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WASHINGTON, PA (July 3, 2020) -- The Meadows Casino Racetrack Hotel (“The Meadows”) announced today that onsite race wagering will be temporarily suspended effective 11:59 PM, July 3, 2020.  Live Racing at the 5/8 mile harness track will continue as scheduled, though access to the racetrack and racing operations will be prohibited to the public.  Live Harness Racing is currently scheduled to run on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, all 12:45 PM start times.  The casino remain open Sundays – Thursday 8 AM to 4 AM and Fridays and Saturdays 8 AM to 5 AM, closing each night to disinfect and sanitize the property. “It is with an abundance of caution that we are suspending onsite race wagering and prohibiting spectators at Live Races,” said Tony Frabbiele, Vice President and General Manager of The Meadows.  “We will continue to work with the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association and the State Horse Racing Commission to maintain the safest conditions so that we may host live races on the racetrack, as currently scheduled.” While patrons are temporarily unable to place race wagers at The Meadows, fans are encouraged to play online at Xpressbet.com or Hollywoodraces.com.  Additionally, Live Races may be viewed at meadowsgaming.com. The property continues to operate under enhanced safety protocols: Social Distancing Capacity on the gaming floor is limited to no more than 50% of maximum occupancy. Floor decals and signage to strictly enforce social distancing guidelines in areas where lines typically form has been installed. Table game seating is limited, and slot machines are configured to meet social distancing requirements. Live music, entertainment, and convention services remains suspended. There are currently no large drawings, tournaments, or special events. Restaurant offerings are limited and serviced from The Eatery, Bistecca Steakhouse and The Pub.  Adios Lounge, The Carvery and Delvins remain closed. The poker room and valet also remain closed. Health & Safety Team members and vendors are required to wear masks and undergo a health screening each day, including temperature checks, prior to their shift. Guests are required to wear masks and are temperature checked prior to entering the casino floor. Slot machines and table games are thoroughly and regularly cleaned throughout the day. Sanitizer stations have been installed on the casino floor and are readily available throughout the facility. We deploy a fog machine to disinfect and sanitize the property every night.

WASHINGTON, PA, May 15, 2020 -- After 11 days of silence, PA Gov. Tom Wolf responded to the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission (PHRC) on when it could resume harness racing in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately for horsemen, his response was not what we wanted to hear: "As part of this reopening effort, we foresee horse racing reopening when counties enter the green phase, like other entertainment (casinos, theaters, etc). I commend the Commission's efforts to implement mitigation efforts for those who are continuing to care for the horses at this time, and forethought in planning for how to address public health and safety as it relates to each phase of reopening." To read Gov. Wolf's full letter to the PHRC, visit www.themsoa.com The Meadows Stadardbred Owners Association (MSOA) has responded to Gov. Wolf with the open letter below: Dear Gov. Wolf: In your letter to PHRC, you lump racing with other large venues, such as casinos and theaters. The reality is that horse racing occurs outdoors and can easily follow CDC guidelines; because our trainer/drivers and caretakers must exercise, feed and care for their horses every day, we're already on the backside, and we're already following CDC safety guidelines. And those guidelines are working. We've had no COVID-19 positives -- not a single one -- in our paddock and backside areas. Moreover, unlike other sports, horse racing can be conducted without spectators. Fans can watch the races and wager from a variety of platforms, including phone and computer. Since racing at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino was shut down on March 16, horsemen and horsewomen have been without income. Yet because horses continue to need food, bedding, exercise and veterinary care, expenses have continued. While other small businesses can cut costs and furlough staff, racing stables cannot do the same. Costs for upkeep of a single Standardbred can reach $2,500 per month -- and there has been no income to offset this. Many of us have applied for unemployment compensation and government loans; some have yet to hear back or receive any funding to help us through this unprecedented time. Consider the plight of D&G Stables, operated by Dean and Glenda Collins at the Meadows. Of the nine horses in its stable, D&G owns seven