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This Week: Camluck Classic, The Raceway at Western Fair District, London, Ontario; Currier & Ives Filly Trot, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; and Graduate Series second leg and Somebeachsomewhere, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ontario. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action opens on Friday night (May 31) at The Raceway at Western Fair District with the C$157,000 Camluck Classic for older male pacers. Racing will take place on Saturday (June 1) at two venues. The Meadows will host the $70,000 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters and Woodbine Mohawk Park will feature two C$80,000 divisions in the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old pacing colts and single C$99,000 second leg divisions in the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters and 4-year-old pacers. Complete entries for the Meadows race can be found by clicking on this link. Western Fair and Mohawk entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: As a yearling, Bettor's Wish sold for all of $20,000. "But he's not a $20,000 horse anymore." So said co-owner and trainer Chris Ryder Saturday night (May 25) after his charge - and driver Dexter Dunn - made short work of Yonkers Raceway's $300,000 Art Rooney Pace. The 29th Rooney, for 3-year-old colts and geldings, turned into a romp for the odds-on ($3.70) choice. One of two elimination winners, Bettor's Wish drew post position No. 6 in the finale. He found himself three-wide early, outside of Captain Malicious (Mark MacDonald) and Buddy Hill (Brian Sears) and inside of Blood Money (Scott Zeron). Blood Money made the lead before a :27 opening quarter-mile, then a :55.4 intermission. Going up the backside the second time, Rollwithpapajoe (Joe Bongiorno) was advancing out of fifth before he broke stride. That allowed Buddy Hill a path out of third, and as he was about to leave the cones, Bettor's Wish extricated himself from the pocket. That one disposed of Blood Money soon after a 1:24.1 three-quarters, preparing to bust the race wide open. Bettor's Wish slapped three lengths on his rivals in and out of the final turn, then ran it up. The final margin was a half-dozen lengths in a season's-best 1:51.4. Second went to Branquinho (Tyler Buter), while Air Force Hanover (David Miller) was third. Buddy Hill and Blood Money picked off the remainder. Bettor's Wish, a Bettor's Delight colt co-owned by Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm and Kenneth Solomon, has won all three of his seasonal starts and earned $180,000. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards.   Here are the leaders following this past weekend:   Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 193; 2. Jason Bartlett - 144; 3. George Brennan - 110; 4. Jordan Stratton - 107; 5. Daniel Dube - 104. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 149; 2. Ron Burke - 85; 3. Rene Allard - 77; 4. Richard Banca - 61; 5. Andrew Harris - 54. Owners: 1. Jo Ann Looney-King - 55.2; 2. Tim Tetrick LLC - 51.7; 3. Richard Poillucci - 41.7; 4. Brad Grant - 41; 5. D R Van Witzenburg - 40.   Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Northfield Park, Woodbine Mohawk Park, and Tioga Downs. Northfield will host the Battle of Lake Erie for invitational pacers, Mohawk will feature five stakes eliminations, led by the North America Cup for 3-year-old male pacers, and Tioga Downs will offer the third leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers and trotters.   Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager U.S. Trotting Association

WASHINGTON, PA, May 28, 2019 -- Touchamatic collected her sixth straight harness racing victory while Party At The Banks extended her winning streak to three in Tuesday's co-features at The Meadows. Touchamatic ripped off five straight at Northfield before putting her streak on the line in the $18,000 Filly & Mare Open Handicap Pace. The 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal-Perfect Touch released Medusa to the lead early, then blew by her in the lane and defeated her by 2-1/2 lengths in a swift 1:50.1. Magic Forces completed the ticket. Aaron Merriman piloted Touchamatic, who pushed her career bankroll to $282,662, for trainer Bill Bercury and owner Renee Bercury. Party At The Banks had a more demanding trip in the $20,000 Open Handicap Trot, parked every step from post 8. But she moved powerfully late for Dave Palone and drew off to down 42-1 long shot Tequila Talking by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:54.3, with Rising MVP third. The 5-year-old daughter of Break The Bank K-Beach Party As has been so dominant during her streak that her combined victory margin is 11 lengths. It was one of four wins for Palone on the 13-race card. Party At The Banks                             -Chris Gooden photo Ron Burke trains Party At The Banks, who now boasts lifetime earnings of 190,423, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, when the program features a pair of carryovers -- $2481.02 in the Pick 5 (races 2-6), $357.44 in the final-race Super Hi-5.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, May 25, 2019 --Kate's Massive powered to the lead past the quarter and made the rest of it look easy, scoring a convincing harness racing victory in Friday's $99,430 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old trotters at The Meadows. Last year's Pennsylvania Stallion Series champion, Kate's Massive opened his sophomore campaign with a stallion series victory, so the Currier & Ives represented a step up for him. Nevertheless, Dave Palone steered the son of Muscle Massive-Sister Kate aggressively, protecting the rail starting position and getting away second. Once Kate's Massive reached the point, he had little trouble holding off the first-over challenge of Shake N Bake. The 6-5 favorite needed only a single tap from Palone's whip in the stretch to defeat Shake N Bake by 2 lengths in 1:54.1, lowering his life mark 1.2 seconds. Long shot Stinglike A B K finished third. Kelly Paver trains the winner, who lifted his career bankroll to $136,267, for owner and co-breeder Harry Horowitz. It was one of five victories on the 12-race card for Palone, who triumphed for the 18th time (including Open Division wins in final heats and preliminary splits) in the illustrious history of the Currier & Ives, which was launched at The Meadows in 1975. The "winningest" driver in harness racing history, Palone collected his first Currier & Ives victory with Dontellmenomore in 1991. Also enjoying big nights were Jim Pantaleano and trainer Scott Betts, with four and three wins, respectively. Following a brief holiday break, live racing at The Meadows resumes Tuesday, first post 1:05 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

