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HARRISBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania harness racing fair circuit split up into opposite corners of the state this week, with two-year-old action on Tuesday and three-year-old racing on Wednesday at the Greene County Fair in Waynesburg PA and - 347 miles to the northeast - the Wayne County Fair in Honesdale PA. The fastest mile of the week came from the star attraction of the week, as trainer/driver Nick Surick brought the Invitational ranks standout The Wall, winner of the Camluck Classic in 1:52h in Ontario earlier this year, to Honesdale to race in a division of the FFA pace. The Somebeachsomewhere gelding responded with a 1:59.3 mile for Surick and J L Benson Stables Inc. with the photo finish revealing a winning margin of 20½ lengths. Surick recorded a sweep of the FFA pace divisions when he won with the mare Wynnfrith in 2:02.2. Although his father Todd and his uncle Tony each won five races during the two-day session (shortened by three races on Tuesday due to rain) to share top driver honors, the sulky star was 17-year-old Cody Schadel, who joined the exclusive club of drivers who won with their first steer when he piloted Shady Grey to victory in 2:06.2. Later on the Wednesday card, his father recorded the fastest mile of the fair week with Way To Close in 2:01.1, the Western Terror gelding which he trains and also co-owns with wife Christine. Way To Close paced the York oval in 1:57.4 for the fastest mile at the PA fairs so far this year. On the trot, there were a pair of 2:04.4 winners: the filly Bumper Hanover, driven by Roger Hammer for his co-owner on Vivid Photo and trainer, Todd Schadel, and the gelding Andovers Asset, who now sports a record of 5-4-1-0 at the fairs for driver Tony and trainer Linda Schadel. The freshman "A" Sire Stakes colts races were among those washed out on Tuesday, so speed honors went to the ladies: the Well Said filly Search Light in 2:06.4, and the Father Patrick miss Cocktails N Dreams, undefeated in two fair outings after a 2:08.2 mile. At Waynesburg, a trio of horses tied for fastest winners at 2:02.2 - the two sophomores were the A Rocknroll Dance colt Under Paid, whom Chris Shaw handled in a rare fair start for the Burke Brigade, and the Delmarvalous filly April Ava, who stunned with a 1:59 mile in her fair debut in "B" SS company, and here won in "A" for driver Eric Neal, owner Wayne Glessner, and trainer Scott Betts. If miles equally timed were decided for honors by the youth of the performer, then the meet's outstanding mile was the Ponder - Odds On Affair colt Champ Charbel's 2:02.2 win Tuesday for driver Shawn Johnston and owner/trainer Joe Karrat. The baby won twice in "B"s, and since coming to "A" he has gone second, first, and first in impressive fashion. Quickest trot of the two days was the 2:06.2 time turned in by RT Gloria De Dios for driver Kyle Bolon and trainer Bob Rougeaux III. Her fellow 2018 Fair Championship-winning filly, Sure R Lookin Good, also visited the winners circle during the meet. Fastest clocking for freshmen trotters went to two fillies who won in 2:07.3, Furious Fast and Siouxpergirl. Just as Schadels tied for most driving victories at Honesdale, so did Johnstons, Shawn and Aaron, deadheat for those meet honors at Waynesburg, also at five each. There was certainly no domination of the winners circle by any trainer at Waynesburg on Wednesday - there were fourteen heats, and fourteen different winning conditioners. Next week the fair circuit will make two stops, but back-to-back instead of side-by-side. Arden Downs, a former home of the Grand Circuit operating as the Washington County Fair, races on Monday and Tuesday at 10 a.m., while on Wednesday and Thursday there will be racing at the Dayton Fair starting at high noon; at both meets, the freshmen will precede the sophomores. From the PHHA, MSOA and the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association partnership

CLEARFIELD, PA - The Tuesday and Wednesday cards at the Clearfield (PA) County Fair were devoted to Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes racing for three-year-olds. The pacers, on Wednesday, produced three sub-2:00 miles - with the fastest coming in an unlikely circumstance. The Delmarvalous filly April Ava, winless in 2019 and entered in the "B" division of the Sire Stakes, won off by nine lengths fordriver Eric Neal, stopping the timing watch in 1:59, almost five seconds better than her previous career best. Owned and trained by Wayne Glessner, April Ava had been consistently pacing in the 1:56 range at The Meadows without success, but she obviously enjoyed the move to the twicearound oval, and in the process lowered the circuit's divisional season's record. Fastest of the "A" filly pacers was the Sweet Lou miss Sweet Tea Baby, who came first-over in a 2:00.3 triumph for owner/trainer/driver Stephen White. Colts generated the other 2:00 recordings, with the fastest time for the "boys," 1:59.3, turned in by Motive Hanover, who became the first horse to post two 2:00 victories at the fairs this year. The Well Said colt opened his fair campaign with three wins at the "B" level (including a 1:59.4 triumph at York), was second to stablemate Way To Close in his first "A" start, and here won by 2¾ lengths for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, also co-owner with his son Cody. Yet another Todd Schadel pupil, the Western Terror gelding Find