outright, meaning there are no outside owners to help them meet their significant monthly bills. Right now, this situation is altogether typical. Norm Parker, who trains 30 horses at the Meadows, puts it this way: "If we have a reopening date we could shoot for. our horses will be ready to race and start making money again. We are hoping to reach the 'green' phase and start earning a living again. We'll be able to pay our vendors. pay for hay and feed, and it will make everyone feel a little bit better." Currently, 90 percent of the people needed to resume live racing at The Meadows are already reporting to the backside and working every day. Trainer/drivers are here. Caretakers are here. Track and facilities maintanence staff are here. Security personnel are here. Resumption of racing would require about 20 additional people -- and these would be at scattered sites. State veterinarians and other PHRC personnel would be on the backside, but state judges would be at their office in the main casino building. The TV production crew would be in that bulding or outdoors while pari-mutuel clerks -- to handle phone wagers -- would work in a completely separate facility. Thus, the population on the backside, where stringent CDC measures already are in place, would be increased by only a few people. In light of all this, the MSOA respectfully requests that you reconsider your timeline and authorize immediate resumption of live racing, without spectators, at The Meadows. Indeed, our neighboring state of Ohio has done just that, announcing that live racing in Ohio can resume on May 22. Similarly, Indiana and Ontario have announced that live racing at their tracks will resume in June. If you authorize the reopening of racing at The Meadows now, you will immeasurably aid our horsemen and horsewomen, provide a much-needed form of entertainment for Pennsylvanians and, since the Commonwealth receives a commission on every wager, restore a key revenue stream to the state. And you'll accomplish this without adversely affecting public health and safety. Respectfully, Richard G. Gillock, President Meadows Standardbred Owners Association The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) is a nonproft oganization that represents the interests of approximately 700 Standardbred trainers, drivers, caretakers and owners at The Meadows. In addition to providing horses to race at The Meadows, MSOA administers such member-centric services as health insurance and retirement programs for horsemen and horsewomen. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 6, 2020 -- The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) has introduced a live video harness racing feature to help fans get up close and personal with horsemen and horsewomen at The Meadows. Called Straight from the Gate, the 10-minute interview show airs on Facebook Live each Friday at 12:15 PM. Dawnelle Mock, MSOA marketing director, conducts the interviews while track photographer Chris Gooden provides the video. Guests so far have included drivers Brady Brown, Tony Hall and Mike Wilder, trainers Jason Robinson and John Zawistowski, parade marshal/outrider Missy Rothfuss and Starting Judge Joe Denman. The guest for Friday, Feb. 7 is trainer Dirk Simpson. The starting gate serves as the backdrop for the interviews, so the show is sponsored, appropriately enough, by Woebkenberg Starting Gates, which has teamed with the MSOA for a giveaway. Each Thursday, when the next day's guest is posted on Facebook, all those who like or share the post or tag a friend are entered in a drawing for a free Woebkenberg sweatshirt or t-shirt. Gooden sometimes enriches the prize pool by contributing a photograph. To access Straight from the Gate, visit https://m.facebook.com/MeadowsStandardbredOwnersAssociation/?ref=bookmarks By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 26, 2019 -- The Big Reveal is set for Saturday's "Day of Champions" when The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) announce and crown the track's harness racing Pacer of the Year, Trotter of the Year and Horse of the Year. The winners in 12 other divisions already have been disclosed. All awardees were selected by a vote of MSOA membership. Awards will be presented to the connections of all the winners during the live card, which begins at 1:05 PM. As part of the festivities, the MSOA will give away hats commemorating Dave Palone's 19,000th career win. The first 100 patrons are eligible. Trainer Norm Parker will be honored for a pair of 3-year-olds, Wild Wild Western and Explosive Form, while Nick Catalano co-owns two champions, Dracarys Z and April Ava. Trainer Bill Bercury and owner Renee Bercury will accept the award for Touchamatic as Older Mare Pacer of the Year, but the honors for Bill Bercury don't stop there. With just a few days remaining in the year, Bercury ranks atop all trainers in harness racing (in the Fewer Than 300 starts Category) with