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WASHINGTON, PA, March 15, 2019 -- Dew A Little Dance and Wild Wild Western each captured his second straight $12,500 split in Friday's second leg of the Walter Russell Memorial Pace for 3- and 4-year-old colts, stallions and geldings at The Meadows. A 4-year-old A Rocknroll Dance-Artbitration gelding, Dew A Little Dance has been ahead at every call in the series for Tony Hall, trainer Norm Parker and owner Tom Klosky, Jr. He prevailed in 1:52.4, 2-3/4 lengths better than Delray Dude, with Stonelake third. Parker earned a Walter Russell training sweep when Wild Wild Western, a sophomore son of Western Ideal-Caila Fra making only his third career start, rallied for Mike Wilder to score in 1:54.2. Touch Of The West was second, beaten 2-3/4 lengths, while Big Pocket Teen completed the ticket. Jacobs Creek Racing, Andrew Altobelli and John Deters campaign Wild Wild Western Hall, Parker and Wilder each fashioned a triple on the 13-race card while the broodmare Artbitration enjoyed a rare double as another of her sons, Klosky-owned Dew N Doughnuts, won a conditioned pace. Dew A Little Dance         - Chris Gooden photo The Meadows currently is hosting four series for 3- and 4-year-olds, with all championships set for Friday, March 22, first post 1:05 PM. In other second-leg action this week: Mary Wohlmuth Memorial Trot -- Fillies & Mares Sweet Madam opened a big lead early and held off a pair of challengers late to triumph in 1:57, fastest this year for a sophomore filly trotter on a five-eighths-mile track. Galary Girl was second, a neck back, while Famous Dilemma completed the ticket. Hall piloted the daughter of Winning Mister-Sweet Mademoiselle for trainer Parker and owner/breeder Bob Key. Jim Pantaleano took the other $12,500 divisions with Revival and Moshannon Magic. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot, Party At The Banks blew away the field with a 27.4 third quarter for Dave Palone and scored in 1:54.2. Ron Burke conditions the 5-year-old daughter of Break The Bank K-Beach Party As, whose career earnings now stand at $135,923, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Wilder and Pantaleano each garnered three wins on the 13-race program.   Ken Weaver Memorial Trot -- Colts, Stallions & Geldings Looped from the gate, Explosive Magic continued to the front and scored a decisive 1:56.4 victory in Tuesday's fastest division. Smokee Mirrors and Bellsandwhistles took the other $12,500 splits. Brian Zendt tallied a Ken Weaver double -- among his three wins on the 13-race card -- behind Explosive Magic and Smokee Mirrors. Explosive Magic, who suffered a neck defeat in the opening leg, made amends with his powerful front-end victory for trainer Dirk Simpson and owners Dirk Simpson Stable and Lawrence Barnett. The 3-year-old Explosive Matter-Magical Paige gelding downed Cash Hit by 2 lengths, with Explosive Form third. Elsewhere on the card, Windsun Glory made a successful return from a three-month layoff with a 1:53 win from post 9 in the $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace. Palone was aboard for Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva Stables and Larry Karr. The 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Windsun Princess now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $380,368.   Donna Dunn Memorial Pace -- Fillies & Mares Walk On Air followed the live cover of her stablemate, Hip To My Lou, then blitzed by her in the lane to capture her division. The other $12,500 split went to She Dragons. Walk On Air, a 3-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou-Into Thin Air, took a mark last year of 1:56.4 but hadn't raced since Sept. 25. Nevertheless, she had enough pop for Dan Charlino to out-finish Hip To My Lou by 2 lengths in 1:55.2, with Flipping Fun third. Burke conditions Walk On Air for Burke Racing Stable, Adriano Sorella and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, Mac Deeno sprang a 17-1 upset in 1:56.3 over a "good" surface for Pantaleano, trainer J.L. Adams and owner Mike Foote. The 6-year-old son of Broadway Hall-Macdeena vaulted over $200,000 in career earnings.   Evan Pattak

WASHINGTON, PA, March 1, 2019 -- Continuing his impressive roll, Dapper Dude rode a pocket trip to victory in Friday's $18,000 Preferred Pace at The Meadows, giving the 10-year-old millionaire four wins and three seconds in his last seven starts. The front-ending Stride Of Pride didn't go down easily, clicking off the last quarter in 27.2. But under the encouragement of Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., Dapper Dude went a tick faster, downing Stride Of Pride by a neck in 1:52.1 over a "good" surface. The first-over New Evidence completed the ticket. Tim Twaddle trains the son of The Panderosa-Dress To Suggest, whose career earnings now total $1,333,270, for Micki Rae Stables. Aaron Merriman, trainer Ron Burke and Wrenn each fashioned a triple on the 13-raee card. Hall Sweeps Wednesday Features with Maewegonow, Medusa Seizing the opportunity when the heavy favorite broke near the quarter, Maewegonow powered to the lead from third and pulled off the 8-1 upset in Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot. Once 1-2 favorite Misslarose jumped it off and cleared to the outside, Tony Hall had Maewegonow on the move. The 5-year-old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe-Mauresmo triumphed in 1:55.4, 1-3/4 lengths better than the rallying Cherry Pie, with the pocket-sitting Dirty Secret third. Richard Perfido conditions Maewegonow, who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $294,051, for Thomas Mattingly. In Wednesday's companion feature, the $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, Medusa overwhelmed Camera Lady with a quick backside burst and went on to a convincing victory in 1:55.4. Keystone Riptide was second, beaten 1-3/4 lengths, with Circle The Page third. Camera Lady finished last in the field of four and saw her three-race winning streak snapped. Hall steered Medusa for trainer Randy Bendis, who owns the 8-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical with Pollack Racing LLC. Medusa now boasts $881,743 in career earnings. Merriman and Hall each enjoyed a four-bagger on the 13-race card.   Ellasen Rebounds, Takes Tuesday Feature Rebounding from an uncharacteristically dull performance, Ellasen stalked Touchamatic from the pocket, then brushed by her late to capture Tuesday's feature, a $13,000 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Ellasen finished eighth in her most recent start and never left the cones. But she was sharp Tuesday for Dave Palone, downing Touchamatic by 1/2 length in 1:52.4, with Ubettorbeturlife third. Dirk Simpson trains the 5-year-old daughter of Big Bad John-So Very Nice, who kicked her career earnings up to $177,998, for Peter Karras and William Tortoriello. Hall piloted three winners on the 13-race program. Call For Justice Wins in the Wind; Palone Gets 5-Bagger Call For Justice had to work hard for the lead, and he drifted out in the lane, but he was strong enough to secure the victory in Sunday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. On a day when horses battled wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour, Call For Justice put the field away with a 27.1 third quarter for Palone en route to a 1:58 mile over a "good" surface. The first-over Northern Skyway was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, while early leader Media Buzz earned show. Burke trains Call For Justice, a 7-year-old son of Justice Hall-Mika's Mazurka who pushed his career bankroll to $557,757, for Burke Racing Stable. Palone garnered five wins and Mike Wilder three on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Sunday, when the program features a $2,798.30 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM.   Evan Pattak

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 22, 2019 — Venerable Dapper Dude earned his 50th career harness racing victory in Friday’s $18,000 Preferred Pace at The Meadows, and he did it in characteristic fashion — turning back challengers inside and out when it appeared he would be engulfed. Dapper Dude led out of the final turn when New Evidence loomed up outside while Stride Of Pride headed for the Lightning Lane. But the 10-year-old son of The Panderosa-Dress To Suggest found more for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and edged Stride Of Pride by a neck in 1:51.1, with New Evidence a close-up third. Tim Twaddle trains Dapper Dude, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $1,324,270, for Micki Rae Stables. Tony Hall fashioned a four-bagger on the 13-race program. In other highlights of the week at The Meadows: Misslarose Hangs Tough in Meadows Debut; Wilder Wins 5 Newcomer Misslarose showed grit in her Meadows debut, as she parried the determined bid of Dirty Secret and triumphed in Wednesday’s $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot. It took the entire opening panel for Misslarose to reach the point for Aaron Merriman, but the 5-year-old daughter of Majestic Son-Marion Chocolata still had enough to put away Dirty Secret and hold off I Want Kandy by a head in 1:58.1 in the slop. Maewegonow rallied for show. Bill Bercury trains Misslarose, who extended her career earnings to $140,500, for Renee Bercury. Mike Wilder piloted five winners on the 13-race card, giving him nine victories over the last two programs, while Hall enjoyed a triple. Misslarose winning this week at The Meadows     - Chris Gooden photo Camera Lady Notches 3rd Straight in $18,000 F&M Pace Camera Lady notched her third straight victory when she pocketed Medusa early and thwarted her Lightning Lane bid late to prevail in Tuesday’s $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace. Once Dave Palone gave Camera Lady a 30 second-quarter breather, the 5-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Ann Van Go had enough in the tank to hold off Medusa by a neck in 1:53.3. Keystone Riptide completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains Camera Lady, a career winner of $310,458, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Palone and Burke teamed for four wins on the 13-race card. Wind Of The North Draws Inside, Jogs in $20,000 Trot Wind Of The North enjoyed his best post position in weeks and made the most of it, notching an in-hand victory in Sunday’s $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. For seven straight races, Wind Of The North drew or was assigned post 7 or deeper yet still won three of those contests. With the open draw for Sunday’s event, he and Merriman were able to leave from the rail. The 9-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding quarter-poled to the top and scored easily in 1:56.1 over a “good” surface. Explosive Leggs finished second, 1-3/4 lengths back, with Media Buzz third. Bill Bercury owns and trains Wind Of The North, who extended his impressive bankroll to $1,075,908. Jim Pantaleano collected four wins and Palone three on the 12-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Sunday, when the program features a $1,000.20 