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WASHINGTON, PA, June 20, 2019 -- When Nitro Seelster pulled off a 13-1 upset last week against The Meadows' elite pacers, it may have been his most powerful harness racing performance since arriving here in 2014. His reward? He gets to face an even tougher bunch Saturday to prove his win was no fluke -- and he'll have to do it from post 8. That feature, a $20,000 Open Handicap, goes as race 8, with Tony Hall driving Nitro Seelster for trainer Sarah Andrews and owners Sandbur Farms and Valarie Sutton. First post is 1:05 PM. A 9-year-old Camluck-No Strikes Against gelding, Nitro Seelster seemed destined for greatness when he brought $150,000 at the Forest City Yearling Sale. He was unraced at 2 and 3, however, and finally began to show his talent at 4 under the tutelage of the late trainer Doug Hamilton. He earned $118,583 that year -- his lifetime bankroll is $324,763 -- and took his 1:49.4 mark at Pocono. He's won 26 races, perhaps none more impressive than his victory last week. Hall moved him behind the first-over cover of Real Peace, only to have Real Peace duck back to an unexpected opening along the cones. That left Nitro Seelster uncovered -- and trying to chase down the formidable Windsong Leo on the lead. He did just that, scoring in 1:50, just a tick off his career best. Andrews says losing his cover that day may have been a blessing. "That was the best-case scenario," she says. "When you pull him, he needs a couple steps to get his feet back straight, so you have to wait a little bit. But when he has a straight shot, he knows what he's supposed to do, and he will try to win. "He's versatile, so you can do pretty much you want with him. He's probably better now than he's been the entire time I've had him." On Saturday, 'Nitro' will have to be explosive, so to speak, to repeat. Not only are Windsong Leo and Real Peace back, but he'll also have to deal with Southwind Amazon (post 7, Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.), who was harness racing's "winningest" horse last year with 22 victories, and Carolina Beach (post 6, Aaron Merriman), a Saratoga invader making his first start in the powerful stable of Renee and Bill Bercury. Carolina Beach is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Andrews also will be represented in the feature by Vague Traces (post 1, Brady Brown) but isn't as high on his chances. "He's coming back from a break and probably will need a couple races to get back to himself," she says. Saturday's card also features a $1,257.68 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, June 18, 2019 -- Touchamatic proved once again Tuesday she's the dominant pacing mare at The Meadows, cruising to a 1:50.1 harness racing victory in the $18,000 Filly & Mare Open Handicap. It was the eighth victory in the last nine starts for the 5-year-old daughter of American Ideal-Perfect Touch. Despite a demanding 26.2 opening panel from post 6, Touchamatic had plenty in the tank for Aaron Merriman, holding off the pocket-sitting Keystone Riptide by 1-1/4 lengths. Medusa finished third. It was one of three wins for Merriman on the 13-race card. Bill Bercury trains Touchamatic, who soared over $300,000 in career earnings, for Renee Bercury. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, when the program features a $969.44 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, June 17, 2019 -- Rebounding from a disastrous trip at Northfield Park, Barn Girl shot to the lead and held off a pair of talented harness racing challengers to capture Monday's $20,000 Open 1 Handicap Trot at The Meadows. In that journey at Northfield, Barn Girl was parked most of the way, making the lead briefly but finishing a weary seventh. She had no such difficulties Monday, as she shot to the lead from post 4 for Aaron Merriman, thwarted the extended first-over bid of Bluebird Jesse and scored in 1:53.3. The pocket-sitting Cue Hall was second, a length back, while Bluebird Jesse saved show. Bill Bercury trains Barn Girl, a 7-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie who now has banked $771,168, for Renee Bercury. Brian Zendt collected three wins on the 13-race card. Live racing continues Tuesday at The Meadows, when the program features a $705.08 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post 1:05 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, June 13, 2019 -- Dapper Dude, the engaging millionaire who for several years has thrilled harness racing fans at The Meadows with his gritty, heart-stopping wins, is back. Following a brief sojourn at Plainridge Park, the 10-year-old son of The Panderosa-Dress To Suggest will take on the track's elite pacers in Saturday's $20,000 Open Handicap Pace. The feature goes as race 8, with Dapper Dude and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. leaving from post 4. The card begins at 1:05 PM. Dapper Dude has won more than $1.3 million and 54 races in his distinguished