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WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 14, 2018 -- The Meadows Racetrack & Casino is seeking 14-year-old pacers for a special New Year's Eve race that will give these gallant harness racing warriors one more opportunity to strut their stuff and extend their earnings before they face mandatory retirement the next day. The Dec. 31 card begins at 5:30 PM. For more information or to enter, please contact the Race Office, 724.225.9897. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 13, 2018 -- In the nearly 40 years they've been breeding and campaigning harness racing standardbreds, Jim Kezios and John Krillies -- racing as Tripoli Stable of Norridge, IL -- have followed a consistent theme in naming their horses. "Both of us are Greek, so we like to honor Greek traditions," Kezios says. "We name most of our horses for Greek islands, mythical characters or war heroes." The latest in the Tripoli line, the 3-year-old Mykonos, is extending that tradition. He'll try for his third straight victory in Saturday's first race, leaving from post 7 with Jeremy Indof piloting. His full brother, Zone Blitz, also will race Saturday (race 4, post 4, Indof). First post is 1:05 PM. Of all the horses who've borne Tripoli's Greek-influenced names, probably the most successful was Kanaris, who was named for Constantine Kanaris, a freedom fighter in the Greek War of Independence who eventually became the country's prime minister. Kanaris the pacer banked $361,649 lifetime and took a mark of 1:48.3. He was second at 25-1 in the 2014 $250,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational at Scioto Downs, defeating the likes of Foiled Again, Sweet Lou and 2012 Adios winner Bolt The Duer. "That definitely was the highlight for us," Kezios says. Tripoli named its son of Corner Blitz-She's So Keen after the Greek island Mykonos, which Kezios, his wife and their daughters visited about 10 years ago. The island has an important place in Greek mythology. It was there that Zeus was said to have battled the Titans, there that Hercules slew giants considered invincible. Not only killed them, the myth goes, but also dismembered them and scattered their body parts that now exist, in petrified form, as large rocks that dot the island. For all the violence of those myths, Mykonos seems idyllic, cooled by gentle sea breezes that allow year-round tourism to flourish. The island is known for its family-oriented activities as well as all-night bars and what Kezios discreetly describes as "adult beaches." He did not experience those beaches. "I was very happy doing things with my family," he says. "What I remember most are the windmills and the breezes coming off the Mediterranean. It's one of the most beautiful islands you'd ever want to go to." Mykonos is not yet in Kanaris' class. Both recent wins have come in conditioned claimers, and he's stepping up Saturday to a much tougher $11,100 event for winners of two races but not more than four. Dirk Simpson, who trains the brothers, believes Mykonos is ready for the challenge. "His potential is good," Simpson says. "I like him a little better than Zone Blitz; he's a little more aggressive. Getting away from that long stretch at Hoosier Park didn't hurt him." Kezios agrees with that assessment. "He raced at Illinois fair tracks at 2, and he was able to zip around those. We thought a five-eighths-mile track would be better for him than mile tracks or Hoosier." To date, Mykonos has banked $48,807. If his earnings swell, would Kezios consider allocating his share of the profit to a return trip to the island? "If I can find the time, I'm planning on going back there whether or not the horse does well," he says. "Time is sometimes harder to find than money." Saturday's card includes a $1,436.13 Pick 5 carryover and a $778.50 carried-over jackpot in the final-race Super Hi-5. In addition, the track and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will host their annual holiday party featuring handicapping contests, giveaways, games and a visit from everyone's favorite reinsman, Santa Claus. For more information or to register for any activities, stop by the MSOA table in the Racebook. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 12, 2018 -- Last in the field of six at the half, Kiwi Pres rallied through the lane and scored in Wednesday's Holiday Claiming Series for harness racing $20,000 claiming trotters at The Meadows. Campbellini took the other $15,000 opening-leg division. Kiwi Pres trailed by 7-1/2 lengths when Dave Palone sent him on his trek to the front. The 7-year-old The Pres-Kristalvagen N gelding gobbled up the leader, Royal Surprise, at the top of the lane and held off the late-trotting Nothing But Muscle to defeat him by a length in 1:57.3. Invested In Lindy finished third. Thomas Stamper trains and owns Kiwi Pres, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $152,190. Campbellini stalked IC Caviar from the pocket, then roared by outside in deep stretch and downed him by a neck in 1:57.4, with Teddy Brosevelt third. Aaron Merriman piloted the 4-year-old Cantab Hall-Victory Jewel gelding for trainer Brewer Adams and owner Adams Racing LLC. Wednesday's