One More, dropped down to the "B" level and promptly won by five lengths in 1:59.4. Christine Schadel owns this three-year-old with her trainer/driver/husband. On the diagonal gait, it was Todd's brother Tony who produced the fastest mile of the Tuesday card, a 2:02.4 victory with Andovers Asset, his third win in four fair starts and a time which equaled the trotting colts' fastest win at the fairs. Tony's wife Linda is the trainer of the Andover Hall gelding, and they share ownership in him. Among the trotting fillies, there were two miles in 2:03.2, and one of the winners was no surprise - since the Muscle Massive miss Touch Of Dough already held the mark for fastest fair trotting mile of the year with a 2:01 at Silver Springs Ranch. Touch of Dough now sports a 3-2-1-0 seasonal scorecard at the fairs for driver Eric Neal, trainer/father Randal Neal, and Neal Racing Stable LLC. The other 2:03.2 sophomore filly trot was produced by a first-time winner in 2019, Miss Right Now, another daughter of Muscle Massive - also in a "B" event, for trainer/driver Roger Hammer, co-owner with Vicki Fair. Eric Neal had four driving victories during both the two-year-old and three-year-old sessions, with his eight total sulky successes earning him the Buster DiSalvo trophy, annually given at Clearfield to the winningest driver. Eric's father Randal is a former DiSalvo trophy winner, and a search was started to see if a father and son had ever both been DiSalvo champions. August is the busiest month on the Pennsylvania fair circuit, starting Tuesday and Wednesday (the 6th and 7th), when there will be racing at both the Wayne County Fair in Honesdale PA and at the Greene County Fair in Waynesburg PA - 348 miles to the southwest. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association, PHHA, and Meadows Standardbred Owners Association partnership

CLEARFIELD, PA - The first two days of a four-day meet at the Clearfield (PA) County Fairgrounds were devoted to Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes racing for two-year-olds, with the trotters going on Sunday and the pacers on Monday. The brightest star to shine among the babies was the two-year-old pacing filly Dream Dancing, who won for the fourth time at the fairs this year, with her final Clearfield clocking of 2:01.4 coming with 2/5 of a second of the eight-year-old local divisional standard of Chrome Over. Dream Dancing finished over 20 lengths clear of her competition, the A Rocknroll Dance - Clearly Foxy miss stepping home in :58.4 for trainer/driver Dave Brickell, co-owner with Mitchell York. Two other divisions of the "A" baby filly pace went to the driver-son / trainer-father combination of Shawn and Gary Johnston, who are having an excellent year with their babies. The Captaintreacherous - I Need Hotstuff filly Silly But Serious has now won four in a row on the fair circuit with a 2:05.1 win for owners Gary Johnston and Joyce Benkart, while the Well Said - Read All About It distaff Write All About It now has a fair scorecard of 7-4-3-0, divided between the A and B Sires sections, after a 2:07.4 victory for owner Dr. William Solomon. Shawn Johnston also won the sole division of the Sires colt pace with the Ponder - Odds On Affair freshman Champ Charbel in 2:02.1 for trainer/owner Joe Karrat. Champ Charbel was second when Halliwell Hanover recorded a 1:59.2 victory in the very first race ever held at the new Silver Springs ranch facility, but he reversed that decision Monday to bring his fair log to 4-3-1-0, again between A and B. Among the trotters the fastest winner was the Father Patrick - Cocktail Attire filly Cocktails N Dreams, breaking her maiden in 2:05.1 for driver Tony Schadel and trainer Linda Schadel, who are the co-owners. It was the first fair start for Cocktails N Dreams, who had earned checks in two of the "big" pari-mutuel Sire Stakes. In the trotting male ranks it was the Possess The Will - The Yankees Win colt No Name Yankee who won in the fastest clocking, 2:06.1, in the "B" Sire Stakes section, his quickest among four wins at the lower level for owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer. Two of the three "A" divisions for males went to the circuit's leading trainer and driver this year, Todd Schadel, behind Cool Down Hanover (2:07) and Manhattanup No Ice (2:06.2). The three-year-olds now take center stage at Clearfield, with the sophomore trotters and Tuesday and the pacers on Wednesday, both cards scheduled to start at high noon. From the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association, and Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association partnership

WASHINGTON, PA, July 25, 2019 -- It was in 1999 that Dave Palone brought Washington VC from well back to pass a tiring Blissfull Hall and win the final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids. Twenty years later, Palone still is seeking his second blanket of orchids in the signature event of his home track. He'll have perhaps his best chance in years in Saturday's $400,000 Adios final at The Meadows when he steers Prince Of Tides, one of three Adios elimination winners, from the rail. The Adios anchors an action-packed card that includes six Grand Circuit stakes and the $50,000 Foiled Again Invitational Pace. Foiled Again, who retired as the richest Standardbred ever with more than $7.6 million in earnings, will lead the post parades for the Adios and the Invitational. In addition, the card features three total-pool