The Meadows Standarbred Owners Association will host a special evening of racing at The Meadows this Friday night (May 30) to conclude the Memorial Day holiday week.
Featured on the evening will be the second annual Ruffner/Yoder Gun 23 Memorial Race, which honors two fallen heroes, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Ruffner and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jarret Yoder. Both served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and lost their lives in a helicopter crash in April, 2013.
Horseman Grant Boudreaux served in the same unit and helped to create the memorial race last year, but was still serving overseas and could not attend. Following the 2013 race, Boudreaux, along with members of the Ruffner and Yoder families, presented the MSOA with an American flag that flew during one of their combat missions. This year, both Boudreaux and the flag will be in the winners circle for the post-race presentation.
This year's event will be the 8th race on the card, an $18,000 Preferred Handicap pace.
The MSOA will also continue its charitable efforts that evening, hosting a special race to benefit JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Race #5 on the Friday night card will be the JDRF Benefit Race, and the MSOA will donate its commission from wagering on the race to the fund.
There will also be a match race featuring four local celebrities from ABC affiliate WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh. Marcie Cipriani, Ashlie Hardway, Justin Rose, and Michelle Wright, part of the WTAE news team, will take part in a match race that will use double-seat jog carts.
The MSOA will also host its highly popular Family Fun Night, with a bounce house, racehorse "Meet & Greet" in a stall on the track's apron level, "Spin To Win" giveaways and more.
It's all part of a 15-race card that also features three $70,300 divisions of thePA Sire Stake trot, named for the longtime Pennsylvania sire. Father Patrick heads an all-star group of trotters that will compete at The Meadows on Friday night.
Post time for the first race is 6:55PM.
by Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA