Day At The Track
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WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 24, 2018 -- Expose Yourself angled off the cones out of the final turn and blew by Rose Run Sydney in the lane to capture Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot in 1:54.3, matching her career best. Rose Run Sydney got the jump on Expose Yourself with a first-over bid that carried her to the lead. But when Dave Palone showed Expose Yourself racetrack, she found another gear and downed Rose Run Sydney by a length. Early leader Glidinthruparadise finished third. Ron Burke trains Expose Yourself, a 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Muscle Shirt who lifted her career bankroll to $136,561, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Palone had four assignments on the 13-race card and won three of them -- all for Burke, who added four victories to Tuesday's six-bagger. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 23, 2018 -- McDazzle repelled the challenge of newcomer Touchamatic and went on to a facile victory in Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Dave Palone gave McDazzle a comfortable 57.1 first half, which aggravated the difficulty for the first-over Touchamatic, who had turned in some big recent miles at Yonkers. A fresh McDazzle put her away in the final turn and drew off to down the pocket-sitting Shesasmokinlady by 2 lengths in 1:52.4. Real Fine finished a ground-saving third. Ron Burke trains McDazzle, a 4-year-old daughter of Art Official-Dream McQueen who extended her career bankroll to $146,806, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Three horseman rolled up big numbers on the 13-race card, including Burke with six wins, Palone with five and Mike Wilder with four. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 22, 2018 -- Classic Banker found racing room into the final turn and brushed through the lane to capture Monday's feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot. Although hammered down to 4-5, Classic Banker was shuffled to fourth down the backside. But when Brady Brown angled him wide off the cones and showed him racetrack, the 8-year-old Classic Photo-Banker's Review gelding roared past Rising MVP and held off the rallying Banker Volo by 1/2 length in 1:55.1. Rising MVP saved show. Joe Urban trains and owns Classic Banker, who now boasts $191,685 in career earnings. It was one of four wins for Brown on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 20, 2018 -- Phoenix Warrior N dueled with Windsong Leo through a 26.4 third quarter before edging away late to capture Saturday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Phoenix Warrior N and Jim Pantaleano were stalking Windsong Leo and Dave Palone from the pocket when, after a sluggish 29.3 second panel, they decided to duke it out right there. The rivals raced as a team until the stretch, where the 6-year-old Jereme's Jet-Never Walk Alone gelding was the stronger, downing Windsong Leo by a neck in 1:51.4 over a "good" surface. Dapper Dude finished third. Scott Betts trains Phoenix Warrior N, who won for the 12th time this year and lifted his career bankroll to $345,973, for Timothy Betts, Nicholas Catalano and Stephen Moss. Palone collected four wins -- including a pair for trainer Trent Stohler -- while Tony Hall and trainer Ron Burke each enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 18, 2018 -- You really ought to give Iowa a try, a song from The Music Man famously implores us. Six years ago, trainer Wayne Hite took that advice literally. Now, purchasing and campaigning Iowa horses has become a major part of his business at The Meadows. Two more of Hite's Iowa purchases will be on display Saturday. Cash Vaughan (race 3, post 7) and Some More Prince (race 12, post 5), both with Jim Pantaleano aboard. First post is 1:05 PM. Hite's involvement with Iowa horses and owners began quite by accident. "We were at the Harrisburg sale in 2012, eating at a restaurant," Hite recalls. "We saw a fellow sitting there wearing a harness racing hat and struck up a conversation. He turned out to be Gary Liles, an Iowa horseman, who said at the end of the season there he usually had some horses to go because he didn't have anywhere else to race them, and would we be interested in them. "He called me later with a list of horses. We didn't have the resources that year to buy more than one or two, but they worked out. Now, I buy all his horses at the end of the Iowa season, and I also purchase from Paul Liles, Gary's father. They're both outstanding horsemen, and they've become like family to us." While other trainers have enjoyed success with purchases from the Hawkeye State, Hite is the "King of Iowa" at The Meadows. He and his wife Trudy have purchased and campaigned about 50 Iowa horses over the past six years -- the Hites often are joined on the ownership team by their friends, the Kalchthaler family, and Wayne's sister, Janis Hite-Niemiec -- including 13 that are racing now or soon will. Hite notes that Iowa imports can offer several advantages. They are, for example, race sharp. "They're seasoned horses that have learned how to race," he says. "They have a couple years under their belts, and they've been racing all summer, sometimes under bad conditions." They also have what might be called an "eligibility edge" in events written for non-winners of a race, or two or three races, life. In such events at The Meadows, victories