card also featured two $8,000 opening-leg splits of a Holiday Claiming Series for $10,000 claiming trotters, with Mutinyonthebounty and Fantasy Rocket taking the honors. Jim Pantaleano collected three wins on the 13-race program. The Meadows this week is kicking off six Holiday Claiming Series that conclude on a special New Year's Eve card that also features the career finale of Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred all time with earnings exceeding $7.5 million. First post Dec. 31 is 5:30 PM. Live racing at The Meadows resumes at 1:05 PM Saturday, when the card includes a $1,436.13 Pick 5 carryover and a $778.50 carried-over jackpot in the final-race Super Hi 5. In addition, the track and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will host their annual holiday party featuring handicapping contests, giveaways, games and a visit from everyone's favorite reinsman, Santa Claus. For more information or to register for any activities, stop by the MSOA table in the Racebook. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 11, 2018 -- Strawb's Chippie N zipped to the point and held tough in the lane to score in Tuesday's harness racing opening leg of a Holiday Claiming Series for $20,000 claiming filly and mare pacers at The Meadows. My Kind Of Dance captured the other $15,000 opening-leg split. The Meadows this week is kicking off six Holiday Claiming Series that conclude on a special New Year's Eve card that also features the career finale of Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred all time with earnings exceeding $7.5 million. First post Dec. 31 is 5:30 PM. Strawb's Chippie N had won two of her three previous starts on the front end, and her victory Tuesday for Aaron Merriman, trainer Mark Goldberg and owner Rags To Riches Of PA was much the same. She shrugged off the Lightning Lane challenge of Always A Z Tam and defeated her by 3/4 lengths in a sharp 1:53.2, with the first-over Ellasen third. The 7-year-old daughter of Stonebridge Regal-Strawb's Last Chip now has banked $115,385. It was one of four wins for Merriman on the 13-race program. Tuesday's card also included the opening leg of a series for $10,000 claiming filly and mare pacers. Deprived, Love Love Me Do and Spoxys Girl took the $8,000 divisions. Elsewhere on the program, Fox Valley Charm shook off the rust from a 2-1/2-month layoff and shot the Lightning Lane to win the $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, downing Camera Lady by 1/2 length in 1:54. Jewels Forreal completed the ticket. Brett Miller piloted the 6-year-old daughter of Yankee Skyscaper-Fox Valley Cherub, who lifted her lifetime earnings to $366,960, for trainer Dirk Simpson and owner Peter Karras. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 6, 2018 -- Growing up in Dublin, Jack Killeen watched American harness racing on YouTube, passionately followed the careers of such greats as Somebeachsomewhere and Foiled Again and dreamed of coming to the U.S. to make his living as a Standardbred driver. The 18-year-old has taken an important step to realizing that dream through a stint as a driver at The Meadows. Killeen will wrap up his first American sojourn Saturday at The Meadows when he pilots Stirling Escort from post 6 in race 13. First post is 1:05 PM. Killeen was introduced to harness racing by his father, a builder who campaigns horses at Dublin's Portmarnock Raceway as a hobby. The younger Killeen was inspired enough to complete farrier school and begin work as a blacksmith, picking up drives where he could. The problem: For most of the year, Portmarnock races only on Sundays, hardly enough to support a full-time driver -- or a full-time blacksmith. "I shoe Standardbreds, ponies, Clydesdales -- everything," he says. Killeen, however, saw an opportunity when he met Heather and Mike Wilder, who were in Dublin this past summer for the annual Vincent Delaney Memorial festival of races. Impressed by the sincerity of the young Irishman, the Wilders agreed to introduce him to The Meadows horsemen if he came to America. Killeen landed in the States in mid-September, found an apartment and began helping horsemen in the mornings. They remembered it, and Killeen soon earned assignments from trainers such as Paul Corey, Kevin Johnson and Sarah Andrews. He's made the most of those limited drives, compiling a highly respectable .268 UDR in 22 starts. He notched his first domestic win in only his sixth start. Even more impressive than his statistics is Killeen's poise. An 18-year-old intimidated by the situation could respond by driving too aggressively or too passively. But Killeen operates more like a veteran, leaving when he should, ducking when that seems best, keeping his horses alive for checks. "You can't be nervous out there. At least, I'm trying not to be nervous," he says. "Things are different here. In Ireland, we have half-mile tracks. Here, you have tracks of different sizes, which leads to different driving styles. The slanted starting gate is very different." Though Killeen will return to Dublin on Monday, it isn't lack of drives or homesickness that's prompting the move. Rather, his application for an appropriate visa hasn't been approved yet, so he can't stay