career. In many of those victories, he cut the mile but appeared gassed and ready to give it up before rallying again. Those sorts of heroics made him a fan favorite. When Massachusetts-based Micki Rae Stables acquired Dapper Dude earlier this year and shifted him to Plainridge, it appeared the move would work, as he won his initial start there. But he was off the board his next three outings; worse, the personable old boy seemed to mope in his new surroundings. Micki Rae paid attention and returned him to The Meadows and trainer Tim Twaddle, where he's regained some of his swagger. "I'm still working on getting his weight back, but he's on the right track," Twaddle says. "He's quieted down quite a bit, but he's happy. We're hoping for another confidence-builder." Last week, Dapper Dude won a high-level Conditioned Pace in 1:49.3, just three ticks off the mark he took as a sophomore. He'll need all that and more Saturday, as the field includes a formidable duo from trainer Ron Burke: Windsong Leo (post 8, Dave Palone), who's won 23 times over the past two seasons, and Real Peace (post 5, Aaron Merriman), a neck loser to Dapper Dude last week. "He trained very sharp going into last week, so I knew he would give a good accounting of himself," Twaddle says. "He's so courageous. If they're within his sight, he'll mow them down. You can't breed that. They either have it or they don't." Twaddle indicates he'll leave Saturday's race strategy up to Wrenn. "I never want to take the reins out of anybody's hands," he says. "So many things can happen, and I don't want to tie the driver's hands." Saturday's program also features a number of fan-centric activities presented by the track and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA), including five "Hot Dog Pig Races," believed to be a first for The Meadows. In several of those heats, the pigs will be asked to jump hurdles. In addition, the MSOA will offer "Family Fun Day" activities. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, June 10, 2019 -- Parked through a grueling 26.4 opening panel, Cue Hall found more in the lane and captured Monday's harness racing $20,000 Open Handicap Trot at The Meadows. As if that demanding start weren't enough, Cue Hall had to withstand an extended uncovered challenge from heavy favorite Bluebird Jesse, who had won four of his last five. Nevertheless, the 7-year-old son of Andover Hall-Curli Cue was up to the task, holding off the rallying She Nuit by 1/2 length to score for Mike Wilder in 1:54.2. Tequila Talkin shot the Lightning Lane for show. Rich Gillock trains Cue Hall, who now boasts $452,489 in career earnings, for owner/breeder Bob Key. Dave Palone and Wilder each collected three wins on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, first post 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, June 8, 2019 -- Philly Hanover barreled to the lead at the quarter and didn't stop pouring it on until she set a harness racing track record 1:49.2 in Saturday's $168,074 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event for 3-year-old filly pacers, known as the Adios Betty, was contested over three divisions, with Sylph Hanover and Odds On St Lucie taking the other splits. Dexter Dunn enjoyed a PASS double behind Philly Hanover and Odds On St. Lucie. Ron Coyne, Jr., who trains Philly Hanover for Ron Coyne Stables and Blair Corbell, praised Philly Hanover's versatility in a pre-race interview, but what he saw Saturday from the daughter of Captaintreacherous-Paris Hanover was a combination of speed and power that may vault her to the ranks of divisional leaders. "That's her biggest, strongest effort to date," Coyne said. "She settled there a little bit and waited for the dust to clear and was obviously pretty strong. She had a good week, so I'm glad it showed up." Abigail Dawn was second, 3-3/4 lengths back, with Sweet Heaven third. The time erased the previous stake mark of 1:49.4 established by Darlinonthebeach in 2016, and it also is the fastest this year by a sophomore filly pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. It was the second win in as many PASS starts this year for Philly Hanover, who vaulted over $200,000 in lifetime earnings and will be pointed to the Lynch. Pennsylvania's juvenile champion, Sylph Hanover got off to a rocky start this year with three straight losses, a performance that persuaded trainer Ron Burke that she wasn't ready for Saturday's lucrative Fan Hanover at Woodbine Mohawk. "That was impressive," Burke said. "She's turned things around. Maybe we should have gone to the Fan Hanover, but this gets us points for the PASS final and preps her good for the Lynch." The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-She's A Fan appeared to turn a corner in the PASS, as she quarter-poled to the point for Matt Kakaley and overwhelmed the field, defeating Rockin Philly by 3 lengths in a career-best 1:50.4. Afraid Not Hanover completed the ticket. Sylph Hanover