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WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 6, 2016 -- After a challenging first quarter, Barn Girl glided effortlessly through the slop en route to her third straight harness racing victory in Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Leaving from post 8, the 1-2 favorite won a three-ply battle for the lead for Aaron Merriman. She easily parried the first-over thrust of Manhattan Miss and scored in 1:57.1. Bessie split horses to finish second, 1-1/2 lengths back, while Unefoisdansmavie rallied for show. Bill Bercury trains Barn Girl, a 4-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie who now has won 26 of 54 lifetime starts (48.1 percent) and earned $344,296, for Renee Bercury. It was one of four wins for Merriman on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Spreester won for the 13th time this year Monday at The Meadows when she turned back two determined harness racing challengers and captured the $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace. Spreester retook the lead at the quarter pole for Aaron Merriman, then had to withstand the first-over bid of Shady Caroline. That accomplished, the 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal-Rodeo Spree blunted the charge of Medusa and prevailed in 1:53.2 over a "good" surface. Dime A Dance finished second, 1/2 length back, while Classic Carpet rallied for show. Bill Bercury trains Spreester, who now boasts $553,176 in career earnings, for Renee Bercury. Tony Hall collected three wins on the 14-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 3, 2016 -- Kingofthejungle moved smartly first over for Aaron Merriman and went on to capture Saturday's $20,000 Preferred Pace at The Meadows. It was one of five wins on the harness racing card for Merriman, including a pair for trainer Mike Dowdall. Kingofthejungle was third near the three-quarters when Merriman sent him after the leader, Atta Boy Dan. The 5-year-old Well Said-Allamerican Calico gelding overtook Atta Boy Dan around the final turn and held off the rallying Doctor RJ by a neck to prevail in 1:52.2. Atta Boy Dan saved show. Jack Smith trains Kingofthejungle, who extended his career bankroll to $359,316, for Fox Racing Inc. and Darius Oshidar. Rags To Riches Of PA enjoyed an ownership triple on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 29, 2016 -- Barn Girl made it two straight Tuesday at The Meadows when she quarter-poled to the lead and jogged off to a comfortable harness racing victory in the $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot. Barn Girl was away second when Aaron Merriman sent her after the leader, Mistress Valentine. The 4-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie never let Mistress Valentine get close, defeating her by 2 lengths in 1:54.1. Elin shot the Lightning Lane for show. Bill Bercury trains Barn Girl, who now boasts $334,296 in career earnings, for Renee Bercury. Mike Wilder continued his torrid streak, collecting four more wins to give him 19 over the last four programs. Jim Pantaleano enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 22, 2016 -- Barn Girl pulled the pocket into the final turn and wore down the leader, Mistress Valentine, in the harness racing lane to capture Tuesday's $15,500 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life Handicap Trot at The Meadows. The 6-5 favorite, Barn Girl took the early lead for Aaron Merriman but released Mistress Valentine past the quarter to stalk from the pocket. She was the stronger mare in the stretch, downing Mistress Valentine by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54.2. Manhattan Miss shot the Lightning Lane for show. Bill Bercury trains Barn Girl, a 4-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie who now boasts $325,396 in career earnings, for Renee Bercury. Tony Hall, Jim Pantaleano and trainer Dirk Simpson each enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 14, 2016 -- Spreester retook the lead at the quarter and coasted home from there in Monday's $20,000 harness racing filly & mare not listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Hammered down to 2-5, Spreester zipped to the front for Aaron Merriman but briefly released Aniston Seelster. Back on top, the 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal-Rodeo Spree scorched the back half in 55.4 en route to victory in 1:52.1. Aniston Seelster was second, 2-1/4 lengths back, with Best Of Jenna third. Bill Bercury trains Spreester, who now boasts $539,576 in career earnings, for Renee Bercury. It was one of three wins for Merriman on the 14-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 12, 2016 -- Dapper Dude made it three straight when he zipped to the front, thwarted one serious challenger and captured Saturday's harness racing $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Dapper Dude took the field through a 1:24 three-quarters when he was confronted by the first-over Kingofthejungle, who appeared to poke his nose in front. But the 7-year-old son of The Panderosa-Dress To Suggest reasserted through the final turn for Aaron Merriman and downed Kingofthejungle by a length in 1:51.4. Atta Boy Dan rallied for show. Bill Bercury trains Dapper Dude, who extended his career bankroll to $1,013,110, for Renee Bercury. Tony Hall, Dave Palone, Dan Rawlings and trainer Ron Burke each enjoyed a double on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Going to Ireland truly made me realize why I love the sport of harness racing- it is the people. I will never ever forget the people, their kindness and their passion for the sport. They made me more passionate. I got to meet people from all around the world and I came home with new found friendships. As I reflect on my trip to Ireland as a whole, the words that come to mind are: amazing, unforgettable, surreal and overwhelming and the phrase "it was the trip of a lifetime" is an understatement. Having the opportunity to go to Ireland to attend the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial Racing Weekend (VDM) is an experience I will always remember and cherish. I was invited over to Ireland to attend the VDM by the Delaney family, who organize the weekend. I was able to get to Ireland with help from a sponsorship from Mr. Ed James of SSG Gloves and my friend Bill Galvin. I will be forever grateful for to them for their generosity. I had been looking forward to this trip for a long time. This would be my first trip outside of North America. My trip become somewhat real for me the night before my parents and I were scheduled to leave. I still could not believe what is happening. My mom packs the last few things and makes the final preparations. She sews my SSG Gloves patch on the sleeve of my colors. I try to contain my excitement, so I decide to go to bed to get some sleep so I could be well rested for the upcoming days. As hard as it was I did my best to fall asleep with the excitement of the week to come bouncing about