guarantees worth a combined $37,500. The Adios goes as race 15 with an approximate post time of 4:30 PM. The 16-race card kicks off at 11:25 AM. It isn't that Palone hasn't done well in the Adios; by many measures, he's been terrific. Counting finals, elims and consolations, he's won eight times and collected nearly $1.2 million in purses, behind only John Campbell and Ron Pierce in Adios earnings. "I've been fortunate enough to take a lot of money out of the Adios," Palone says. "I think I have a good history in the race, and I'm always super-comfortable on Adios Day." Yet it's nearly inconceivable that Palone, the "winningest" driver on the planet with 18,880 career victories, should have only one Adios title. There is, however, a solid reason for it. The trainers of top 3-year-old colts often prefer to get season-long commitments from drivers to travel the Grand Circuit with their horses. That usually excludes Palone, who a number of years ago decided to limit his travel to spend more time with his family. "That was the greatest decision in the world," he says. "I was so fortunate to be able to spend my whole career right here, get home at five o'clock every day and watch my girls' softball games or go to their horse shows. I may have missed opportunities out of town, but I don't second-guess anything that I've done." Thus, while he's picked up plenty of Adios catch drives, they've usually been long shots. Things may be different this year. Not only does he have a hot horse -- Prince Of Tides has won five straight and dominated his Adios elim -- but the rules of the stake also favor Palone again. In 1999, finalists were chosen by open draw; when Blissful Hall drew post 8, he had to endure a demanding journey to the top over a track left sticky by rain. That enabled Palone to duck from post 3, rally late and defeat Blissfull Hall, who would go on to win pacing's Triple Crown. "I figured I could take advantage of the one thing I knew -- the racetrack," Palone recalls. "It was tiring, so I took my horse back and 'one-run' him. That's how we got it done." This year, elimination winners earned the right to pick their posts in the final. Even though Ross Croghan, who conditions Prince Of Tides for Let It Ride Stables, Dana Parham and Howard Taylor, chose third among elimination winners, he indicates his first preference always was the rail. "He has a big gait and can change gears real quick," Croghan says. "If anything leaves against him, they're in big trouble. He has the post advantage, and they'll have to beat him." A son of Somebeachsomewhere out of the champion mare Tug River Princess, Prince Of Tides was a growthy youngster who suffered colt soreness and was turned out after only four starts last year. Not knowing how good he might be, his connections sustained him to very few stakes; the Adios will be his richest engagement of the year. "He's a big, heavy horse, and we decided to shut him down early and let him finish growing," Croghan says. "He has a tough job on Saturday, but he will race good." Palone hopes Prince Of Tides will bring him that elusive second Adios title, but he's not obsessed with the quest. "With my family here, it would be special to me," he says. "But is it something I'm choked up about? Not at all. I love the situation I'm in." The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) have planned a number of appealing Adios Day fan activities. North of Mason-Dixon (NOMaD) will perform on the apron from 6 PM - 8 PM while the Miller Lite Brewhouse and the BBQ Tent will be open throughout the races. The MSOA will sponsor a T-shirt toss, and an Apple IPad will be raffled courtesy the Standardbred Breeders Association of PA. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, July 15, 2019 — Adios Week, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino’s annual celebration of world-class harness racing, giveaways, contests, food-and-beverage delights and family-oriented activities, kicks off Saturday, July 20, with eliminations for the $400,000 (est) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids, first post 1:05 PM. The Adios final is set for Saturday, July 27, with the blockbuster card featuring six Grand Circuit stakes underway at the special post time of 11:25 AM. It’s the 53rd edition of the track’s signature event, a prestigious test for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers won last year by Dorsoduro Hanover. Over Adios Week’s eight action-packed days, The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will offer a dazzling variety of events for fans of all ages. The schedule includes: Saturday, July 20. In addition to Adios elims, the card features a $165,000 (est) Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $60,000 (est) Pennsylvania Stallion Series event, both for freshman filly pacers. The first 100 fans to visit the MSOA table in the Racebook receive free T-shirts. Monday, July 22. Harness Racing Bingo is the order of the day. mychoice cardholders may compete for a $25 voucher. Live racing gets underway at 1:05 PM. Tuesday, July 23. The live card begins at 1:05 PM. Each Meadows Tuesday race program includes a “Trifecta Challenge” game card, with $50 vouchers as the top prizes. Wednesday, July 24. In addition to live racing beginning at 1:05 PM, mychoice members may try their luck in a free handicapping contest on Meadows races. The winner gets $25 in mycash. Friday, July 26. Live racing begins at the special time of 5:30 