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The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association advises its members that the annual membership meeting will take place on Sunday, December 7 at 4PM.   This year's event will take place in Delvin's Banquet Room at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Racebook level. The 2014 MSOA Horse Awards will be announced at the meeting.   All members are strongly encouraged to attend.   The meeting will take place in advance of the 2014 Chinese Auction for Charity, which will take place in the Triple Crown banquet room area, also on the Racebook level of the casino. Doors will open for the auction at 5PM.   by Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA  

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

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  

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association and The Meadows Racing will host the track's 6th Annual Pink Out event tonight, Saturday, November 1. Post time for the special evening card will be 6:55.   Race #4 on the card will feature a 10-horse field and 10 female drivers. Two-time reigning Pink Out champion Rachel Kaneoka will defend her title from post 7 with Fortissimo, but is 20-1 on the morning line. The early favorite is Gambler Springs, who leaves from post 5 for Indiana's Tabby Canarr, who is making the trek to Pennsylvania for her first Pink Out race.   The seventh race on the card has been designated as the Breast Cancer Awareness event, and the MSOA will donate its commissions from all money wagered to breast cancer research.   The card also features four Late Closer Series finals, with purses topping $110,000 in total. The new series for 2-year-olds have been well received and supported by horsemen, and tonight's finals follow two series legs held during October.   Another special event on tap for the evening is a guest appearance by Sophia Stillings, granddaughter of Hall of Famer Dick Stillings. Sophia recently won multiple world titles in the Morgan Grand Nationals and World Championships. She and her horse, Artful Image, will join marshal Wendy Ross to lead a post parade during the evening card.   This will be the final night card of 2014 at The Meadows, with the remainder of the season racing at 12:55 afternoon posts.   by Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA

Decades ago, Meadow Lands Farm was known as one of the nation's leading breeding farms and the home of Adios. Perhaps more importantly, it was the homestead of Meadows founder and Harness Racing Hall of Famer Delvin Miller, where he lived with his wife Mary Lib, and was known to host famous celebrities at his barn parties.   Today, Meadow Lands Farm is owned by Joseph Salandra, a native of Washington, PA and a local business owner. Salandra has kept the spirit of the farm's harness racing past alive, and recently offered an inside view at what the home and farm look like today.   by Jeff Zidek, for The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association hosted a special "Gold Medal Match Race" pitting two former world champions in a charity harness racing event. Bob Errey, who won two Stanley Cups as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, earned his gold medal in 1997 as part of Team Canada in the World Hockey Championships.   Suzie McConnell-Serio, head coach of the University of Pittsburgh women's basketball team and a former Coach of the Year in the WNBA, earned an Olympic gold medal as part of the United States team in 1988.   Errey and McConnell-Serio are harness racing fans that have made many visits to The Meadows with family and friends, and combined forces with the MSOA this past Saturday night to raise money for two local charities. McConnell-Serio was representing Coaches For Cancer, an organization that works with basketball coaches. McConnell-Serio representing a local branch representing the University of Pittsburgh, Robert Morris University and Duquesne University, all three of which are based in the Pittsburgh region.   Errey's charity of choice was the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's IBD research program, which looks to find a cure for Irritable Bowel Disease.   Through the work of Errey, McConnell-Serio and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, each charity received $2,000, while everyone in attendance enjoyed the opportunity to see two gold medal winners battle on the track and visit with racing fans.   by Jeff Zidek, for MSOA

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association is pleased to make a $3,000 donation to the ALS Association, raised through the organization's "Ice Bucket Challenge." Over 40 Meadows horsemen, led by track announcer Roger Huston, got together in the paddock prior to the races on Friday night (August 22) for a group challenge, and MSOA Executive Secretary Kim Hankins took the opportunity to issue a challenge to the members of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association and the United States Trotting Association. Donations were collected from not only those that participated in the challenge, but also from horsemen that were unable to attend. In all, $3,000 was raised. "The ice bucket challenge really brought together our group for a fun event," said MSOA President Rich Gillock. "We are pleased to be able to support this very worthy cause and we thank our horsemen and women for their generosity." by Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA  