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM.   by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 18, 2019 -- Early in the morning, Dave Kuzara teaches his pupils not to jump. Later in the day, he wants his students to jump as high as they can. Strange? Not really, because Kuzara has chosen a career combination that may be unique. He's a part-time harness racing trainer at The Meadows and full-time assistant coach for the University of Pittsburgh women's gymnastics team. Currently, Kuzara has only one active horse, Black Ruby, who's in to go Tuesday. She leaves from post 7, race 4 for Tony Hall. The card begins at 1:05 PM. Growing up near Detroit, Kuzara was a budding gymnast but got the coaching bug while pursuing his undergraduate degree. A youngish 59, Kuzara has been coaching gymnastics for 40 years with stops at the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, the University of Arkansas, the University of Massachusetts and West Virginia University. Oddly enough, it was his grandmother who introduced him to harness racing. "She loved bingo and racing, so one day I took her to Detroit Race Course," he recalls. "There were more than 10,000 people there, and it was the most exciting thing I'd ever seen. I knew then that at some point, I would work with horses." In the 1980s, he bought his first horse, a quarter claimer named Pumpernickel who won twice for Kuzara but didn't earn much bread. He was much more successful with Peaches, a daughter of Water Tower who banked $161,482 for her career. "She ended up winning everywhere, including the Meadowlands. She had the track record at Plainridge Park before Bunny Lake broke it. It was amazing what she accomplished. She was just so tough." When UMASS eliminated a number of sports, including gymnastics, Kuzara was left jobless and thought he would try harness racing full time. "I had an eight-horse stable at Saratoga; that was my occupation for a year," he says. "I decided that coaching gymnastics was way easier. The horse business is tough." Kuzara's typical day is virtually endless. At 5 AM or soon after, he's at the Washington County Fairgrounds to work and feed his horses. Then he travels 30 miles or so on I-79 and I-376 to reach Pitt and his gymnastics charges. Finally, he's back at the fairgrounds late in the afternoon. "I've been fortunate in that my commute happens in non-peak-rush-hour times," he says. As you might expect, his coaching responsibilities require semi-regular travel. During those periods when he can't handle the day-to-day care of his horses, Kuzara relies on the assistance of fellow horsemen. "I've been fortunate to be associated with people like Joe Casagranda in Michigan, Don Guidette, Jr. at Plainridge and Bob Barnard and his family at The Meadows," he says. "They've helped me and taught me." For all the apparent differences in his two sports, Kuzara sees key similarities. "Both are anaerobic," he says. "In both, having a training schedule and sticking with it is important. And in each case, you have to pay attention to your students. I can watch a gymnast limp and know that I have to back off with her. I can watch my horse move and know that she's feeling good. Doing both endeavors has made me a lot more alert to the condition of the athlete." In gymnastics, though, his goals transcend winning. "I'm not really coaching gymnasts," he says. "We're in the business of developing strong women with a voice. That's what we should be doing." by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 15, 2019 -- Arthur Pendragon moved steadily first over and wore down the harness racing leader, Dapper Dude, to take Friday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Arthur Pendragon was third when Mike Wilder sent him after Dapper Dude, a millionaire who seldom gives up the lead late. But the determined Arthur Pendragon edged him by a head in 1:53, with New Evidence a close-up third. Ron Burke conditions the 6-year-old Dragon Again-Western Realist gelding, who now boasts $268,745 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Phil Collura and Jack Piatt III. Wilder bagged four winners on the 12-race card while Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. enjoyed a triple.. In other highlights of the week at The Meadows: Converted Claimer I Want Kandy Captures $20,000 F&M Trot When I Want Kandy took a Jan. 21 $8,000 claiming race, it didn't seem especially noteworthy. Yet it launched a three-race winning streak that carried her to Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot. Did she belong with the track's elite distaff trotters? Did she ever. The 6-year-old daughter of Angus Hall-Celebrity Kandy moved first over for Jim Pantaleano and triumphed in 1:59 over a sloppy, tiring track to extend her streak to four. You're Majestic finished second, 2 lengths back, with Goodtogo Hanover third. Scott Betts trains I Want Kandy, who pushed her lifetime earnings to $160,388, for Tim Betts. It was one of three victories on the 13-race program for Pantaleano. Camera Lady Wins Top Distaff Pace, Soars Over $300,000 Camera Lady controlled the mile after a quarter-pole move for Dave Palone and scored for the 46th time in 87 career starts in Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace. Burke conditions the 5-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Ann Van Go, who soared over $300,000 in lifetime earnings, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Graceful Vision was second, beaten 2-1/4 lengths, while Medusa rallied from last to third in her seasonal debut. Winning time in the slop was 1:54.4. Tony Hall collected four victories on the 13-race card while Wilbur Yoder fashioned a training/driving double. Uncle Leroy Upsets At 14-1 In $20K Trot Dismissed at 14-1, Uncle Leroy moved confidently to the lead past the quarter and notched a comfortable victory in Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. The 6-year-old Neely Dunn-Plumao gelding drifted out in the sloppy stretch but held off Northern Skyway by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:56.3. Full Surge shot the Lightning Lane for show. Charles Vigneron trains Uncle Leroy, who extended his career bankroll to $163,181, for Richard McCormick. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Sunday at 1:05 PM, the first of four consecutive Sunday cards. There will be no live racing on the Mondays following those special Sunday programs. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows  

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 8, 2019 -- A front-end type for most of his distinguished career, Dapper Dude moved smartly first over and held off Arthur Pendragon in the lane to capture Friday's $18,000 Preferred Pace at The Meadows. Once Dapper Dude reached the leader, New Evidence, that frustrated rival broke stride, scattering horses behind him. Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and Dapper Dude had little trouble clearing the breaker and downing Arthur Pendragon by a neck in 1:53.1. Stride Of Pride, who was bothered by the breaker, recovered to finish third. Tim Twaddle trains Dapper Dude, a 10-year-old son of The Panderosa-Dress To Suggest who won for the 49th time in his career and lifted his bankroll to $1,310,770, for Micki Rae Stables. Jim Pantaleano was a three-time winner on the 13-race program. In other highlights of the week at The Meadows: Camera Lady Gets Picture Taken In $18,000 F&M Trot Trapped in last week until the issue had been decided, Camera Lady took matters into her own hands in Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Pace, zipping to the front for Dave Palone and scoring under wraps. Aided by a 29.3 second-quarter breather, Camera Lady easily held off the pocket-sitting Bontz N by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:52.4 -- a tick off her career best -- over a "good" surface. Graceful Vision completed the ticket. Ron Burke conditions the 5-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Ann Van Go, who extended her lifetime bankroll to $291,458, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. TSM Photo Bugger Finds Late Room, Wins Top Trot At 7-1 Veteran TSM Photo Bugger angled off the cones for late racing room, edged past the upstart Uncle Leroy and sprang the 7-1 upset in Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. At 20-1, Uncle Leroy put away the leader, Parkhill Lancelot, but couldn't hold off TSM Photo Bugger, who took off when Chris Shaw showed him racetrack. The 12-year-old SJ's Photo-Rewarding Wink gelding scored in 1:55.3, 1-1/2 lengths better than Uncle Leroy, with early leader Wind Of The North third. Karen Fread trains TSM Photo Bugger, who now boasts career earnings of $766,198, for owner/breeder Ted Tomson. Tony Hall piloted three winners on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, first post 1:05 PM, when the program features a wealth of big-score wagering opportunities, including: $6,996.33 carryover in the day's first Superfecta, currently race 2; $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4, races 4-7; $5,650.06 carryover in the Pick 5, races 9-13; $1,295.40 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 1, 2019 -- New Evidence stalked Stride Of Pride from the pocket before using the Lightning Lane to perfection to complete the 6-1 upset in Friday's $18,000 Preferred Pace at The Meadows. Stride Of Pride had plenty of pace left turning for home but couldn't match the 27.3 final panel of New Evidence, who prevailed in 1:52.2 over a "good" surface for Aaron Merriman. Dapper Dude also shot the Lightning Lane for second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Stride Of Pride saved show. Herman Hagerman trains the 6-year-old Western Terror-Bouncing Hanover gelding, who lifted his career earnings to $122,630, for Northwind Farm. With his place check, the 10-year-old Dapper Dude vaulted over $1.3 million in lifetime purses. Dave Palone, Mike Wilder and trainer Ron Burke each enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. In other highlights of the racing week at The Meadows: Wind Of The North Survives Late Scare In $20,000 Trot Wind Of The North had things his way on the point but had to hold off a late charge from the pocket-sitting TSM Photo Bugger to capture Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. As TSM Photo Bugger closed in, Merriman asked the millionaire for more. The 9-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding responded, downing the challenger by a neck in 1:56.1 over a "good" surface, with Explosive Leggs third. Bill Bercury trains and owns Wind Of The North, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $1,063,508. Jim Pantaleano and Wilder each collected three wins on the 13-race card. White Metro Pulls Off 16-1 Shocker In Top Distaff Pace Dismissed at 16-1, White Metro followed the live cover of Bontz N, then roared past her in the lane to score in Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Pace for Mike Wilder, trainer Randy Bendis and owner Tom Pollack. The 7-year-old daughter of Metropolitan-Bye Bye Peachy Pie triumphed in 1:54.3 over a "good" surface, 1-1/2 lengths better than Bontz N, who was returning from a 4-1/2-month layoff and suffered her first U.S. defeat in four domestic starts. A trapped-in Camera Lady shook loose late to claim show. White Metro has banked $347,716 in her career. Palone fashioned a triple on the 13-race program. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, first post 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 29, 2019 -- Due to frigid conditions, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has canceled its live harness racing program for Wednesday, Jan. 30 and qualifying races for Thursday, Jan. 31. The Meadows and its Harmar facility will remain open both days for simulcast viewing and wagering. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday, Feb. 1, first post 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 1, 2019 -- One of the most spectacular, improbable, inspirational equine careers in harness racing history ended New Year's Eve at The Meadows with the final race of Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred ever. Although his fifth-place finish disappointed the expectant crowd, his $650 check sent his career earnings to $7,635,588, a mark that likely won't be eclipsed anytime soon. The race, the 331stfor the Dragon Again-In A Safe Place gelding, also capped a hugely successful "Farewell Tour" in which Foiled Again's owners -- Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables -- campaigned him at 18 tracks across the continent. The tour was an athletic and an artistic success; not only did Foiled Again win 11 of those races, swelling his career total to 109, but he also was the centerpiece of special events that created handle and buzz for the venues he visited. In fact, the tour did so much for the sport that the United States Harness Writers Association voted Foiled Again the winner of the 2018 Stan Bergstein/Proximity Award, one of harness racing's most prestigious and coveted accolades. Foiled again and Yannick Gingras  post parade for the last time. (Raymond Lance Photo) The chances for victory in his final race took a hit when "Foiled Again's Last Call," as the event was styled, came up so tough that his trainer, Ron Burke, called it a "mini-open." All-day rain made for a sloppy, tiring surface, while his draw, post 8, certainly didn't help. As if all that weren't enough, one of Foiled Again's rivals, Knocking Around, a tough-as-nails, off-the-pace type, was piloted by David McNeight III seeking a milestone of his own -- career victory 1,000. It was a less-than-ideal spot, but the gallant gelding gave it his all, shooting to the top for Yannick Gingras and holding it through fractions of 28.4/57.4. When McNeight challenged first up with Knocking Around, a weary Foiled Again eventually yielded, defeated 3-1/2 lengths but missing show by only 1/4 length. Foiled Again leads the field Going to the ½...(Raymond Lance Photo) The scenario set off celebrations that The Meadows winners' circle seldom has seen. First was the mob that greeted McNeight and Knocking Around, still so full of himself that he would barely settle for the picture. Then the even more boisterous greeting for Foiled Again, who was calm and gentlemanly throughout. Burke Brigade and Foiled Again heading to Winners circle  for the retirement ceremony. (Raymond Lance Photo) Among those speaking in the winners' circle: Gingras, probably Foiled Again' most frequent driver, who cited the horse's victory in the 2013 Breeders Crown as his most memorable trip aboard Foiled Again. (Matt Kakaley, who also has driven Foiled Again, didn't speak but slipped quietly into the celebration.); Burke, who conceived and led the execution of the Farewell Tour. He also cited Foiled Again's Breeders Crown win as his most memorable; Mickey Burke, patriarch of the Burke clan, who decades ago left the auto sales industry to take a fling at harness racing . . . and launched a harness racing dynasty. An emotional Burke insisted that son Ron stand beside him while he made his remarks. Sylvia Burke, partners with son Ron in Burke Racing Stable, who expressed gratitude to the horse's legion of fans; Tessie Irey, Foiled Again's caretaker at The Meadows; Mike Tanner, executive vice president of the United States Trotting Association, who presented the owners with a handsome Foiled Again collage on behalf of USTA and the Harness Racing Fan Zone. USTA Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Tanner presents Ron Burke with Foiled Again Photo Collage. (Raymond Lance Photo) His ownership group purchased Foiled Again privately midway through his 4-year-old campaign, figuring they'd acquired a nice horse who fit their program. But as he developed his potential under Ron Burke's tutelage, he dominated older-horse company and was nigh well unbeatable on smaller tracks. When he captured that 2013 Breeders Crown at age 9, he became the oldest horse ever to win a Breeders Crown event. He won the Dan Patch Award for older males three consecutive times, a feat matched only by the legendary Rambling Willie. Indeed, Foiled Again became a phenomenon unseen since Rambling Willy; his middle-aged and Golden-Years exploits inspired fans -- particularly those with a few miles under their belts. But that phase of his life ended about three hours before his mandatory retirement at the age of 15. Burke indicated he would halt the gelding's training schedule immediately rather than cut back gradually, as Foiled Again always has responded well to being turned out. Burke said he would quarter skittish horses with the old boy so he could teach his nervous buddies to relax, and that Foiled Again would be available for promotional appearances. Now, as his front shoes were pulled for the final time, he turned to face the appreciative crowd, which serenaded him with "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow." Then Foiled Again jogged into retirement. Into immortality. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 1, 2019 -- He had to beat the richest Standardbred ever to do it, but David McNeight III collected career win 1,000 Monday at The Meadows when he piloted Knocking Around to victory in race 10. The race was styled "Foiled Again's Last Call," as it marked the final race of Foiled Again, who faced mandatory retirement Jan. 1 when he turned 15. McNeight and Knocking Around, however, weren't intimated by Foiled Again's career bankroll of more than $7.6 million, as they powered up first over to prevail in the slop. Foiled Again finished fifth. Winners’ circle following the 1,000th career win of David McNeight III. - Chris Gooden photo McNeight, a native of western New York who has compiled just less than $6 million in purses, learned the business under the tutelage of his father, trainer David McNeight, Jr., the conditioner of Knocking Around. "My dad worked for General Mills for a while, but he got back into the business in 2008 when I was 18," he says. "I was cleaning stalls and grooming for him, but when I watched the drivers winning races, I wanted to do the same thing." McNeight cut his teeth on the half-mile ovals at Buffalo and Batavia. When the McNeights relocated to The Meadows about two years ago, he found that the most difficult aspect of the transition was not the switch to a five-eighths-mile track. Rather, it was holding his own against The Meadows' talented, experienced drivers. "The driver colony here is deep," he says. "You definitely want to get away close to the lead when you're racing against Dave Palone, Mike Wilder, Jim Pantaleano and all the Ron Burke horses. It's more challenging, but at the same time, it's more rewarding." The younger McNeight also trains three horses -- he's their sole owner -- and doesn't foresee a time when he'll want to specialize in training or driving exclusively. "I'd like to add to my own stable and keep driving for my father and other stables," he says. "Having other owners for my horses would be good, but right now it seems better to own them myself."   Evan Pattak   The Meadows Racetrack & Casino Home of Pennsylvania's largest jackpot ever paid, The Meadows is an all-inclusive entertainment destination and significant economic generator for the region. With its nearly 1,300 employees, The Meadows provides approximately $125 million in taxes annually and more than $14 million per year to the Local Share Account designated for new economic, community and industrial development projects. The Meadows features 82 table games and more than 3,100 slot machines, premier restaurants with spectacular views of the gaming floor and the racetrack, a racing grandstand with VIP suites, a simulcast area, an 11,000 square foot event center, a 7,500 square foot banquet room and an all-ages bowling center. The Meadows also offers a high limit slots area and a high limit table games room featuring exceptional service in a relaxing, upscale setting. For more information, please see: www.meadowsgaming.com.

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 1, 2019 -- Competitive fields and a sloppy, tiring surface set the stage for upsets in Monday's finals of six Holiday Claiming Series at The Meadows, as three of the winners scored at odds of 22-1 or longer. The six-pack of championships served collectively as the co-feature for "Foiled Again's Last Call," the final race in the spectacular career of the richest Standardbred all time. Highlights of those championships:   $28,700 Final, $20,000 Claiming Colt, Horse & Gelding Pacers Lyons King may have been the most improbable winner, as he trailed by 9 lengths at the half and appeared pinned inside. But when the Lightning Lane became available, he shot through for Yannick Gingras and scored at 28-1 in 1:54.2. Poacher N was a length back in second, with Believeinthespirit third. "I would've been fifth over if I pulled, so I thought it was better to stay inside," Gingras said. "He had a lot of pace, and we got lucky that the inside opened up." Brandon Presto trains the 4-year-old Somebeachsomwhere-Boldnbrash Hanover gelding for Spring Valley Ranch and Michelle Linnert.   $17,100 Final, $10,000 Claiming Trotters ER Kevin was a close-up second in the series' second leg but was shunned by bettors, who sent him off at 22-1. But he also used the Lightning Lane to pull off the 22-1 stunner in 1:58.3 for Dan Charlino and owner/trainer Todd Keith. Mutinyonthebounty was a head back in second while Boy Meets Girl K completed the ticket. "I thought maybe he would be a 5-1 shot," Keith said of the 6-year-old Elegant Man-Karen's Karma gelding, who lifted his career bankroll to $158,237. "Dan gave him a real good steer, and we were lucky enough to find room."   $17,700 Final, $10,000 Claiming Filly & Mare Pacers For the most part, the claimers handled the foul racing conditions well. This championship was the exception, as four of the nine horses jumped it off. The most costly break was that of Deprived, as it occurred at the three-quarters when she was on the point. That opened the door for Lady Dudette, who triumphed at 26-1 for 'Downtown' Brady Brown and trainer Mark Goldberg, who owns the 3-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Luxury Goods with Richard Gubanish and Betty Gubanish. "Even without the breaks, I think I would've beaten them in the stretch," Brown said. "The leader wasn't getting away from me, and I think I would've picked her up."   $28,000 Final, $20,000 Claiming Filly & Mare Pacers Entering the series, Ellasen had been racing primarily off the pace. After her claim by trainer Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, she changed her style. "When she made the front last week, her ears went up, and it felt like that's where she wanted to be," winning driver Dave Palone said. "I wasn't going to take any chances in the final. She was very strong through the wire." She powered off to a 1-3/4-length victory in 1:53.4, lifting her career bankroll to $155,248. The pocket-sitting My Kind Of Dance and Always A Z Tam rounded out the ticket.   $28,000 Final, $20,000 Claiming Trotters Nailed late in both preliminary legs, IC Caviar also changed his tactics, ducking before moving first over for Dan Rawlings. "He trained off a helmet this week, and he responded very well," said John Sullivan, who conditions the 7-year-old Malabar Millennium-Lady Caviar gelding for Michael Marocco. "So we thought, leaving from the rail, just try and get him out of there as best we could and hope the cards fall right." IC Caviar took to the trip and defeated Pembroke Morgan by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:56.2, with Teddy Brosevelt third. IC Caviar now boasts $250,911 in career earnings.   $17,700 Final, $10,000 Claiming Colt, Horse & Gelding Pacers Stonehouse Adam was pushed four wide through the final turn but had little trouble roaring past the leaders and scoring in 1:54.2 for Aaron Merriman and owner/trainer Tyler George. T'S Electric was 1-1/2 lengths back in second while Fairytale Prince earned show. "This horse is older and he's really gritty," Merriman said. "He out-hearted them today. When we got next to the leader, I knew I was the winner." The 11-year-old Intrepid Seelster-Shirleys Last Pie gelding has earned $442,055 in his career.   Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino Home of Pennsylvania's largest jackpot ever paid, The Meadows is an all-inclusive entertainment destination and significant economic generator for the region. With its nearly 1,300 employees, The Meadows provides approximately $125 million in taxes annually and more than $14 million per year to the Local Share Account designated for new economic, community and industrial development projects. The Meadows features 82 table games and more than 3,100 slot machines, premier restaurants with spectacular views of the gaming floor and the racetrack, a racing grandstand with VIP suites, a simulcast area, an 11,000 square foot event center, a 7,500 square foot banquet room and an all-ages bowling center. The Meadows also offers a high limit slots area and a high limit table games room featuring exceptional service in a relaxing, upscale setting. For more information, please see: www.meadowsgaming.com.

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 19, 2018 -- Foiled Again, the richest Standardbred all time with more than $7.6 million in career earnings, will race for the final time in his incomparable harness racing career on a special New Year's Eve card at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. He faces mandatory retirement the next day when he turns 15. The Dec. 31 program begins at 5:30 PM. An official retirement ceremony will take place in the winners' circle following the race, called "Foiled Again's Last Call," when his connections will pull his shoes for the final time. The ceremony also will feature a video of Foiled Again's career highlights. In addition, the action-packed program includes the finals of six Holiday Claiming Series and the "Night of Champions," when The Meadows Horses of the Year are presented their awards. Patrons will receive New Year's party hats and noisemakers and will be invited to participate in the holiday festivities in the casino. The "Last Call" not only will conclude the great gelding's career, but it also will wrap-up his spectacular "Farewell Tour," through which his connections -- The Meadows-based trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables -- campaigned him across the continent to create special events for tracks and allow fans to see him compete one more time. This was no mere star turn, as the son of Dragon Again-In A Safe Place has won 10 times this year with a season's best 1:53 at Freehold, pushing his career victory total to 108. Among Foiled Again's many accomplishments: He was named Pacer of the Year in 2011 at the age of 7, becoming the only pacer older than 4 to receive that honor. In that 2011 campaign, he won six $100,000 events.  He was named Best Older Male Pacer in three consecutive seasons (2011-2013); only Rambling Willie has matched that achievement.  