The long anticipated book titled THE VOICE: THE UNPARALLELED LIFE OF ROGER HUSTON has just been released. Written by Victoria M. Howard, the book on Harness Racing's #1 race announcer and Hall of Famer, Roger Huston, is available for purchase now. Huston has called more than 178,000 races, covering at least 144 tracks in nineteen states and eight countries. Known as 'The Voice' because of his booming vocal crescendo, when one hears that sound you instantly know a trotting or pacing race is imminent. THE VOICE: THE UNPARALLELED LIFE OF ROGER HUSTON contains priceless life stories of Huston's 60-year career as a race announcer. There are also 80 original photos of the sport's champion horses and top drivers as it takes you back to each and every Little Brown Jug and Adios. Through these pages you will experience the classic races in Harness Racing's history. Huston will be signing copies of the book Saturday, July 6 at The Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York from 10am -12 noon. BE THERE! For more information, contact: Roger Huston@Roger.Huston@meadowsgaming.com Now available @ at Amazon.com or AuthorHouse.com  

WASHINGTON, PA, April 6, 2019 -- Real Peace overcame post 9 and notched his second straight victory in Saturday's harness racing  feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Pace. Although parked the opening quarter, the 4-year-old Real Desire-Peace gelding cruised home for Aaron Merriman in 1:53.1, 1-3/4 lengths better than Toureg Seelster. A boxed-in Lord Of Winterfell found late racing room for show. Ron Burke trains Real Peace, a career earner of 106,641, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Burke enjoyed a four-bagger on the 12-race program. In other highlights of the week at The Meadows. Another Blowout for Party At The Banks Party At The Banks rolled to her third consecutive blowout -- her combined victory margin in those wins was 10-1/2 lengths -- in Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot. Dave Palone hustled the 5-year-old daughter of Break The Bank K-Beach Party As to the point, where the 1-9 favorite had little trouble putting away the first-over CR Blazin Beauty. She triumphed in 1:55.1, 2-3/4 lengths ahead of the pocket-sitting Dirty Secret, with You're Majestic third. Burke conditions Party At The Banks, whose lifetime bankroll stands at $155,923, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   Millionaire Dayson Goes First Over for 3rd Straight Forced to an uncharacteristic first-over move, millionaire Dayson was nonetheless much the best, powering to his third straight victory in Tuesday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. Palone sent Dayson for the lead, but when Wilberforce was unexpectedly aggressive on top, Dayson and Palone found a seat fourth. When Dayson attacked down the backside, he blew by Wilberforce and scored in 1:54.3. Bluebird Jesse was second, 2-3/4 lengths back, while Classic Banker completed the ticket. Burke trains Dayson, a 6-year-old Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus gelding who now boasts $1,020,712 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr and J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby. It was one of three wins for Palone, including a pair for trainer Cory Kreiser, on the 13-race program. David McNeight III lit up the tote board when he brought Lady Eagle home at 68-1 in a Filly & Mare Conditioned Trot.   Rentier, Quality Kemp Win Monday Co-features Rentier powered to the point past the quarter and jogged to an easy victory in Monday's co-feature, an $11,500 Conditioned Trot. Rentier was away fourth, but when trainer/driver Wilbur Yoder asked him for trot, the 4-year-old Explosive Matter-Race Judicata gelding reached the top easily and extended his lead thereafter. He scored in 1:56.1, 3-1/2 lengths better than the rallying Maximum Credit, with Jeffery P third. Austin Brubacker campaigns Rentier. Rentier                      -Chris Gooden photo Quality Kemp captured the co-feature, also a Conditioned Trot, when he followed live cover before brushing home in 1:56.3 for Eric Goodell, trainer Andy Rickert and owner Murdock Racing Stable. The 4-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Impressive Kemp extended his lifetime bankroll to $108,488. Tony Hall garnered three wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, first post 1:05 PM.   Evan Pattak

