Joe Lucas turned out to be the big winner on the day, but he was just one of many caretakers that went home with a special pre-holiday bonus on Caretaker Appreciation Day at The Meadows, hosted by the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association. The second annual event featured a cash prize ranging from $30 to $300 for each winning caretaker, with the prize drawn at random prior to the race. Lucas was the caretaker of Windsong Jack, winner of the 9th race on the card, which had been pre-determined as the featured race, with the winner also earning a commemorative blanket from the MSOA. The cash prizes were the result of a gift that was first offered last year by an anonymous local horseowner that wanted to recognize a hard-working group of people that rarely receive accolades for their work. This year, that donation increased to $1000. "I wish that more people would take time to compensate and thank caretakers for the hard work that they put in every day," said the owner in a statement along with the anonymously given check. According to Lucas, "Earlier today when I heard we were going for $300, I thought I have a good driver and good horse so I was hoping for the best. All of us back here really appreciate this, we work hard and it makes it even better that today is such a cold day. That extra bonus made my day a lot better." Lucas added, "I been doing this since I was sixteen, I was out of it for six or seven years and had what everyone in this business calls a real job, and a lot of people really don't realize how fortunate we are to be in this business, doing what we love." Also coming on board for this year's event was Southern States Feed, which donated $400. Southern States Feed serves the track through its distributor in Eighty Four, PA, Eighty Four Agway. According to Southern States, "Along with Agway, we want to thank and congratulate all the hardworking ladies and gentlemen who help keep the horses racing." The MSOA also offered a free buffet lunch to all caretakers, served in The Meadows' paddock throughout the afternoon. by Jeff Zidek for the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association
Veterans spending their day at The Meadows Racetrack and Casino were honored in the winners circle after the 6th race on Monday as part of a special Veterans Day event. Anyone that served their country was invited to the winners circle, where they received a free win photo to share in the victory by DM Big Dog Daddy. They were also given a $5 betting voucher, free drinks and food, all courtesy of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association. Ron Burke, trainer of DM Big Dog Daddy, said, "I wanted them to remember their day at The Meadows. They are truly heroes and we appreciate the sacrifices they have made." After the group photo was taken, Burke called down to request that one of the veterans be given the blanket, which had been presented to the winning horse. Winning driver Dave Palone added, "It was an honor to meet those fellas. My dad is an ex-Marine and I wish he could have made it today. It sure puts things into perspective. We owe them a lot." When Palone returned to the Winners Circle he hung up the lines and went to shake the hands of all the Veterans that had joined him. Russ Otto a veteran and a regular patron at the track, summed it up. "I think that it was really great that The Meadows and MSOA honored the veterans, we really appreciated it." by Jeff Zidek for MSOA
WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 25, 2013 — Tabulator was so wound up while scoring down that it took both trainer/driver Marvin Raber and Parade Marshal Missy Rothfuss to control him. But once Raber was able to redirect that energy to the matter at hand, the result was amazing — a 17-length victory for “Marvelous Marvin” and Tabulator in Friday’s $10,000 C.K.G. Billings West Final at The Meadows. Tabulator ripped off a string of front-end victories at The Meadows early this year but wasn’t on top at any point in his last two starts. “He’s been jogging good, and I’ve been swimming him a lot because of some soundness issues,” said Raber, who conditions the 4-year-old Cantab Hall-Mystical Taya gelding for Bert Dale Hershberger. “Now, he’s really good. Sometimes he quits at the end, but today he went right on. He gets fired up behind the gate.” Tabulator scored in a career-best 1:56.2 while “Trader” Bud Hatfield and GJ Photo Victory won the war of the weary for place. “Lawbook Larry” Farley and Rewrite The Rules saved show. The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association sponsored a “Pink Out” Friday to raise breast cancer awareness as well as funds for the Magee Women’s Hospital Foundation in Pittsburgh. The event included a $5,000 trot, featuring nine female drivers, that honored the late Mary McCune, who recently was named to the inaugural class of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Hall of Fame. Rachel Kaneoka captured the event, piloting R Big Ben to victory in 2:00.2 and helping him snap his 48-race losing streak over two seasons. Devan Miller (Earl’s Glider) was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Cherie Keith (Red Falkor) third. Scott U’ren conditions R Big Ben, an 8-year-old British Sterling-Gracious Pleasure gelding, for Debbie U’ren. Also participating were drivers Joelene Christman, Leslie