extended her career bankroll to $371,234 for Burke Racing Stable, William Switala, James Martin and Joseph Critelli. Palone, Oakes, 'Captain' Sweep Stallion Series Splits Saturday's card also featured a $60,000 PA Stallion Series event for 3-year-old filly pacers. The stake turned out to be a showcase for Dave Palone and trainer Chris Oakes, who swept the three divisions with Annie Hill, Blue Ivy and Demi Hill -- all daughters of Captaintreacherous. Blue Ivy got the trio off on the right foot with a stake-record 1:51 victory, lowering the 1:51.3 mark Brazuca set in 2017. That new mark lasted about 15 minutes, as Annie Hill sprang to the lead from post 2 and held off the late challenge of A Beach Cowgirl to down her by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:50.3. What A Fox was third. "I kept her to her task," Palone said. "She's a lazy filly, but every time I asked on her, she was willing." Tom Hill campaigns Annie Hill, who now boasts $120,507 in career earnings. Palone finished with four wins on the 14-race program. Annie Hill Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the program features a $687.52 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has released its twelfth annual ‘Racetrack Casino Benchmark Report,’ taking an in depth look at what impact the state’s casinos have on the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry. Currently encapsulating ten stand-alone and racetrack casinos as well as two smaller resort casinos and two race and sportsbooks, approximately 17,000 are employed at the facilities with in the region of $1.4bn per annum generated in tax revenue, ten per cent of which was earmarked for the horseracing industry in 2018. Amongst the findings of the report is that $242m in slot machine tax revenue was generated, representing a 1.3 per cent increase from the previous year’s $238.5m. This is for the benefit of the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Trust Fund, earmarked for enhancements of race purses and assisting breeding operations located in the Keystone State, providing health and pension benefits for horsemen and supporting agricultural initiatives. Stating in the report that “the racing industry in Pennsylvania is significant in size and continues to be supported by the success of legalised gaming,” 2018 “proved to be a challenging year” for the horse racing industry following 2017’s positives. The total wagered for the year fell five per cent to $669m, with a taxable handle also declining three per cent, as the PGCB stressed environmental impacts negatively affecting performance, notably stating “Pennsylvania received record rainfall in 2018”. The report also lauded a continued investment in backstretch improvement by casinos, which has spent £73m spent since 2006 to build or renovate buildings and structures. Attendance figures also continued to decline, this time by 15 per cent as numbers reached 582,161 for the period, however the regulator sees cause for optimism: “Increasing attendance can be a challenge for the industry due to alternative forms of entertainment that are available to the general public. “Additionally, the only option for patrons to place a wager in the past was if they physically made a visit to the racetracks. This evolved with the opening of off-track wagering facilities and then the subsequent improvement in technology allowing patrons to wager from their personal computer or mobile device. “These new services available to place a wager made it easier and more convenient for patrons to enjoy horse and harness racing, without attending the races at the tracks.” The horse racing tracks operating in conjunction with casinos in Pennsylvania are: Thoroughbred Parx Casino in Bucks County. Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Erie County. Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Dauphin County. Harness The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Luzerne County. The Meadows Casino and Racetrack in Washington County. Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack in Delaware County. Reprinted with permission of Casinobeats.com

WASHINGTON, PA, June 6, 2019 -- With World Champion Warrawee Ubeaut elsewhere, a number of talented 3-year-old filly pacers will be looking to earn their spurs in Saturday's $168,074 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. Two who appear especially promising are Odds On St Lucie from the Tony Alagna harnss racing stable and Philly Hanover, sent out by Ron Coyne, Jr.. The Belmont Day card kicks off at the special post time of 11:25 AM, with the sires stake spanning races 7-9. Odds On St Lucie leaves from post 3 in race 9 while Philly Hanover goes from post 6 in race 8. Both will have the services of Dexter Dunn. Warrawee Ubeaut and several other divisional standouts will compete in Saturday's Fan Hanover eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk, which is fine by Alagna. "I knew some of them would be heading