longer this time. "I'm going to miss him terribly; he's become a part of our family," Heather Wilder says. "I'm hoping he'll back by the end of the year, but the visa process is tricky, and it could take longer than that for approval." If his visa doesn't come through, Killeen says he might pursue one for work in Canada, where the red tape may be less thick. But he's targeting Dec. 31 for his return to The Meadows so he can be here for the career finale of one of his YouTube heroes. "I'd like to see that," Killeen says. "I watched Foiled Again for so long, and I finally got to meet him here." On Friday, The Meadows will celebrate the 27th anniversary of the opening of its Harmar facility with daylong food and beverage specials, giveaways and contests with cash and merchandise prizes. Roger Huston and horsemen Jeremy Indof, Dan Rawlings and Mike Wilder will mingle with fans from 12 noon to 3 PM. Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino  

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 5, 2018 -- Caught widest in a four-ply battle for the early lead, Expose Yourself persevered, eventually crossed over and had just enough late to capture Wednesday's harness racing $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Expose Yourself had to work hard on the sloppy track to overcome post 9 and needed nearly all the opening three-eighths to reach the point. The 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Muscle Shirt tired in deep stretch but found enough for Dave Palone to hold off Chapter Too by a neck in 1:56.2. Glidinthruparadise rallied for show. Ron Burke trains Expose Yourself, who triumphed for the 11th time this year and boosted her lifetime bankroll to $176,961, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Trainer Randy Bendis enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the program features a $1,510.10 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 4, 2018 -- Circle The Page sat patiently in the pocket, then roared through the Lightning Lane to capture Tuesday's harness racing $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. As Jewels Forreal moved first over and put away the leader, Cracklin Rosie, she got the jump on Circle The Page, who could only wait for clearance. But when Dan Rawlings pointed her to the Lightning Lane, she surged at the wire to edge Jewels Forreal by a nose in 1:56 over a "good" surface. McDazzle finished third. John Sullivan train Circle The Page, a 4-year-old daughter of Real Artist-Queen Marie who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $193,374, and owns with Michael Marocco. Brady Brown piloted four winners on the 13-race card and did it in characteristic "Downtown Brown" fashion, bringing home three 7-1 shots and an 8-1 outsider. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, when the program features a $1,738.01 Pick 5 carryover and a $927.60 carried-over jackpot in the Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 4, 2018 -- The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer 195 live harness racing programs in 2019 -- same as the 2018 total -- highlighted by the 53rd edition of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids on July 20 and July 27. Generally, the track will race four days each week. Race days January through March will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with Saturday replacing Friday thereafter. Post time most race days will be 1:05 PM. The Adios, one of harness racing's most prestigious events for 3-year-old pacers which typically carries a purse of approximately $500,000, will be contested over two Saturdays. Eliminations are set for July 20, first post 1:05 PM, with the final to go the following Saturday, when the Grand Circuit stakes-rich card begins at noon. Other highlights of the 2019 schedule include: Four consecutive Sunday afternoon cards beginning Feb. 17 -- a departure for the track, which has not raced Sundays for many years. There will be no Monday programs following those Sunday cards. Special live programs to complement each leg of the Thoroughbred Triple Crown. First post those days -- May 4, May 18, June 8 -- is 11:25 AM. Four spring/summer Friday twilight cards beginning at 5:30 PM. Three weeklong maintenance breaks -- one each in April, September and December. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 3, 2018 -- Media Buzz proved that he's not fake news when he stalked Classic Banker from the pocket, then shot the Lightning Lane to pull off the 8-1 harness racing upset in Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. A closing second last week, Media Buzz generated luke-warm support stepping up to the Preferred Handicap. However, when Dan Rawlings gave him the perfect pocket trip, Media Buzz responded by downing the 1-1 Classic Banker by 3/4 lengths in 1:56.4. TSM Photo Bugger rallied for show. Steve Bush trains Media Buzz, a 4-year-old Explosive Matter-Lady Bar gelding who extended his career bankroll to $170,160, and owns with Alvira Fassett and Dennis Fassett. Dave Palone collected four wins -- including three for trainer Trent Stohler -- on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 1, 2018 -- Windsong Leo knifed through the slop to collect