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association teamed with The Meadows Racetrack & Casino this past Friday night (August 8) for a special evening to benefit the harness racing Horsemen's Emergency Fund.   The MSOA and Meadows Racing donated each group's commission of all wagers on Race 7 on the card, designated as the Horsemen's Emergency Fund Race.   Additionally, The Meadows Casino then added a separate donation to the cause.   "We are very thankful that everyone came together in support of this cause," said MSOA President Rich Gillock. "It's a fund that we hope to never need to use, but over the years we have had to step in to help several of our fellow horsemen. Thanks to the support of the horsemen, the track and the casino, we are able to help when needed."   The night also featured a special match race among local legislators, who, led by PA State Senator Tim Solobay, were also on hand to show their support for the Horsemen's Emergency Fund.   by Jeff Zidek, for MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, July 18, 2014 -- The late Mike Jeannot, longtime president of Meadows Racing for The Meadows Racetrack & Casino who succumbed in January after battling liver cancer, was a friend of the American Cancer Society and The Meadows Chaplaincy Program. During Adios Week, The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA) will honor Jeannot's memory with an event to support those organizations. On Thursday, July 24, Meadows employees and family will join MSOA members and their families for the Mike Jeannot Memorial Walk for Relay For Life. From 7 PM to 9 PM, participants will walk on The Meadows track, accompanied by the sounds from a DJ. A luminaria ceremony will follow at 9:30 PM. Registration begins on track at 5:30 PM, with the first 100 registered participants receiving a TEAM JEANNOT T-shirt. For more information, contact Tasha McCormick, 724.503.1509, tmccormick@meadowsgaming.com. For Saturday’s card featuring three eliminations of the $600,00 (est.) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $7,500-guaranteed pool for its Pick 4. The $50,000 eliminations go as races 3-5, so the Pick 4 (races 4-7) includes two of those eliminations. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. Saturday’s card also features two stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers — an $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake and a $208,846 Pennsylvania Sires Stake. The latter will serve as an interesting preview of the Quinton Patterson Adioo Volo, which will be part of a blockbuster July 26 card anchored by the Adios final. First post for Saturday’s Adios eliminations card is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association is pleased to announce that seven students will share more than $11,000 in MSOA scholarships as they continue their educations this fall. Garrett Adams, son of John and Lisa Dunn-Adams, has been named the winner of the $5,000 MSOA Scholarship. He will attend the University of Pittsburgh this fall. The $2,500 MSOA/CSC Insurance Options Scholarship has been awarded to Alyssa Cummings, daughter of Todd and Tammy Cummings. She attends Community College of Allegheny County. A $1,800 MSOA/Hypnotic Blue Chip Scholarship, via a donation of a breeding to the stallion, goes to Hallie Nesselroad, daughter of Joe and Janet Nesselroad. She attends the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. The $1,000 MSOA/LCM Nutraceuticals Dr. Barry Betts Memorial Scholarhip has been split between Ryan Bush and Chelsea Fahy. Bush, the son of Steve and Kim Bush, will attend Washington & Jefferson College, while Fahy is a student at the Ohio State University's School of Veterinary Medicine. A $1,000 MSOA/Tom Ridge Scholarship, also created through the donation of breedings to the stallion, will be shared by Shannon Teed and Courtney Wrenn. Teed is a student at West Liberty State University, while Wrenn attends Indiana University. The MSOA would like to congratulate all of this year's recipients, and thank all of our partners, Tom Svrcek of CSC Insurance, Dr. Larry Smith of LCM Nutraceuticals, Fran Azur and Ted Tomson," said MSOA President Rich Gillock. "Without their help, none of this would be possible, and we believe it is valuable to help these young people work toward their future. We are proud to be part of that." Jeff Zidek

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association hosted a well-received Back To The Track Night at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino on July 11. In addition to great racing action featuring seven Pennsylvania Sire Stake races on a 15-race card, there were plenty of activities for everyone. For the kids, there was a bounce house, slide and obstacle course, a balloon and airbrush artist, a juggler on stilts and a petting zoo. Free racing programs were available courtesy of the MSOA, along with free hot dogs, ice cream and more giveaways with the MSOA's "Spin To Win" wheel. After each race, the winning driver tossed USTA Back To The Track t-shirts to fans along the apron level. The USTA's Harness Racing Bingo was a big hit among race fans, as were jog cart rides, paddock tours and starting gate rides. New Vocations Horse Adoption was on hand as well, showing fans what retired Standardbreds can do as pleasure horses. New horse owners were given a unique chance to get an inside view of the sport thanks to a special promotion that left one lucky fan the honorary owner of pacer Sam Hill for the next few weeks. Trained by John Sullivan for owner Don Tiger, Sam Hill has been one of the top horses at The Meadows for the past two seasons, winning multiple Preferred events and setting a track record. The new "owner" will get to visit the horse in the barn, get weekly updates from trainer Sullivan, and have special "owners only" access on Adios Day, July 26. The night was a total success for both the MSOA and the track, resulting in one of the highest on-track handles of the season. by Jeff Zidek, for MSOA

