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Washington, PA – December 1, 2019 – The Meadows Racetrack and Casino is happy to announce Jeff Zidek as the new harness racing announcer replacing Roger Huston who resigned in November. Zidek, a native of North Apollo, PA., has been calling races for 32 years as the backup announcer for Huston since 1987 as well as County Fairs in Pennsylvania and Ohio.   Zidek’s racing resume is lengthy, working in all aspects of the sport. He has owned and trained Standardbreds, worked for more than 10 years as a publicist for the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission serving the PA Fair circuit, and has worked as a marketing consultant for the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, as well as a track handicapper at The Meadows.   His professional career outside of harness racing includes stints at Fox Sports Pittsburgh and Fox Sports Radio as an on-air host, and he has spent the past 17 years as the Sports Information Director at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa.   “I’ve had a great career both in and outside of the racing industry, but for me, this is like coming home,” said Zidek.   “The Meadows gave me my first opportunity in broadcasting, and then gave me my first opportunity in public relations and marketing. I built my career off that foundation, and now I get to come back home and serve the racing community on a full-time basis again. I can’t wait to get started.”   “The Meadows is thrilled to have Zidek join the team as the Announcer, his talents are unlimited and we look forward to working together to make The Meadows better than ever”, said Mark Loewe, Vice President of Racing for The Meadows.   Zidek will begin his new position December 6.   by Mark J. Loewe, for The Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 1, 2019 -- The Super Hi-5 jackpot at The Meadows continues to climb. After yet another carryover, Monday's jackpot stands at $62,961.50. The Meadows offers the Super Hi-5 on the final race of each live program. First post for Monday's 13-race card is 1:05 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 5, 2019 -- Medusa became harness racing's newest millionaire when she finished second in Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Her check lifted her career bankroll to $1,004,178. Tony Hall was aboard for the milestone trip for trainer Randy Bendis, who owns the 8-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical with Pollack Racing LLC. Fast, rugged and durable, Medusa was unraced at 2 and 3 but made up for lost time in her initial -- and best -- campaign, when she banked $246,691. Medusa led until deep stretch in Tuesday's feature but was outkicked in the Lightning Lane by the pocket-sitting Amelias Courage A, who knifed through the slop to down Medusa by 3/4 lengths in 1:53 for Dan Rawlings. It was the first win in three domestic starts since trainer Richard Perfido imported the 5-year-old daughter of Courage Under Fire-American Dream for Thomas Mattingly. Camera Lady completed the ticket. Rawlings fashioned a triple on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the program features a $22,748.49 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post for the 13-race card is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association                                        

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 29, 2019 -- Harness racing trotter Donatover grabbed the lead with a quarter-pole move and was unthreatened thereafter in capturing Tuesday's $20,000 Open 1 Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Donatover was away third when Dave Palone sent him after Final Breath on the point. The 4-year-old Donato Hanover-Anonyme Hanover easily repelled the challenge of Pass The Vape and downed him by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:52.4. Final Breath saved show. Tim Twaddle trains Donatover, who extended his career earnings to $192,588, for Micki Rae Stables. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, when the card features a $13,091.61 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post for the 12-race program is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 12, 2019 -- Harness racing pacer K Ryan Bluechip zipped to the lead from post 5 and never had an anxious moment as he rolled to victory in Saturday's $18,000 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Although the track was listed "good," K Ryan Bluechip reeled off a sharp 1:50.3 mile for driver Dave Palone, trainer Mike Palone and owners Steven Ronay, Collin Ryan, Lone Wolf Stable and J.R. Ryan. Carolina Beach stalked the winner from the pocket but had to settle for place, beaten 1-1/4 lengths, for the fifth consecutive start. Summer Travel completed the ticket. K Ryan Bluechip, a 7-year-old Art Major-Fool That I Am gelding, extended his career bankroll to $487,845. Aaron Merriman, Dave Palone, Jim Pantaleano, Mike Wilder and trainer Ron Burke each fashioned a double on the 12-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the program features a $990.65 