In 2013, at the age of 9, he won the Breeders Crown Open Pace to become the oldest horse to win a Breeders Crown event. This year, he's been nominated for the Proximity Award, one of harness racing's most prestigious accolades. The Meadows next week will announce details of "Foiled Again's Last Call." by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 10, 2018 -- Aided by a second-quarter breather, Dayson drew away from the pocket-sitting Wind Of The North in the lane and captured Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Dayson was looped from the gate and had to work hard for the lead on a subfreezing day. But the 5-year-old Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus gelding was refreshed by the 30.3 second panel Dave Palone gave him and downed Wind Of The North by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:56.3. TSM Photo Bugger rallied for show. Ron Burke trains Dayson, who lifted his career bankroll to $987,712, for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Rossie Smith. Dan Rawlings collected three wins on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 8, 2018 -- Anythingforlove A opened up a 4-length lead at the three-quarters and cruised home to capture Saturday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. After four consecutive pocket trips had produced seconds and thirds, Anythingforlove A took matters into his own hands by blasting to the front for Aaron Merriman and settling matters early. He scored in 1:53.1, 3/4 lengths better than the first-over Hawk's Red Chief, with Dapper Dude third. Bill Bercury trains the winner, a 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven-The Perfect Mona gelding who vaulted over $200,000 in career earnings, for Renee Bercury. Jim Pantaleano piloted four winners and Mike Wilder three on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the program features a $1,875.60 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows        

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 6, 2018 -- Growing up in Dublin, Jack Killeen watched American harness racing on YouTube, passionately followed the careers of such greats as Somebeachsomewhere and Foiled Again and dreamed of coming to the U.S. to make his living as a Standardbred driver. The 18-year-old has taken an important step to realizing that dream through a stint as a driver at The Meadows. Killeen will wrap up his first American sojourn Saturday at The Meadows when he pilots Stirling Escort from post 6 in race 13. First post is 1:05 PM. Killeen was introduced to harness racing by his father, a builder who campaigns horses at Dublin's Portmarnock Raceway as a hobby. The younger Killeen was inspired enough to complete farrier school and begin work as a blacksmith, picking up drives where he could. The problem: For most of the year, Portmarnock races only on Sundays, hardly enough to support a full-time driver -- or a full-time blacksmith. "I shoe Standardbreds, ponies, Clydesdales -- everything," he says. Killeen, however, saw an opportunity when he met Heather and Mike Wilder, who were in Dublin this past summer for the annual Vincent Delaney Memorial festival of races. Impressed by the sincerity of the young Irishman, the Wilders agreed to introduce him to The Meadows horsemen if he came to America. Killeen landed in the States in mid-September, found an apartment and began helping horsemen in the mornings. They remembered it, and Killeen soon earned assignments from trainers such as Paul Corey, Kevin Johnson and Sarah Andrews. He's made the most of those limited drives, compiling a highly respectable .268 UDR in 22 starts. He notched his first domestic win in only his sixth start. Even more impressive than his statistics is Killeen's poise. An 18-year-old intimidated by the situation could respond by driving too aggressively or too passively. But Killeen operates more like a veteran, leaving when he should, ducking when that seems best, keeping his horses alive for checks. "You can't be nervous out there. At least, I'm trying not to be nervous," he says. "Things are different here. In Ireland, we have half-mile tracks. Here, you have tracks of different sizes, which leads to different driving styles. The slanted starting gate is very different." Though Killeen will return to Dublin on Monday, it isn't lack of drives or homesickness that's prompting the move. Rather, his application for an appropriate visa hasn't been approved yet, so he can't stay longer this time. "I'm going to miss him terribly; he's become a part of our family," Heather Wilder says. "I'm hoping he'll back by the end of the year, but the visa process is tricky, and it could take longer than that for approval." If his visa doesn't come through, Killeen says he might pursue one for work in Canada, where the red tape may be less thick. But he's targeting Dec. 31 for his return to The Meadows so he can be here for the career finale of one of his YouTube heroes. "I'd like to see that," Killeen says. "I watched Foiled Again for so long, and I finally got to meet him here." On Friday, The Meadows will celebrate the 27th anniversary of the opening of its Harmar facility with daylong food and beverage specials, giveaways and contests with cash and merchandise prizes. Roger Huston and horsemen Jeremy Indof, Dan Rawlings and Mike Wilder will mingle with fans from 12 noon to 3 PM. Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino  

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 21, 2018 -- Trailing by 6 lengths at the three-quarters, My Cherry Pie turned on the jets in the lane and pulled off a 7-1 upset in Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Making her Meadows debut for trainer Dane Snyder and owners Linwood Higgins, Jason Ash, Vicki Gordon and Liz Flohr, was content to sit in and let Ready Any time front a comfortable 58.1 half. When Mike Wilder asked her for trot, the 4-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover-CR Ms American Pie found another gear and edged Ready Any Time by a head in 1:56.1. Expose Yourself finished third. My Cherry Pie extended her career bankroll to $143,666. Dave Palone, trainer Spencer Kahrig and Wilder each fashioned a triple on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, first post 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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