in my head. The next day I wake up filled with pure joy. I had been anticipating this day and now it had arrived. It was departure day! August 9th- a date I will always remember. We walk through the doors of the airport. Only now did I realize that in a couple of hours I would be on a plane bound for Ireland. I find my seat and settle in for my flight. The time passes moderately fast. Ireland is the only thing on my mind. My mom suggests I have a nap. I tried to close my eyes a few times. I am too thrilled to be going on this trip to sleep. So, I sit silently dreaming of the days to come. Before I know it, we land in Ireland, it was 5:30 in the morning, local time. Normally, I would complain about how early it was. But, I was so thrilled to be in Ireland I did not care about the time, I did not even feel tired. The Delaney family started the Vincent Delaney Memorial as a single race in memorial in honor of their late loved one, Vincent, who shared the love for harness racing. He tragically passed away at age 26 in 2011. Since then the Vincent Delaney Memorial has grown into a full two-day event. It has become a major racing event for fans to watch and a prestigious event to win. At the hotel, I try my first Guinness that very evening, thank you to Steve Wolf for making the memory; because when in Ireland, do as the Irish do. It was not my favorite, I guess that means I will have to go to Ireland and try it again. That night I went to bed looking very forward to my first full day in Ireland. The next morning, I wake up filled with joy, I just know it is going it to be an amazing day. We travel through downtown Dublin in a horse drawn carriage. I feel so fancy and privileged. Dublin is a beautiful city, full of charm and history. We stop at a local pub right next to the Guinness factory for some drinks. With the exception of a few people in the pub, it is all people involved in the Vincent Delaney Memorial Racing Weekend. Everyone was laughing and sharing stories. Within the pub was the who's who for international harness racing. The atmosphere is cozy and it feels like I am home, where I belong. Then, again we were off, this time bound for a restaurant for lunch. After lunch, I had the opportunity to see do some exploring on foot in the Temple Bar District. Temple Bar is a very tourist ordinated area. It has a lively atmosphere, all of the buildings are brightly colored and the streets were lined with cobblestones. I go to a couple of shops and pick up some souvenirs. This is where I see my first Leprechaun, and yes, they do exist. My first full day in Dublin is complete. The day was better than anything I ever imagined. I could not wait to see what the next day would bring. That night I went to bed with a smile on my face and my dreams were retracing my steps because I did not want to forget a single moment. The next day, I board the bus and head for the Irish countryside. As the bus rolls and weaves through the winding roads, my gaze is glued to the window beside me. The countryside is so picturesque, with what appears to look like never ending fields, and walls of stones that lined the road. Before long the bus pulls into Oakwood Stud. The farm is beautiful. I walk into the main barn and all the horses look out happily and greet me. There is one filly - Oakwood Delight, who I walk to, and we bond instantly. She cuddles with me, blowing in my ear. She did not want me to leave her. Every time I go to step away to go and see the next horse, Oakwood Delight sticks her head out and draws me back in. Oakwood Stud has the world- renowned stallion Foreclosure N. He is gorgeous and has regal presence about him. His dapples glisten in the late morning sun. Then everyone walks to where an oak tree is planted in memory of Vincent Delaney. There are also plaques commemorating the honored guest over the years, I could feel something special about this spot as the 2016 plaque was unveiled. After that everyone travels to the other farm owned by Oakwood Stud which is home to their mares and foals. James Delaney was kind and took Roger Huston and myself in the field in his car. As we pull into the field, all of the mares and their foals came over to the car. That is one of the most unique experiences I have ever had. The mares and their foals investigate the car and were sticking their heads in the windows, seeing if I had any treats to give them. I had none, but stroking their faces seem to suffice. Then everyone is treated to a delicious lunch at a local pub down the road, where the best vegetable soup I have ever had was served. After visiting Oakwood Stud, I had the incredibly special opportunity to go to Cari's Closet; a dress shop in Dublin, to pick out a dress for the VDM kick off gala dinner that was taking place the following evening. Thanks to Chris and Lisa Kavanagh, the staff of Cari's Closet and Lillian and Lexi Delaney. The dress I pick out was a fuchsia- raspberry in color. It is a truly stunning dress. The dress is a gift and to top it all off, Cari's Closet even gave me the accessories to go with my dress. In my dress I feel like a princess, it is another memory that adds to my Ireland fairy-tale. The following evening is the VDM Kick-Off Gala, which means it is time for me to put on my dress and get ready for the gala. I still remember the joy I felt when I put my dress on. Then, I went downstairs to get my hair and makeup done, thanks to Lillian Delaney, I feel so glamorous. At the gala, I meet more friends and pictures are taken. I walk by the table where the items that were to be auctioned off later in the evening were sitting. The memorabilia that is being auctioned off is amazing. There are sets of colors and horse memorabilia, such as halters. The night is splendid. I get to watch Irish dancing, which is magnificent. After the auction Roger Huston comes to chat about the night so far, and hands me a gift, a set of colors. The colors were that of the legendary driver Dave Palone. Thank you so much Roger Huston for giving such a special gift. Today, those colors are proudly hanging in my room. I will forever cherish and treasure them. I consider it a true honor to have the colors of such an iconic individual. That night there were many unforgettable memories made. It was truly a night I will always remember. I did not want to forget a minute of what happened. One of the highlights was getting to dance with World Driving Champion Dexter Dunn. Someone even video taped Dexter and I dancing https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByButnVgha-qY2FQV1lTeFpQTVk/view?usp=drive_web. With that, I fell as sleep. The next two days were going to be spent at Portmarnock Raceway watching the races. It is Saturday morning and the bus pulls into Portmarnock Raceway. There is a sense of excitement in the air, it feels like a special day and it is. I walk through the grandstand and I am in awe. The grandstand and track were both beautiful. I open my program and flip to the first race; I am stunned. The programs are very different