there," he says, "so I thought it would be a good chance to get her in some stakes company without some of the top-tier fillies." A daughter of Sweet Lou-Shes Some Treasure who races for Dana Parham's Odds On Racing, Odds On St Lucie brought $110,000 at the Lexington yearling sale, but she popped a curb early in her training. "We had to give her some time to get that set," Alagna says. "She got really good at the end of the year and finished up well. She trained back well in Florida." Indeed, she won the $148,700 final of the Kindergarten series at The Meadowlands. She'll make her seasonal debut Saturday after three qualifiers -- the last in 1:50. One question about Odds On St Lucie remains. Why would Alagna, who trained Captain Treacherous and belongs to the Captain Treacherous syndicate, give $110,000 for a daughter of Sweet Lou, the Captain's chief rival in the breeding shed? "Her dam is a full sister to Captain," Alagna explains. "She was meant to be a very good mare and won her first start in a PA All-Stars event. The next morning, she spiked a fever of 106. She about died on us on several occasions. I knew I'd buy her first foal no matter what it took." Philly Hanover (Captain Treacherous-Paris Hanover) banked $111,415 at 2 and nearly pulled off the shocker of the year when she rallied from well back to finish second by a neck to Sylph Hanover -- at 39-1 -- in the PASS championship at The Meadows. That day, Warrawee Ubeaut was third. This year, she's captured three of her four outings, including a PASS split at Harrah's Philadelphia. "There's no one particular thing she does really well," says Coyne, who owns Philly Hanover with Blair Corbell, "but she does a lot of things pretty well. She's handy, has a little speed if you need it and can close off cover. I guess versatile is the word I want." The Belmont Day card also features three $20,000 divisions of a PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore filly pacers and a trio of carryovers: -- $4,166.94 in the Pick 5 (races 2-6), $2,050.65 in the Pick4 (races 3-6) and $491.44 in the final-race Super Hi-5. In addition, The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will offer a number of fan activities, including paddock tours, starting gate rides and "Spin to Win" giveaways. DJ-AJ will play live music beginning at 3:30 PM, and the BBQ tent will be open on the apron.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, June 5, 2019 -- Shuffled to fourth after taking the early lead, Morning Shadow poured through the Lightning Lane to capture Wednesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, an $11,800 Conditioned Pace for fillies and mares. JK Kissntell took the point from Morning Shadow, thwarting a number of challengers but never enjoying a breather. Morning Shadow and Dave Palone pounced on her in the lane and scored in 1:56.1, a head better than Eleanor Jean. Sewonandsewforth earned show. Chris Oluvic trains Morning Shadow, a 3-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Fan For Life, and owns with Steven Busching. Palone collected two wins Wednesday while 10 other drivers scored single victories on the 12-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the Belmont Day program features a $168,074 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly pacers as well as a trio of carryovers -- $4,166.94 in the Pick 5 (races 2-6), $2,050.65 in the Pick4 (races 3-6) and $491.44 in the final-race Super Hi-5. Special post time is 11:25 AM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, June 5, 2019 -- Family fun and giving back to the community are themes for a major event planned at the Meadows Racetrack & Casino. The Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association (PHRA), in partnership with the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA), is hosting a "Driver Charity Challenge & Family Fun Night" on Friday, June 28.. Live racing starts at 5:30 PM, and families can enjoy a DJ, balloon artist and face painters on the apron as well as a harness racing simulator and family-friendly giveaways in the Racebook. During the Driver Charity Challenge, one driver will be paired with each of 10 area charities. The "winningest" driver will present a check to that charity -- and at least one will go home with $3,000! The charities are:   1. Bridge to Home Animal Rescue 2. Western PA Wounded Warriors 3. Washington County Humane Society 4. Harness Horse Youth Foundation 5. Pacing for the Cure 6. Washington County Special Olympics 7. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh 8. Arc Human Services of Washington County 9. Washington County Animal Rescue Team (WaCART) 10. Harness Racing Museum   "This is a really wonderful opportunity for harness racing to show its appreciation for the great work being done by charitable organizations in the Washington County area," said Ashley Eisenbeil, PHRA director of marketing. "We're also hoping that people new to the track will enjoy it." Dawnelle Mock, MSOA director of marketing, said, "The MSOA is thankful that the PHRA has selected our venue for this event. We welcome people of all ages to enjoy the night." For more information on the Driver Charity Challenge & Family Fun Night, visit www.pennhorseracing.com and click "Events" or phone Ashley Eisenbeil, 717-968-6043.   By The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