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, Oct. 5, 2019 -- David Brickell and Shawn Johnston each collected a pair of championships -- including a victory in which they dead-heated -- in Saturday's $200,000 Pennsylvania Fairs Finals at The Meadows. The track hosted all eight championships, each with a purse of $25,000. Also on Saturday, The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association hosted the fourth annual Pink Out to benefit the American Cancer Society. Through fund-raisers such as t-shirt sales, a 50-50 raffle and a mini-pony race, the track and the MSOA raised $10,920 for the society. The Night Driver captured the mini-pony race, with Lori Manke and Lila Manke handling the reins. Johnston piloted the freshman filly pacer Silly But Serious to a sizable lead, but Brickell was able to rally Dream Dancing from post 9. The youngsters hit the wire together in 1:56.4, believed to be the first championship dead-heat in the 23-year history of the event. RT Dont Speak earned show. "Three wide from before the half? She was just super," Brickell said of the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance-Clearly Foxy. "She's just a good horse. Makes me look good." Gary Johnston conditions Silly But Serious, a daughter of Captaintreacherous-I Need Hotstuff, and owns with Joyce Benkart. Brickell's other victory provided the day's tote board pyrotechnics, as he rallied the 3-year-old filly trotter Misty Lane to a 49-1 shocker in 1:57.4. Ridinonarainbow was second, 4-1/4 lengths back, with Giant Possession third. Brickell trains both his champions and owns with Mitchell York. Johnston got his second title with the freshman filly trotter Better Song, who gobbled up the field with an uncovered burst and drew off to down Cocktails N Dreams by 6-1/2 lengths in 1:57.2. Exuberant Gal competed the ticket. "She's been sharp for me at the fairs," Johnston said. "She always trots home for me. She was hot out of the gate -- her legs were swimming -- but she had enough track to relax before she hit the turn." Rick Beinhauer trains the homebred daughter of Better Caviar-Jessie's Song and owns with Regina Beinhauer. In the other championships: 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot -- Andovers Asset Andovers Asset converted a perfect pocket trip to victory when he blew past the favorite, Star Caviar, in the lane and defeated him by 2 lengths for Aaron Merriman in 1:56, matching Boytown's all-time trotting record in a PA Fairs championship. Soldier Hanover finished third. "He usually was on the lead at the fairs because he leaves so well, but we've always known he can race from behind," said winning trainer Linda Schadel, who owns the Andover Hall-Lively gelding with Tony Schadel. She indicated Andovers Asset will come right back Thursday in a Yonkers overnight. 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace -- Under Paid Under Paid looked much the best on paper, and he looked just as dominant on limestone, scoring by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:52 for Dave Palone, who refused to release any early challengers. "When they give you a horse that's so much the best, the last thing you want to do is fall into a trap," Palone said. "So I felt like taking my chances. When I kicked the plugs out, he was on his way." Motive Hanover and App Hanover completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains Under Paid, a son of A Rocknroll Dance-Upfront Cruzin, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Carr and Phillip Collura. 3-Year-Old Filly Pace -- April Ava April Ava protected rail position and made it look easy thereafter, jogging to victory in a career-best 1:54. Sure R Lookin Good was second, beaten 6-1/4 lengths, with Crew Sock Hanover third. Scott Betts, who conditions the daughter of Delmarvalous-Jenava for Nicholas Catalano and Timothy Betts, indicated he plans to continue racing April Ava in overnights at The Meadows and would keep her over next year. 2-Year-old Colt & Gelding Trot -- Stickler Hanover Despite a parked-out opening panel, Stickler Hanover was strong through the lane and scored in 1:57.2, 1/2 length better than Benezia, with Manhattanup No Ice third. "I wasn't concerned one bit (about the first quarter)," said winning driver Brady Brown. "I just took my time getting there. I let him get settled, then I came with him." Steve Schoeffel trains the son of Explosive Matter-Secret Credit for Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel, Daniel Goehle and Michael Munn. 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace -- Champ Charbel Champ Charbel pulled the pocket into the final turn and had all the pop he needed to brush by Needham Hanover and down him by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:55.1 for Eric Neal and owner/trainer Joseph Karrat. X was third. "He's been sharp all summer," Neal said. "He keeps on coming." It was a life mark for the son of Ponder-Odds On Affair. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, first post 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association                                    

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

