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

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

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

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

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

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 29, 2018 -- Dan Rawlings enjoyed the most productive day of his career Saturday at The Meadows, winning seven of the day's 13 races, including a Keystone Classic division with Scuola Hanover. E Dee's Well Said took the other split of that $61,500 stake for 3-year-old filly pacers. Rawlings, a 37-year-old Maine native who's been based at The Meadows since 2009, swept the early Daily Double and was on his way. He won at odds ranging from 3-5 to 14-1 and brought three home for trainer John Sullivan. "When I looked at the program," he said, "I thought I could win two races. I had horses that were competitive in competitive classes. Everything just worked out real well. Once the favorite ran. Once I got a good second-over trip. Another time, a horse that could have beaten me got buried. I made some good decisions and had a little luck. It happens." Rawlings had extra incentive, as his son David was in the paddock, celebrating his sixth birthday. In the Keystone Classic, Rawlings sent Scuola Hanover to the front at the quarter, and the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance-So Artsi turned back the determined uncovered bid of Cult Icon and downed her by a length in a career-best 1:52. Dreams On Me was a close-up third in the Lightning Lane. "I didn't pop the earplugs when she was challenged," Rawlings said. "She heard the horse, pinned her ears and wanted to go on. I just let her do it." Andrew Stafford trains Scuola Hanover, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $192,531, and owns with Art Stafford and Thomas Ireland. E Dee's Well said entered the Keystone Classic off a stunner -- a second-place finish in the Jugette at 62-1. She showed that was no fluke when she launched a first-over move that erased a 5-1/2-length deficit and carried her to victory for Jim Pantaleano in 1:53, also a life mark. Ana Hanover was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with Aldine Hanover third. "I haven't changed anything on her," said winning trainer Christen Pantaleano. "She's had so many bad posts, and she's been chasing horses for so long. I think the Jugette pushed her confidence over the edge." She said the daughter of Well Said-Eternity's Delight, who lifted her career earnings to $146,702 for C Jimmy D's Racing, would be pointed to the Simpson. In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, Vague Traces sprang an 11-1 upset despite racing outside most of the back half. The 6-year-old Always A Virgin-Village Junior gelding triumphed in 1:50.1 for Tony Hall and trainer Sarah Andrews and now has banked $328,416 for owner Michael Jurczykowski. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features a pair of rich pool guarantees -- $12,500 for the Pick 5, $7,500 for the Pick 4 -- as well as the Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows          

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 27, 2018 -- When Christen Pantaleano dropped E Dee's Well Said into last week's Jugette, some observers might have concluded the trainer had "Jugette Fever" and was racing just to say she did. Her filly's credentials -- success in late closers at The Meadows, second in the Pennsylvania Sires Stake consolation -- didn't seem to justify a battle with the finest harness racing 3-year-old fillies in the sport. But if Pantaleano suffered from that disease, she was cured by watching E Dee's Well Said finish second, beaten a diminishing length by Alexa's Power, at an astronomical 62-1. The daughter of Well Said-Eternity's Delight earned more than $57,000, the biggest payday of her career. "If the race had been a few steps longer," she says, "we would have won it all. It was by far the greatest thrill of my life." On Saturday at The Meadows, E Dee's Well Said will try to maintain her momentum in the $61,500 Keystone Classic. She'll go from post 7 in race 4 with regular pilot (and Christen's husband) Jim Pantaleano, who guided her in the