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WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 25, 2014 -- Cowgirl Hall proved once again that she currently has no peer among The Meadows' trotting elite as she ripped off her fifth straight victory in Tuesday's $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap. Although Cowgirl Hall had to endure a demanding, parked-out first quarter in 27.2, she and Dave Palone were in control every step, scoring in 1:53.2. Martz Time was a ground-saving second, 3/4 lengths back, with Count Me In third. Ron Burke trains Cowgirl Hall, a 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Centerfold Hall who extended her career bankroll to $646,303, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jack Piatt III and Michael Rosenthal. It was one of three victories on the 15-race card for Palone. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows            

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 25, 2014 -- Trailing by 8 lengths at the half, Do Me Honor took advantage of live cover to get into position, then brushed through the lane to capture Monday's $15,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred Pace at The Meadows. Do Me Honor was sixth down the backside when Aaron Merriman moved her third over in the cover flow. She needed to go wide to do it, but the 6-year-old daughter of Cheyenne Rei-Do Me Right overtook the leaders with authority, scoring in 1:54. Rescue Team was second, 1/2 length back, with Miss Kilo third. Bill Bercury trains and owns Do Me Honor, who extended her career bankroll to $526,177. Eric Goodell and Eric Ledford each piloted three winners on the 15-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 21, 2014 -- Shooter's Dream moved relentlessly first over to wear down the leader, Visible Gold, and capture Friday's $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. A newcomer who had been racing at Hoosier Park, Shooter's Dream was sitting last when Tony Hall sent him on his uncovered journey. He pulled even with Visible Gold into the final turn and defeated him by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51.4. Dew N Doughnuts rallied for show. Randy Bendis trains Shooter's Dream, a 4-year-old Sand Shooter-With A Dream gelding who now has banked $113,915, and owns with Tom Pollack and David Linker. Mike Wilder piloted four winners on the 15-race card while Dave Palone and Hall each fashioned a triple. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows    

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 18, 2014 -- Cowgirl Hall took the field through wicked fractions but had plenty of pop late, scoring in a track-record 1:52.3 in Tuesday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. On a day not suited for track records -- temperature less than 20 degrees, wind chill even colder -- Cowgirl Hall was impervious to the weather. The 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Centerfold Hall rolled through fractions of 26.4/55.2/1:23.1/1:52.3 for Dave Palone, defeating the pocket-sitting Count Me In by 2-3/4 lengths, with Mistress Valentine third. The time knocked a tick from the previous track record for older trotting mares that Cowgirl Hall held jointly with Daylon Miracle. Ron Burke trains Cowgirl Hall, who has won 15 races this year and $637,303 in her career, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jack Piatt III and Michael Rosenthal. Mike Wilder and Palone each piloted five winners on the 15-race card. With his Tuesday haul, Palone pushed his career victory total to 16,762, solidifying his position as the world's "winningest" harness racing driver. The driver Palone passed, Germany's Heinz Wewering, has 16,754 victories but isn't scheduled to drive until Sunday, with six assignments at Hamburg-Behrenfeld. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association recently hosted its 3rd annual Caretaker Appreciation Day, thanks to the generosity of several owners, trainers and drivers. The day began with a free lunch for all caretakers in the paddock lounge prior to the races, courtesy of the MSOA. An anonymous donor gave $1,250 that was divided up among the winning caretakers of each of the day's 15 races. A minimum "bonus" of $50 was given to each winning caretaker, with three races offering a larger amount of $200-$250. Additionally, other owners and trainers donated cash, blankets and/or gift cards to area businesses, which were given away via separate random drawings each race. The big winner on the afternoon was Mike Wallace, caretaker of I'm Feelin Good for trainer Ashley Hall. Wallace picked up the day's largest bonus, $250. The annual event is a way for owners, trainers and drivers to show their appreciation for the efforts made behind the scenes by the caretakers that work with their horses on a daily basis. by Jeff Zidek, for MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 17, 2014 -- With three wins Monday at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Dave Palone opened a lead over the idle Heinz Wewering of Germany in their duel to become the world's "winningest" harness racing driver -- and to maintain that crown. Palone forged ahead Friday with career win 16,754, but Wewering climbed back to tie with a victory Sunday. Palone's lead likely will widen appreciably as Wewering these days drives a limited schedule. Palone has 26 scheduled assignments Tuesday and Wednesday at The Meadows while Wewering has no scheduled drives through Thursday. Moreover, Wewering lost seven drives, unless he finds other spots for his horses, when Berlin-Mariendorf canceled its Sunday, Nov. 23 card due to a shortage of entries. In Monday's $24,800 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Macharoundtheclock deployed her characteristic rallying style to erase a 9-1/2-length deficit and edge Tremor Hanover by a head in 1:55 in the slop. Thunder Chaser was third. Eric Ledford drove for trainer Tim Twaddle and owner Birnam Wood Farms. The 4-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Summers Soul has won 11 times this year and $372,987 in her career. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