Zendt, Sharon Donella, Kathryn Hawk, Danita Harvey and Nikki Harvey. The action-packed card also included two $18,000 Preferred Handicap events. In the race for filly and mare pacers, Sissy Bar scored a 16-1 shocker by pouring through the Lightning Lane and downing Pink Camo by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:52.4, matching her lifetime best. Early leader Darena Hanover was third. Eric Ledford drove the 7-year-old daughter of Aces N’ Sevens-Ocean Beach for owner/trainer Tyler Nostadt. In the companion feature for filly and mare trotters, Victory Is Coming made it two straight for Mike Wilder by exploiting a pocket trip and prevailing in 1:56. The rallying Trotslikethewind was second, missing by 1/2 length, while the first-over Jesse’s Messenger earned show. Ammon Hershberger trains Victory Is Coming, a 6-year-old daughter of Victory Sam-Norse Comer who now boasts $416,795 in career earnings, for Betty Shaw and John Red Shaw. by Evan Pattak for The Meadows
On Friday, October 25, the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association will host its annual Pink Out Day to benefit the Magee Women's Hospital Women's Foundation. Post time is 12:55 for the afternoon card, which will include a race featuring all female drivers. The MSOA will donate its proceeds from the money wagered on that race to the Race For The Cure. Donations will also be accepted in the paddock, or at the MSOA Office, or can be mailed to MSOA, Box 253, Meadow Lands, PA 15347. The Magee Women’s Breast Cancer Program is a nationally ranked program offering advanced treatment and research, coupled with individualized care which is why they are ranked twelfth in the nation for women’s care. The MSOA is proud to once again partner with Magee to help raise awareness and raise money for the cause.
WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 9, 2013 — The Meadows Racetrack & Casino and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) on Wednesday honored driver Aaron Merriman for achieving 6,000 career victories. Merriman, who splits his time between The Meadows and Northfield Park, notched the milestone win Tuesday at Northfield. Following Wednesday’s first race, the MSOA congratulated Merriman with a winners’ circle presentation. “I’m happy to be at 6,000,” said Merriman, 35, whose mounts have won more than $30 million. “I treat every race the same — I want to win every one — so every win is a milestone for me.” A native of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Merriman averaged 590 victories per season from 2006 to 2009 and was the leading driver at Northfield all four years. He sustained serious injuries in a June 11, 2010 race mishap that sidelined him for five months. Merriman says he’s driving as confidently as ever since the horrific crash. “Mentally, I’m past it,” he said. “I don’t even think about it. Most of the guys will tell you I’m probably more aggressive than most everybody. Physically, I know I’ll never be the same. It’s something that you learn to live with. Everybody’s got aches and pains. It’s nothing to complain about. You just wake up every day and do your job.” Merriman said his top priority is to roll up as many wins as he can. “Eventually, I’d like to win 10,000 races,” he said. “That’s a goal of mine because at the 6,000 plateau, I think it’s very conceivable if I stay healthy. If I make it, we’ll go on from there.”
WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 6, 2013 — Have More Wine charged through the Lightning Lane to capture Saturday’s Pennsylvania Fairs Championship for sophomore filly pacers in a stake-record 1:53.1 . . . a feat that became even more impressive when post-race scoping revealed that she bled during the race. On a night when The Meadows hosted all eight divisions of the $200,100 PA Fairs finals and the Meadows Standardbred owners Association staged a variety of family-oriented activities, “doubles” was the word of the day in the championships. Drivers Aaron Merriman, Chris Shaw and Brian Zendt; trainers Walter “Boots” Dunn and Steve Schoeffel, and owners Dunn Stable, Kathy Schoeffel and Virginia Schoeffel each notched a pair of championships. Sitting third in the stretch, Have More Wine poured through the Lightning Lane for Merriman and Schoeffel to defeat In A Better Place by a neck. Early leader She’salilfireball was third. “They put the brakes on at the quarter, and she really didn’t want to sit in,” Merriman said. “I drove her last year, but she never got home like that for me before. She really raced super.” With three wins on the 13-race card, Merriman pushed his career victory total to 5,997. Virginia Schoeffel, James Reuther and James Nelson own Have More Wine, a daughter of Western Terror-Your So Silly. In the other $25,000 championships: $25,100 Championship, 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers Mister Chaos took the evening’s most circuitous route to victory, as he was pinned in around the far turn but found room outside, scoring for Shaw in a career-best 1:56.4. He also survived an inquiry and an objection regarding his conduct as he sought that late racing room. Spy The Lie was second, 1/2 length back, while Bosh Hanover earned show. “I didn’t know if I had enough racetrack, but that horse just keeps digging, so I gave him a shot at it,” Shaw said. Robert Rougeaux III trains the Art Official-Because