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 28, 2019 -- Dismissed at 9-1, Gingras Beach used a confident first-over move to notch his initial harness racing stakes victory in Saturday's $70,900 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Starship captured the other division in the event for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Gingras Beach had only three overnight races on his card and was third down the backside behind 3-5 favorite Patriot Nation. But Tony Hall didn't hesitate to send the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Ginger Shark after Patriot Nation without cover. "I had confidence in this colt," Hall said. "He felt great, and it looked like the leader was starting to press into the last turn. So I figured I would get him out and get him in motion. He was strong the whole back half." Gingras Beach roared past Patriot Nation and scored in 1:53.2, 2 lengths better than All Hands On Deck. Complete Kaos completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains Gingras Beach for Burke Racing Stable, Yannick Gingras, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. It was one of four wins for Hall on the 14-race program. Starship took advantage of an early break by chief rival Tru Lou to back down the second quarter to 29.2. The son of Captaintreacherous-Lifetime Star was unchallenged from there, scoring in 1:53.2 for trainer Kevin Lare and owner Frank Chick. Warrawee Veloce was second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with Lyons Music third. "Kevin called me a couple hours ago and told me the horse's tendencies," said winning driver Dan Rawlings. "He said, 'he's not the greatest-gaited horse, but don't think something's wrong with him; go forward and you'll be happy with him.' He was right." $92,499 Keystone Classic -- 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers Speaking of first stakes victories, Drama Act and Ginger Tree Carey collected theirs in Saturday's co-feature. The other division went to Ashtini. Injury and illness had limited Drama Act to a pair of overnight events -- both victories. "She had an abscess in her foot that caused some time off," said Krista Harmon, who conditions the homebred daughter of Well Said-Lounge Act for The OK Corral. "Then, when she was ready to qualify, she got sick a couple times. What's her upside? I'm not sure we've hit bottom with her yet." The team's patience paid off Saturday, as Drama Act overcame a parked-out 26.4 opening panel and triumphed for Jason Merriman in 1:52.2, 3-3/4 lengths better than Alexa Skye. Dance Club earned show. Trainer Sam Beegle has selected Ginger Tree Carey's stakes engagements judiciously because of her diminutive stature. "She's only the size of a deer, and she's a June foal," Beegle said. "She had a little issue back in May, and we didn't rush her. She's done everything we asked her to do. She still has the Simpson and the Liberty Bell, and she has everything next year." The daughter of Sweet Lou-Ideal Weather showed a big heart in overtaking the leader, The Party's Rockin, late and defeating her by 1/2 length in 1:53.1 Speaking Of Coffee finished third. Ginger Tree Ventures, Henlopen Stable, Neil Chesen and Beegle campaign Ginger Tree Carey. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the card features a trio of rich wagering opportunities: a $5,000 total-pool guarantee in the Pick 4 (races 2-6); a $1,065.24 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-7), and a $1,477.49 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. For full results and entries click here. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 25, 2019 -- Askmelater Hanover rolled to the front and easily turned back the late challenge of Saxon to score in 1:55.2, the fastest harness racing division in Wednesday's $90,299 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. The event for freshman colt and gelding trotters was contested over three divisions, with Stickler Hanover and Patriarch Hanover taking the other splits. Saxon stalked Askmelater Hanover from the pocket and moved wide for the stretch drive. But the Explosive Matter-A Youre Adorable gelding had plenty in the tank and downed Saxon by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:55.2, with Rock Party third. "He had the horse he needed to beat on his back," Palone said, "so I just wanted to stay on the gas around the last turn a little bit and not turn it into a complete sprint. He picked me up like a horse is supposed to. When I kicked the plugs out, he trotted back off." Julie Miller trains Askmelater Hanover for Scott Woogen and Brenda Messenger. A son of Explosive Matter-Secret Credit, Stickler Hanover scored on the front end in 1:57.1, quickest of his career. Brady Brown had been racing the youngster primarily from behind but changed his strategy for the Keystone Classic. "The way the race looked, I figured if I could get to the front and control everything, I didn't think they'd beat him," Brown said. "At the three-quarter pole, I kicked out the ear plugs and chirped at him once, and he kept right on trotting." Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel, Daniel Goehle and Michael Munn own Stickler Hanover. Jim Pantaleano and trainer Ron Burke each enjoyed four wins on the 14-race card while Dave Palone fashioned a triple. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday when the card features a pair of Keystone Classics -- a $92,499 stake for 2-year-old filly pacers and a $70,900 event for freshman colt and gelding pacers. On the wagering front, the program offers two carryovers -- $2,046.92 in the Pick 4 (races 3-6), $966.51 in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 24, 2019 -- Next Level Stuff and Perth Angel De Vie each jogged to convincing victories -- and life marks -- in Tuesday's $85,900 Keystone Classic for 2-year=old filly trotters at The Meadows. Dave Palone sent Next Level Stuff forward with a quarter-pole move, only to encounter stiff resistance from the leader, Rebecca. "I didn't expect to have to work that hard to make it back to the front, but I did," Palone said, "She did the rest on her own. I think she'll be a sires stake filly next year." Once she crossed over, the daughter of Sebastian K S-Nantab took complete control, drawing off late to down Miss Kendra D by 4-1/2 lengths in 1:55.2, a career best. The stubborn Rebecca finished third. Jim Campbell trains the homebred Next Level Stuff for Runthetable Stables. Perth Angel De Vie hadn't seen the front in her last six outings, but in the Keystone Classic, she reached the point early with a bonus -- the half in a slowish 59 worked out by driver Bryce Brocklehurst. "A cheap half like that definitely helped," he said. "I felt pretty good about things then. As long as she felt good on the gate, I wanted her to be up close. I think that's probably it for her this year." The daughter of Explosive Matter-Dream Angel prevailed in 1:56.4, a life mark, 3-1/2 lengths better than Cocktails N Dreams. Just For Me Nu completed the ticket. Harold Brocklehurst conditions the winner for Double R Farms, David Obley and Richard Williams. Live racing continues Wednesday at The Meadows, when the card features a $90,299 Keystone Classic for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 9, 2019 -- Classicality dominated Monday's $20,000 Open I Handicap Trot at The Meadows, scoring in 1:53.1 and soaring over $700,000 in harness racing career earnings. Classicality zipped to the top from post 5 for Brian Zendt, and with Barn Girl challenging but parked, no outside flow could develop. The 9-year-old Classic Photo-Penn Worthy Lane gelding drew away late to triumph by 8-1/4 lengths. Maewegonow was second while Rainbowinthewest and the game Barn Girl dead-heated for show. Lisa Dunn trains and owns Classicality, whose official bankroll now stands at $704,687. Aaron Merriman piloted three winners on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer Robert Barnard and owner Christian Apel, while Tony Hall also enjoyed a triple that featured two victories for trainer Tim Twaddle. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the program offers three rich wagering opportunities: a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4 (races 3-6); a $1,063.95 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6), a $1,776.44 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, Sept. 7, 2019 -- Reigning Dan Patch awardee Warrawee Ubeaut became a millionaire, Adios champion Southwind Ozzie won his fifth straight stake locally and Millies Possession completed a sweep, as each captured a Pennsylvania Sires Stake harness racing championship final Saturday at The Meadows. The Meadows hosted all four PASS finals for 3-year-olds, each worth $253,000, as well as $50,000 consolations in each division. The results were a mix of the expected and the surprising. Warrawee Ubeaut, Southwind Ozzie and Millies Possession all triumphed as heavy favorites, but Capt Chaps Hanover sprang a 94-1 shocker in the Colt & Gelding Trot. Trainer Ron Burke snared a pair of titles with Warrawee Ubeaut and Capt Chaps Hanover. A look at each division: $253,000 Championship - 3-Year-Old Filly Pacers Warrawee Ubeaut showed a champion's moxie as she found a seat briefly from post 8, moved to the point shortly thereafter and toyed with the field the rest of the way, scoring in 1:50. Treacherous Reign was second, beaten 4-1/4 lengths, with Philly Hanover third. "She's really figured it out now," said winning driver Yannick Gingras of the daughter of Sweet Lou-Great Memories. "It took a little while, but she's racing the horses, not herself. Between the three-eighths and the three-quarters, she relaxed on her own. That's what makes the difference now." The win lifted her bankroll to $1,071,553, which Burke, who conditions her for Burke Racing Stable, Phillip Collura, J&T Silva-Purnell&Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, called a significant milestone -- for Warrawee Ubeaut and Sweet Lou's ownership syndicate. "She's the first Sweet Lou to go over $1 million; I'm sure there will be others, but she's the first," Burke said. "It's been really tough. The sires stakes are tough in PA this year." He said Warrawee Ubeaut would