Jugette. First post is 1:05 PM. E Dee's Well said was purchased for $35,000 as a 2-year-old for C Jimmy D's Racing LLC, an investors' group that Christen Pantaleano manages. "She was very scrappy," the trainer recalls. "We took a chance on her, and as soon as we got her to the barn, she was game for everything. I always thought that she would be great on a half-mile track, and Jimmy always has been a great half-mile-track driver. From the time we bought her I told Jimmy, 'She's going to the Jugette.' "When I staked her to the Jugette, I thought they would go heats, which didn't happen. I thought she would be amazing in heats because absolutely nothing affects her." E Dee's Well Said has the Simpson and the Pegasus remaining this year. Prompted by her filly's stunning debut on a half-mile oval, Christen Pantaleano already is working on a plan for her 4-year-old campaign. "I would love to take her to Yonkers and see what she can do. She has so much potential, and she has an amazing attitude." Saturday's card includes a number of attractive wagering opportunities, including a pair of rich pool guarantees -- $7,500 for the Pick 4, $5,000 for the Pick 5 -- as well as a $957.10 jackpot for the Super Hi-5. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 26, 2018 -- Expose Yourself glided through the slop and captured an easy front-end victory -- her second straight -- in Wednesday's feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Filly & Mare Conditioned Trot. Expose Yourself zipped to the lead from post 5 for Dave Palone and enjoyed a comfortable 58.4 first half. The 4-year-old daughter of Kadabra-Muscle Shirt had plenty left to thwart the first-over challenge of EZ Passer and score in 1:56.1, a length better than the pocket-sitting Glidinthruparadise. EZ Passer saved show. Ron Burke trains Expose Yourself, who lifted her career bankroll to $117,061, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Aaron Merriman and Palone each collected four wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the program features a $61,500 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old filly pacers. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 25, 2018 -- Trailing by 10 lengths at the half, Worldly Hanover unleashed a powerful three-wide move into the final turn that carried her to a 10-1 upset victory in Tuesday's $75,700 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Megadolce took the other division in the stake for 3-year-old harness racing filly trotters. Worldly Hanover was racing for the third time in eight days, including two Pennsylvania Fair stakes with her trainer, Harold Brocklehurst, in the sulky. But winning driver Bryce Brocklehurst, Harold's son, indicated the daughter of Donato Hanover-Wherley responded well to the heavy schedule -- and the sloppy surface -- to prevail in 1:57.1. "She had a pretty good hold of me the whole mile, and they were going pretty good fractions up front, so I felt pretty good about it," he said. "My dad kind of raced her easy at Bloomsburg because he knew we had this race coming up. It was a tightener for her, really." Super Trump used the Lightning Lane for second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Donato's Jewel third. Double R Farms, David Obley and Richard Williams campaign Worldly Hanover, who will appear next on Saturday, Oct. 6, when The Meadows hosts all eight PA Fairs championships. Megadolce grabbed the early lead but was shuffled mildly to third before Tony Hall steered her to the Lightning Lane. The daughter of Cantab Hall-Bella Dolce had just enough racetrack to down Bandol Rose by a nose in 1:56.4. The first-over Lima Charisma completed the ticket. "She felt great. I just had to wait for the passing lane to open up," Hall said. "The leader looked pretty strong, so I was pretty confident we would have a shot." Megadolce now has earned $138,124 for trainer Nifty Norman and owner David McDuffee. Dave Palone piloted four winners -- including three for trainer Ron Burke -- on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, when the program features a pair of rich pool guarantees -- $10,000 for the Pick 5, $7,500 for the Pick 4 -- as well as a $694.60 jackpot in the Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM.  

