WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 12, 2014 -- Fueled by a four-day carryover, The Meadows Pick 5 pool topped out at $96,768.71 before players hammered Wednesday's wager. Each of Wednesday's Pick 5 legs produced a heavily supported winner -- longest price was 2.90-1 -- resulting in 113 winning tickets (assuming all tickets were played for 50 cents). Still, with a payoff of $855.75 for a winning 50-cent ticket, the event was exciting and rewarding for those who participated. In Wednesday's feature, an $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot, Victory Is Coming sat patiently in the pocket, then shot the Lightning Lane for Mike Wilder to defeat the tiring leader, Magic Wheel, by 1/2 length in 1:55. Princess Pablano was third. Ammon Hershberger trains Victory Is Coming, a 7-year-old daughter of Victory Sam-Norse Comer who has won 42 races and $446,110 in her career, for Betty Shaw and John Red Shaw. Dave Palone and Wilder each drove four winners on the 15-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 13, 2013 — Victory Is Coming saved ground until the final turn, then popped off the pylons and brushed by Unefoisdansmavie to capture Wednesday’s $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Victory Is Coming sat snugly behind Unefoisdansmavie and Win Missy B as they dueled for the early lead. When Mike Wilder asked her for trot, the 6-year-old daughter of Victory Sam-Norse Comer had plenty to defeat Unefoisdansmavie by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:53.4. Win Missy B saved show. Ammon Hershberger trains Victory Is Coming, who now boasts $428,235 in career earnings, for Betty Shaw and John Red Shaw. It was one of four wins for Wilder on the 15-race card. Horses trained by Ron Burke, North America’s perennial leading conditioner, earned $13,148 on Wednesday’s program, lifting Burke’s 2013 purse total to $19,999,479. Although that’s already a record, Burke was positioned to surpass $20 million Wednesday with a pair of horses scheduled to race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Burke has 980 training wins thus far in 2013 — also a record. Evan Pattak
WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 25, 2013 — Tabulator was so wound up while scoring down that it took both trainer/driver Marvin Raber and Parade Marshal Missy Rothfuss to control him. But once Raber was able to redirect that energy to the matter at hand, the result was amazing — a 17-length victory for “Marvelous Marvin” and Tabulator in Friday’s $10,000 C.K.G. Billings West Final at The Meadows. Tabulator ripped off a string of front-end victories at The Meadows early this year but wasn’t on top at any point in his last two starts. “He’s been jogging good, and I’ve been swimming him a lot because of some soundness issues,” said Raber, who conditions the 4-year-old Cantab Hall-Mystical Taya gelding for Bert Dale Hershberger. “Now, he’s really good. Sometimes he quits at the end, but today he went right on. He gets fired up behind the gate.” Tabulator scored in a career-best 1:56.2 while “Trader” Bud Hatfield and GJ Photo Victory won the war of the weary for place. “Lawbook Larry” Farley and Rewrite The Rules saved show. The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association sponsored a “Pink Out” Friday to raise breast cancer awareness as well as funds for the Magee Women’s Hospital Foundation in Pittsburgh. The event included a $5,000 trot, featuring nine female drivers, that honored the late Mary McCune, who recently was named to the inaugural class of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Rachel Kaneoka captured the event, piloting R Big Ben to victory in 2:00.2 and helping him snap his 48-race losing streak over two seasons. Devan Miller (Earl’s Glider) was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Cherie Keith (Red Falkor) third. Scott U’ren conditions R Big Ben, an 8-year-old British Sterling-Gracious Pleasure gelding, for Debbie U’ren. Also participating were drivers Joelene Christman, Leslie Zendt, Sharon Donella, Kathryn Hawk, Danita Harvey and Nikki Harvey. The action-packed card also included two $18,000 Preferred Handicap events. In the race for filly and mare pacers, Sissy Bar scored a 16-1 shocker by pouring through the Lightning Lane and downing Pink Camo by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:52.4, matching her lifetime best. Early leader Darena Hanover was third. Eric Ledford drove the 7-year-old daughter of Aces N’ Sevens-Ocean Beach for owner/trainer Tyler Nostadt. In the companion feature for filly and mare trotters, Victory Is Coming made it two straight for Mike Wilder by exploiting a pocket trip and prevailing in 1:56. The rallying Trotslikethewind was second, missing by 1/2 length, while the first-over Jesse’s Messenger earned show. Ammon Hershberger trains Victory Is Coming, a 6-year-old daughter of Victory Sam-Norse Comer who now boasts $416,795 in career earnings, for Betty Shaw and John Red Shaw. by Evan Pattak for The Meadows
WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 17, 2013 — Undeterred by the sloppy surface, Victory Is Coming took advantage of soft fractions and coasted to victory in Thursday’s $22,500 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Although they were parked from post 7 before assuming the lead, Victory Is Coming and Mike Wilder worked out a comfortable first half in 59.1. There was no catching the 7-5 favorite after that, as she cruised home in 1:56.3, 2-1/4 lengths better than the pocket-sitting Greathallofchina. Jesse’s Messenger raced third and finished third. Ammon Hershberger trains the 6-year-old daughter of Victory Sam-Norse Comer, who soared over $400,000 in career earnings, for Betty Shaw and John Red Shaw. Dave Palone drove four winners and Wilder three on the 15-race card. by Evan Patak for The Meadows
The Friday (September 13) races at Northfield Park were marred by an accident that took place in the evening’s eleventh race. In the race’s initial turn, I Love My Yankee (David Lake) broke stride and started a chain reaction of drivers being unseated. Drivers Ammon Hershberger and Beau Blevens were injured and transported to a local hospital. All the other drivers walked away without incident.