 1:53, with New Evidence a close-up third. Ron Burke conditions the 6-year-old Dragon Again-Western Realist gelding, who now boasts $268,745 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phil Collura and Jack Piatt III. Wilder bagged four winners on the 12-race card while Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. enjoyed a triple.. In other highlights of the week at The Meadows: Converted Claimer I Want Kandy Captures $20,000 F&M Trot When I Want Kandy took a Jan. 21 $8,000 claiming race, it didn't seem especially noteworthy. Yet it launched a three-race winning streak that carried her to Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot. Did she belong with the track's elite distaff trotters? Did she ever. The 6-year-old daughter of Angus Hall-Celebrity Kandy moved first over for Jim Pantaleano and triumphed in 1:59 over a sloppy, tiring track to extend her streak to four. You're Majestic finished second, 2 lengths back, with Goodtogo Hanover third. Scott Betts trains I Want Kandy, who pushed her lifetime earnings to $160,388, for Tim Betts. It was one of three victories on the 13-race program for Pantaleano. Camera Lady Wins Top Distaff Pace, Soars Over $300,000 Camera Lady controlled the mile after a quarter-pole move for Dave Palone and scored for the 46th time in 87 career starts in Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace. Burke conditions the 5-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Ann Van Go, who soared over $300,000 in lifetime earnings, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Graceful Vision was second, beaten 2-1/4 lengths, while Medusa rallied from last to third in her seasonal debut. Winning time in the slop was 1:54.4. Tony Hall collected four victories on the 13-race card while Wilbur Yoder fashioned a training/driving double. Uncle Leroy Upsets At 14-1 In $20K Trot Dismissed at 14-1, Uncle Leroy moved confidently to the lead past the quarter and notched a comfortable victory in Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. The 6-year-old Neely Dunn-Plumao gelding drifted out in the sloppy stretch but held off Northern Skyway by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:56.3. Full Surge shot the Lightning Lane for show. Charles Vigneron trains Uncle Leroy, who extended his career bankroll to $163,181, for Richard McCormick. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Sunday at 1:05 PM, the first of four consecutive Sunday cards. There will be no live racing on the Mondays following those special Sunday programs. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows  

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 21, 2018 -- Trailing by 6 lengths at the three-quarters, My Cherry Pie turned on the jets in the lane and pulled off a 7-1 upset in Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Making her Meadows debut for trainer Dane Snyder and owners Linwood Higgins, Jason Ash, Vicki Gordon and Liz Flohr, was content to sit in and let Ready Any time front a comfortable 58.1 half. When Mike Wilder asked her for trot, the 4-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover-CR Ms American Pie found another gear and edged Ready Any Time by a head in 1:56.1. Expose Yourself finished third. My Cherry Pie extended her career bankroll to $143,666. Dave Palone, trainer Spencer Kahrig and Wilder each fashioned a triple on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, first post 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 13, 2018 -- Jewels Forreal stalked her stablemate, McDazzle, from the pocket, then roared past in the Lightning Lane to spring an 8-1 upset in Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. McDazzle, who was bidding to extend her winning streak to four, turned back a stern third-quarter challenge from Easy Three. But that effort may have weakened her, as the 3-year-old Jewels Forreal had little trouble downing her 4-year-old stablemate by 1/2 length for Mike Wilder in 1:54.2 over a "good" surface. Keystone Riptide completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains Jewels Forreal, a daughter of So Surreal-Dandy's Jewel who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $169,313, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Trainer Karen Fread enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 7, 2018 -- Dramatically changing tactics, Expose Yourself rallied from far back to capture her third straight victory in Wednesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Expose Yourself got away first or second in each of her last five starts. On Wednesday, however, she ducked for Mike Wilder and was 6 lengths back when she launched her second-over move. The 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Muscle Shirt roared wide through the lane to score in 1:55.3, a length better than Glidinthruparadise. The first-over Rose Run Sydney finished third. Ron Burke trains Expose Yourself, who extended her career bankroll to $154,561, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Jim Pantaleano collected three wins on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 17, 2018 -- Chef Lee had little trouble reaching the point in the compact field of four, but he had to dig in late to preserve his second straight victory in Monday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot. Mike Wilder gave Chef Lee a comfortable 29.3 second quarter, but he couldn't shake the pocket-sitting Explosive Leggs, who fell 1/2 length short in the Lightning Lane, with Mac Deeno a ground-saving third. Winning time for the 6-year-old Cantab Hall-Summer Savory gelding was 1:55.4 over a sloppy surface. Norm Parker owns and trains Chef Lee, who lifted his career bankroll to $360,165. Dave Palone collected four wins and Wilder three on the 12-race card. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 11, 2018 -- Pennsylvania champion Windy Corner showed no signs of resting on her laurels in Tuesday's Keystone Classic at The Meadows, rolling to her third straight victory. The $97,699 stake for freshman filly trotters was contested over three divisions, with Sonnet Grace and Magical Beliefs taking the other divisions. Windy Corner sprang a 12-1 upset in the Sept. 1 PA Sires Stakes final, but Mike Wilder steered the 3-5 favorite more aggressively Tuesday, sending her to the front at the quarter. She downed Navarone Hanover -- the PA Stallion Series champ -- by a length in 1:57.4, with Wizard Hawk third. "She heard them coming and picked up the bit," Wilder said. "I drove her a couple times this year and had her in bad spots. I didn't want that to happen today. She really raced well." Erv Miller trains the daughter of Yankee Glide-Wind Stroll, who now boasts $192,805 in career earnings, for Tony Holmes and Walter Zent. Sonnet Grace had a disastrous PASS championship when she tried to run through the draw gate from post 9 and ultimately broke stride. She rebounded nicely for trainer/driver Rod Allen and Rod Allen Inc. in the Keystone Classic, reaching the point at her leisure and scoring in a stake-fastest and career-best 1:56.1. Fast Reaction was second, 3-1/4 lengths back while early leader Keystone Abbey earned show. "She didn't give me any warning -- just two steps and she tried to duck right out, and when I tried to steer her back, she ran," Allen said of the PASS misadventure of the daughter of Muscle Massive-I Believe, who soared over $100,000 in lifetime earnings. "But she's pretty fresh. She was a little grabby today, wanted to go, wanted to do it. She'll go to the Liberty Bell, and then we'll decide about the Breeders Crown." After her tough beat in the PASS final -- she lost to Windy Corner by a nose -- Magical Beliefs looked the best on paper. Indeed, the daughter of Cantab Hall-Frisky Magic was unhurried until Tim Tetrick moved her from third down the backside. She blew past the leader, Rush Lane, and prevailed in 1:57.2, 1-1/4 lengths better than Fate Smiled. Explosive Mel completed the ticket. "She's a sweetheart; she makes my job really easy," Tetrick said. "A lot of times I've had to put her on the front, but today, they were going enough, and she'll always pass horses. So I was pretty confident. I never pulled her plugs." Linda Toscano conditions Magical Beliefs, a career winner of $151,686 who has finished first or second in all seven career starts, for Highland Green Farms, South Mountain Stables and R-And-I Farms. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, June 19, 2018 -- Chapter Too, who had been plying her trade at Eastern tracks, made her debut at The Meadows a successful one with a front-end victory in Friday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot. Chapter Too zipped to the lead from post 2 for Dan Rawlings and showed she meant business when she wouldn't release early challengers Glidinthruparadise, who broke stride, and Expose Yourself. The 4-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven-Wood Blue Chip had little trouble holding off the late bid of the pocket-sitting You're Majestic to down her by a length in 1:54.1, matching her career best. Ready Any Time, the 1-1 favorite, finished third. Jenny Melander trains Chapter Too, who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $230,123, for Belmar Racing & Breeding. Mike Wilder collected four wins on the 13-race card. Saturday's program at The Meadows features two rich total-pool guarantees -- $7,500 for the Pick 4 (races 4-7), $5,000 for the Pick 5 (races 9-13). First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, May 22, 2018 -- Graceful Vision was dismissed at 15-1, as was Rosemary Rose at 12-1, so few expected one of them to win Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Yet they both did, dead-heating for win with matching furious rallies. Graceful Vision and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. got the jump, moving behind the live cover of Medusa, while Rosemary Rose and Mike Wilder followed that pair third on the rim. The winners were a nose better than Lakeisha Hall, who was fashioning her own rally in the Lightning Lane, scoring in 1:51 on a "good" surface. The time is a career best for Rosemary Rose. Doug Snyder trains Graceful Vision, a 5-year-old daughter of Yankee Cruiser-Vision Of Grace who was using Lasix for the first time, for Frank Poerio, Jr. She extended her lifetime bankroll to $245,580. Ron Burke conditions Rosemary Rose, a 4-year-old daughter of Foreclosure N-Pantathlon, who now boasts $295,142 in career earnings for Burke Racing Stable, Jason Melillo and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Aaron Merriman collected three wins on the 13-race card. By Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 16, 2018 -- After unsuccessfully challenging Phoenix Warrior N down the backside, Arthur Pendragon tried him again late, inching by in the lane to capture Tuesday's $18,000 harness racing winners over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Arthur Pendragon and Mike Wilder pulled the pocket past the half, only to find Phoenix Warrior N unwilling to yield. Wilder was able to guide Arthur Pendragon back to the two hole, where he launched the winning move. The 5-year-old Dragon Again-Western Realist gelding downed Phoenix Warrior N by 3/4 lengths in 1:54.1 over a "good" surface, with Dapper Dude third. Ron Burke trains Arthur Pendragon, who lifted his career bankroll to $175,210, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phillip Collura and Jack Piatt II. Wilder piloted five winners and Jim Pantaleano four on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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