WASHINGTON, PA, June 4, 2019 -- Dismissed at 22-1, Keystone Riptide wore down a game Touchamatic, snapping that harness racing rival's six-race winning streak and capturing Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Open Pace at The Meadows. Although Touchamatic was parked throughout a contested 26.1 opening quarter, she refused to yield to the first-over challenge of Keystone Riptide and Mike Wilder. At the wire, though, Keystone Riptide thrust her nose in front and triumphed in 1:52, with Magic Forces third. Randy Bendis trains Keystone Riptide, a 6-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Keystone Rebecca who now boasts $314,780 in career earnings, and owns with Pollack Racing. Jim Pantaleano and Wilder each enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Wednesday, when the card features a pair of carryovers: $1,393.04 in the Pick 5, $352.84 in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, June 3, 2019 -- Bluebird Jessie seized the lead from post 7 and romped to a facile 1:54.2 harness racing victory in Monday's $20,000 Open I Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Cue Hall challenged first up from third, but Tony Hall had Bluebird Jesse well in hand, as the pair held off Cue Hall by a length. Rising MVP rallied for show. Sarah Andrews trains Bluebird Jesse, a 5-year-old Jailhouse Jesse-Bluebird Swandrful gelding who triumphed for the sixth time this season and now boasts $315,084 in career earnings, for Brian Carsey, John McGill and Adam Friedland. In Monday's subfeature, the $17,000 Open II Trot, She Nuit shot the Lightning Lane to score in 1:55 for Brian Zendt, trainer Jeff Conger and owner Joe Urban. The 8-year-old daughter of SJ's Caviar-Bonne Nuit extended her career bankroll to $225,736. Hall collected four wins on the 13-race card while Mike Wilder fashioned a triple.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, June 1, 2019 -- Pouncing on a late miscue by the leader, Keystone Abbey avoided the breaker and poured through the lane to capture Saturday's $70,000 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters at The Meadows. It was the fourth straight harness racing victory for the daughter of Cantab Hall-Miss Aultsville, who previously swept three divisions in the Pennsylvania Stallion Series. Keystone Abbey inherited the lead briefly for Aaron Merriman when Nomo Volo powered to the point from post 9 only to jump it off. That was the signal for Dave Palone to quarter-pole to the top with Fade Into You, the 6-5 favorite off several fine performances in PA Sires Stakes. Fade Into You had little trouble thwarting the backside challengers but made an unforced break -- Palone indicated he couldn't pinpoint a reason for it -- as they straightened out from the final turn. Merriman, meanwhile, said the leader's break did him no favor. "I don't know how much trot David had when he ran, but I had a lot of trot left," Merriman said. "The break probably was the worst thing for my horse. I had to jerk her sideways, and she almost took herself up -- she has a little attention issue. I was nervous about it, but she was well in hand before that." Keystone Abbey retained her composure and held off Giant Possession by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:56.3, a career best. Rush Lane finished third at a whopping 60-1. It was one of three victories for Merriman on the 13-race card. Chris Beaver trains Keystone Abbey, a $15,000 yearling acquisition who soared over $100,000 in lifetime earnings, and owns with Donald Robinson, Martin Yoder and R.B. H. Ventures. Beaver previously indicated the filly would be pointed to the PA All-Stars at Pocono. Elsewhere on the card, the $20,000 Open Handicap Pace billed as "The Battle of the Millionaires" Dancin Yankee and Dapper Dude, became a TKO early as Dancin Yankee seized control despite a parked-out 26.2 opening panel. He drew off to prevail by 4 lengths in 1:50.2 for Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owner Burke Racing Stable. The 11-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Dancewiththebest now boasts career earnings of $1,930.587. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, first post 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association                                            