a remarkable .580 Universal Trainer Rating (UTR). With the second-leading trainer at .524, the national title likely will be Bercury's. Winners already announced are: 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer -- Dracarys Z Trainer: Carl Cocciolone; Owners: Carl Cocciolone, Mark Sosovicka, Nick Catalano, Dana Kahrig 2-Year-Old Filly Pacer -- Coral Reef Hanover Trainer: Dan Altmeyer; Owners: Dan Altmeyer, Richard Kelson; Lone Wolf Stables, Walter Gesek Stable 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trotter -- Stickler Hanover Trainer: Steve Schoeffel; Owners: Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel, Daniel Goehle, Michael Munn 2-Year-Old Filly Trotter -- Friday Night Storm Trainer: Ray Romanetti; Owners: Lori Romanetti, Bernadette Luketich-Sikaras 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer -- Wild Wild Western Trainer: Norm Parker; Owners: Jacobs Creek Racing, Andrew Altobelli, John Deters 3-Year-Old Filly Pacer -- April Ava Trainer: Scott Betts; Owners: Nick Catalano, Tim Betts 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trotter -- Explosive Form Trainer: Norm Parker; Owners: George Romanoff, Mark Goldstein, Norm Parker Stable 3-Year-Old Filly Trotter -- Lindy Misssunshine Trainer: Wilbur Yoder; Owner Richard Hess Older Horse Pacer -- Dapper Dude Trainer: Tim Twaddle; Owner: Micki Rae Stables Older Mare Pacer -- Touchamatic Trainer: Bill Bercury; Owner: Renee Bercury Older Horse Gelding/Trotter -- Bluebird Jesse Trainer: Sarah Andrews; Owners: John McGill, Adam Friedland Older Mare Trotter -- Maewegonow Trainer: Richard Perfido; Owner: Thomas Mattingly LIVE RACING RESUMES THURSDAY AT THE MEADOWS Following a Christmas break, live racing at The Meadows resumes Thursday with a 13-race card that kicks off at 1:05 PM. The Meadows will stage four more live programs this year — Dec. 26, Dec. 27, Dec. 28, Dec. 30 — with anticipation building for Monday’s card. Because that’s the last day of the current meeting, the Super Hi 5 and the final Pick 5, Pick 4 and Superfecta must be paid out. With the Super Hi-5 jackpot at $105,000.36, heavy play is expected Monday, and The Meadows has suspended the Super Hi-5 until then. The Super Hi-5 will be offered on Monday’s 13th race, the final event on the card, which also features the championship legs of five Holiday Claiming Series. First post Monday is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 17, 2019 -- On Saturday, Dec. 28, The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will honor the track's top harness racing horses of 2019 at the annual "Day of Champions." During the live card, which begins at 1:05 PM, the connections of winners in 12 divisions will be presented with awards. Winners of "Pacer of the Year," "Trotter of the Year" and "Horse of the Year" will be revealed that day. All champions were selected by a vote of MSOA membership. As part of the festivities, the MSOA will give away hats commemorating Dave Palone's 19,000th career win. The first 100 patrons are eligible. Trainer Norm Parker will be honored for a pair of 3-year-olds, Wild Wild Western and Explosive Form, while Nick Catalano co-owns two champions, Dracarys Z and April Ava. The awardees are: 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer -- Dracarys Z Trainer: Carl Cocciolone; Owners: Carl Cocciolone, Mark Sosovicka, Nick Catalano, Dana Kahrig 2-Year-Old Filly Pacer -- Coral Reef Hanover Trainer: Dan Altmeyer; Owners: Dan Altmeyer, Richard Kelson; Lone Wolf Stables, Walter Gesek Stable 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trotter -- Stickler Hanover Trainer: Steve Schoeffel; Owners: Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel, Daniel Goehle, Michael Munn 2-Year-Old Filly Trotter -- Friday Night Storm Trainer: Ray Romanetti; Owners: Lori Romanetti, Bernadette Luketich-Sikaras 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer -- Wild Wild Western Trainer: Norm Parker; Owners: Jacobs Creek Racing, Andrew Altobelli, John Deters 3-Year-Old Filly Pacer -- April Ava Trainer: Scott Betts; Owners: Nick Catalano, Tim Betts 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trotter -- Explosive Form Trainer: Norm Parker; Owners: George Romanoff, Mark Goldstein, Norm Parker Stable 3-Year-Old Filly Trotter -- Lindy Misssunshine Trainer: Wilbur Yoder; Owner Richard Hess Older Horse Pacer -- Dapper Dude Trainer: Tim Twaddle; Owner: Micki Rae Stables Older Mare Pacer -- Touchamatic Trainer: Bill Bercury; Owner: Renee Bercury Older Horse Gelding/Trotter -- Bluebird Jesse Trainer: Sarah Andrews; Owners: John McGill, Adam Friedland Older Mare Trotter -- Maewegonow Trainer: Richard Perfido; Owner: Thomas Mattingly SUPER HI-5 OVER $100,000 The Super Hi-5 jackpot at The Meadows has crashed through the $100,000 barrier. Thanks to another carryover, Tuesday's jackpot stands at $101,806.41, the first six-figure jackpot in the history of the wager at The Meadows. The