I Said So gelding for D&P Racing. $25,000 Championship, 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pacers Schoeffel, the leading trainer and driver on the 2013 fair circuit, got a win in each category when he piloted Jungle Of Terror to a first-over victory in 1:54.3, a lifetime mark. Dinger Two rallied for second, 3/4 lengths in arrears, while Dinger One completed the ticket. “He raced really well the week before, but I ran him off his feet in the stretch,” Schoeffel said of the Western Terror-Jungle Print gelding. “I made sure I didn’t do it tonight. Stephen Lander, Kathy Schoeffel and Virginia Schoeffel own Jungle Of Terror, who was acquired for $5,000 via an on-line yearling sale. $25,000 Championship, 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Ruddy Rusty made it look easy on the front end, but don’t tell that to Zendt, who had to work hard to control the strong-willed chestnut. “He was being a hothead going to the gate,” Zendt said. “I wasn’t sure how good he’d be because he raced Tuesday, and he was pretty sick. They got him fixed up.” The SJ’s Caviar-Chaka Khan gelding triumphed in 1:57.1 for Dunn and Dunn Stable. The pocket-sitting Markup Hanover was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Southwind Glider third. $25,000 Championship, 2-Year-Old Filly Trotters Zendt, Dunn and Dunn Stable teamed again to score with Glide By Shooting, who converted a pocket trip to victory in a stake-mark 1:59.1. Bella Palazzo, the divisional points leader, was a neck back in second, while She Nuit got show. “She’s kind of a hothead Glidemaster,” Zendt said. “She gets away from you when she’s on the lead. I didn’t expect to land in the two hole off the rail, but that worked out well. She’ll be a real nice 3-year-old.” $25,000 Championship, 3-Year-Old Filly Trotters Homepage outkicked Monroe County and defeated her by a neck in a stake-mark 1:56.4 for Merriman and trainer/lessee Syl King, Jr. SJ’s Hottie Won finished third. “I drover hear as a 2-year-old,” Merriman said. “I remember she got off the gate for me real well but didn’t want to go in the passing lane. Tonight, she was as sharp as a horse could be for racing a long year at the fairs.” $25,000 Championship, 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers La Fiesta got her third straight victory by shooting the Lightning Lane for Shaw and downing Bellas Quik by 3 lengths in 1:56. TSM Maija Star grabbed show. “We skipped a couple fairs with her and just raced her where we had a chance,” Shaw said. “We kept her fresh. She’s not real big, but she’s strong.” The win was a family affair as Chris’ brother, Jason Shaw, trains the winner, and Jason’s son, Mason Shaw, owns the daughter of Western Terror-Jocelyn Joy. $25,000 Championship, 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Fly Past Hanover and Dick Stillings worked out comfortable fractions on the front and rolled on to a 4-1/4-length victory in 2:01.2. Andover The Gold and divisional points leader Mr Weaver rounded out the ticket. William Daugherty, Jr. who conditions the Cantab Hall-Flexible Spending gelding for Susan Daugherty, gave $17,000 for him as a yearling — an unusually high price for a Daugherty purchase. “I had a good year last year, and I always wanted a Cantab Hall,” he explained. “All winter I thought I gave too much. I brought him along kind of slowly, but he got better and better. I didn’t realize quite what I had until mid-season. He’s paid for himself.” Evan Pattak
The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association will host a general membership meeting on Thursday, October 10. The meeting will be held in Delvin's Banquet Room in the Race Book area of the casino. It will begin at 6:00 PM. All members are encouraged to attend. by Jeff Zidek for MSOA
WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 21, 2013 — When Chantal Sutherland-Kruse tries for the North American trotting-under-saddle record Monday at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, two of harness racing’s most accomplished horsemen will be part of the effort. The Meadows and The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) announced today that Dave Palone, the “winningest” driver in North American harness history, and Ron Burke, who has topped the North American trainers standings each year since 2009, will drive the prompters in the record attempt. The event, which will follow traditional harness racing “time trial” standards, will take place at approximately 3 PM after the seventh race on The Meadows’ card. Sutherland will be aboard DW’s NY Yank, the Burke trainee who boasts a lifetime mark of 1:51.3(f) and career earnings of $204,988. The pair will be trying to beat 1:59.1; that’s the North American record for five-eighths-mile tracks established by Karen Isbell and Fort Valley As on June 29, 2013 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. As a special feature, Sutherland-Kruse will be wearing an HD “helmetcam” provided by EquiSight Inc. to offer a unique view of the time trial. The video will be posted on YouTube and can be accessed at www.youtube.com/equisight or www.youtube.com/user/TheMsoa. Sutherland-Kruse, one of Thoroughbred racing’s most prominent jockeys, twice was apprentice of the year in her native Canada. Her mounts have won more than $47.3 million, and she was featured on Animal Planet’s Jockeys series as well as the HBO series Luck. The graduate of Toronto’s York University was named one of the “100 Most Beautiful People” by People Magazine in 2006. Riding a Standardbred, however, represents a return to her roots. She was around Standardbreds for much of her youth as her father, Hugh Sutherland, was a Standardbred trainer and campaigned many horses at The Meadows in the Garry Martin stable. Palone, meanwhile will have other important business on Monday’s card. With his career total at 15,995, he needs five wins to become the first North American driver with 16,000 victories. by Evan Pattak for The Meadows