SPECIAL VIDEOS AT END OF STORY

Back on Thursday, July 5, 2012, Hall of Fame harness racing driver Dave Palone made North American history by surpassing another Hall of Famer, the great Herve Filion, as the winningest driver in the sport. At the time Palone, age 50, scored his 15,181st career victory to surpass Filion’s record. Now, just over two years later, Palone is on the verge of becoming the world’s winning driver. He has 16,746 wins as of Monday, November 10 and is closing the gap daily on veteran driver/trainer Heinz Wewering of Germany, who has 16,753 career wins. Palone drives nearly daily at the Meadows in Washington, Pennsylvania. Heinz Wewering drives maybe two days a week in Germany. Thus Palone, who averages nearly three wins a day at the Meadows, will catch Wewering, more than likely in a couple of days. "The most special thing about setting this record,” Palone said. “Just like when I passed the great Herve Filion two years ago, is that I am going to do it here at the Meadows, my home track. I want to do it where all the owners and trainers are that have supported me throughout my entire career. There hasn't been an owner or a trainer I haven't driven for here. They're all a part of this. The Waynesburg, Pa., native began driving in 1982 and earned his first victory in 1983. He's become a dominant force in the sport over the last three decades, capturing nearly 40 percent of the races he drives in while becoming just the second driver in history to surpass 16,000 wins. "When I first started in harness racing,” Palone said, “I would drive anything with four legs and a tail. I just wanted to be in a race." He credits his success to his physical fitness, though that hasn't kept him protected from a number of major injuries, none more painful than a broken femur he got in a 2007 accident. Palone thinks he has had too many fractures but has never thought of retiring. "What else would I do?" Palone laughed. “I still love this sport and there are a few races out there, like the Hambletonian that I am hoping to win one of these days.” He has no thoughts of slowing down now with his sights set on Heinz Wewering’s record. Palone, who was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2010, has been the leading driver at the Meadows for 24 straight years and has won at least 532 races a year over the last two decades. Palone plans on celebrating the milestone achievement quietly with his wife Bethann and their three daughters, just like he did when he surpassed Herve Filion’s record over two years ago. Is there anything special he would like to do after setting the record? “What I’d really like is to one day meet Heinz Wewering of Germany and shake his hand,” Palone explained, “because I know how hard he’s worked. Most people in racing don’t know it, but Heinz Wewering is also the winningest trainer in all of harness racing. This guy not only has driven nearly 17,000 race winners, but he has trained over 19,000 winners too. That number alone is unbelievable. It would be a real pleasure to meet him. He is truly the greatest trainer-driver harness racing has ever seen." For the record, Heinz Wewering currently has 19,299 training wins.  “Forget about him being a trainer/driver,” Palone said, “His work ethics floor me. I usually don’t have to get to the racetrack until around noon to begin my day. Heinz has had to get up and be at his stable at 5:00 am every day for the last 30 plus years. Work his stable, and I have heard at one point he had 300 horses, then go to the races and drive. He’s my harness racing hero for sure.  “I’ve said this in the past,” Palone added, “Ultimately, my goal was to catch Heinz Wewering, and now I am right on the verge of doing it. It is such a great accomplishment that I never dreamed I could ever achieve in my lifetime when I first started driving. “Now it is going to happen, Palone explained, “and I am almost at a loss for words. Usually I can talk candidly about most everything and usually do, but this time I am pretty humble, this is really something special to me.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Dave Palone, the leading driver at The Meadows Racetrack, near Pittsburgh, PA is now five wins away from being the leading harness driver in the world. He won three races on Wednesday and has 16,749 wins at the end of racing on November 12. The current record of 16,753 wins is held by Heinz Wewering of Germany, so Palone needs four to tie him and five to surpass him and take the record. Wewering has seven drives scheduled on Sunday, November 16 at this writing. Wewering, who is 64, trains about two dozen horses and his wins have come almost exclusively from horses he also trains. He has been German driving champion 29 times and twice won the World Driving Championship. Palone has 12 races on Friday, so it is possible the record-tying and breaking wins could come on Friday. The Meadows does not race on Thursdays. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 11, 2014 -- Count Me In moved easily first over and went on to score in 1:53.2, matching his career best, in Tuesday's $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Away third for Wilbur Yoder, Count Me In pursued the leader, Southwind Pepino, down the backside and had little trouble putting him away. The 5-year-old Full Count-Howl gelding held off the rallying Mistress Valentine by a length, with Classicality third. Marty Wollam trains Count Me In, who now boasts $339,059 in lifetime earnings, and owns with Acadia Farms. Dave Palone, the leading driver at The Meadows Racetrack, near Pittsburgh, Pa., is now eight wins away from being the leading harness driver in the world. He won once on Tuesday and has 16,746 wins at the end of racing on Nov. 11. The current record of 16,753 wins is held by Heinz Wewering of Germany, so Palone needs seven to tie him and eight to surpass him and take the record. Wewering, who picked up two wins last weekend, has no additional drives scheduled at this writing.  Wewering, who is 64, trains about two dozen horses and his wins have come almost exclusively from horses he also trains. He has been German driving champion 29 times and twice won the World Driving Championship. Palone, who was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2010, has nine races on Wednesday and 12 on Friday, so it is possible the record-tying and breaking wins could come in the next few days. The Meadows does not race on Thursdays.  by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 10, 2014 -- Last into the final turn, Doubelieveinmagic roared through the stretch to capture Monday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Although trailing late, Doubelieveinmagic was following the live cover of Macharoundtheclock, who had won four straight in characteristic "Silky Sullivan" style. Indeed, Macharoundtheclock fired again, but the wider Doubelieveinmagic edged her by a head in 1:53.1 for Tony Hall. Rescue Team shot the Lightning Lane for show. Ron Burke trains Doubelieveinmagic, a 4-year-old daughter of Western Terror-Hawaiian Beachlady who extended her career bankroll to $121,819, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Eric Goodell, Mike Wilder, Hall and Burke each enjoyed a triple on the 15-race card. With his two victories, Dave Palone pushed his career total to 15,745, leaving him eight short of the world record held by Germany's Heinz Wewering. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Dave Palone, the leading driver at The Meadows Racetrack, near Pittsburgh, Pa., is nine wins away from being the leading harness driver in the world. He has 16,743 wins as of Monday morning, Nov. 10. Palone has 11 drives on Monday, 12 on Tuesday and nine on Wednesday, so it is possible the record-tying and breaking wins could come in the next few days. He needs eight more to tie the mark and nine to break it. The current record of 16,751 wins is held by Heinz Wewering of Germany. Wewering, who is 64, trains about two dozen horses and his wins have come almost exclusively from horses he also trains. He has been German driving champion 29 times and twice won the World Driving Championship. While Wewering continues to compete, the rate of his wins is declining substantially, while Palone's have remained consistent, making it unlikely the record will change hands between those two. Palone, 52, is a native of Waynesburg, Pa. and a resident of Washington, Pa. He is the rare harness horseman who did not learn the sport at the feet of family members. While he rode horses and participated in 4-H equine activities, Palone learned, together with his family, as a teenager when his late father Marion "Butch" Palone bought Standardbreds. His brother Mike Palone is now a trainer. Since his first win in 1983, Palone has 16,743 wins through Nov. 9. Horses he's driven have won $122,371,896. The vast majority of those wins have come at his home track, The Meadows, though he has driven in major stakes races across North America. He has been leading driver at The Meadows for 25 consecutive years and is the current leading driver there. Palone was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2010 and in 2012 he became the all-time leading driver in North America, passing Herve Filion's previous mark to reach 15,181 on July 5. Palone is seven-time Harness Tracks of America Driver of the Year, in 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009 (tie) and 2013. On four occasions, he has been the leading race-winning driver in North America: 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2012. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager Harness Racing Communications