WASHINGTON, PA, March 29, 2019 -- Millionaire Dancin Yankee fired out for the lead and had little trouble with the field or the sloppy surface, cruising to victory in a sharp 1:53 in Friday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. The win gave Dave Palone and harness racing trainer Ron Burke a sweep of the track's four Preferred events for the week. The pocket-sitting Dapper Dude finished second, 2-1/4 lengths back, with the first-over Arthur Pendragon completing the ticket. Burke Racing Stable campaigns Dancin Yankee, an 11-year-old Yankee Cruiser-Dancewiththebest gelding who boosted his career bankroll to $1,879,907. Palone and Burke each collected four victories on the 12-race card, and each tallied 13 wins for the week. In other highlights of the week: Party At The Banks Repeats in $20K F&M Trot Looped from the gate, Party At The Banks made the lead at her leisure and powered off to her second straight victory in Wednesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot. The 5-year-old daughter of Break The Bank K-Beach Party As triumphed in 1:54.2, 3-1/2 lengths better than You're Majestic, with CR Blazin Beauty third. Palone steered Party At The Banks, who lifted her lifetime earnings to $145,923, for Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Burke fashioned a four-bagger on the 12-race program while Mike Wilder and Palone each piloted three winners. Chris Shaw provided the day's tote board pyrotechnics when he guided Woman Possessed home at a lush 55-1.   Windsun Glory Again in Top Distaff Pace Windsun Glory made it two straight to start her 6-year-old campaign with a front-end win in Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace. The daughter of Mach Three-Windsun Princess repelled a serious first-over challenge from Bontz N to score in 1:52.2 for Palone. The pocket-sitting Touchamatic was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, while Bontz N saved show. Burke conditions Windsun Glory, who extended her career bankroll to $390,368, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva Stables and Larry Karr. Wilder garnered four wins on the 13-race program while Brady Brown, Jim Pantaleano and Burke each enjoyed a triple.   Millionaire Dayson Scores in Season's Debut Dayson, whose most recent victory made him a millionaire, kicked off his 2019 campaign in similar fashion with an easy win in Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. Although Dayson hadn't raced since the day after Christmas, Palone steered him aggressively with a quarter-pole move in the slop. The 6-year-old Conway Hall-Nervey's Taurus gelding prevailed in 1:56, 1-1/2 lengths better than the pocket-sitting Bluebird Jesse, with Chef Lee third. Dayson      - Chris Gooden photo Burke trains Dayson, who now has banked $1,011,712, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr and J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby. Tony Hall and Palone each collected four wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the program features a $512.84 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post 1:05 PM.   Evan Pattak