PM and features a pair of Arden Downs Grand Circuit stakes for 2-year-olds, with combined purses expected to exceed $100,000. Food trucks will patrol the apron while disc jockey A.J. Fresh spins platters from 6 PM – 8 PM and the MSOA stages a “Family Fun Night.” Activities include a bounce house, a balloon artist, a face painter, a stilt walker, paddock tours and starting gate rides. Saturday, July 27. The Adios Day card is wall-to-wall with Grand Circuit action headlined by the Adios final and the $121,000 (est) Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo for sophomore filly pacers. The other four Grand Circuit stakes will offer combined purses projected to top $200,000. In addition, the program will include a $50,000 Invitational Pace and three guaranteed pools: $20,000 for the Adios Pick 4 (races 12-15), $10,000 for the Adios Pick 5 (races 11-15), $7,500 for the Early Pick 5 (races 2-6). North of Mason-Dixon (NOMaD) will perform on the apron from 6 PM – 8 PM while the Miller Lite Brewhouse and the BBQ Tent will be open throughout the races. The MSOA will sponsor a T-shirt toss, and an Apple IPad will be raffled courtesy the Standardbred Breeders Association of PA. The Adios goes as race 15 on the 16-race program. Adios Box Closes Tuesday, July 16 Washington, PA. A reminder to all horsemen the box closes for the Adios Stakes on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at 9 AM. Elimination races if needed will be conducted on Saturday, July 20, with a first post of 1:05. The Adios Final will be Saturday, July 27, with a special 11:25 AM first race post time. Adios Day will also feature the $50,000 Foiled Again Invitational Pace, The Adioo Volo for 3 year old pacing fillies, as well as the Arden Downs Stakes for 3 year old trotters and 2 year old pacers. All inquiries regarding any of the races should be made to the Meadows Race Office at 724-225-9897. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, June 25, 2019 – Charities will benefit, and kids and their parents will enjoy an appealing variety of activities including harness racing Friday, June 28 at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. That’s the night the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association (PHRA) and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will host a “Driver Charity Challenge & Family Fun Night” at the track. Live racing and family fun events begin at 5:30 PM. A DJ, a balloon artist and face painters will be featured on the apron while a harness racing simulator and family-friendly giveaways are set for the Racebook. For the Driver Charity Challenge, 10 drivers will be paired with a like number of area charities. The “winningest” driver over the five designated races — races 3, 5, 6, 9, 10 — will present a $3,000 check to his charity partner. Each participating organization will receive at least $500. The charities/drivers are: 1.     Bridge to Home Animal Rescue – Jim Pantaleano  2.     Western PA Wounded Warriors – Tony Hall 3.     Washington County Humane Society – Brady Brown 4.     Harness Horse Youth Foundation – Brian Zendt 5.     Pacing for the Cure – Dan Rawlings 6.     Washington County Special Olympics – Chris Shaw  7.     Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh – Dave Palone 8.     Arc Human Services of Washington County – Shawn Johnston 9.     Washington County Animal Response Team (WaCART) – Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. 10.  Harness Racing Museum – Wilbur Yoder “This is a really wonderful opportunity for harness racing to show its appreciation for the great work being done by charitable organizations in the Washington County area,” said Ashley Eisenbeil, PHRA director of marketing.  “We’re also hoping that people new to the track will enjoy it.” Dawnelle Mock, MSOA director of marketing, said, “The MSOA is thankful that the PHRA has selected our venue for this event. We welcome people of all ages to enjoy the night.” For more information on the Driver Charity Challenge & Family Fun Night, visit www.pennhorseracing.com and click “Events” or phone Ashley Eisenbeil, 717-968-6043. By The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 21, 2018 -- An all-day rain turned The Meadows harness racing track to slop, and when that rain changed to snow, conditions became even more forbidding. But all was fair downtown -- with "Downtown" Brady Brown, that is. Brown overcame the elements and collected four wins Friday at The Meadows. Brown drove a pair of winners for trainer Mark Goldberg and one each for trainers Tim Twaddle and Miles Wollam. Dan Rawlings, too, enjoyed a big night, fashioning a three-bagger on the 11-race card. Also on Friday, The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) celebrated Caretaker Appreciation Night. To recognize and reward their dedicated, often unsung work, the track and the MSOA presented caretakers with hoodies as well as soup and sandwiches from the paddock kitchen. In addition, the MSOA raffled off cash and gift cards for grooms. Given the weather, the hoodies were a timely gift. Live racing at The Meadows continues Saturday, when the card features a pair of carryovers -- $997.16 for the Pick 5 (races 9-13), $709.59 in the Super Hi-5 (race 13). First post is 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Casey Hite, Brooke Schoeffel, Sara Zidek and Rielly Steuernagel have been named the recipients of the 2018 Meadows Standardbred Owners Association Collegiate