than what I am used to seeing, the major difference was this program has a picture of the driver's colors but no racing lines for the horses. I really like seeing the driver's colors and this made the program much more fun to read. I walk through the grandstand; the atmosphere draws me and fills me with happiness and awe. It is difficult to put into words because it is just so amazing and unique, so special. The passion is so heartwarming. The Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial Racing Weekend is something a person just has to experience in order to fully comprehend what passion for harness racing is. The grandstand gets busy and the bookmakers are setting up. Their bright colored umbrellas marking their places. I take in the picturesque surroundings. That is one image that is forever stuck in my mind. The rosettes for the winners hang ready and waiting for an incredible day of racing. I sit along the fence and in the distance there is a white rod iron carriage. The carriage looks like it belongs to Cinderella and is decorated in pink. The horses, are wearing pink feathers. They trot along the fence and stop in front of me. Lillian Delaney then says to me: "This is the last surprise". I am speechless and feel truly special. Lillian, her daughter Lexi and Rihanna (Vincent Delaney's daughter), myself and some other harness racing princesses board the carriage and go for a tour of the track. I have a truly special time going around the track as so many racing fans are clapping for us, I get to see the grandstand from an entirely different perspective and I get to see the paddock. That is another major difference. The paddock at Portmarnock is the trailer you ship in with. There is no actual paddock barn. I was also told as a result everyone brings their own water. I am so surprised, and filled with a greater appreciation for their love of harness racing. As the first race drew near people rushed up to the bookmakers to place their bets. It is like nothing I have ever seen - it is incredible just to watch. People were yelling so the bookmaker would hear them and take their bets. Each bookmaker provides their own odds, some had electronic boards others have whiteboards. That was one unique things that was different than at home. The bookmakers add so much more hype to the scene. Oh, and there is only one type of bet - win. The passion people in Ireland have for the sport from both horsemen and fans is immeasurable and refreshing. Everyone in attendance is bounded by a common love for harness racing. One thing I find remarkable is the starting gate; I have never seen anything so unique. The gate is only five [horses] wide, but to be safe they only go three four wide except for the Free-For-All races. So, in most races there are three tiers. The first and second tiers have four horses each with the third tier having two three or four. This made the races even more interesting. Horses that start on the second and third tier do win. As the gate let the field go for the first race, the tiered field picks up speed, and everyone in the grandstand is cheering. I will never forget the warm and fuzzy feeling I got with everyone cheering around me. I felt at home, everyone cheers as loud as I do. Portmarnock Raceway is only a half mile track. The racing is intense, and like nothing I have ever seen. The style of driving is extraordinary. It is so different than what I am used to seeing. I did not understand how they do what they do sometimes; some of the moves they make blow my mind. I also see something I have not seen before, a driver with a whip in one hand and a stopwatch in other. The weekend features two international driving talents, acclaimed driver Dexter Dunn of New Zealand returned for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend; and winning driver Aaron Merriman of the United States attended for his first time. There was also races which featured trotters from France. They are interesting to watch as French trotters also go the opposite way than what I am used to. They raced clockwise in one event, the distance they race is also longer. The famous announcer Roger Huston and United Kingdom commentator Darren Owen would share announcing duties. The first day of racing features the eliminations of both the fillies and the colts divisions of the Vincent Delaney Memorial, with the finals being held the following day. The long wait of anticipation is over, as the fillies make their way to the track. Everyone is as close to the fence as they can get; all eyes are on the fillies. I take a quick glance at each of the driver's faces as they pass by. They are focused, and the filly which they sit behind mirrors their determination to win. Everyone wants to race in the final, but only a few will have the chance to do so. The voice of Roger Huston echoes over the speakers as the fillies go to the gate. The fillies take up their positions, the gate lets them go and the crowd cheers. My eyes are gripped on the track as the fillies battle it out. Dirt flies and the thunderous pounding of hooves hitting the track gets louder, as does the cheering. The fillies whiz past me- they are at the half. They race around the track for the second time, as quick as the field disappears, they reappear. The fillies' hooves look as though they barely make contact with the track as they pace. I start screaming as loud as I could; drivers are urging their horses in every way they can, and fans are smacking their programs. With one final stride the fillies cross the wire. Then it is time for the boys to face off. The colts step on the track, all of them want to come back and race again tomorrow. The colts score out, their drivers in tow. They move behind the gate and pick up speed. The colts captivate my attention. Drivers lean back in the seat of their bikes. Screams echo around me, I am solely concentrating on the race. The colts cross the wire with same powerful presence they had displayed through the entire race. The battle is intense and I am entranced. The look in the colts' eyes all reflect determination; how much they want to be in the final, they battle until the end and they cross the finish line. That is it for today. It was a day of spectacular racing, all of the rosettes and trophies had been handed out, and the display where they once were is empty, waiting for more rosettes and trophies to take their place. The next morning I return to Portmarnock Raceway. I am eager for another special day. Today the winners of the 2016 Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend would be crowned. It is a special day so in spirit of the occupation everyone dresses up. It is known as "Ladies Day". Everyone looks fancy. I wore my yellow dress and of course a fancy hat. My hat was perfect for the occasion- it is horse themed; and I made it. There are horses on the brim standing in a field which is actually green felt; and to top it all off there is a mini trophy on top. Yes, it is a little heavy to wear. As the day begins more and more