WASHINGTON, PA & TUCSON, AZ-One of Thoroughbred racing's biggest stars, jockey Chantal Sutherland-Kruse, will come to The Meadows Racetrack & Casino on Monday, Sept. 23 with one thought in mind - setting a new North American record with an open class trotter. The attempt will be following the seventh race, which has a scheduled post time of 2:55 p.m. on Monday. Fans will be able to get unique view of the record-breaking attempt. EquiSight will be outfitting Ms. Sutherland-Kruse with a HD helmetcam to allow viewers a first-person perspective of the record breaking attempt, putting the fans in the middle of the heart-pounding record attempt. Full video coverage of the record attempt is slated to drop on YouTube September 23 at www.youtube.com/equisight or http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMsoa For the mile, Sutherland-Kruse will team with The Meadows' - and harness racing's - leading trainer, Ron Burke. The Burke Stable will send Sutherland-Kruse to the track aboard DW's NY Yank, an accomplished four-year-old trotter that was won 10 of 17 starts so far this season. The gelding's fastest win time is 1:51.3, set on July 20 at Pocono Downs, also a 5/8 mile track like The Meadows. The current record of 1:59.1 under saddle on a five-eighths-mile track was set by Karen Isbell riding Fort Valley As on June 29, 2013 at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. "I'm looking forward to riding a trotter in my 'pink saddle' which has taken me from Canada to the States, Hong Kong, Dubai, then England, and now The Meadows Racetrack in an attempt to break a world record," said Sutherland-Kruse. "This is an exciting time for me to experience the Standardbred equine after having been in the thoroughbred world for so long. It will be a joy to get back to my roots, to the good old days when my dad would take me to the Standardbred farms and tracks all over Canada. EquiSight will be outfitting Ms. Sutherland-Kruse with a HD Jockeycam to allow viewers a first-person perspective of the record breaking attempt, putting the fans in the middle of the heart-pounding record attempt. Full video coverage of the record attempt is slated to drop on YouTube September 23 at www.youtube.com/equisight or http://www.youtube.com/user/TheMsoa The September event is sponsored by the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association. About EquiSight EquiSight enhances the viewership for horseracing fans and officials. EquiSight utilizes cutting edge technology to bring the traditional two-dimensional binocular video experience into the present day by allowing viewers to Ride the Race from the jockey's point of view. This new perspective allows people the ability to feel the speed, beauty, and intensity from this "Sport of Kings." For more information about EquiSight visit www.equisight.com. Keep track of the action by following EquiSight on Facebook, Twitter @equisight and YouTube. For further information, contact Kenleigh Hobby, EQUISIGHT INC at: (208) 346-1609 and firstname.lastname@example.org or Heather Wilder, MSOA at (724) 255-0569 and email@example.com. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications U.S. Trotting Association
This Monday (September 23), the worlds of harness and thoroughbred racing will cross paths at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Chantal Sutherland-Kruse, one of thoroughbred racing’s most well known jockeys, will team with DW’s NY Yank, one of harness racing’s fastest trotters, in an attempt to set a North American record for trotting under saddle. Sutherland, who has won more than 900 races and $47 million in her storied career. DW’s NY Yank has won 11 races this season and banked around $200,000 lifetime. But while both bring impressive resumes to the track, there is one “catch.” Sutherland has never raced the clock atop a trotter, and DW’s NY Yank has never time trialed under saddle. Trainer Ron Burke has been prepping the four-year-old trotter for Monday’s event. “He won his last start at Pocono Downs in 1:52 (on September 7) and since then he has just been training under saddle,” says Burke. “Allie Conte, my assistant trainer’s girlfriend, has been riding him and getting him ready.” Burke reports that the horse has been training well. “He has been very good so far, no problems at all. He will train again this Friday (September 20). The plan will be to go a mile in 2:20, but with a fast last quarter, around 28 seconds.” On Monday, Sutherland-Kruse will handle the final preparations. “Chantal will warm the horse up on Monday and get familiar with him. She needs to get comfortable with his gait and make sure that when the time trial starts, that we get to the half fast enough.” The current record on a 5/8 mile track under saddle is 1:59.1. “I’m confident he can set the record,” says Burke. “He will be ready for Monday.” The under saddle event is sponsored by the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association. Post time for Monday's card at The Meadows is 12:55PM. by Jeff Zidek for MSOA
WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 29, 2013 — The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has completed grading and banking of its racing surface and is ready to install a new crushed limestone-silica mix to complete the $223,000 renovation of the track. Live racing resumes Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 12:55 PM, but the refurbished track will get its first test with qualifying races scheduled for Friday, Aug. 30. Although day-long rain Wednesday slowed renovation activities, Dan Coon of Charles E. Coon and Sons Inc. said better weather Thursday — the forecast calls for a dry day — would enable his crew to install up to 8,000 tons of the new mix, which already has been delivered. “We wanted to have horses on the track Wednesday, but the rain prevented it,” Coon said. “We’ve been pretty fortunate with the weather, though.” With the resumption of live racing, The Meadows will roll out a schedule that emphasizes daylight cards rather than a split between afternoon and evening programs. In fact, between Sept. 3 and the end of the year, all cards will begin at 12:55 PM, with only two exceptions: Friday, Sept. 13, when The Meadows hosts the $1.2 million Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championships for 3-year-olds, and Saturday, Oct. 5, when the track offers all eight divisions of the PA Fairs championships. The Meadows also will introduce 10-horse fields for as many as eight races per week, meaning that one horse will start from the second tier in each of those races. Expanded fields, which are being implemented in collaboration with the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, are expected to result in larger payoffs and more carryovers in Pick 5, Pick 4 and Superfecta events. The Meadows will welcome fans back with $1,000 in cash giveaways over the four programs from Sept. 3 to Sept. 6. Five times during each card, a lucky patron will win $50 and a Meadows 50th anniversary tee shirt. In addition, the track will resume its handicapping contests for Racing Player Rewards members each Saturday in September. Churchill Downs is the featured track throughout the month. “Our fans have been supportive and patient throughout our renovation,” said Mike Jeannot, president of Meadows Racing. “The drawings are one way we can express our appreciation to them.” by Evan Pattak
The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association is pleased to announce its 2013 MSOA college scholarship winners. The awards will be formally presented in the winner’s circle on Adios Day (July 27) at The Meadows. “We are pleased to be offer these scholarships along with our additional sponsors,” said MSOA President Rich Gillock. “Our scholarship program has continued to build every year, and this year we are pleased to give $11,500 in scholarship money to these deserving young people.” A $5,000 MSOA Scholarship has been awarded to Shannon Teed, who will be entering West Liberty State this fall as a freshman. She will be majoring in Biology. Ashley Conger has been awarded the $2,500 MSOA/CSC Insurance Scholarship. Also a freshman this fall, Ashley will be studying Pharmacy at the University of Findlay. Ryan Zidek has been named the winner of the $2,000 MSOA/Trainforthefuture Scholarship. He will be a freshman this fall at Saint Vincent College, majoring in Communication. The $1,000 MSOA/LCM Nutraceuticals Dr. Barry C. Betts Memorial Scholarship will be split this year between two recipients, Michael Fahy and Nick Walski. Fahy will be a junior double major at Marietta College this fall, studying Political Science and Asian Studies. Walski is a student at Edinboro University. A new $1,000 scholarship this year, the MSOA/Nuclear Breeze Scholarship, will be split between Alexandra Indof and Alyssa Cummings. Indof will be a freshman at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, studying Nursing. Cummings will be a freshman at CCAC-North, also studying Nursing. The MSOA Board of Directors would like to not only congratulate the winners, but also to thank our co-sponsors: Tom Svrcek and CSC Insurance, John Green and Trainforthefuture, Tom Cooke and Nuclear Breeze, and Dr. Larry and Mary Smith of LCM Nutraceuticals. Jeff Zidek
The Meadows Standardbred Owners' Association gave one family's summer a new twist, when they became honorary harness racing owners for the week of a horse in the Tim Twaddle Stable.
The Meadows Racetrack & Casino wishes to remind harness racing owners and trainers that entries for the $600,000 (est.) Delvin Miller Adios are due by Tuesday, July 16, 10 AM. (For all other races drawn that day, the box closes at 9 AM.)
The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association will be hosting several special events as part of Back To The Track weekend, July 5-6 at The Meadows.
When The Meadows Racetrack & Casino observed its 50th anniversary on Friday, June 28, current and former harness racing horsemen and horsewomen, track executives, elected officials and fans representing all five decades of track history joined the celebration.