Scholarships. In all, nearly $13,000 in scholarship money will be presented to the students, who are the children of MSOA members. Hite has earned the $5,330 MSOA Scholarship, presented by the MSOA's Board of Directors. Casey, the daughter of Wayne and Trudy Hite, is a junior at Penn State University-Fayette, majoring in Corporate Communication. Schoeffel has been awarded the MSOA/Hanover Shoe Farms Scholarship. Presented in conjunction with the industry's leading breeder, the scholarship is for $4,600. Brooke is the daughter of Steve and Kathy Schoeffel, and will be majoring in Biology at the University of Pittsburgh as a freshman this fall. Zidek will receive the MSOA/CSC Insurance Options Scholarship for $2,500. The annual award is presented by the MSOA and Tom Svrcek of CSC Insurance. Sara, the daughter of Jeff Zidek, is a junior at the College of Wooster, studying Neuroscience. Steuernagel will receive the $1,000 MSOA/Dr. Barry C Betts Memorial Scholarship, presented in memory of the late Dr. Betts, a longtime veterinarian at The Meadows. Rielly is the son of James Steuernagel, and will be a sophomore this fall at Allegheny College, majoring in Chemistry and Theater. "This program has continued for many years now, thanks to the support of all of our partners," said MSOA President Rich Gillock. "It's one of the highlights of Adios Day for our board, making the presentations in the winner's circle. We are pleased to assist the families of our horsemen with their education expenses. It's a great program, and we have great partners." The formal presentation will take place this Saturday, July 28 at The Meadows. by Jeff Zedik, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, July 21, 2018 -- For 25 years, Pastor Joe DiDonato has served as chaplain at The Meadows, ministering to the spiritual needs of harness racing horsemen and horsewomen and their families. Now, The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will honor him for his quarter century of service with a special ceremony during Saturday's Adios eliminations card. In the winners' circle following the third race, the MSOA will present Pastor Joe with a plaque and a donation for his chapel that includes money contributed by The Meadows community directly and through a GoFundMe campaign. Pastor Joe's ministry is broad. He conducts regular Sunday services, of course, but he also tends to the spiritual needs of injured or ailing horsemen and horsewomen, presides at weddings and funerals, administers a vacation Bible school and organizes holiday parties for children, such as the annual Easter Egg Hunt. A Pittsburgh native and graduate of Point Park College (now Point Park University), Pastor Joe held a variety of jobs, including radio disc jockey, before finding his calling. Surrounded by gambling opportunities, he confessed to the United States Trotting Association several years ago that he takes advantage of one: "I always say, 'Bet on God to Win, Place and Show -- every day!"  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. by Evan Pattack, for the Meadows

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association announces that Hanover Shoe Farms has donated a breeding to Explosive Matter, to benefit the MSOA's Collegiate Scholarship Fund.   Hanover Shoe Farms has been a longtime partner with the MSOA's scholarship program, donating breedings for the past several years that have helped the sons and daughters of area horsemen with their college expenses.   "We can't thank Hanover enough for their continued support," said MSOA President Rich Gillock. "Our scholarship program would not be as successful as it is without the support of partners like Hanover."   Explosive Matter took a lifetime mark of 1:52.3 and earned over $1.5 million in his career. The son of Cantab Hall stands for a fee of $5,000.   The breeding will be auctioned on the website OnGait.com starting today (Thursday, February 22) at 12PM. The auction will run for seven days. Jeff Zidek          

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, in conjunction with Green Acquisition Corporation, announces the donation of a breeding to the stallion Uncle Peter, to benefit the MSOA's Collegiate Scholarship program.   A trotter, Uncle Peter was a star on the racetrack, taking a mark of 150.3f and earning more than $1.2 million. The son of Cantab Hall now stands at stud at Hickory Lane Farm in Ohio for a fee of $6,000.   "We have donated breedings to the MSOA Scholarship program in the past," said John Green, principle at Green Acquisition Corporation. "It helps to bring youth into a business that needs youthful attendees. It's for a good cause, is a well thought out program, and we are pleased to support it."   Rich Gillock, President of the MSOA, said, "Thanks to donations from people like John and Green Acquisition Corporation, we have been able to give scholarship money to dozens of college-bound students over the past decade. It's a program that we at the MSOA are quite proud of, and it wouldn't be the success that it is without the help of our partners."   Green has been a longtime active member of the MSOA, owning several horses that have raced at The Meadows in recent years. He previously donated breedings to the stallion Trainforthefuture.   The breeding to Uncle Peter will be auctioned to the highest bidder in a seven-day auction on the website www.ongait.com, which is currently underway and will end at 12 Noon Eastern time on Tuesday, January 20.    