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 24, 2018 -- Im Your Captain converted a lengthy quarter-pole move to victory in 1:53.4, fastest in Monday's $78,698 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. The stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters was contested over three divisions, with Mississippi Storm and Make It A Double taking the other divisions. Andy Miller and trainer Julie Miller made it a double, indeed, with Im Your Captain and Make It A Double. Im Your Captain entered the Keystone Classic off a victory in the Old Oaken Bucket at Delaware, and Miller drove him as if he were the best, launching that quarter-pole move from fourth. "I thought he was as good as anything in there," Miller said, "and I just didn't want to rush him out of the gate and make a mistake. So I just moved him up the front side, and he did the rest. He finished with his earplugs in and kind of coasted. I just kept him to his task." The son of Muscle Hill-Frisky Strike drew off late to down Jackie's Jim by 3-3/4 lengths, with Meadowbranch Ricky third. Andy Miller Stable and Black Horse Racing campaign Im Your Captain, who boosted his career bankroll to $128,373. Mississippi Storm also entered the Keystone Classic off a strong performance -- a victory in a Liberty Bell split -- and he had little trouble muscling to the early lead and scoring in 1:54.2, a life mark. The pocket-sitting Mr Contestant was second, 2 lengths back, while Rich And Miserable rallied for show. "I'd never driven him before, so I didn't know what to expect," said winning driver Jim Pantaleano. "He was very handy. I kicked out the plugs at the head of the stretch, and he still had plenty left. I was happily surprised." Ton Fanning conditions the Cantab Hall-Mississippi Beauty gelding, who now has banked $153,908 for Joseph Smith. Make It A Double stretched out 3-5 favorite Scirocco Rob before yielding to the pocket. That might have been the decisive move, as the Donato Hanover-Dodger Blues gelding overtook Scirocco Rob near the wire and defeated him by a length in 1:54.3. Stonebridge Gamble completed the ticket. "I was stuck between horses, and I wanted a two-hole trip, so I kept going," Miller said. "I had to use my horse and make the favorite work a little to get where I wanted to be. The horse trotted good late." Make It A Double lifted his lifetime earnings to $94,011 for Andy Miller Stable, Jason Allen and Douglas Allen. Miller indicated Im Your Captain and Make It A Double would be pointed to the Simpson for their final starts this year. In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, Classicality zipped to the front from post 8 and collected a comfortable 2-1/2-length victory in 1:55.1 for Brian Zendt and owner/trainer Lisa Dunn. The 8-year-old Classic Photo-Penn Worthy Lane gelding won for the 50th time in his career and extended his career bankroll to $647,812. Stake racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the card features a $75,700 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old filly trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 22, 2018 -- Pocketed by Winston early, Wheels On Fire got his revenge late when he blew by Winston to score in L51, fastest division in Saturday's $75,000 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. The stake for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers was contested over three splits, with No Easy Day and Shadow Cat taking the other divisions. Trainer Ron Burke enjoyed a Keystone Classic double with Wheels On Fire and No Easy Day. Wheels On Fire dueled with Winston from the gate but retreated to the two hole for Mike Wilder. "He's a big horse, and he's pretty aggressive," Wilder said. "But once I got him settled down in the hole, he was great. In the last turn, I thought he couldn't lose. When I pulled him, he just exploded. He's very athletic for the size of him." In the lane, the Somebeachsomewhere-Ab Fab gelding roared by outside to down Winston by a length, with another Burke trainee, Aleppo Hanover, third. Bill Donovan campaigns Wheels On Fire, who won for the eighth time in 18 career starts. No Easy Day worked out a similar pocket trip before out-kicking his stablemate, Go West Go Fast. In the stretch and defeating him by 2 lengths in 1:51.2. Yupper completed the ticket. Before getting his picture taken, No Easy Day had to survive an inquiry for a possible pylon violation. "He won from last on Adios Day in 1:50, so the option to take back was there if it looked a little crazy getting away," said winning driver Tony Hall. "But there was kind of an even flow, so it looked like I could get away quickly. He had a lot of go." Thomas Dillon owns