people file in. Although I did not think it was possible there is even more enthusiasm and passion than the day before. Everyone, including myself is thinking the same question: Who will win the 2016 Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial races? Walking through the grandstand I am further inspired by the love and passion, everyone was socializing and just enjoying the day. I had the honor of being interviewed by Darren Owen. Mr. Owen asks me a variety of questions: about why I love for harness racing, my experience in Ireland so far and what racing back home [in Canada] is like. It gives time to reflect on how blessed I feel. I truly love the atmosphere here, it provides so much joy to me. As I continue to walk through the grandstand I see the cutest sight. There are four young lads (I am in Ireland, I have picked up some of the language), all wearing driving colors. Seeing this warms my heart. This further demonstrates the passion everyone over here has. No matter what their age, the passion for harness racing is the same. As part of Ladies' Day there are a variety of categories in relation to being dressed up; including Best Dressed Couple, Lady, Man and Best Hat. It is a great and fun idea and the contests add even more ways to celebrate the special day. It made the day even greater when they announced that I won the Best Hat Competition. The closer it got to the finals the more enthusiastic I become. It all comes down to this. Whoever crosses the finish line first will be the winner of 2016 Vincent Delaney Memorial Filly Final. As the fillies and their driver's circle the track in preparation everyone watches and listens to Roger Huston announce each filly's presence. All of the fans in the grandstand wait with baited breath as the fillies turn for the gate. My heart begins to beat faster and faster as the field picks up speed. I watch as the fillies' battle it out with a little help from their driver's. The crowd yells in encouragement. I scream as loud I can. As they turn for home, the crowd becomes deafening. With one final stride the fillies push past the wire with grace. One filly and her driver has written their name in Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial history, that being I B Coyote driven by Dexter Dunn. The final for the colts holds the same captivation and exhilaration as the filly's final had. The screams boom like thunder in the afternoon sun. Dirt flies and the whips of drivers crack. As the wire draws near, with one final gallant stride the colts cross and the winner for the 2016 Vincent Delaney Memorial Final is crowned. The colts and gelding final goes to celebrity pacer Tyrion Hanover. This Winner's Circle was something truly special. The connections were over the moon. They also happen to be Facebook friends, and I had not had a chance to meet them yet, and being a part of their Winner's Circle was the perfect way to do so. During the Winner Circle celebration, the driver of Tyrion Hanover, Richard Haythornwaite, turned to me, introduced himself and said "I want you to have this", handing me his whip. I was honored to be given this special memento, it is something I will always cherish. I will never forget the pure joy I am filled with as I stood back in admiration as the connections celebrated in the Winner's Circle. I felt special and blessed to be a part of the celebrations. Helping the Delaney family hand out rosettes throughout the day was an honor and a thrill. Seeing the look of excitement and gratitude as I handed the winning connections their rosette was such a rewarding experience, one which I will never forget. I am blessed to be given rosettes from winning connections, it was very kind of them. I felt honored that they wanted me to have them. Everyone gathers in the grandstand one more time. It is here I get to talk with the connections of Tyrion Hanover. They give me a hat with "Tyrion Hanover" inscribed on the front. As the second day of racing comes to a close, it marks the end of another Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend and everyone look forwards next year's race at the same time in the late summer at the same track. The Delaney family memorialized Vincent- someone who loved horses and harness racing in the greatest way. Not only are they keeping his memory alive, but they bring people together and create friendships and lifelong memories. They have built something which is full of passion for everything that is great about harness racing. As I left Portmarnock on Sunday, I began to realize that my trip to Ireland was slowly coming to a close as on Tuesday morning I would board a plane bound for Canada and that meant going back to reality. But, it was not Tuesday yet! On Monday I decide to go sightseeing, do a little more shopping and see the Irish seaside. When I return to the hotel, I go into the restaurant to socialize. There, I see Derek Delaney and we chat and then he says he has something to give me on behalf of Dexter Dunn. Out of his pocket Derek pulls out a pair white gloves, Mr. Dunn's driving gloves. I am speechless, in awe and honored. Today, those gloves proudly hang above my bed. As we pack to go home, and I put my treasures in my suitcase, I begin to realize that my week in this magical place is coming to a close. The week felt like it happened in the blink of an eye. So many memories had been created in a short amount of time. This story is only a small snapshot of my magical time in Ireland. This story does not even begin to describe my experience, no story I could write would ever do it justice. I have said it before and I will say it again: going to the Vincent Delaney Memorial is something everyone who has a passion for harness racing needs to experience. I could not pick just one favorite memory. All of the memories I made in Ireland are my favorite, and they all hold a special place in my heart. The week I was in Ireland felt like one continuous dream that I can relieve through pictures that were captured truly amazing memories forever frozen in time. To this day, I still hear the thunderous echo of the crowds cheering. Every now and again I even watch the replays from the finals to fill my heart with the warm nostalgia being in Ireland. Going to Ireland changed my life; although I may be Canadian, a little piece of me will forever be Irish. I hope to return to Dublin again one day to experience the magic all over again. There are not enough words of thanks I could say to Derek and Lillian Delaney, the VDM Committee and Steve Wolf, who made our trip to Ireland possible and everyone who made this dream a reality. Sydney Weaver is 16 years old and resides in Acton, Ontario, Canada. She has been involved with harness racing for years, groom's horses, jogs them on the track, owns both a Standardbred and a Thoroughbred racehorse and has already won major youth writing awards. Sydney also has Cerebral Palsy and spends most of her time in a wheelchair, but has never let her disability hold her back from achieving her goals.