Longtime horseman and MSOA board member John McMullen has been honored by his peers as the Pennsylvania Association of County Fairs Person of the Year. The award was presented at the Pennsylvania Fair Convention. McMullen, 81, started racing horses at The Meadows during the track's inaugural season in 1963, and has been racing on the Pennsylvania fair circuit his entire life. He has served on the fair board in Indiana County since 1990 and is also on the Pennsylvania State Fair Board. Anthony Enciso, Secretary of the Indiana Fair Board, nominated McMullen. "John has been on the fair board for a long time, and he's done leaps and bounds for not only our fair, but other fairs in PA," said Enciso. "I thought he was very much deserving of this honor for all the things he's done for the fairs as far as the harness racing side of it. He has also put in many years on the state board of directors for the fair association. He's worked in Harrisburg to help with legislators on our fair fund money, and we couldn't be having our fairs without that help. John has been a big part of that. It was time for him to get his recognition." McMullen, who is from Armagh, Pennsylvania, is one of 15 members of the Indiana County Fair board, and took over his position in 1990 following the death of his father, Don. "My dad passed away in the fall that year," John recalled. "I was put on the board in December, as we had no one to take care of harness racing. My dad had done that for over 25 years." John McMullen was happy to take over the role due to his dedication to both the sport and to his family. "We spend a lot of time at the fairs. We always have." His commitment to the sport goes beyond the fairs, as he has been an active member of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association for decades, and currently serves on the board of directors, assisting with items related to both The Meadows and the fairs. "John has done a lot for the members of the MSOA over the years, serving on our board," said MSOA President Rich Gillock. "We are very happy for him, and he is well deserving of this honor." Despite all of the time and energy he has devoted to the fairs, John said that receiving the award was still unexpected. "A lot of people in Pennsylvania are worthy of getting that award and I had no idea it was going to be me. It's quite an honor. It kind of makes you think about it, it's very humbling to receive an award like that and look out and see so many people there." John's wife Judy, and son John, were both in attendance for the ceremony, which took place in Hershey, Pennsylvania. by Jeff Zidek for the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association proudly announces its annual awards for the top harness racing horses at The Meadows in 2017.   Each winner among the 12 categories now has an opportunity to be voted Pacer/Trotter of the Year and Meadows Horse of the Year. Balloting will take place among the MSOA's members.   This year, the individual category winners were based upon new criteria set forth by the MSOA's Board of Directors which focused on each horse's earnings at The Meadows. All owners must be members of the MSOA.   The top freshman pacing colt of the year is Like Clockwork, owned by Birnam Wood Farms and trained by Tim Twaddle. The pacer took a mark of 1:52.2 and earned over $87,000 with six wins in eight starts.   Paula Sokol's Rock N On Sunshine has been named the MSOA's top 2-year-old filly pacer for 2017. A three-time winner, the filly took a mark of 1:55.4 and earned over $21,000 for trainer Rich Gillock.   Top freshman trotting honors go to What A Hunk, owned by Susan Daugherty and trained by her husband, Bill Daugherty, Jr. A two-time winner in 2017, What A Hunk took a mark of 1:59.3 and earned just under $30,000.   Explosive G, owned by Richard Hess and trained by Wilbur Yoder, has been named the MSOA's 2-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year. She earned over $53,000 with a mark of 1:59.2, winning twice in nine starts.   Among three-year-old colt pacers, Louie's So Bossy was named to the top spot. Joseph Soltis owns, and Paul Corey trains Louie's So Bossy, who took a 2017 mark of 1:52.1.   Terrortina, owned by breeder Bob Key, earned sophomore pacing filly honors. A stake filly, she took a mark of 1:53 for trainer Norm Parker. Terrortina successfully defended her title from 2016, when she was named the MSOA's top 2-year-old pacing filly.   Also defending his title in 2017 was Media Buzz, the top 3-year-old trotting colt. After winning the award as a 2YO in 2016, Media Buzz pushed his career earnings over $100,000 this year with a mark of 1:54.2. Steve Bush trains and co-owns with Dennis and Alvira Fassett.   Mimosa Hanover was named the MSOA's 3YO Trotting Filly of the Year after winning six of 25 starts in her first year of racing. Dan Altmeyer trained and co-owned with Richard Kelson, Heather Wilder and Jeff Altmeyer. Mimosa Hanover earned over $80,000 before being sold to other local connections at the Harrisburg Sale.   Call For Justice parlayed his lengthy local win streak earlier in the year into Aged Trotting Horse/Gelding of the Year honors. Owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Call For Justice won a total of 12 races for the season for trainer Ron Burke.   Barn Girl, owned by Renee Bercury and trained by Bill Bercury, was dominant throughout the year, winning 15 of 31 starts en route to being named the MSOA's Aged Trotting Mare of the Year. She lowered her lifetime mark to 1:53.   