WASHINGTON, PA, March 8, 2019 -- Delray Dude overpowered the field in a 1:52.4 victory in Friday's opening leg of the Walter Russell Memorial Pace at The Meadows. Dew A Little Dance survived a late rally by Touch Of The West in the other $12,500 division of the event for 3- and 4-year-old colts, stallions and geldings. A 4-year-old American Ideal-Docdor Libby gelding, Delray Dude entered the series off a break at Yonkers. But he was fast and straight Friday, lowering his life mark 2.4 seconds for Dave Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The pocket-sitting Stonelake was second, 1-1/2 lengths in arrears, while previously unbeaten Champagneonabeach settled for show. Friday's card also featured a "battle of millionaires" in the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace as Dapper Dude roared from the pocket to down Dancin Yankee by 3/4 lengths in 1:50.3. Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. drove for trainer Tim Twaddle and owner Micki Rae Stables. Palone and Burke each fashioned a triple on the 13-race card. Tony Hall piloted a pair of winners to give him 14 over the last four programs. During the week, The Meadows kicked off three other series for 3- and 4-year-olds. Among the highlights: Mary Wolhmuth Memorial Trot -- Fillies & Mares Galary Girl let Revival do all the heavy lifting on the front before out-finishing her in the Lightning Lane to score in 1:59, fastest of Wednesday's three opening-leg divisions. Also taking $12,500 splits were Lindy Misssunshine and Moshannon Magic. When menacing challenger Sweet Madam jumped it off, it appeared Revival might be home free. But Galary Girl powered through the Lightning Lane for Mike Wilder and defeated Revival by 1-1/2 lengths, with Ima Yankee third. Rich Gillock trains the 4-year-old daughter of Angus Hall-Sierra Fortune for Hutt Racing Stable. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, Maewegonow made it two straight with a 1:58.2 victory for Hall, trainer Richard Perfido and owner Thomas Mattingly. Hall notched four wins and Gillock three on the 13-race program. Ken Weaver Memorial Trot -- Colts, Stallions & Geldings First Maestro followed the live cover of Explosive Magic, then zipped by him in the lane to capture the fastest of Tuesday's three opening-leg divisions. Ryanlee and Fan The Flames took the other $12,500 splits. A sophomore son of Winning Mister-First Sonata, First Maestro failed to take a mark in 13 tries last year but is undefeated in three 2019 outings. He downed Explosive Magic by a neck in 1:58.4 for Hall, trainer Norm Parker and owner/breeder Bob Key. Andovers Asset earned show. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, Circle The Page went from worst to first to pull off a 16-1 upset for Dan Rawlings. John Sullivan conditions the 5-year-old daughter of Real Artist-Queen Marie, who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $226,334, and owns with Michael Marocco. Wilder and Hall each piloted three winners on the 13-race card. Donna Dunn Memorial Pace -- Fillies & Mares Mystical Thread and Miss Daisy Duke registered front-end victories in the $12,500 divisions, although the performance of the former may have been a bit more impressive, as it occurred after steady snow had turned the track condition to "good." The 4-year-old daughter of Fred And Ginger-Threads Of Life roared to the front for Palone and trainer J.W. Miller and scored in a career-best 1:56.4, 3 lengths ahead of Better Speed, with Ultra Violet third. A 4-year-old daughter of Sportswriter-Keystone Jubilee, Miss Daisy Duke prevailed in 1:58.1 for Wilder and trainer Spencer Kahrig. She's The Best rallied for second, falling a head short, while Flipping Fun was fourth-placed third. Kahrig Racing Stable enjoyed a sweep, as it campaigns Miss Daisy Duke with Cache Is King LLC and Paul Czopek and owns Mystical Thread in partnership with Caleb Little. Hall was the day's driving star again with five wins on the 13-race program. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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 - Veteran horse racing executive Mark Loewe has been named Vice President of Racing for the Meadows Casino, Racetrack and Hotel, subject to customary regulatory licensing requirements. Loewe has over forty years of experience in the horse racing industry, working both on the backstretch and in the boardroom at many varied locations. A New York City native and graduate of St. John's University, Loewe rose in the racing ranks from groom to successful trainer in the 1980s and 1990s and then made a seamless transition to the management side at Pompano Park in 1991 where he worked until 2014. Loewe joined Penn National Gaming, Inc. ("PNGI") in February 2008 as General Manager of the Sanford Orlando Kennel Club in Longwood, Florida and since then has assumed racing leadership roles at five other PNGI horse racing facilities (Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Beulah Park, Raceway Park, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway and Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course.) Loewe was actively involved in the development of the overall racing facilities at Dayton Raceway and Mahoning Valley Race Course and since late 2014 has served as Vice President of Ohio Racing Operations for PNGI. Loewe will retain his oversight of the Mahoning Valley Race Course racing operations as part of his new assignment. "I'm excited by the opportunity and challenges presented by the Meadows racing operation. I was already familiar with many of the employees and horsemen at the facility and I'm looking forward to positively impacting the racing operations," Loewe said. "I have the utmost confidence in Mark and his abilities and look forward to his active involvement in the Meadows racing program. He has a proven track record at multiple operations and we are excited to add the Meadows to our stable of 13 owned or managed pari-mutuel racetracks," added Chris McErlean, Vice President of Racing for PNGI. From the Meadows Racetrack & Casino  

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

Harrisburg, PA - The State Horse Racing Commission's Bureau of Standardbred Horse Racing today reminded Standardbred harness racing owners that 2019 Sire Stakes payments for 2-year-old and 3-year-old horses are due by March 15. The first payments due for 2-year-old horses are $150 for the Pari-mutuel Division and $50 for the Fair Division. This payment must be made for the horse to qualify for future opportunities in the PA Sire Stakes. The final payment of $500 for the Pari-mutuel Division for 3-year-olds is also due by March 15. In the Fair Division, if no 2-year-old sustaining fees were made in the prior year, a $750 late sustaining payment may be made by March 15 of the horse's 3-year-old season, as well as a sustaining fee of $150, payable by May 15. The Sire Stakes Sustaining Payment forms are available at www.agriculture.pa.gov. Search "sire stakes." Individuals can also contact Ryan Kell at rkell@pa.gov or 717-214-9053 to obtain payment forms. Learn more about the State Horse Racing Commission's work to reinvest in Pennsylvania racing and continue to develop Pennsylvania's reputation as a superior place to breed, train, race and enjoy horses. From the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes

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  

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