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 24, 2016 -- Spreester retook the lead past the quarter and rolled to her second straight harness racing victory -- and 11th this year -- in Monday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Spreester grabbed the early lead for Aaron Merriman but briefly released Aniston Seelster. Spreester powered back to the front, put away the first-over Show Runner and prevailed in 1:53.1. Aniston Seelster held second, 1-1/2 lengths back, while Show Runner saved show. Bill Bercury trains Spreester, a 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal-Rodeo Spree who lifted her career bankroll to $524,576, for Renee Bercury. Tony Hall piloted three winners on the 14-race card while Trainer Kris Hite and owner Wendy Ross teamed for three victories. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 17, 2016 -- Showing no ill effects from a layoff of more than six weeks, Spreester used a three-wide backside burst to capture Monday's harness racing's $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Aniston Seelster vaulted to the front from post 8 but had to blaze a front half in 26.1/54.4 to stay there. That was the signal for Aaron Merriman to move Spreester from mid-pack. The 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal-Rodeo Spree responded by gobbling up Aniston Seelster and holding off the rallying Show Runner by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:51.3. Best Of Jenna finished third. Bill Bercury trains Spreester, who was won 31 of 86 career starts and $514,576, for Renee Bercury. Jim Pantaleano piloted three winners on the 14-race card while Doug Snyder enjoyed a training/driving double. On Tuesday, Oct. 18, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $10,000 total-pool guarantee for its Pick 5 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. The Meadows added the “instant” guarantee after Monday’s Pick 5 was uncovered, resulting in a two-day carryover of $3,163.43. In addition, Tuesday’s card includes a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4, a regular feature of each program at The Meadows. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (races 4-7) and Pick 5 (races 10-14) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post for Tuesday’s program is 1 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 2, 2016 -- Techtor Hanover worked out a comfortable pocket trip, then roared through the harness racing Lightning Lane to capture Friday's $13,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life Pace at The Meadows. Techtor Hanover had been performing well against top competition but settling for checks rather than wins. The 4-year-old Well Said-Tempest Blue Chip gelding elevated his game Friday when he kicked past the venerable Sam Hill to down him by a neck in 1:50.1, fastest of his career. The first-over Kingofthejungle earned show. Aaron Merriman piloted Techtor Hanover, who extended his lifetime bankroll to $135,908, for trainer Jack Smith and owner Tommy Mucci. It was one of three wins on the 13-race program for Merriman. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday with a Labor Day card that begins at the special post time of 5 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

DUBLIN, Ireland - Two track records, one major upset and a grand time for the thousands of people in attendance headlined the final day of the 5th annual Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend at Portmarnock Raceway Sunday. By the end of the weekend if they had had a key to the racetrack at Portmarnock they would have given it to the World Driving Champion, New Zealand's Dexter Dunn, as he stole the show over the two-day meet. Dunn, who wowed the crowds last year in his debut at the VDM, showed the fans his universal driving abilities, scoring four winners during the meeting, capping it off with a stunning upset in the very last race of the day Sunday. It was the final of the inaugural VDM Final for two-year-old filly pacers, sponsored by Diamond Creek Farm and the Adam Bowden Family of Kentucky. Dunn, who had qualified two horses for the final on Saturday, made the right choice in selecting IB Coyote to drive in the final. The 13th race saw the overwhelming favorite, Rhyds Mystique and driver Vicky Gill, who has won two of the last three VDM finals, find early clearance starting from the second tier in post eight, and work their way to the lead before the opening quarter in :29.3. Rhyds Mystique, who had rattled off five straight wins, including a 2:02.1 triumph Saturday in her elimination race, had Jennifer Camden (Aaron Merriman) right on their backs and then was faced with Dexter Dunn coming first-over with IB Coyote. They went to the half mile marker in :59.6 and then Gill backed off the pace to the three-quarters in 1:31.5, preparing for a sprint home to the finish. But that was not in the cards for them today. With Dunn's IB Coyote looking to begin to fade on the final turn, driver Mick Lord sent Greenhill Debatable three-wide to nearly loop the race leaders and that move seemed to wake IB Coyote up as Dunn kept her alive despite being parked out for most of the one-mile race. Then in a dramatic stretch drive, IB Coyote dug down deep and Dunn kept her going through the finish to win by a half-length in 2:02.8 over Greenhill Debatable with Jennifer Camden a close third. Rhyds Mystique faded to sixth place. "I wanted to give chase early," Dunn explained, "and get her up close to the action but it didn't work out that way and we ended up getting parked. But boy was she handy today. By the final turn I did not think she would make do, but she came back super strong to win it." Sent off at odds of 5-1, it was the second straight win, a lifetime mark and the third victory on the season for IB Coyote. The daughter of Share The Delight is trained by Tadhg Murphy and co-owned by Bill Donocan and the IB Stables. In the VDM Final for the colts, it was the American-bred son of Somebeachsomewhere, Tyrion Hanover, who went off as the wagering favorite and did not disappoint the fans but gave them a bit of a scare in winning the 11th race. Dragons Den (John Richardson) started off the show and then gave way to Rhyds Rival (Billy Roche) to the opening quarter mile in :29.4. Benny Camden (Alan Richardson) was first-over and pressured the leader to a half mile in a quick :57.6 with Tyrion Hanover and driver Richard Haythornthwaite coming up into second-over position. With momentum at their advantage, Haythornthwaite allowed Tyroin Hanover to keep going and