No Easy Day, a Somebeachsomewhere-Wish All You Want gelding. Shadow Cat was unhurried early, but when he tipped off the live cover of Kwik Talkin for Aaron Merriman, he was much the best, prevailing by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:52.1. Daddyofemall rallied for second while Kwik Talkin was third. "He's big and gangly and doesn't steer the best," Merriman said. "He got a little bit green when he got by his cover. He doesn't have that knockout punch yet, but he has a lot of ability." John Butenschoen conditions the Somebeachsomewhere-Shady Past gelding, who completed the Keystone Classic sweep for his daddy and extended his career bankroll to $123,574 for William Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick. In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, Windsong Leo notched a facile 1:50.4 victory -- his 15th this year -- for Dave Palone, Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phil Collura. The 6-year-old Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding now boasts career earnings of $350,350. Stake racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features a $78,698 Keystone Classic for sophomore colt and gelding trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 17, 2018 -- Chef Lee had little trouble reaching the point in the compact field of four, but he had to dig in late to preserve his second straight victory in Monday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot. Mike Wilder gave Chef Lee a comfortable 29.3 second quarter, but he couldn't shake the pocket-sitting Explosive Leggs, who fell 1/2 length short in the Lightning Lane, with Mac Deeno a ground-saving third. Winning time for the 6-year-old Cantab Hall-Summer Savory gelding was 1:55.4 over a sloppy surface. Norm Parker owns and trains Chef Lee, who lifted his career bankroll to $360,165. Dave Palone collected four wins and Wilder three on the 12-race card. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 15, 2018 -- Forced three wide prematurely when his cover stopped, Royaltyhasarrived roared wide through the lane to capture Saturday's co-feature at The Meadows, a $13,000 Conditioned Pace. Royaltyhasarrived was following the first-over cover of Modern Reflection in pursuit of The Dark Shadow, who was enjoying an easy lead. When Modern Reflection stalled, Brady Brown was forced to swing Royaltyhasarrived further out. The 6-year-old Western Terror-Her Mattjesty gelding needed most of the stretch, but he nailed The Dark Shadow by a neck in 1:51.3. Atta Boy Dan, frustrated in his quest for $700,000 in career earnings, raced well for third. Steve Schoeffel trains Royaltyhasarrived, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $249,581, for Virginia Schoeffel and Kathy Schoeffel. In Saturday's co-feature, a $13,000 Conditioned Trot, Bella's Punkett, aided by the early break of 1-2 favorite EZ Passer, rolled to a front-end score in 1:55.1 for Dave Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owner Howard Taylor. The 6-year-old daughter of Super Punk-Nubella extended her career earnings to $122,154. Jim Pantaleano, Burke and Palone each fashioned a triple on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the program features a pair of rich total-pool guarantees -- $25,000 for the Pick 5, $7,500 for the Pick 4 -- as well as $2,072.40 jackpot in the Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 13, 2018 -- He's battling back from an injury that forces many horses to retire, but if Atta Boy Dan wins Saturday at The Meadows, he'll achieve a significant milestone -- $700,000 in career earnings. He'll go from post 5 in race 8, a $13,000 Conditioned Pace, with Mike Wilder aboard. Since Atta Boy Dan enters the contest with a lifetime bankroll of $693,802, only a win will get him to $700,000. First post is 1:05 PM. A 9-year-old Western Terror-Dropitlikeitshot gelding, Atta Boy Dan sold for a more-than-respectable $70,000 as a yearling but had limited stakes success, winning a PA Stallion Series split and earning checks in other events. After Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC acquired him privately in 2013, he began putting together his sparkling resume. "We got him as part of a package deal," recalls trainer Ron Burke. "He turned out to be worth more than the rest of the package combined." In 2015-16, he won 26 races and more than $450,000. He took his mark of 1:48.4 at Pocono in 2015. That same year, he won at The Meadows in 1:49.1, fastest ever by an older gelding. (He shares that mark with Escape The News and Reggiano.) But sometime after his Jan. 23, 2017 victory at The Meadows, disaster struck in the form of a broken coffin joint. He managed only four more