Day At The Track

David McNeight gets career win 1,000

07:44 AM 02 Jan 2019 NZDT
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Knocking Around,Harness racing
Knocking Around
Chris Gooden photo

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 1, 2019 -- He had to beat the richest Standardbred ever to do it, but David McNeight III collected career win 1,000 Monday at The Meadows when he piloted Knocking Around to victory in race 10.

The race was styled "Foiled Again's Last Call," as it marked the final race of Foiled Again, who faced mandatory retirement Jan. 1 when he turned 15. McNeight and Knocking Around, however, weren't intimated by Foiled Again's career bankroll of more than $7.6 million, as they powered up first over to prevail in the slop. Foiled Again finished fifth.


Winners’ circle following the 1,000th career win of David McNeight III. - Chris Gooden photo

McNeight, a native of western New York who has compiled just less than $6 million in purses, learned the business under the tutelage of his father, trainer David McNeight, Jr., the conditioner of Knocking Around.

"My dad worked for General Mills for a while, but he got back into the business in 2008 when I was 18," he says. "I was cleaning stalls and grooming for him, but when I watched the drivers winning races, I wanted to do the same thing."

McNeight cut his teeth on the half-mile ovals at Buffalo and Batavia. When the McNeights relocated to The Meadows about two years ago, he found that the most difficult aspect of the transition was not the switch to a five-eighths-mile track. Rather, it was holding his own against The Meadows' talented, experienced drivers.

"The driver colony here is deep," he says. "You definitely want to get away close to the lead when you're racing against Dave Palone, Mike Wilder, Jim Pantaleano and all the Ron Burke horses. It's more challenging, but at the same time, it's more rewarding."

The younger McNeight also trains three horses -- he's their sole owner -- and doesn't foresee a time when he'll want to specialize in training or driving exclusively.

"I'd like to add to my own stable and keep driving for my father and other stables," he says. "Having other owners for my horses would be good, but right now it seems better to own them myself."

 

Evan Pattak

 

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Home of Pennsylvania's largest jackpot ever paid, The Meadows is an all-inclusive entertainment destination and significant economic generator for the region. With its nearly 1,300 employees, The Meadows provides approximately $125 million in taxes annually and more than $14 million per year to the Local Share Account designated for new economic, community and industrial development projects.

The Meadows features 82 table games and more than 3,100 slot machines, premier restaurants with spectacular views of the gaming floor and the racetrack, a racing grandstand with VIP suites, a simulcast area, an 11,000 square foot event center, a 7,500 square foot banquet room and an all-ages bowling center. The Meadows also offers a high limit slots area and a high limit table games room featuring exceptional service in a relaxing, upscale setting. For more information, please see: www.meadowsgaming.com.

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