Day At The Track

Rycroft N seeks first U.S. win

04:00 AM 16 Mar 2018 NZDT
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Mike 'O' Wilder, harness racing
Mike 'O' Wilder, who’ll be 'wearing the green' Saturday at The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, March 15, 2018 -- The Meadows-based trainer Randy Bendis dabbled in the international Standardbred market years ago but had drifted away from harness racing imports. Now, he's back.

"The American dollar is very strong compared to what it was," Bendis says. "You can buy more for less overseas.

"When horses make over a certain amount in New Zealand, they never can go back down in class. The connections get a little frustrated and look to sell. We've had luck there in the past, and we figured we'd take another shot."

The result: Late last year, Bendis and Jack Piatt II purchased Rycroft N, who will be seeking his first U.S. win Saturday in an action-parked card flush with wagering opportunities and St. Patrick's Day activities for fans. Rycroft N goes from post 5 in race 5, an $11,500 Conditioned Pace, with Mike Wilder driving.

Rycroft N, a 7-year-old gelding with $113,078 in career earnings, hit the ticket his first two starts for Bendis -- the second with the addition of Lasix -- but was perhaps strongest in his most recent outing, when he finished a rallying fourth after dropping back to last.

"That definitely was his best effort," confirms Bendis, who ranks second in 2018 wins at The Meadows behind only Ron Burke. "He was six or seven high in the last turn. He'll like it when they start going more early. He likes to hunt rather than being hunted."

That fifth race is the second leg of Saturday's pick 4, which offers a $15,000 total pool guarantee in association with the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Initiative . . . and there's much more for fans to enjoy.

Mychoice members can compete in the Road to the Triple Crown Thoroughbred Handicapping Contest while all fans wearing green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day will receive a free Meadows programs and "Lucky Lenses" sunglasses. Programs and lenses will be distributed at the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) table.

Harness racing bingo also is on tap. In addition, the MSOA will give away a $100 betting voucher each time a driver with colors that include green wins on the 10-race Meadows card. Drivers "wearing the green" Saturday: Wilbur O'Yoder, Tyler O'Stillings, Ray O'Paver and O'Wilder.

More information on any of the scheduled activities is available at the retail counter in the track's Racebook.

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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