his 19th win this season -- and third straight -- in Saturday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Southwind Amazon is the "winningest" horse in harness racing this year with 20 victories while Windsong Leo is part of a four-way tie for second. Dave Palone gave Windsong Leo a 29.4 second-quarter breather, which helped him shrug off the first-over challenge of Phoenix Warrior N. The 6-year-old Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding downed his stablemate, the pocket-sitting Hawk's Red Chief, by 2 lengths in 1:51.4, with Phoenix Warrior A third. Ron Burke trains Windsong Leo, who now boasts career earnings of $397,650, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura. Palone piloted six winners on the 13-race card. Also enjoying big days were Burke, with four victories, and Aaron Merriman, who fashioned a three-bagger. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 29, 2018 -- Harness racing produces its share of equine millionaires, but wealthy stallions and mares frequently enter the breeding phase of their careers early while geldings often are retired as age and declining ability take their toll. Thus, there aren't many seven-figure stars still racing. Then there's Dapper Dude. The 9-year-old son of The Panderosa-Dress To Suggest already has banked $1,280,130, and with a win or place in Saturday's Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows, he'll vault over $100,000 in seasonal earnings. 'The Dude' leaves from post 4 in race 8 with Aaron Merriman at the helm. First post Saturday is 1:05 PM. Dapper Dude was a successful stakes performer in his youth. At 3, he was Pennsylvania's sires stakes champion, defeating Sweet Lou in the final, and he also captured the consolation of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids. Richard Poillucci purchased him from Bob McIntosh's ownership group and in 2016 sold him to the Bercurys -- Renee as owner, her husband Bill as trainer -- for $100,000. That's consistent with the Bercury approach -- buy proven commodities, give fair prices for them and watch their earnings soar. Dapper Dude rewarded them by crashing past $1 million on Oct. 29, 2016. "The horse was racing basically at Yonkers, and he's not really a half-mile horse," Bill Bercury says. "He's a big, gangly guy with some flaws in his gait that would make it difficult for him on a smaller track. When they called and asked if we wanted him, we didn't even have him vetted." His gait may be imperfect, but his heart is huge. In many of his victories at The Meadows, he's emerged from the final turn appearing gassed, strides shortening, challengers looming inside and out. Yet he almost always finds more. "He's full of energy and enthusiasm," Bill Bercury says. "When he gets off the trailer at The Meadows, he starts strutting and bellowing. Everybody laughs, but he's making a statement: 'I'm here, and I'm ready to race you.'" Saturday's race will be something of a test for Dapper Dude, who's been off more than a month for palate surgery -- at least the second of his career. "Anytime you have to take him back in a race, he flips his palate. He's been doing it for the past year. We have absolutely no problem laying him off and spending the money on surgery. These horses take care of us, so we should take care of them. I told the doctor, 'If there's any chance the surgery won't work, don't do it.' Did it work? Ask me after his second start back." The Bercurys have room for only six horses -- remarkably, the current group incudes another millionaire, Wind Of The North, who's still racing -- so they lack the space to retain their beloved old campaigners. When the top trotter Tamarind needed to be retired, the Bercurys placed him with Midwest horseman Nick Roland, who has bred Tamarind successfully. They have similar plans for Dapper Dude. "There's a home for him when we get done racing him," Bill Bercury says. "We haven't told him that, by the way." The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 28, 2018 -- Parked the opening three-eighths, Expose Yourself was so dominant that she still blew away the harness racing field by 6-3/4 lengths in Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Expose Yourself dueled with Looking For Zelda and Dirty Secret before she was able to cross over for Dave Palone. The 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Muscle Shirt drew steadily away and scored geared down in 1:55.2 over a "good" surface. Dirty Secret and Bessie completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains Expose Yourself, who won for the 10th time this year and pushed her career bankroll to $166,961, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Palone collected four wins -- including a pair for Burke -- on the 13-race card while Mike Wilder enjoyed a triple. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 27, 2018 -- Cracklin Rosie won her second straight Tuesday at The Meadows, rallying again to erase a substantial deficit and capture the harness racing $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Pace. Cracklin Rosie was fourth by 4-1/2 lengths when she followed the first-over cover of Shesasmokinlady. The 5-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover-Honey's Bud Lite roared wide through the stretch for Jim Pantaleano to catch the leader, Circle The Page, and down her by a length in 1:55.2 over a "good" surface. McDazzle finished third. Scott Betts trains Cracklin Rosie, who now boasts $235,846 in career earnings, for Timothy Betts, Stephen Moss, Nicholas Catalano and Pedro Baez III. Dan Charlino, Aaron Merriman, Dave Palone, Mike Wilder and Pantaleano each piloted a pair of winners on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, when the program features a $1,704.60 carryover in the Pick 5 and a $716.30 carried-over jackpot in the Super Hi-Five. First post is 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 26, 2018 -- Trailing by 4-1/2 lengths and wide at the half, Outburst exploded through the final turn and captured Monday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $14,000 Conditioned Trot. Outburst appeared to be gapping cover when Dave Palone tipped him off the cones. But the 7-year-old Explosive Matter-Exquisite Lady gelding found his best stride late, holding off the rallying Media Buzz by 3/4 lengths in 1:57.3 over a "good" surface. Chef Lee shot the Lightning Lane for show. Ron Burke trains Outburst, who won for the 19th time over the past two seasons and lifted his career bankroll to $685,352, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. It was one of four victories for Palone on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino  

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 24, 2018 -- Windsong Leo collected his 18th win this season when he shot the harness racing lightning lane and scored in 1:52.4 in the slop in Saturday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Always A Prince, Southwind Amazon and Spicey Victor are the seasonal leaders with 19 victories apiece. Windsong Leo released the parked-out Phoenix Warrior N past the quarter but was the stronger horse in the lane, downing his rival by 1/2 length for Dave Palone. The first-over Anythingforlove A finished third. Ron Burke trains Windsong Leo, a 6-year-old Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding who now boasts $388,650 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura. Burke enjoyed a five-bagger on the 13-race card while Aaron Merriman, Mike Wilder and Palone each fashioned a triple. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 23, 2018 -- When a harness racing trainer introduces his horses to a new track, he faces a number of challenges -- finding stall space and suitable personal lodgings, unfamiliarity with the local procedures and racing surface -- that can adversely affect on-track performance. Somebody forgot to warn Trent Stohler. Since the Markleville, IN-based Stohler began racing his stock at The Meadows following the close of the Hoosier Park meeting, he's compiled a sparkling .337 UTR through his first 67 starts, including 13 wins. Four Stohler charges will go forward Saturday: Superficial (race 6, post 7, Tony Hall); He's A Popper (race 8, post 3, Hall; Blakemore (race 9, post 6, Hall), I'vegotagirlcrush (race 12, post 1, Jim Pantaleano). First post is 1:05 PM. A 1991 graduate of Indiana State University with a degree in business management --"I wish it had been accounting," he jokes -- Stohler served four years as second trainer for Ernie Gaskin before launching his own stable, which numbers about 40. Of those, roughly16 have been racing at The Meadows. Since 1995, he's earned more than $9 million in purses as a trainer and over $6.3 million as a driver. Even so, Stohler has yet to drive at The Meadows and doesn't expect to. "We've been lucky enough to get Dave Palone, Dan Rawlings, Hall or Pantaleano about 99 percent of the time," he says. "That's good enough." Stohler solved the stalls/lodging problem by shipping in the night before each race program and returning to Markleville at the conclusion of the card. It's a demanding 4-1/2-hour ship, but Stohler's staff is large enough that they can rotate the drives and keep fatigue at bay. As for knowing the track, Stohler raced such outstanding Pennsylvania-bred youngsters as Cult Icon and Glassine Hanover in sires stakes at The Meadows, helping him learn the lay of the land. "I like the people there, the style of racing and the conditions of the races," he says. "We have certain horses that fit certain classes. That helps, as does having the right drivers." Stohler has tried racing his stable in Ohio rather than western Pennsylvania during Indiana's off-season, an experiment that cut his travel time . . . and his earnings. "I was getting my rear end kicked there pretty good," he says ruefully. "I've never done any good there." Also on Saturday, The Meadows is collaborating with Toys for Tots on a holiday collection. Patrons who donate a new toy will receive a $5 voucher (limit one per person). In addition, the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) is offering starting car rides, paddock tours, a "Pick the Winners" contest and a live radio broadcast from the Racebook. To register for any activity or for more information, stop by the MSOA table in the Racebook. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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