in non-betting races, as Iowa fairs races are, don't count against a horse's win total. So horses may have a number of wins on their cards and still be eligible for NW1 or NW2 events, which they often dominate. Consider Saturday's pair. Cash Vaughan is a four-time winner In Iowa but will compete in a NW1. Some More Prince won five Iowa races before cruising to a 5-1/4-length romp in his Oct. 13 debut at The Meadows in a NW1. But Hite cautions others who might want to follow the trail that he's blazed that "you can't catch them with a butterfly net." For one thing, his success is built on the relationships he's developed over six years, an asset others may not have initially. For another, Iowa horsemen aren't greenhorns; they know full well what their horses may be worth at other venues, and they're not giving anything away. Hite has paid as much as $55,000 for his Iowa imports, a responsible price anywhere. Perhaps the key to Hite's record is the value he and his family add to the equation. For example, they focus on certain kinds of horses and typically spend a lot of time re-rigging them. "We target big trotters," Hite says. "We drop about six seconds off them, so if they're able to trot in 2:01 or 2:02 in Iowa and stay flat, I know they'll do here. We also hang them up to suit our track. There are a lot of head poles and boots that we can eliminate. That frees them up." Hite is a third generation horseman. Sons Kris, a trainer at The Meadows, and Justin, a trainer/driver/ blacksmith at the Aiken Training Track, comprise the fourth generation while Kris' son Bryce, who works with the family when he's home from college, is the prospective fifth generation. "I give a lot of the credit to Trudy," Hite says. "She has a good business head and calls most of the shots when it comes to classification and value. Justin flies up once a month to shoe all our horses." Saturday's card offers a number of attractive wagering opportunities, including a pair of rich pool guarantees -- $10,000 for the Pick 5, $7,500 for the Pick 4 -- and a $1,589.30 jackpot in the final-race Super Hi 5. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 17, 2018 -- Glidinthruparadise followed the live cover of Expose Yourself, then outkicked her in the lane to capture Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Ohio invader Rose Run Sydney kept the field in single file until the three-quarters, when the challengers made their moves. While Expose Yourself knifed inside to the Lightning Lane, Glidinthruparadise maintained her momentum outside for Brian Zendt and downed Expose Yourself by 1/2 length in 1:54.3. Rose Run Sydney saved show. Ed Zubkoff, Jr. trains Glidinthruparadise, a 5-year-old daughter of Yankee Glide-Chowda who extended her career bankroll to $234,633, for Brookside Stables. Dave Palone collected four wins and Tony Hall three on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the program features a pair of rich pool guarantees -- $10,000 for the Pick 5, $7,500 for the Pick 4 -- as well as a $1,589.30 jackpot in the Super Hi 5. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 16, 2018 -- Wind Of The North, a speedy, rugged and durable trotter throughout his career, vaulted over $1 million in lifetime earnings with an in-hand victory in Tuesday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. The 8-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding has won 47 of his 160 lifetime starts and banked $1,005,098. Wind Of The North retook the lead with a quarter-pole move for Aaron Merriman and owner/trainer Bill Bercury and had little trouble turning aside the first-over bid of Call For Justice. He scored in 1:55.4, 2-1/2 lengths better than early leader PL Jerico, with Cantab Lindy third. Wind Of The North took his 1:51 mark at Pocono at 4 and enjoyed his most productive years in 2015-2016, when he collected $489,352. In 2015, he won the Chip Noble at Scioto Downs and was second in the Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. Tony Hall piloted three winners on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 15, 2018 -- Hockey Hanover roared through the sloppy stretch and overtook his stablemate, Southwind Cobra, at the wire to capture Monday's feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot. Hockey Hanover trailed by 5 lengths into the final turn when he found another gear for Jim Pantaleano and downed Southwind Cobra by a length in a career-best 1:55.2. Explosive Leggs finished third. Ron Burke trains Hockey Hanover, who last year won both the Pennsylvania Stallion Series championship and the PA Fairs title, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and M1 Stable. The 3-year-old Explosive Matter-Hotentrot Hanover gelding lifted his lifetime bankroll to $146,469. Mike Wilder piloted three winners on the 13-race card while Greg Wright, Jr. fashioned a training/driving double. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 12, 2018 -- Rick Magee, a stalwart of Midwest racing, has moved his tack to The Meadows now that Hawthorne and Running Aces have completed their meetings and expects to stay here at least through year's end. Magee, who usually takes winters off, indicated he decided to keep his seven head going this year because he thinks they'll fit well at The Meadows. "One of the things I really like about this track is their classifications for trotters," he says. "They write a lot of trots, and they split up the girls and the boys. In Minnesota, they don't have a big enough batch of trotters to do that." Magee, nephew of prominent drivers Dave Magee (a Hall of Famer) and Dean Magee, is one of the sport's dwindling breed of trainer/drivers who's not particularly interested in specializing in one discipline or the other. For his career, he's collected 1,045 driving wins, another 422 as a trainer. "I catch drive a lot in Minnesota, but they race only three days a week," he says. "There's not enough income sometimes and a lot of time to fill. At other tracks, I've never really stayed long enough to get catch drives, though I'd get some after a while." On Saturday, Magee will send out Scramble Camp, a 3-year-old Weight Lifter-Hall Of Beauty gelding trotter who's won 15 of 17 starts this year for Daniel Roland and Robert Davis. He remains eligible for Saturday's $11,100 NW5 event because most of his victories were in Iowa non-betting races that don't count against his win total. Scramble Camp goes from post 2 (head number 3) with Tony Hall. Magee ordinarily would handle the reins himself, but he'll be on a quick trip to his home in Wisconsin, where he maintains a three-broodmare farm and also helps his dad, Kevin Magee, who owns and operates a feed business. If you happen to encounter Magee, don't ask him how he spends his free time. He doesn't have any. Saturday's card offers a number of attractive wagering opportunities, including a pair of rich pool guarantees -- $7,500 for the Pick 4, $5,000 for the Pick 5 -- and the final-race Super Hi. 5. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Paddock, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 11, 2018 -- Delcrest Magicstar let Expose Yourself do the heavy lifting, then blew by her in the Lightning Lane to pull off the 12-1 upset in Thursday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. A recent acquisition by Tom Pollack, Reed Broadway and Randy Bendis, who also trains, Delcrest Magicstar stretched out Expose Yourself on the "good" surface before yielding to the pocket. She poured through the Lightning Lane for Aaron Merriman to defeat Expose Yourself by 1-1/4 lengths while Glidinthruparadise also shot the Lightning Lane for show. The 4-year-old daughter of Majestic Son-Star's Balance boosted her lifetime bankroll to $189,669. Tony Hall piloted three winners on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 10, 2018 -- PL Jerico stalked Wind Of The North from the pocket, then kicked by him in the lane to capture Wednesday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows in a sharp 1:53.3. Hammered down to 1-2. Wind Of The North was seeking his fourth straight win; when he got a 29.4 second-quarter breather, it appeared he would extend that streak. But when Dave Palone tipped PL Jerico off the cones at the top of the lane, he inched past the favorite and downed him by a neck. Chef Lee completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains PL Jerico, a 5-year-old Manofmanymissions-Corinas Mission gelding who now boasts $228,480 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. It was one of four wins for Palone on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has increased — to $10,000 — the total-pool guarantee for its Thursday, Oct. 11 Pick 4 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. While $7,500 Pick 4 guarantees are offered each card, The Meadows sweetened the pot when Wednesday’s Pick 4 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $3,306.51. In addition, Thursday’s card includes a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 5 as well as the Super Hi-5; each is a regular feature of each program at The Meadows. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (races 4-7), Pick 5 (races 9-13) and Super Hi-5 (race 13) 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 the special Thursday card is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 9, 2018 -- Mission Accepted made it three straight victories when he demolished the field by 6-1/2 lengths in Tuesday's feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot. Mission Accepted got away fourth for Dave Palone and reached the top with an extended quarter-pole move. The 3-year-old son of Manofmanymissions-Witty Girl drew off as he pleased, scoring in a sharp 1:52.3. Classic Banker raced well first over for second while early leader Southwind Cobra completed the ticket. Jeff Conger trains Mission Accepted, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $328,524, and owns with Knox Services and David Wills. Aaron Merriman collected three wins on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 4, 2018 -- When The Meadows hosts Saturday's $200,000 Pennsylvania Fairs Championships, the final for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers might be billed "Clash of the Titans II." That's because Cirrus De Vie and Venier Hanover, who dueled in last year's Fairs final, are the Top 2 in points this year and will square off in the glamor division once more. They'll meet in race 8 when Venier Hanover goes from post 5 and Cirrus De Vie from post 7 as part of an entry. Each of the eight championships carries a purse of $25,000. The program begins at 12:35 PM with a non-wagering event while the card proper starts at 1:05 PM. In last year's championship, Venier Hanover was pounded down to 1-9 but couldn't get past the 25-1 Cirrus De Vie, who took the crown while Venier Hanover settled for show. Both geldings have done quite well since then. Venier Hanover, a son of Well