starts last year and five so far this year. "With that coffin joint bad, it's had for him to push off," Burke says. "He's had numerous flare-ups, so we've had to shut him down a number of times. I would never race him lame. I'd like to be able to give him eight or nine starts in a row and get a better feel for him. Right now he's a little overweight, so we're letting him race himself into shape." Although he's without a win since that Jan. 23 victory last year, Atta Boy Dan has shown some promising signs, including two seconds and a third in his most recent outings, beaten no more than 3/4 lengths. Burke indicates he has no plans to instruct Wilder to take it easy on the gallant gelding. "He's raced a couple weeks in a row now, and he's starting to get it back," Burke says. "I think he can still rough it." Saturday's card offers a number of attractive wagering opportunities, including a pair of total-pool guarantees -- $10,000 for the Pick 5 (races 9-13), $7,500 for the Pick 4 (races 4-7 -- as well as a $1,864 jackpot in the Super Hi-5 (race 13). by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 12, 2018 -- Rebounding from an uncharacteristic break, Barn Girl rolled to an easy front-end victory -- her 28th over the last two seasons -- in Wednesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. When Barn Girl jumped it off at Scioto Downs as the 1-2 favorite and finished seventh, it marked the first time in 18 starts that she wasn't first or second. Aaron Merriman remained aggressive with the 6-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie, gunning her to the point in 27.2. She shrugged off the first-up challenge of Dreamsteeler and defeated her by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:53.2, with Glidinthruparadise third. Barn Girl is now 55-106 in her career for a gaudy win percentage of 52.4. She's earned $734,668 for trainer Bill Bercury and owner Renee Bercury. Brady Brown and Merriman each piloted three winners on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 11, 2018 -- Pennsylvania champion Windy Corner showed no signs of resting on her laurels in Tuesday's Keystone Classic at The Meadows, rolling to her third straight victory. The $97,699 stake for freshman filly trotters was contested over three divisions, with Sonnet Grace and Magical Beliefs taking the other divisions. Windy Corner sprang a 12-1 upset in the Sept. 1 PA Sires Stakes final, but Mike Wilder steered the 3-5 favorite more aggressively Tuesday, sending her to the front at the quarter. She downed Navarone Hanover -- the PA Stallion Series champ -- by a length in 1:57.4, with Wizard Hawk third. "She heard them coming and picked up the bit," Wilder said. "I drove her a couple times this year and had her in bad spots. I didn't want that to happen today. She really raced well." Erv Miller trains the daughter of Yankee Glide-Wind Stroll, who now boasts $192,805 in career earnings, for Tony Holmes and Walter Zent. Sonnet Grace had a disastrous PASS championship when she tried to run through the draw gate from post 9 and ultimately broke stride. She rebounded nicely for trainer/driver Rod Allen and Rod Allen Inc. in the Keystone Classic, reaching the point at her leisure and scoring in a stake-fastest and career-best 1:56.1. Fast Reaction was second, 3-1/4 lengths back while early leader Keystone Abbey earned show. "She didn't give me any warning -- just two steps and she tried to duck right out, and when I tried to steer her back, she ran," Allen said of the PASS misadventure of the daughter of Muscle Massive-I Believe, who soared over $100,000 in lifetime earnings. "But she's pretty fresh. She was a little grabby today, wanted to go, wanted to do it. She'll go to the Liberty Bell, and then we'll decide about the Breeders Crown." After her tough beat in the PASS final -- she lost to Windy Corner by a nose -- Magical Beliefs looked the best on paper. Indeed, the daughter of Cantab Hall-Frisky Magic was unhurried until Tim Tetrick moved her from third down the backside. She blew past the leader, Rush Lane, and prevailed in 1:57.2, 1-1/4 lengths better than Fate Smiled. Explosive Mel completed the ticket. "She's a sweetheart; she makes my job really easy," Tetrick said. "A lot of times I've had to put her on the front, but today, they were going enough, and she'll always pass horses. So I was pretty confident. I never pulled her plugs." Linda Toscano conditions Magical Beliefs, a career winner of $151,686 who has finished first or second in all seven career starts, for Highland Green Farms, South Mountain Stables and R-And-I Farms. by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

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