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association teamed with Variety Pittsburgh’s “My Bike” program, hosting a special night of racing at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino on Friday, July 11.    The evening included a special match race to benefit the group, and the MSOA ended the night with the announcement that the group is purchasing an adaptive bike for a local child.   Variety (http://www.varietypittsburgh.org) provides adaptive bikes to eligible children with disabilities so that they may have the freedom of a bike and the joy of riding alongside friends and family.   “This was a special night for everyone involved,” said MSOA President Rich Gillock. “It’s always great to give back to the community, and to work with Variety on their My Bike program was a great experience for all of us at the MSOA.”   Variety’s My Bike program launched in 2012, and their supporters include Pennsylvania State Senator Tim Solobay and PA State Representative Brandon Neuman. Both were on hand to take part in the match race, along with PNC Bank executive Andrea Carelli and former Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Schneck, also Variety Pittsburgh supporters.   The Meadows Racetrack & Casino also announced that it will match the MSOA’s contribution by donating another bike to the program.   by Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, July 14, 2014 -- Adios Week at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, the annual festive celebration of harness racing highlighted by the 48th edition of the $600,000 (est.) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light, kicks off the evening of Saturday, July 19, with Adios eliminations. The final of this major test for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers is set for Saturday afternoon, July 26 as the highlight of a card that features six Grand Circuit stakes. Purses that day are expected to top $1 million, making it one of the richest cards in the history of The Meadows. "We've gone all out to make this the most memorable Adios Week ever," said Kevin Decker, director of racing for The Meadows. "We deeply appreciate the support of our fans, and we've put together an exciting week to support our signature event." Among those exciting elements are four Adios Day (July 26) pool guarantees offered in association with the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Initiative. The guarantees, which total $42,500, cover a Pick 3, a Pick 5 and a pair of Pick 4s. Other Adios Week activities -- many offered in association with the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association -- include: The finals of the ever-popular Miss Adios Contest, which actually launches Adios Week a day early on Friday, July 18; An Adios hat giveaway on track Saturday, July 19; A pair of handicapping contests at all Meadows locations on Monday, July 21 and Tuesday, July 22. The hat giveaway and handicapping contests are limited to Racing Player Rewards members. Friday, July 25 party for all on the track apron. The card that evening features a pair of Grand Circuit stakes. The draw for Adios eliminations post positions is set for the morning of Tuesday, July 15. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, July 10, 2014 -- A total of 52 freshman filly trotters will make their Pennsylvania Sires Stakes debut Friday evening at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Add to that the 37 two-year-old filly trotters who competed in Wednesday's PA Stallions Series at The Meadows and you have one of the most robust, promising classes of youngsters ever seen in the Commonwealth -- or anywhere else in harness racing. Quality likely will be on display as well, as top trainers are sending well-bred babies after a total of $247,481 in purses. Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter and Jim Campbell will be represented by six fillies each while Julie Miller sends out four. Ake Svanstedt, conditioner of leading Horse of the Year candidate Sebastian K, has a pair in Friday's PASS. First post Friday is 6:55 PM, with the stake contested over seven divisions. Campbell was reluctant to over-praise his sextet -- five of them owned by Jules Siegel's Fashion Farms -- but conceded that he and Siegel are excited about their prospects. "Some of them are coming off one baby race," Campbell noted, "but we're coming out there, so we decided to bring them all. They're just getting started. We put too much pressure on these horses right from the word go. They need a little time to find their way and develop. Once you get into August, they'll separate themselves." Among the most noteworthy from Fashion Farms is Fashion Voyager, a full sister to world champion Pilgrims Taj (Broadway Hall-BWT Maija), who opened her career in hopples with a handy PA All Stars win. She goes in Race 2 from post 7 with John Campbell piloting. "She did it very easily," Jim Campbell said. "She's done everything that we've asked of her so far." Also of interest from the Campbell group is Onda Di Mare, a daughter of Yankee Glide-Upfront OB's Janet who captured her PA All Stars split in 1:56.3 while taking air down the backside. Tim Tetrick will guide her from post 3 in Race 10. Takter, whose ownership groups have the resources to patronize any stallions they choose, will send out fillies from six different stallions -- Andover Hall, Broadway Hall, Cantab Hall, Donato Hanover, Explosive Matter, Muscle Massive -- an indication of the strength of Pennsylvania's ranks and Takter's emphases in selecting yearlings. "I try to buy the horses we like," Takter said. "The sire is not the number one priority; the maternal line is number one. And you have to find out which are the best crosses." Among his six-pack, Takter cited Sarcy, who was beaten a neck in her PA All Stars split after being roughed up the first quarter. "I really like her, but she's in a very tough division," he said. "She's a nice, quick little thing. At Pocono, it was a sprint, and she couldn't get to the horse in front of her." Yannick Gingras drives Sarcy (Donato Hanover-Southwind Allaire) from post 2 in Race 2 for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding and Jim Fielding. During Friday's card, The Meadows and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association will present "Back to the Track," an industry-wide celebration of the joys of harness racing. Activities include: Family Fun Night, featuring a bounce house/inflatable side, airbrush and balloon artists and a petting zoo; A celebrity match race; A "Meet and Greet" session with horsemen; Harness racing bingo; Backside tours; A "Spin to Win" lottery; T-shirt giveaway; A handicapping contest. July 15 is draw date for Adios Pace The Meadows Racetrack & Casino wishes to remind owners and trainers that entries for the $600,000 (est.) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light are due by Tuesday, July 15, 9 AM. Eliminations for the Adios are set for Saturday, July 19, when the card kicks off at 6:55 PM. The final will go on Saturday, July 26, headlining a power-packed Grand Circuit program expected to offer an estimated $1 million in purses. First post Adios Day is 12:20 PM. For more information, please contact the race secretary’s office, 724.225.9897. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, May 29, 2014 — Juvenile champion Father Patrick brings a 10-race winning streak to the Meadows for Friday’s $211,700 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for sophomore colt and gelding trotters, but Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter said the streak is the farthest thing from his mind. “I don’t think like that,” Takter said. “They’re horses. They win, they get beat. I don’t worry about things like that.” Instead, Takter hopes the son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream builds on his facile victory in 1:53.3 in the Historic-Dickerson Cup at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, which kicked off his 3-year-old campaign and pushed his career bankroll to $762,688. Father Patrick may not be tested sternly Friday; of the six other contenders in his split, one is a maiden, and two remain eligible for NW2. Amped Up Hanover, perhaps the most accomplished of the rest, stalked Father Patrick from the pocket in the Dickerson Cup and still was beaten 4-1/2 lengths. Nevertheless, Takter has Father Patrick where he wants him on the road to the Hambletonian. “I’m very comfortable with what I’m doing with him,” Takter said. “We haven’t started pushing him, and I’m really happy with how he’s performing. I expect him to win and step forward.” He said Father Patrick likely will follow Friday’s PASS with several starts at Pocono Downs before heading to the Meadowlands. “I love this horse,” Takter said. “He’s a serious, serious animal. I think he’s the horse I’ve been waiting for that’s really, really, special.” Father Patrick goes from post 4 in the first of three PASS divisions, Race 1, with Yannick Gingras piloting. Takter also has the presumptive favorite in the second division (Race 4) with another of his hard-hitting sophomores, Nuncio. Although the son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle has raced in Father Patrick’s shadow, he’s hardly been a slouch, with six victories in 11 starts — he’s never been worse than second — and nearly $500,000 in career earnings. Nuncio faces a potential surprise package in Wheelsandthelegman (Donato Hanover-Carmita), who was unraced at 2 but has captured all four of his 2013 starts, including a PASS victory for trainer Walt Carroll. Nuncio leaves from post 3 for John Campbell while Jim Raymer will guide Wheelsandthelegman from post 2. The third split (Race 9), a wide-open event, features Datsyuk, an Explosive Matter-Pink Ribbons gelding who has won his only two lifetime outings, including a PASS split at Pocono Downs. Charlie Norris trains and drives Datsyuk, who drew post 2. The card kicks off a series of Friday Family Fun Nights, coordinated by the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, that will offer a host of family-oriented activities, including a number of contests, jog cart and starting gate rides and “meet and greet” sessions with horsemen. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

April is Autism Awareness month, and on Friday night, April 25, the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association will host a special evening of racing to help benefit a local organization.   The event was coordinated by MSOA Director Brad Buxton, MSOA Public Relations Director Heather Wilder, and horse owner John Olshefski.   Olshefski is the driving force behind the Liv With Autism Foundation, and the Liv With Autism Stable, named for his daughter, Olivia, who is autistic.   "I got into the horse racing business about five years ago," says Olshefski. "My family and I decided we were going to start the Liv With Autism Foundation, and also start the Liv With Autism Stable. There have been many studies done that show there is therapeutic help for children with autism from horses. We were excited to combine the two ideas and get into the business." Olshefski, who has horses racing at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs, The Meadowlands and The Meadows, donates a percentage of all of his horses' earnings to the foundation.   On Friday night, the MSOA will donate its commission from the eighth race on the card to autism awareness. Olshefski wanted the donation to stay local in the Western Pennsylvania area, so the race will benefit Autism Atlas, an organization based in Pittsburgh.   The evening could provide an even bigger benefit to autism awareness, as one of the Liv With Autism Stable's horses, Chekov, will be competing in the 15th race of the night.   Post time for the first race of the Friday card is 6:55PM. by Jeff Zidek, for MSOA  

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