The Bercury Stable also captured both sides of the Aged Pacing awards, with Dapper Dude and Spreester. Dapper Dude won 13 of 35 starts with a season mark of 1:50 and 2017 earnings in excess of $150,000. Spreester earned more than $100,000 this year with a mark of 1:52.1, posting four wins in 34 starts.   Finally, the MSOA's Aged Pacing Mare of the Year is Show Runner, owned by A Piece of the Action Stable.   Show Runner competed at the top distaff level most of the season for trainer Christy Pantaleano.   The top three awards will be announced - and all 12 winners will be honored - at the annual Night of Champions event, to be held Friday, January 19, 2018 at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Post Time is 5:30pm.   by Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association is proud to announce a major harness racing partnership agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL) Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2017-2018 season. Millions of people will now see new Meadows Racing signage throughout the PPG Paints Arena including dasherboards, LED ribbon boards and digital advertising. This new endeavor with the Penguins represents the MSOA's ongoing investment to optimize brand recognition with sports fans. "We need to broaden our horizons," said MSOA President Rich Gillock. "We need to find new fans, and hockey is big in this area thanks to the success of the Penguins. It's a great demographic for us, and we are excited about the opportunity to get The Meadows' name out there in a new way." Gillock added, "This isn't just a local effort. The games are viewed all over North America on television, and we will have a prominent spot on the dasherboards throughout each game. Our mutual handle comes from so many areas in today's world, so it's really a larger effort that is based with the local NHL team." The Penguins are one of the NHL's most successful franchises and celebrated their 50th anniversary season in 2016-17. The team also boasts one of the league's most dedicated fan bases, having sold out every game for 10-plus seasons while setting new standards for local TV ratings and social media engagement. by the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 7, 2017 -- Already Pennsylvania's Stallion Series champion 2-year-old male trotter, Hockey Hanover completed an unusual harness racing double when he captured Saturday's PA Fairs final at The Meadows. On a sun-splashed, unseasonably warm day, The Meadows hosted all eight PA Fairs championships, each with a purse of $24,200, and joined with the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association to stage the annual "Pink-Out" to benefit breast cancer research. The event offered many festive activities, none more enjoyable to the McMullen Stable than the victory by Hockey Hanover. McMullen Stable purchased the Explosive Matter-Hotentrot gelding for $10,000 as a yearling and saw his earnings soar to $91,630. Yet trainer/driver Wilbur Yoder wasn't as confident as he might have been, as Hockey Hanover was a disappointing fifth in his last tune-up for the fairs final. Leaving from the rail, Yoder pushed Hockey Hanover for the lead rather than settle for a seat. "He's been having a little trouble lately, and the main concern was trying to get him around the first turn," Yoder said. "I was concentrating on that. But when they come at him, he digs in. He'll have a couple months off now, a well-deserved break." Hockey Hanover shrugged off a challenge by Grapple Hanover in the lane and prevailed in 1:58.1, 2-3/4 lengths better than the ground-saving Yougottabecrazy, with Grapple Hanover third. Elsewhere on the championship card, Yoder and McMullen Stable teamed for another crown with All Set Lets Go while Aaron Merriman earned a pair of titles. The "King of the Fairs," 71-year-old Roger Hammer, collected his 22nd fairs title at The Meadows with a colossal upset. Oh yes: an up-and-coming trainer named Ron Burke got a taste of fairs circuit success with a championship. The highlights: 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace -- Cirrus De Vie Venier Hanover had been pounding his foes so relentlessly that he was hammered down to 1-9. Someone forgot to tell the King he had been overthrown. Hammer sent the 25-1 Cirrus De Vie to the front with a quarter-pole move, and the son of Real Artist-Walk On The Beach won handily in 1:55.2, 1-1/4 lengths better than Starvin Marvin. Venier Hanover had to settle for show. "I thought I would give Venier Hanover a race for his money," Hammer said. "I figured if I could get this horse back to the top and let him roll, I would make Venier come first over after him." Hammer and Vicki Lynn Fair own Cirrus De Vie, who has a surprise awaiting him when he returns to Hammer's Bedford, PA farm -- and it's not a sweet treat. "He'll be turned out and castrated tomorrow," Hammer said. "He needs it. He's a little on the sulky side." 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot -- Rockefeller Lindy Rockefeller Lindy was trying to pass New Heaven in the Lightning Lane when there was contact between the two. Rockefeller Lindy jumped once and, in a remarkable show of poise for a young trotter, came back down on gait and downed New Heaven by x in 1:57.2 for Merriman. Irish Valentine rallied for show. "I thought he would go down, but he kept trotting. That's the only thing that saved us," said Bill Daugherty, Jr., who conditions the Lucky Chucky-A Touch Of Lindy gelding -- an $18,000 yearling acquisition -- for Susan Daugherty. "He's always been good gaited, but man oh man, going that speed and he's tired, you can imagine. I'll probably quit with him for the year. I've had enough, and he's had enough." 