sent him three-wide by the three-quarters in 1:29.5 and despite being parked out, Tyroin Hanover kept eating up ground and once they started down the stretch he not only collared the leaders but passed them by to win with ease by one and one-half lengths in 2:01.5. Dragons Den was able to come back for second place with Harrison Camden (Martin Loughran) closing for third place. "I didn't want to rush him too much," Haythornthwaite said, "but I had to make sure I kept him on the move. He was making up ground with that big move on the final turn and he still had a little left for the finish." "He's pretty good to train and easy tempered to work with," said trainer Samboy Howard of Tyroin Hanover. "I guess we're partying tonight for sure." A $14,000 yearling purchase last year at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania by John James Howard, Sr. (Samboy's father), it was the second straight win and a lifetime mark for Tyroin Hanover. The track records at Portmarnock began to fall starting in the eighth race as driver Alan Wallace and Coalford Tetrick were able to wire the field in the 1.5 mile Paul Murtagh, Sr. 4YO Derby Pace in 2:58.5, winning with ease by three lengths. The pocket-sitting JMS Hallstar (Gavin Murdoch) was second with Evenwood Sonofagun (William Laidler) third. Sired by Rouge Hall, Coalford Tetrick is owned and trained by Stephan Jones. Then in the Oakwood Stud 3YO Derby Pace, the sensation son of Arts Conquest, Miraculous, winner of the 2015 VMD, set the track record for colts at 1.5 miles, also wiring the field by two lengths for driver Patrick Kane, Jr. in 2:59.7. Rival Newtown Rock (Dexter Dunn) was second with Arts Pace Hill (Andrew Cairns) third. It was the sixth straight win for Miraculous, who is trained by Sally Teeboon for owner S. Arnie Flower. The sixth race, the Rocknroll Heaven/Pet Rock Irish-American Cup FFA Pace, sponsored by the Bellino Racing Stable with Joe Bellino and his family, eight in all, coming over for the big race weekend saw Porterstown Road and driver Aaron Merriman first on the lead. They could have stopped the race right then as Merriman and Porterstown Road never looked back, strolling to the wire to win by four open lengths in 1:57 over Bath Lane (John Richardson) with Deans Alibi (Dexter Dunn) third. "What a super weekend this has been," said Derek Delaney, head of the VDM Committee that organizes the entire weekend. "Each year this race weekend gets bigger and bigger with racing fans, owners, breeders, trainers and drivers from around the world coming here to Ireland. It is just fantastic." Derek and his brother, James Delaney, developed the race weekend in 2012 in memory of their young brother Vincent, who tragically died in 2011. It has become the biggest and richest race weekend in all of Ireland and the UK. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend      

Dublin, Ireland - Two of the harness racing world's top drivers, Aaron Merriman of the USA and Dexter Dunn from New Zealand, both found their own pots of gold on day one of the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend at Portmarnock Raceway Saturday. Merriman, the world's top dash winning driver in 2015 and the current world leader this season, had to wait until the last race on the program to get his first victory outside of North America. It came in the 11th race Free-For-All Pace sponsored by PJI Engineering and Lee Edwards, a bulky nine-horse field where only four horses can have their nose on the starting gate. Merriman was in post nine, thus starting from the third tier for the one-mile race. "I really wanted to get a win today," Merriman said, "and it may have taken until the last race but man is this awesome. My horse was a little aggressive and once we had clearance I just let him do it." Driving the six-year-old Somebeachsomewhere stallion, Sepia Sands, for owner/trainer Geoff Dunne, Merriman was able to swing wide of the field after the opening quarter mile and then came first-over, clearing to the lead at the half mile. From there they were home free, coasting to the wire four lengths up on the field. Their time of 1:58.1 was not only the fastest mile of the day on Portmarnock's half mile oval, but a lifetime mark for Sepia Sands. "I'm loving it here," Merriman added. "I have never been on this type of track before and might of have been a bit nervous at the start of the day, but after a couple of races I was into the swing of things. The people here are so friendly and outgoing, coming up to me just to say hello and welcome me to Ireland. It's all awesome!" There were four elimination divisions Saturday for the 5th annual Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial for two-year-old pacers. Two divisions for fillies and two for colts. The first two finishers from each division plus the fastest six other horses from either division, return and race on Sunday in their respective finals for colts and fillies. It was in the two filly divisions where Dexter Dunn rose to the occasion, winning one division and finishing third in the other, thus now having to choose between the two fillies on which one to drive Sunday in the final. The first division (sixth race) saw the unbeaten Rhyds Mystique and driver Vicky Gill post their fifth straight victory with a five length wire-to-wire romp in 2:02.1, the fastest of all four elimination divisions. In doing so, Rhyds Mystique also posted a lifetime mark for trainer John Gill (Vicky's dad) and owner Victoria Elvin of the UK. Second in the mile was Greenhillbebatable (Mick Lord) with Newtown Amber (Dexter Dunn) third and also making the final, She's Royal (Billy Roche). Then in the second division (seventh race), Dexter Dunn came first-over with IB Coyote (by Dark Bay), cleared to the lead at the half mile and then went on to win by one length in 2:04.9. It was Dunn's second winner on the day. IB Coyote is trained by Tadhy Murphy and is owned by Bill Donoan and the IB Stables. Second was Jennifer Camden (Aaron Merriman), third went to Crosshill Ace (William Greenhorn) and also making it to the final was Theladieslovejim (Andrew Cairns) in fourth. The first colt division was the third race where Share A Smile (Hugh Menzies) went right to the early lead from post two with Frankie Camden (Rock Laidler) right on their back through easy opening fractions as the favorite, Tyrion Hanover (Richard Haythornthwaite) made an early bobble around the opening quarter mile. But then surging to come back into contention, Tyrion Hanover and Haythornthwaite came sweeping three-wide before the final turn and