WASHINGTON, PA, June 1, 2019 -- Brent "Clipper" Davis was razor sharp at The Meadows Saturday, keeping Beatrice alive outside as the harness racing duo captured a $10,000 leg of the C.K.G. Billings Amateur Trot. Davis and Beatrice were out before the half to start their sustained drive . . . and even wider in the stretch. "At the three-eighths, a guy behind me came early, and I just wanted to make sure I had her out with a little room," Davis said. "I had to come three wide in the last turn, which usually isn't a very good spot. But she's really a professional horse. She does a good job." The 5-year-old daughter of Photo Color-Lima Simplicity had enough in the tank to hold off the Lightning Lane charge of Bob "The Lumberman" Troyer and Ubanji by a neck in 1:57.3. Alesha "The Hoosier Hotshot" Binkley (Hititoutofthepark) and Stephen "You're Never Too" Oldford completed the Top 4. Ed Teefey campaigns Beatrice, who extended her career bankroll to $133,114. Davis indicated he'll keep Beatrice in the Billings series but might slip in some overnights as well. "She's a good amateur horse -- easy to drive -- but she's a good raceway horse as well," he said. "She can hold her own with the professionals. She's just as nice." By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association      

WASHINGTON, PA, May 30, 2019 -- Keystone Abbey has swept the first three legs of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series, but will she fare as well against tougher competition? She'll get her chance Saturday at The Meadows in the $70,000 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old harness racing filly trotters. The stake goes as race 6, with Keystone Abbey leaving from post 4 for Aaron Merriman. Chris Beaver trains the daughter of Cantab Hall-Miss Aultsville and owns with Donald Robinson, Martin Yoder and R.B.H. Ventures. First post is 1:05 PM. A daughter of Cantab Hall, Keystone Abbey sold for $15,000 at Lexington as a yearling and might have been expected to flash precocious speed. Her dam trotted in 1:59.2 in a 2013 Ontario Sires Stake Gold Series split, a Canadian record at the time for freshman fillies on a half-mile track. While Keystone Abbey wasn't exactly a disappointment at 2 -- she banked $54,625 -- she managed only a single win in 13 starts. "She always was good gaited and quick -- she was real natural," Beaver says. "She'd be in the race and then lose interest about halfway down the lane, then come on again at the wire. Maybe she was just green, but she didn't race to her potential. "She trained well at the start of this season, and it seems like she's turned a corner here recently. She's learned to race. In her last start, she never let them get close to her the whole mile. If her attitude has changed as it seems to have changed, I don't see why she wouldn't be able to be right there." Keystone Abbey may have her act together, but she'll have her work cut out for her Saturday, as the talented 10-horse field includes: - Nomo Volo, who's earned a win and a second in PA Sires Stakes this year but is stuck with post 9 for trainer/driver Jeff Gregory; -Fade Into You (post 2, Dave Palone) from the powerful Ron Burke stable, who has hit the board in three consecutive PASS divisions and finished second in the Weiss final at Pocono; - Altercation (post 1, Mike Wilder) and Meadowbranch Vicki (post 8, Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.), a pair of improving fillies sent out by Jenny Melander. Beaver indicated Keystone Abbey will head next to the PA All-Stars at Pocono. "She is eligible to a couple better stakes later in the season," he says. "I'm just trying to keep her in the right class." Also featured on Saturday's card is the $20,000 Open Handicap Pace (race 8), which renews the "Battle of the Millionaires" -- Dapper Dude (post 4, Wrenn) and Dancin Yankee (post 7, Palone). The program also includes a $642.84 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, May 29, 2019 -- Trailing by 9 lengths at the half, Fly Past Hanover emerged from the cover flow around the final turn and pulled off the 17-1 upset in Wednesday's harness racing co-feature at The Meadows, an $11,500 Conditioned Trot. Also capturing $11,500 events were Spirit Light and Bone A Fide Babe. As the race unfolded, the scenario did not look favorable for Fly Past Hanover, who customarily does his best work at or near the front. Moreover, the cover flow was peppered with gaps, meaning Fly Past Hanover would have to do much of the heavy lifting himself. But the 8-year-old Cantab Hall-Flexible Spending gelding was up to the task, exploding late for Aaron Merriman and scoring in 1:55.3. Wilberforce shot the Lightning Lane for second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Chef Lee third. William Daugherty, Jr. trains Fly Past Hanover, who now boasts $219,339 in career earnings, for Susan Daugherty. Dave Palone piloted three winners on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the card features the $70,000 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. EDITORS: Attached is a finish-line jpg of Fly Past Hanover winning Wednesday at The Meadows.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

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