2-Year-Old Filly Trot -- All Set Lets Go All Set Lets Go had been virtually unbeatable for Yoder and McMullen Stable -- she swept her final 12 preliminary fair events -- and she was no less dominating Saturday. She powered to the front with a quarter-pole move and defeated entry-mates Opal Hanover and Drinking Class in 1:58.3, a life mark. "She's pretty honest -- trots all the time and minds her business," Yoder said. "She's pretty good off the gait and gets into position. We'll race her in some overnights and hope we find a class where she's competitive." 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers -- Midway Island At about the same time Midway Island was rolling to his facile victory, Burke's champion mare, Hannelore Hanover, was performing at the Red Mile, turning in the second-fastest mile ever trotted. Nevertheless, the trainer had to be pleased with the Somebeachsomewhere-Up Front Gal gelding, who won all six of his fair circuit starts after his mid-season acquisition by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Knox Services and David Wills. In the championship, Midway Island retook the lead past the quarter for Chris Shaw, leading driver on the fairs circuit this year, and triumphed in 1:52.2. Ginger Tree Marty closed well for place, 4-3/4 lengths back, while Cinnabar Dragon completed the ticket. "I had to put everybody else in a hole," Shaw said. "I didn't want to be coming from the three hole." 3-Year-Old Filly Pace -- Bella Ragaza Merriman got his second crown with Bella Ragaza who, after a winless freshman season, put it all together this year and bagged 11 victories entering the championship. She quarter-poled to the top and had little trouble holding off Keystone Nikki by 2-3/4 lengths in 1:55.4, fastest of her career. A trapped in Camera Lady earned show. "She's very handy but more of a grinder than a sprinter," Merriman said. "If you can get her to the front and keep her moving, she'll keep going on the end." Linda Schadel trains the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Armbro Bahama and owns with Roxanna Buffington. 2-Year-Old Filly Trot -- Nicole Hanover Nicole Hanover needed every foot of the stretch to get by the stubborn Kylah, but she ultimately prevailed by a head over the game leader in a career-fastest 1:58.3, with Lightning Lois third. "She needed a helmet to follow," said winning driver Brian Zendt. "She's won a lot of races on the front end, but she's not used to going three-quarters in 1:27 at the fairs. I could have used the Lightning Lane, but sometimes green horses don't know what's going on there, so I'm glad I had room outside." Robert Rougeaux III conditions the daughter of Explosive Matter-Nan's Conway for Brocious Racing Stable. 2-Year-Old Filly Pace -- Pretty Proud Pretty Proud was pretty fast early, taking the field through three-quarters in a snappy 1:26.1. She slowed in the lane but was determined enough to outlast Marvalous Song by 3/4 lengths in 1:57.2 -- easily a life mark -- for Jim Pantaleano. Keystone Diamond, the wagering favorite, lacked racing room and was a hard-luck third. "The fractions took their toll on all of them late in the mile," said Rich Gillock, who conditions the daughter of Bettor's Delight-Pears N Amoretto and owns with Barbara Richardson and James Richardson. "One of her big assets all year has been she can leave the gate. A couple of her main contenders had road trouble and couldn't quite catch up to us. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 5, 2017 -- A total of $193,600 will be on the line Saturday, Oct. 7, when The Meadows Racetrack & Casino hosts the 2017 harness racing Pennsylvania Fairs Championships. Even more will be at stake, as The Meadows and Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will conduct their annual "Pink-Out" to benefit the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer research program. Between 12:30 PM and 4:30 PM, Family Fun Day activities will feature a live DJ, balloon artists, face painting and bounce houses. In addition, mini-pony races, with contestants decked out in pink finery, will occur between harness races. Other highlights include: A "Chinese auction," with prizes donated by The Meadows and local businesses, to benefit Making Strides; Sale of specially designed Pink-Out t-shirts, with all proceeds directed to Making Strides; Presentation of a check to Making Strides representing donations by The Meadows and its patrons over the last three months. The opportunity to register at the American Cancer Society tent for the Oct. 14. Making Strides Washington County Walk. Among the most interesting aspects of Saturday's championship card is the quest by Hockey Hanover for an unusual double. Campaigned by McMullen Stable, the 2-year-old trotter captured the $40,000 PA Stallion Series final at The Meadows on Sept. 2 in a stake-record 1:55.4 and will seek to add the fairs crown to his distinguished resume. Trainer/driver Wilbur Yoder will guide the Explosive Matter-Hotentrot gelding from post 1 in race 1. First post Saturday is 1:05 PM. For more information about the Pink-Out, visit The Meadows Racetrack & Casino at www.meadowsgaming.com. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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