track offers the Super Hi-5 on the final race of each live card. First post for Tuesday's 13-race program is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 7, 2019 -- When it's Army vs. Navy in football, it's a spectacle. Monday at The Meadows will be as spectacular as it will feature Army vs. Navy vs. Air Force vs. Coast Guard in a special match race that will highlight the Veterans Day tribute and celebration presented by the track and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA). Veterans of those four military branches, each paired with a Meadows driver, will compete in the match race. Actually, the Army will have two representatives in the five-veteran field. Participants, along with their ranks when active, are: Sue Bales, Sergeant, U.S. Army; Suzanne Hicks, Specialist (E-4), U.S. Army; Brian Judy, Petty Officer First Class, U.S. Navy; Michael Lutz, Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Specialist, U.S. Air Force; David Polofcha, Petty Officer Second Class (E-5), U.S. Coast Guard. As part of the tribute, The Meadows will offer a complimentary buffet lunch in the Carvery restaurant to active military and veterans while the MSOA will provide them with free t-shirts, programs and wagering vouchers. Veterans and active military also may enjoy paddock tours and starting gate rides courtesy the MSOA. First post for Monday's live card is 1:05 PM, with the time of the match race to be determined. The jackpot for the Super Hi-5 at The Meadows has jumped again. The carryover for Friday's Super Hi-5 is $24,811.20. The wager is offered on the final race of each live card. First post for Friday's 13-race program is 1:05 PM. For more information or to register for any of the day's events or giveaways, please contact the MSOA's Dawnelle Mock, 724.470.8303, dawnellemock@gmail.com -- and be sure to visit the MSOA table in the Racebook on Nov. 11. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 17, 2019 -- The Meadows Racetrack & Casino and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will salute America's armed forces during the live card on Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11, with a variety of activities honoring and highlighting active military and veterans. As part of the tribute, The Meadows will offer a complimentary buffet lunch in the Carvery restaurant to active military and veterans while the MSOA will provide them with free t-shirts, programs and wagering vouchers. In addition, the card will feature a match race that pits representatives of each of the five service branches. Veterans and active military also may enjoy paddock tours and starting gate rides. First post is 1:05 PM. For more information or to register for any of the day's events or giveaways, please contact the MSOA's Dawnelle Mock, 724.470.8303, dawnellemock@gmail.com -- and be sure to visit the MSOA table in the Racebook on Nov. 11. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 5, 2019 -- David Brickell and Shawn Johnston each collected a pair of championships -- including a victory in which they dead-heated -- in Saturday's $200,000 Pennsylvania Fairs Finals at The Meadows. The track hosted all eight championships, each with a purse of $25,000. Also on Saturday, The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association hosted the fourth annual Pink Out to benefit the American Cancer Society. Through fund-raisers such as t-shirt sales, a 50-50 raffle and a mini-pony race, the track and the MSOA raised $10,920 for the society. The Night Driver captured the mini-pony race, with Lori Manke and Lila Manke handling the reins. Johnston piloted the freshman filly pacer Silly But Serious to a sizable lead, but Brickell was able to rally Dream Dancing from post 9. The youngsters hit the wire together in 1:56.4, believed to be the first championship dead-heat in the 23-year history of the event. RT Dont Speak earned show. "Three wide from before the half? She was just super," Brickell said of the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance-Clearly Foxy. "She's just a good horse. Makes me look good." Gary Johnston conditions Silly But Serious, a daughter of Captaintreacherous-I Need Hotstuff, and owns with Joyce Benkart. Brickell's other victory provided the day's tote board pyrotechnics, as he rallied the 3-year-old filly trotter Misty Lane to a 49-1 shocker in 1:57.4. Ridinonarainbow was second, 4-1/4 lengths back, with Giant Possession third. Brickell trains both his champions and owns with Mitchell York. Johnston got his second title with the freshman filly trotter Better Song, who gobbled up the field with an uncovered burst and drew off to down Cocktails N Dreams by 6-1/2 lengths in 1:57.2. Exuberant Gal competed the ticket. "She's been sharp for me at the fairs," Johnston said. "She always trots home for me. She was hot out of the gate -- her legs were swimming -- but she had enough track to relax before she hit the