next race in the Jugette at Delaware, Ohio. $253,000 Championship -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers Southwind Ozzie took the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids in 1:48, second fastest in the 53-year history of the event. But Saturday, he would be facing millionaire Captain Crunch, last year's divisional champ who was making his second start off a layoff of nearly a month. Would the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Southwind Solara be up to that level of competition? Indeed he would be, as he moved uncovered from fourth for Brian Sears, wore down Captain Crunch in the lane and edged the rallying Captain Victorious by a head in 1:49.4. Wild Wild Western earned show in the Lightning Lane while Captain Crunch was fourth. "He's won that way before," Sears said. "He's a big horse with a big set of lungs. He can go a long way. I knew he was capable of doing it, and he got it done." Bill MacKenzie trains Southwind Ozzie, who now boasts career earnings of $515,263, for Vincent Ali, Jr. and Alma Iafelice. $253,000 Championship -- 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters Millies Possession hadn't been on the lead at the quarter in any of her 10 previous starts but lost only one of them; she employed the same methodical style in the championship. Dexter Dunn allowed the dust to settle before sending her to the lead, which she reached near the three-eighths. She steadily lengthened her advantage, prevailing in 1:53.4, 2-3/4 lengths better than Grimmie Hanover, with Fade Into You third. "Dexter knows her and is very patient with her," said winning trainer Jim Campbell. "He had her in good position again this week. He's been terrific with her all year. She'll probably go to Lexington next. We'll use that to prepare her for the Breeders Crown." Fashion Farms bred and owns the daughter of Possess The Will-Fashion Athena, who boosted her lifetime bankroll to $475,517. Millies Possession became the first 3-year-old filly in PASS recorded history to sweep all four preliminary legs and the championship. $253,000 Championship - 3-Year-Okd Colt & Gelding Trotters The situation for Capt Chaps Hanover seemed hopeless -- trailing by 6-1/2 lengths at the three-quarters, a wall of horses in front of him. But when the Lightning Lane magically opened, the Explosive Matter-Choose Happy gelding shot through for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., to pull off the stunning upset in a career-best 1:54. The front-ending Marseille was second, 3/4 lengths back, while Ginger Tree Skyr completed the ticket. "In the last turn, I was just hoping for a check," Wrenn said. "I had a little trot, the inside just opened up, and there were a bunch of tired horses from the early fast pace. It surprised me that he was able to go by all of them. I couldn't believe there were that many tired horses." Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and J&T Silva-Purnell&Libby campaign the winner, whose career earnings now stand at $218,806. Sent off at 94-1 odds, he paid $190;.20 to win. PASS NOTES. The fastest mile occurred in a consolation, when Aflame Hanover took the event for 3-year-old colt & gelding pacers in 1:49.1, breaking the stake record 1:49.3 set by Santastics Pan in 2014. Andrew McCarthy drove for trainer Linda Schadel, who owns the Russell Hanover-Applique Hanover with Tony Schadel. The other consolations went to Mass Fortune K, Trillions Hanover and Cloud Nine Fashion, who gave Campbell and Fashion Farms a PASS double. By Evan Patta, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 5, 2019 -- Nearly $1.3 million in purses -- and four Pennsylvania Sires Stake championships -- will be on the line Saturday at The Meadows when the track hosts all four $253,000 PASS harness racing finals for 3-year-olds as well as $50,000 consolations in each division. The championships will feature some of the brightest stars in the sophomore ranks, including a pair of Dan Patch Award winners -- Captain Crunch and Warrawee Ubeaut -- and the once-defeated Millies Possession, who swept all four PASS preliminary legs. First post for the 15-race card is 1:05 PM. Here's a look inside the championships: $253,000 Championship -- 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters (race 6) Unraced at 2, Millies Possession has nine wins in 10 starts this year, the only blemish -- if you can call it that -- a second-place finish to When Dovescry in the Hambletonian Oaks. The Fashion Farms homebred daughter of Possess The Will-Fashion Athena has banked $349,017. Perhaps the most interesting thing about her is an unhurried style so different than that of most young trotters. In fact, in her last six outings, she hasn't been on the lead before the half. Will that be her approach Saturday? "It all depends on how the race shapes up," said her trainer, Jim Campbell. "If they're really winging it, we won't have to be too worried about being on the front end. She's pretty versatile. We haven't done anything different with her this week; she's had a good week so far." Millies Possession goes from post 7 for Dexter Dunn. $253,000 