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 7, 2014 -- Idling in eighth by 9 lengths at the half, Beach Memories launched an amazing bid that carried him to victory by a widening 5-1/4 lengths in Friday's $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. In his most recent starts, Beach Memories had taken on some of the best in the sport -- including Bettor's Edge, Sweet Lou, Clear Vision and Foiled Again -- so Mike Wilder knew the Somebeachsomewhere-Allamerican Memoir gelding would have plenty of pace when asked. He blew by his stablemate, Santa Fe Beachboy, to score in 1:51. When Santa Fe Beachboy kept his nose ahead of Major Belle for show, it gave trainer Brian Brown an exacta sweep. Strollin Stable, AWS Stables, King McNamara and Country Club Acres campaign Beach Memories, who now boasts $493,804 in career earnings. Wilder drove six winners on the 15-race card while trainer Ron Burke enjoyed a triple. With his four wins on the program, Dave Palone pushed his career victory total to 16,743, eight short of the 16,751 compiled by the world's "winningest" driver, Heinz Wewering. Because Wewering remains active in Germany and has been averaging about one victory per week, Palone's target may change slightly. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 5 -- Cowgirl Hall extended her winning streak to three but had to dig in late to do it when she captured Wednesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Although Cowgirl Hall grabbed the early lead and easily shrugged off the first-over challenge of Call To Post, the dangerous Count Me In was lurking In The Pocket and preparing for a Lightning Lane charge. The 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Centerfold Hall responded to Dave Palone's urging and defeated Count Me In by a nose in 1:53.1, with Classicality third. Ron Burke trains Cowgirl Hall, who has won 14 races this year and $628,303 in her career, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jack Piatt III and Michael Rosenthal. It was one of four wins on the 15-race card for Palone. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows            

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 3, 2014 -- Calling on her customary late kick, Macharoundtheclock rallied from well back to capture her fourth straight victory in Monday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Macharoundtheclock was seventh by 8 lengths when Eric Ledford asked her for pace. She picked up the live cover of Novascotia Hanover and roared through the stretch to score in 1:53.2, 3/4 lengths better than early leader Rescue Team. Doubelieveinmagic closed well for show. Tim Twaddle trains the 4-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Summers Soul, who extended her career bankroll to $356,087, for Birnam Wood Farms. Tony Hall and Dave Palone each drove three winners on the 15-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association and The Meadows hosted the track's 6th annual Pink Out event benefitting breast cancer research on Saturday night, November 1. Featured on the card was an all-female race, captured by Terry Millhoan and Woodruff. Tabby Canarr finished second with Gambler Springs, while two-time defending champion Rachel Kaneoka was third, guiding Fortissimo. A later race was designated as the breast cancer research event, with the MSOA donating its commission from the race to Pittsburgh's Magee Women's hospital. Also featured on the final night card of the season was a special appearance by Morgan Grand National and World Championship winning Sophia Stillings. The 12-year-old granddaughter of Hall of Famer Dick Stillings led a post parade with her horse, Artful Image. The night also featured an emotional video message from Bethann Palone, wife of driver Dave Palone, for whom the Pink Out event had special meaning. To view Bethann's video, visit http://youtu.be/m_uWYT9WM-g. The next live card at The Meadows is on Monday (November 3). The track is now racing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons at 12:55. by Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA  

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