turn." Rick Beinhauer trains the homebred daughter of Better Caviar-Jessie's Song and owns with Regina Beinhauer. In the other championships: 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot -- Andovers Asset Andovers Asset converted a perfect pocket trip to victory when he blew past the favorite, Star Caviar, in the lane and defeated him by 2 lengths for Aaron Merriman in 1:56, matching Boytown's all-time trotting record in a PA Fairs championship. Soldier Hanover finished third. "He usually was on the lead at the fairs because he leaves so well, but we've always known he can race from behind," said winning trainer Linda Schadel, who owns the Andover Hall-Lively gelding with Tony Schadel. She indicated Andovers Asset will come right back Thursday in a Yonkers overnight. 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace -- Under Paid Under Paid looked much the best on paper, and he looked just as dominant on limestone, scoring by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:52 for Dave Palone, who refused to release any early challengers. "When they give you a horse that's so much the best, the last thing you want to do is fall into a trap," Palone said. "So I felt like taking my chances. When I kicked the plugs out, he was on his way." Motive Hanover and App Hanover completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains Under Paid, a son of A Rocknroll Dance-Upfront Cruzin, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Carr and Phillip Collura. 3-Year-Old Filly Pace -- April Ava April Ava protected rail position and made it look easy thereafter, jogging to victory in a career-best 1:54. Sure R Lookin Good was second, beaten 6-1/4 lengths, with Crew Sock Hanover third. Scott Betts, who conditions the daughter of Delmarvalous-Jenava for Nicholas Catalano and Timothy Betts, indicated he plans to continue racing April Ava in overnights at The Meadows and would keep her over next year. 2-Year-old Colt & Gelding Trot -- Stickler Hanover Despite a parked-out opening panel, Stickler Hanover was strong through the lane and scored in 1:57.2, 1/2 length better than Benezia, with Manhattanup No Ice third. "I wasn't concerned one bit (about the first quarter)," said winning driver Brady Brown. "I just took my time getting there. I let him get settled, then I came with him." Steve Schoeffel trains the son of Explosive Matter-Secret Credit for Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel, Daniel Goehle and Michael Munn. 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace -- Champ Charbel Champ Charbel pulled the pocket into the final turn and had all the pop he needed to brush by Needham Hanover and down him by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:55.1 for Eric Neal and owner/trainer Joseph Karrat. X was third. "He's been sharp all summer," Neal said. "He keeps on coming." It was a life mark for the son of Ponder-Odds On Affair. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, first post 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association                                    

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 30, 2019 -- On Saturday, Oct. 5, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will take on the festive atmosphere of a county fair as the harness racing track and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) host the $200,000 Pennsylvania Fairs championships as well as the annual Pink Out to benefit the American Cancer Society. The races begin at 1:05 PM. Each of the eight championships for 2- and 3-year-olds carries a purse of $25,000. The championships could provide a grand finale for trainer Robert Rougeaux III and owner Brocious Racing Stable, the team behind four divisional point leaders: 2-year-od filly pacer Don't Speak; sophomore filly trotter RT Gloria De Dios, and the freshman trotters Penance and Lindy Pretty Lady. The Pink Out is the fourth presented by the MSOA and The Meadows and features these special events: Mini-pony Races. Contestants must be under 42 inches, and they must be driven by adults 18 or older unless accompanied by an adult. Entry fee, which includes a Pink Out t-shirt, is $30. The winner gets $250. Check out the MSOA's Facebook page Thursday for results of the draw. T-shirts will be available to all for a $10 donation; Chinese Auction. Prizes include a $150 Giant Eagle gift card; a Michael Kors purse; hotel stays; restaurant gift cards, and alcohol-, dog- and cat-themed gift baskets. The auction begins at 12:30 PM, with tickets accepted until race 9. In addition, the MSOA will sponsor a Family Fun Day that includes a bounce house, a balloon artist, a face painter and a caricature artist. To enter a pony or donate an auction item, please contact the MSOA's Dawnelle Mock, 724.470.8303, dawnellemock@gmail.com. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