Said-Valmctorian, has banked $135,837 for trainer/driver David Brickell, who co-owns with Mitchell York. For his part, Cirrus De Vie has earned $84,028 for Roger Hammer, who trains, drives and co-owns with Vicki Lynn Fair. This year, however, Venier Hanover has a decided edge in head-to-head competition. While his archrival has downed him on three occasions, he's beaten Cirrus De Vie five straight times en route to his current eight-race Fairs winning streak. Venier Hanover's sharp form notwithstanding, Brickell indicates he's wary of Hammer, who's been known for years as "King of the Fairs." "That streak gives me a lot of confidence, but when you're racing against 'The Great One,' he pulls them out somehow," Brickell says. "I won't know what I'll do until the gate opens, but if 'Cirrus' doesn't get away from me, we should be all right." With Venier Hanover's sophomore campaign winding down, Brickell said he and York likely will sell their $6,000 yearling purchase. "We mostly race at fairs, and it takes a lot of extra traveling to race an older one at pari-mutuel tracks," he said. "If we can't get what we're asking for, then, yes, we'll race him at the pari-mutuel level. For an inexpensive purchase, he's been excellent. Those only come around every once in a while." Brickell and Hammer can't afford to get too preoccupied by the renewal of this rivalry, as they're sending out a total of 11 horses in the championships. And they'll knock heads one more time in the final for 3-year-old filly trotters (race 6), where Hammer will be represented by Blow Back, a nine-time winner in 2018 and the divisional points leader, and Brickell by Secret Cookie, winless in 23 outings this year. Saturday also is the celebration of the annual "Pink Out" staged by The Meadows and The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association to benefit breast cancer awareness and treatment. Among the highlights is a "Meet and Greet" with Foiled Again who, with more than $7.5 million in earnings, is the richest Standardbred ever and is based locally in the Ron Burke stable. Other festivities include: Mini-pony race; "Pinkest Pony" contest, a Chinese auction; the Washington County Auto Show; Food trucks and vendors on the apron. On the racing side, the card features a number of attractive wagering opportunities, including a pair of rich pool guarantees -- $7,500 for the Pick 4, $5,000 for the Pick 5 -- and a $902.83 jackpot in the final-race Super Hi-Five. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 3, 2018 -- The powerful team of Dave Palone and trainer Ron Burke flexed their muscles Wednesday at The Meadows when they won five races, including the co-feature, a $13,000 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace, with newcomer Percy Bluechip. A recent acquisition by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Purnel & Libby and Donald Emond, Percy Bluechip had been racing in Canada, where the 3-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Advantest compiled a bankroll of $468,755. Facing older mares, she powered to the front from post 6 and held off the late charge of the pocket-sitting Camera Lady, downing her by a neck in a sharp 1:52. Shesasmokinlady completed the ticket. In the companion feature, a $13,000 Filly & Mare Conditioned Trot, Glidinthruparadise also scored on the front end with a 1:54.2 triumph for Brian Zendt, trainer Ed Zubkoff, Jr. and Brookside Stables. The 5-year-old daughter of Yankee Glide-Chowda lifted her lifetime earnings to $222,473. Elsewhere on the card, 18-year-old Jack Killeen, a resident of Dublin, Ireland who is stateside for several months to learn the American approach to the business, collected his first U.S. win when he brought Dreamer's Delight from 7-1/2 lengths back to prevail in 1:56.3 for trainer Paul Corey and owner Diane Coe. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 2, 2018 -- Wind Of The North turned back the determined uncovered bid of Call For Justice and collected his third straight victory in Tuesday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Wind Of The North had to step lively to reach the leaf from post 7 in 27.3, but when Aaron Merriman gave the 8-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding a 30.2 second-quarter breather, he was refreshed and ready for Call For Justice's challenge. Wind Of The North downed him by a length in 1:54.3, with the pocket-sitting Classicality third in the Lightning Lane. Bill Bercury trains and owns Wind Of The North, who now boasts $991,598 in career earnings. Dave Palone piloted four winners on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 1, 2018 -- The only 3-year-old in the field, Mission Accepted took it to his elders with a powerful uncovered move that carried him to victory in Monday's feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot. Mission Accepted entered the race off a victory in the $53,100 Ohio Breeders Championship and was hammered down to 3-5 as a result. He looked every bit the part, blowing by Top Dollar for Dave Palone mid-way down the backside and defeating him by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:54.1. Media Buzz completed the ticket. Jeff Conger trains the son of Manofmanymissions-Witty Girl, who now boasts $322,024 in career earnings, and owns with Knox Services Inc. and David Wills. It was one of three wins for Palone on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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