Championship -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters (race 8) Easily the most wide-open final; only two of the nine combatants enter the championship off wins. One of those is Goes Down Smooth, who has captured three of his last four starts, all stakes. But Matt Kakaley will have to work out a trip from post 9 for the Muscle Hill-Peach Martini gelding, who's conditioned by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable, William Switala, James Martin and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. $253,000 Championship -- 3-Year-Old Filly Pacers (race 9) This has been the glam PASS division with outstanding performers such as Warrawee Ubeaut, Stonebridge Soul and Treacherous Reign trading blows all season. Yet the championship will be shaped in part by a key defection. Tall Drink Hanover had won four straight stakes, highlighted by her Shady Daisy triumph in 1:48, fastest this year by a sophomore filly. But with two from his stable, Treacherous Reign and Odds On St Lucie, in the championship, trainer Tony Alagna sent Tall Drink Hanover elsewhere. "We kept her eligible to the Simcoe, which conflicts with the championship," Alagna said. "Since we had two other fillies make the final, we chose the Simcoe for her to try to optimize our fillies to the best of their ability. Treacherous Reign came out of her last race great. We've been treating Odds On St Lucie for some throat irritation." The draw favors Treacherous Reign, as the daughter of Captaintreacherous-Scandalous Hanover leaves from post 3 for Dunn and owners Alagna Racing, Big Als Stables, Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham. Warrawee Ubeaut and Stonebridge Soul drew posts 8 and 9, respectively. $253,000 Championship -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers (race 10) Captain Crunch returned from a freshening of nearly a month with a strong show finish in the Simcoe, clocked in 1:49.4, and could be even sharper in the championship. "The break was something we planned because there weren't any races on bigger tracks for him after the Cane Pace," said Nancy Johansson, who trains the millionaire son of Captain Treacherous-Sweet Paprika for 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables and Caviart Farms. "He was a little short (in the Simcoe) and should be tighter Saturday. He needed that start." A potential factor: Captain Crunch will be making his first career start at The Meadows while his chief rival, Southwind Ozzie, has won all four of his races here, including a spectacular 1:48 victory in the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids. ""He's a good-gaited colt, so that shouldn't be a problem," Johansson said. "I'm not really concerned about him getting over the track." Captain Crunch goes from post 7 with Scott Zeron aboard while Southwind Ozzi and Brian Sears start from post 5. The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will present blankets to the champions as well as gift bags to their grooms. Visit the MSOA table in the Racebook to register for fan activities. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 5, 2019 -- French Moni earned the lion's share of the francs with a front-end victory in Wednesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $13,500 Conditioned Trot. French Moni grabbed the lead for Jim Pantaleano in a contested 27.2 opening panel and had to repel the first-over challenge of Try Try Again, the 1-2 favorite. The 5-year-old son of Love You-Touch Of Money slowed appreciably in the lane, getting the last quarter in 31. But that was good enough to down My Indiana by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:55.3, with Joey third. Scott Betts trains French Moni, who extended his career bankroll to $111,019, for Timothy Betts and Stephen Moss. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday when the card features four Pennsylvania Sires Stake championships -- each worth $253,000 -- for 3-year-olds. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

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

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 31, 2019 -- Bluebird Recon let Summer Travel do the heavy lifting, then blew by him in the lane to spring a 14-1 harness racing upset in Saturday's $20,000 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Although Summer Travel reached the point from post 8, he needed a 26.3 opening panel to get there. He was strong enough to discourage any backside challengers but could not hold off the pocket-sitting Bluebird Recon, who roared past for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and downed Summer Travel by three-quarter lengths in 1:51.2. Macadoodledoo completed the ticket. Ron Burke trains the 4-year-old Net Ten Eom-Colette gelding, who vaulted over $100,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Dave Palone and Burke each fashioned a four-bagger on the 13-race card while Tony Hall enjoyed a triple. After a Labor Day break, live racing at The Meadows resumes Tuesday, first post 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

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