BLOOMSBURG, PA - The 2019 Pennsylvania fair harness racing season ended this Friday and Saturday in this northeastern Pennsylvania town with two days of Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes racing, with the male trotters taking the spotlight. The two-year-old raced on Friday, and the Father Patrick - Yankee Etta gelding Penance posted a 20¼ length victory (after being behind at the three-quarters) for driver Kyle Bolon in 2:00.3 - just a tick behind the all-time state record at the fairs for the division, posted by Vulcan Hanover in an earlier stop at Bloomsburg this year. Penance also earned the honor of having the most wins in the "A" class of Sire Stakes, posting a remarkable record of 12-9-3-0 for trainer Bob Rougeaux III and the ownership of the Brocious Racing Stable Inc. On Saturday, the Andover Hall sophomore gelding Andovers Asset capped a fine season at the fairs with his eighth win over the twicearounds, in 2:00.2 - tying Vulcan Hanover for honors as being the fastest trotter on the local fair circuit this year. Linda Schadel, who trains one of the fairs' top stables which is usually driven by husband Tony, took a turn in the sulky here and doubled her lifetime total of wins, having won the other time in a race for women at Pocono in 2007 (she has driven fewer than five times in every year since 2006). Tony and Linda own the consistent three-year-old. There were two other eight-time winners in the "A" Sire Stakes in 2019 - one who did not race this weekend, defending champion trotting filly RT Gloria De Dios, and one who did, the A Rocknroll Dance - Clearly Foxy baby pacing filly Dream Dancing, who became the only circuit freshman to post two 2:00 miles this year when she won on Friday in 2:00 flat. Trainer Dave Brickell, co-owner with Mitchell York, was in the sulky behind the steady filly. The leading 2:00 mile producer at the fairs with four was Find One More, even though he was edged by ¾ of a length in Saturday's final fair divisional outing by his stablemate in the Todd Schadel barn, the Well Said gelding Motive Hanover, who himself turned in three "magic mile" clockings during the summer. Aaron Johnson handled the driving in this event behind the 2:00 winner for owners Todd and Cody Schadel. Crew Sock Hanover, the sophomore pacing filly who had two 2:00 miles, the only all-age track record of the year (2:00.1 at Butler), and the fastest mile of the year's twicearound traveling show (1:56.1 at Gratz last week), set the pace in her event on Saturday, but was caught out of the pocket by a head by the Somebeachsomewhere miss Queen Bee Hanover in 1:59, fastest mile of the two-day stand. Todd Schadel trains and drove the winner for owners George and Rose Bonomo. The other magic miler of the session was the Ponder - Odds On Affair freshman colt Champ Charbel, who recorded his fifth fair win with a 1:59.4 victory over chief nemesis Life's Marvalous for driver Shawn Johnston and owner/trainer Joseph Karrat. Todd Schadel and Aaron Johnston tied for the top in Bloomsburg Fair driving victories with four, while Todd sent out five winning charges to be #1 among trainers. For the season, Todd Schadel led both categories with 55 driving wins and 62 training triumphs. The Harness Bureau of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission will total up the final points accumulations for the fair year early this coming week, determining the ranking of eligibility for each division's $25,000 Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship at The Meadows on Saturday, October 5. From the PHHA, MSOA, and the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association partnership

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 3, 2019 -- Mike Wilder collected harness racing career win 8,000 Tuesday at The Meadows when he drove Music N Small Talk to victory in race 13. He achieved his milestone in dramatic fashion, winning six on the day and sweeping the final three events on the card. "You always dream about getting milestones and winning a lot of races, but it's a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication and a lot of help along the way," Wilder said. "I've worked for a lot of good barns that had a lot of good horses. I'm very blessed and fortunate to be able to do what I've done." A native of Springfield, Ohio, Wilder, 47, began jogging horses when he was 8 under the tutelage of his stepfather, David Ritter, who trained Standardbreds at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. Wilder was a phenomenon at Lebanon Raceway, where he won 13 driving titles, and he captured two driving championships at Scioto Downs before moving his tack to The Meadows in 2001. Throughout his career, Wilder has been a model of consistency. He's piloted at least 198 winners in each of the last 26 years, and he's earned more than $1.1 million in purses for the last 21 years consecutively. For Wilder, harness racing is a family affair. His wife Heather is an in-demand MC for harness awards banquets