flying on the far outside near the fan's fence, collared the race leaders and blew by them to win by three lengths in 2:03.2. It was the second win this year and a lifetime mark for Tyrion Hanover, a gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, who is trained by Samboy Howard and owned by John James Howard, Sr. Frankie Camden was second with Share A Smile third and also making it to the final Sunday was Dragon's Den (John Richardson) and Rodney Camden. In the fourth race second colt division, Benny Camden and driver Alan Richardson were seemly trapped in the two-hole early in the mile behind pacesetter Talavary Motivator (John Richardson) and All Good Hanover (Andrew Cairns) who was first-over early, but then went off-stride. Picking up the chase first-over at the half mile and locking Benny Camden in once again was Harrison Camden (M. Loughran), but after the three-quarters in 1:34, Richardson was able to find clearance with Benny Camden, swing to the outside and gun down Rhyds Rival (Billy Roche) to win by one length in 2:04.2. Harrison Camden held game for third place to make it to the final. A son of Pro Bono Best, Benny Camden is trained by Richardson and owned by the Kavanagh and Forari Stables. Sunday's action-packed program not only features the finals of the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial for colts, but also the inaugural VDM filly final that is being sponsored by Adam Bowden's Diamond Creek Farm from the USA, the Oakwood Stud Derby for three-year-olds at 1.5 miles, the Paul Murtagh, Sr. Memorial for four-year-olds, the RocknRoll Heaven/Pet Rock Irish-American FFA Pace that is sponsored by Joe Bellino and the Elvin-Delaney French LeTrot FFA. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend    

DUBLIN, Ireland - The biggest and richest race weekend in all of Ireland and Great Britain, the Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial, is set to go Saturday and Sunday (August 13 & 14) at Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin. With a record number of 180 horses set to compete over the two days, the limelight will be on the Vincent Delaney Memorial (VDM), which is for two-year-old pacers. For the first time colts and fillies each have their own divisions to compete in. Both divisions drew 14 entries so two elimination divisions will take place Saturday with the top four official finishers returning Sunday afternoon for their respective finals. "It is the biggest and toughest challenge for any two-year-old in the sport." Said Derek Delaney, head of the VDM committee. "No other race weekend requires 2yos to race back to back days. But every year since 2012 our entry numbers increase by more than 10 percent. The VDM has become the race that everyone wants to win in Ireland and the UK." The race was developed by Derek and his brother, James Delaney, who own and operate Oakwood Stud, one of the top up and coming breeding facilities in Ireland, to honor the memory of their younger brother, Vincent, who tragically died of a massive heart attack at age 27 in 2011. The first colt division is the third race Saturday and is headed by recent Breeders Crown UK & Ireland winner Share A Smile (Pro Bono Best), Rhyds Rock Star (Hasty Hall) and Tyrion Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere). The second division is the fourth race featuring the super tough Rhyds Rival (Hasty Hall) taking on Benny Camden (Pro Bono Best) and Talavary Motivator (Crown Manhattan). The fillies get underway in the sixth race with Breeders Crown UK & Ireland winner Rhyds Mystique (Hasty Hall) the big favorite going against Greenhilldebatable (Well Said) and Coalford Honey (Coalford Laag). The Share The Delight filly, IB Coyote heads the seventh race second filly division against Cross Hill Ace (Cam's Card Shark) and Theladieslovejim (Big Jim). "We have many of the leading owners, breeders, drivers and trainers from around the world coming to Ireland this weekend." Derek Delaney said. "Our feature drivers are Aaron Merriman from the USA, who led the world with the most wins in 2015 and currently leads all drivers in 2016. Also here for the second straight year is New Zealand's Dexter Dunn, who wowed the crowd at the VDM last year and has been racing in Wales at Tir Prince Raceway the last ten days. "We also have Adam Bowden from Diamond Creek Farm in the USA," Delaney explained, "and they are sponsoring the inaugural VDM Filly Final. Top owner Joe Bellino of Rocknroll Heaven and Pet Rock fame is here from the USA with his entire family, Alan Galloway, the owner of Alabar Stud, the biggest breeders in all of Australia and New Zealand is here. World renowned trainers John McDermott from New Zealand and Joann Looney-King from the USA are all here for the VDM weekend." Additional major stakes events over the weekend include the Oakwood Stud Derby for three-year-olds at 1.5 miles, the Paul Murtagh, Sr. Memorial for four-year-olds, the RocknRoll Heaven/Pet Rock Irish-American FFA Pace that is sponsored by Joe Bellino, the Lee Edwards/PJI Engineering Junior FFA Pace and the Elvin-Delaney French FFA Trot. In the Oakwood Stud Derby, all eyes will be on last year's VDM winner, Miraculous and driver Patrick Kane, Jr. This year Miraculous has become the top three-year-old pacer of the year with five straight wins and last week set the track record at Tir Prince and prior to that took his lifetime mark of 1:55.9 at Portmarnock Raceway. "We have full fields in nearly every race," Delaney added, "which should make for some great action and odds for the fans and the bookies on site. Both race cards are very competitive and I know the fans coming out and our special guests from around the world are going to have a super time. "And for the third straight year our special guest announcer is USA Hall of Famer Roger Huston joining Darren Owen in the booth." Delaney added. "It is just amazing how this weekend has grown into such a special event. Both James and I know that our brother Vincent would be so proud of what we have done in his memory." By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial

Trainer Chris Beaver harnessed three of the five Ohio Sires Stakes-winning 2-year-old trotting colts on Tuesday night, July 12, at Northfield Park. The Delaware, Ohio-based conditioner also steered a 30-1 longshot to victory in the second leg of the OSS series for freshman diagonally-gaited Standardbreds.   Beaver's first victory of the night in OSS tests came with the sturdy-built son of Triumphant Caviar, Buckeye Boss. The huge, muscle-rippled youngster trotted swiftly and confidently through panels of :28.4, :58.1 and 1:29, before trotting a final panel in :28 to prevail in a new track record clocking of 1:57 with Aaron Merriman at the lines. Curiously, the new record established by Buckeye Boss broke the previous record of 1:57.1 set by another Beaver trainee in 2015, Kanthaka.   Owned by breeder Marion Beachy, Beaver and Synerco Ventures, Buckeye Boss garnered his second triumph in OSS competition. The colt had won leg one of this series on July 4 at Scioto Downs in 1:59, after winning his pari-mutuel debut on June 21 in 1:59.4.   "He was just on cruise control tonight," Merriman revealed. "He's like driving an aged horse."   Buckeye Boss looks like an aged horse--big and round in stature--and his demeanor suggests the same as he stood calm and collected in the Northfield Park winner's circle.   The youngster, who has $44,250 in earnings, is the fourth foal out of the Tom Ridge mare Frannie's Ridge, and is a half-brother to Kate Smith 3, 1:55.2 ($107,898) and to Dunvegen 2, 1:56.3 ($103,498)--both by the stallion Cornaro Dasolo.   Beaver then harnessed Always A Good Time to a 1:58.4 triumph later in the evening. This son of Triumphant Caviar notched his first OSS victory, pushing his career earnings to $30,000 for the Ohio partnership of Beaver, J Gallagher, M Schwartz and S Zeehandelar.   "This colt wasn't always the fastest training down, but he was one of the grittiest we had," Beaver stated. "He's tough as nails."   John Carver of Iowa bred Always A Good Time, who used a perfect pocket-sitting trip to pull of the victory. Better Believe (Mike Wilder) was second by a neck. Always A Good Time was a $12,000 yearling at the 2015 Ohio Selected Sale.   Beaver then steered the cantankerous Mythology to a 2:01.2, front-stepping victory at odds of 30-1 in his OSS contest that saw six of the nine trotters break stride.   "He's a tough horse to drive," Beaver said. "He can be a real handful at times and I almost lost him through the turns. He's a tough horse to keep on stride, but he does have ability."   Beaver towered over the diminutive but powerfully-built son of Triumphant Caviar in the Northfield winner's circle. The brown colt picked up his first paycheck for Beaver and co-owner and breeder Wilbur Lang of Jamestown, Ohio. Bellhaven (Aaron Merriman) and Cowboy Blue (Kurt Sugg) finished second and third--the only other two horses to trot a flat mile in this race.   The youngster Hope Ima Victory got a wire-to-wire steer by Danny Noble to pick up his first OSS win for owner Stephen Sexton of Xenia, Ohio. The son of Victory Sam is trained by Tony O'Sullivan and added the $20,000 winner's share to his coffers, pushing his career earnings to $24,730 with his 1:58.2 triumph.   Hope Ima Victory is a full brother to the sensational Victory Sam (a 61-race winner of $667,187) as he's the eighth foal out of the Overcomer mare Norse Comer. The well-built youngster nabbed his first career victory for these connections racing barefooted up-front over the Northfield half-miler. Bred by Betty and Red Shaw, Hope Ima Victory was a $15,000 yearling purchase at the 2015 Blooded Horse Sale.   In the final OSS battle that was marred by breakers, Dejarover (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) was declared the victor after Winning Memories (Peter Wrenn) jumped it off at the wire in 2:00. The Dejarmbro colt got a near-perfect trip to notch the win, the first of his career for trainer Kelly O'Donnell and the Purple Haze Stable of Fairport, New York.   "He's getting better all the time," Wrenn, Jr., noted. "He's a very steady colt."   Winning Memories was placed third, while Goldfinger (Greg Grismore) was moved up to second. Bred by Michael Wilt of Missouri, Dejarover upped his career earnings to $23,200.   by Kimberly Rinker, for the OSDF

WASHINGTON, PA, July 11, 2016 -- Glitter, who survived a shipping misadventure en route to The Meadows, sparkled in a Pennsylvania Stallion Series event, capturing her division in a stake-fastest 1:57.3. Monday's $120,000 event for freshman filly trotters was contested over six divisions, with Electric Lemonade, Perfect Lady, It's Hallright, One Class Act and Donna Elvira also taking $20,000 splits. Corey Callahan won two divisions (Donna Elvira, It's Hallright) while Dave Palone and trainer Jimmy Takter teamed for another pair (Electric Lemonade, Perfect Lady). Winning driver Aaron Merriman said Glitter managed to climb over a stall partition in the trailer on her trip to The Meadows but emerged from it little worse for wear. "Her legs got a couple scrapes, but the vet checked her and said, go ahead and race her," Merriman indicated. "She won very easy, very professionally. That's as nice a race as you could ask of a 2-year-old." Glitter made it look easy for owner/trainer Steve Bauder, as the daughter of Glidemaster-Luscious Glitter cruised up first over and won handily, defeating Trixie Dust by 4 lengths. Weekend Wit Chucky finished third. Donna Elvira saved ground until the final turn, when Callahan cut her loose. She zipped by the leader, All Set Lets Go, downing her by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:58.3, with Keystone Angel third. "I really liked her the last time I raced her at Pocono," Callahan said. "She was a little bumpy -- she has some lameness issues. But she has a great attitude, and she tries hard." Jenny Melander trains Donna Elvira, a daughter of Yankee Glide-Ashley's Carousel, for Steve Organ. In her career debut, Electric Lemonade had a sizable lead on the field, with only one rival cutting into her margin. But there was a catch. The horse on the move was the first-timer Broadway Photo, a full sister to millionaire Action-Broadway, the 2011 Mare Trotter of the Year. "I was well aware who was chasing me," Palone said. "I knew I had two handfuls of trot. I never really took her plugs out. I just wanted to get her over this racetrack, her first time over it. She was well within herself. Looks like she'll graduate to the sires stakes, I would guess." Electric Lemonade prevailed in 1:59.4, 3/4 lengths better than Broadway Photo. Neptune's Daughter completed the ticket. Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and Jim Fielding campaign Electric Lemonade, a daughter of Cantab Hall-Birthright. Tony Hall piloted three winners on the 14-race card. Tuesday's program at The Meadows features the Meadow Gladys, a $195,560 PA Sires Stake for freshman filly trotters. First post is 1 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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