as well as a contributor to Harness Racing Update. She recently was elected president of the United States Harness Writers Association Keystone Chapter. "She loves everything about the sport," Wilder said, "and she's happy to do anything that will help harness racing." They both help Heather's father, noted trainer Dan Altmeyer, with his 10-horse stable, and they're assisted in that task by their teenage daughters Scarlett and Lauren. "Scarlett is a senior in high school this year, and when school started, I lost my help," Wilder joked. Although Wilder continues to roll up wins at a relatively young age, he foresees a day when he'll change his focus. "You'd like to drive forever, but this game will soon enough catch up to you," he said. "I definitely would like to evolve into training, kind of follow in my father-in-law's footsteps. I know there's only one Dan Altmeyer, but he's a great teacher. "I love being around babies and training them. Someday I'd like to do the baby scene in Florida in the winters and come back up here in the spring. When that will be I don't know, but like I said, we can't drive forever." By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WATTSBURG, PA - After a cool but sunny Monday of racing two-year-olds, the skies threatened the three-year-old action on Tuesday at the Erie County Fair in this northwest Pennsylvania town, but a recently-rare show of cooperation by Mother Nature - and hard work by the harness racing track crew - allowed the three-year-old A Rocknroll Dance colt Under Paid to circle the twicearound in 2:00.3, just 2/5 of a second behind the all-time Wattsburg standard. In his division of the "A" PA Fair Sire Stake for his class, Under Paid and driver Aaron Johnston were in charge for the mile, posting splits of :29.2, 1:00.3, and 1:31. The weather was again cool and breezy, not conducive to record miles, but Under Paid came home in :29.3, just two ticks shy of the all-tyime local mark shared by Venier Hanover and Midway Island. Under Paid has now won three straight - his fair debut, a pari-mutuel Stallion Series event, and then here at Wattbsurg - with trainer Ron Burke taking a rare dip into the fair waters and emerging successful for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Lawrence Karr, and Phil Collura. A Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes champion in 2018, the Muscle Massive trotting filly RT Gloria De Dios has continued her solid form into her sophomore season, becoming the first horse in 2019 to win six times in the "A" Sire Stakes level with a 2:05.4 victory, fastest trotting clocking of the meet. Now a twelve-time career winner, RT Gloria De Dios was driven by Kyle Bolon for trainer Robert Rougeaux III and the Brocious Racing Stable Inc. The most impressive horse on the Monday card for two-year-olds was the Father Patrick - Yankee Etta trotting gelding Penance, who won his fifth "A" fair event in 2:06.3, just three-fifths shy of the divisional track record set by Tag The Lady ten years ago. Penance, who also was a winner of a division of the Arden Downs Stake the night before the Adios, has the same connection as RT Gloria De Dios - driver Kyle Bolon, trainer Bob Rougeaux III, and the Brocious Racing Stable LLC, whose patriarch for many years was "Lefty" Brocious. Bolon visited Victory Lane twice on both Monday and Tuesday to emerge as the short meet's top driver with four victories. Roger Hammer trained three baby winners and added a sophomore win to take honors as the leading trainer with four triumphs - Hammer was not on hand on Tuesday, as he was attending the funeral of Mr. Gerald Kelly, a longtime Hammer patron and one of the most respected men in the Mid-Atlantic area, unflinchingly kind and calm while operating a moderate stable until his recent passing at age 81. The Pennsylvania fair circuit is right back in action at Stoneboro PA Thursday (freshmen) and Friday (sophomores), with the racing scheduled to start at 11 a.m. This will be the last stop on the "western" swing of the circuit; the four stops after Stoneboro will be two-day and fair sessions at Bloomsburg and Gratz, as the horses make a final charge to qualify for the Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championships at The Meadows on Saturday, October 5. (Last year's Fair Championships, remember, were the "coming-out party" for Aflame Hanover, who won a Messenger elimination this past Saturday, and goes for $500,000 in the Triple Crown event this Saturday at Yonkers.) From the MSOA,  Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association, and the PHHA partnership

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 27, 2019 -- Suddenly Royal abandoned the pocket past the quarter and made the move stand up as she won her third straight -- and gave harness racing driver Jim Pantaleano one of his five victories on the 13-race card -- in Tuesday's feature at The Meadows, a $13,500 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Although Suddenly Royal was sitting behind the 2-5 favorite, Lakeisha Hall, Pantaleano wanted that one in his rear-view mirror and took the point. Suddenly Royal downed Lakeisha Hall by a length in 1:52 over a "good" surface, with Easy Three third. Suddenly Royal appeared to bear out briefly down the backside, but following an inquiry, the judges did not disturb the order of finish. The 4-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Resilient is owned by A Piece Of The Action LLC and trained by Christen Pantaleano, who sent out three of her husband's winning quintet. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the program features a pair of stakes for freshman filly trotters -- a $180,505 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $60,000 PA Stallion Series event -- as well as a $969.04 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 27, 2019 -- The Washington County Animal Response Team (WaCART) provides irreplaceable services throughout Washington County, rescuing animals trapped in life-threatening situations. Yet the agency has been hampered in its efforts by the lack of a truck to haul the trailer that houses its emergency equipment and supplies. Now, WaCART has launched a campaign to raise funds to purchase a truck . . . and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) is helping. The MSOA, which represents horse owners, trainers and drivers who compete at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, has contributed $2,000 to the campaign. Ultimately, WaCART needs to raise $68,160 to purchase the truck and such safety equipment as scene lightning and a radio/repeater system. The organization has collected close to $20,000 and hopes to complete the campaign and acquire the truck next year. "We're delighted to assist WaCART with this acquisition, which will help it save the lives of animals," said Rich Gillock, MSOA president. "Many of their emergency calls involve horses in life-or-death situations, so their work is near and dear to the hearts of MSOA members." WaCART is a volunteer organization, part of a statewide network of county-based units called the Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team. The groups rescue livestock and domesticated and exotic animals, though other wildlife is outside their purview. They don't handle cases of animal neglect or abuse but sometimes are asked to assist agencies that do. For example, in a recent incident involving German shorthaired pointers abused at a puppy mill, WaCART volunteers helped secure 94 dogs and transport them to the local fairgrounds; from there, appropriate care/placement agencies took over. Ed Childers, WaCART coordinator, says his group averages about 15 rescue missions per year, ranging from horses stuck in sinkholes to cows stranded in ravines. Sometimes, though, valuable time is lost while WaCART hunts down a truck to haul the supply trailer. "That can add at least 30 minutes to the process," Childers said. "Very often, the animals in need of recuse don't have that extra 30 minutes." WaCART has targeted a van that includes shelving, a bulkhead and storage compartments. "We'll be able to house the van in a heated garage bay at the North Strabane Fire Department, which is centrally located and would be available to us round the clock," Childers said. Both Childers and Gillock noted that WaCART and the MSOA are discussing other collaborative efforts, including WaCART's training MSOA members in emergency rescue techniques. Childers indicated his group recently conducted successful training with horsemen at Parx Casino and Racing, a Thoroughbred venue near Philadelphia. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 19, 2019 -- "First Responder Night," presented by The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) and The Meadows Racetrack & Casino to honor the region's first responders and provide a fun evening at the races for them and their families, is set for Friday, Aug. 23. All first responders in uniform or with appropriate ID will receive betting vouchers and free programs when they visit the MSOA table in the Racebook. In addition, Friday's live harness racing card, which begins at the special post time of 5:30 PM, will include a first responder match race, with participants drawn by lot. The evening also will feature "Family Fun Night" activities that include a bounce house, a balloon artist and a face painter. The Aug. 23 card is highlighted by a pair of stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers -- a $165,000 (est) Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $60,000 (est) PA Stallion Series event. For more information, please contact the MSOA's Dawnelle Mock at 724.470.8303, dawnellemock@gmail.com. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

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

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