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WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 13, 2019 -- Rising MVP pounced on the tiring leaders in the Lightning Lane to pull off a 7-1 upset in Friday's co-feature at The Meadows, a $13,500 Conditioned harness racing trot. As Bluebird Jesse and White Tiger swapped the lead, Rising MVP found himself pinned inside and shuffled to fifth. But when the Lightning Lane beckoned, the 4-year-old My MVP-Nutmegs Winner gelding poured through for Wilbur Yoder and triumphed in 1:55.3 over a "good" surface. Bluebird Jesse saved place, 3/4 lengths back, with Bank Guard third. William Daugherty, Jr. trains Rising MVP, who boosted his career bankroll to $243,067, for Susan Daugherty. In Friday's companion feature, a $13,500 Conditioned Pace, Statham N prevailed in 1:53.3 for Tony Hall, trainer Sarah Andrews and owners Jeffrey Fought, Brian Carsey, David Fought and Casey Myers. Mike Wilder collected five wins on the 13-race card, including a pair for trainer Paul Corey. With three wins, Tony Hall lifted his career total to 5,995. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the program features a $97,281.02 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $2,666.54 carryover in the Pick 5 (races 2-6). First post for the 13-race card is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 13, 2017 -- Valley Of Sin quarter-poled to the lead and hung tough late to score in 1:55.4, fastest this year by an older harness racing stallion on a five-eighths-mile track, in Friday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Valley Of Sin was third when trainer/driver Wilbur Yoder sent him to the point. The 1-1 favorite needed some encouragement late, but he held off Trustworthy Kid, who was racing off a four-month layoff, by a length. The first-over Nothinbutanallstar earned show. John Ducharme campaigns Valley Of Sin, a 7-year-old Yankee Glide-Anklet Hanover ridgling who extended his career bankroll to $267,659. Dave Palone collected three wins on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

John Ducharme has enjoyed a varied career in harness racing, from attorney to racetrack presiding judge, to breeder, trainer, driver, and owner. And as he approaches his 90th birthday, in March, he considers himself fortunate. "When you get the chance to live out your passion," Ducharme said, "it doesn't get any better than that." Right now, it doesn't get any better than the ride Ducharme is on with 7-year-old male trotter Valley Of Sin. Ducharme bought Valley Of Sin privately in October 2015 with the idea of breeding him to his small band of broodmares, but has put those plans on hold after watching the horse's successful return from injury. Last year, Valley Of Sin won eight of 28 races and earned $87,240. The son of Yankee Glide-Anklet Hanover was at his best as the year came to an end, capturing four of his final five starts of 2016, all at The Meadows. On Saturday, he is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the $22,000 Preferred Handicap at The Meadows, leaving from post No. 9 with trainer-driver Wilbur Yoder. For his career, Valley Of Sin has won 18 of 48 races and earned $256,899. He has won six of nine races lifetime at The Meadows, finishing worse than second only once. "He's a nice horse," Ducharme said of Valley Of Sin, who at age 3 was a multiple winner on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit and also won the Townsend Ackerman at the Meadowlands Racetrack. "When he was young and sound, he raced well wherever he was." Ducharme is no stranger to success with trotters. He bred, trained and co-owned 1995 Breeders Crown 3-year-old colt champion Abundance (who also won a Hambletonian heat before finishing second to Tagliabue in the final); bred, trained and owned stakes-winner High Tech (a Breeders Crown runner-up in 1999); and trained 1975 Elitlopp runner-up Quick Work and 1982 Canadian Trotting Classic runner-up Crowntron. When Ducharme watched Valley Of Sin win a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes in a track-record 1:52.3 at The Meadows in 2013, he decided to keep an eye on the horse. Unfortunately, Valley Of Sin suffered a suspensory injury and was limited to only four starts (three wins and a second) in the ensuing two years. "I saw that (sire stakes) race and thought he was the best I'd seen in a while," Ducharme said. "I followed his career because I thought I might like to buy him, and I finally did. I was going to breed him to a few of my mares, but he seemed to be sound, so while we were waiting to breed him we decided to see how he would hold up in training. Wilbur has done a great job with him. He's showing the type of horse that he was, and is." Said Yoder, "I like everything about him. The minute he walked in the door, he was just a nice horse. You can do whatever you want with him. He's got a lot of speed and he's got a lot of manners. He handles nice, he's quiet, he does his work, his ears are always up; he's just hap py to be a racehorse." For now, Valley Of Sin, who is a ridgling, will remain a racehorse. Ducharme has 10 mares, but wants to keep Valley Of Sin "in racing mode" as long as the horse is healthy. "I'm an older man, so I enjoy having him race," Ducharme said, laughing. "Of course, racing horses is race to race. I think he's capable of racing at the top level and I'd like to maybe give him that opportunity (this year) on a limited basis. It's a management issue, but hope is eternal. "We're just enjoying this," he added. "It's been a good ride." by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications/USTA

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 21, 2016 -- Abandoning his customary rallying style, Valley Of Sin zipped right to the front, thwarted his lone serious challenger and captured his third straight harness racing victory in Wednesday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. In his most recent six starts, Valley Of Sun never held the lead until the final call. On Wednesday, however, trainer/driver Wilbur Yoder hustled him to the point and gave him a comfortable 59 opening half. That left the 6-year-old Yankee Glide-Anklet Hanover ridgling with enough pop to turn back the first-over bid of Sixteen Mikes and triumph in 1:55.3. The pocket-sitting Classicality finished second, 1-1/2 lengths back, while Sixteen Mikes was third. John Ducharme campaigns Valley Of Sin, who now boasts $256,899 in career earnings. Dan Rawlings collected three wins on the 12-race card.   The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Last into the final turn, Valley Of Sin roared wide through the lane to capture Wednesday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Not only did Valley Of Sin trail late, but he also had excess cover that guaranteed him a wide journey in the stretch. When trainer/driver Wilbur Yoder angled him to the middle of the track, however, the 6-year-old Yankee Glide-Anklet Hanover ridgling blazed by them all to score in 1:56.1. The pocket-sitting Classicality shot the Lightning Lane for second, a neck back, while Explosive Leggs earned show. John Ducharme campaigns Valley Of Sin, who won for the third time in his last four starts and extended his career bankroll to $247,899. Dave Palone, Dan Rawlings and Mike Wilder each collected three wins on the 14-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 30, 2016 -- Valley Of Sin used a relentless uncovered move in the slop to wear down the leader and capture Wednesday's harness racing $15,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life Trot at The Meadows. Valley Of Sin was fifth near the half when trainer/driver Wilbur Yoder sent him after I Know My Chip, who had worked hard to reach the front. The 6-year-old Yankee Glide-Anklet Hanover ridgling put away I Know My Chip at the top of the lane and held off Nothinbutanallstar by 3/4 lengths to prevail in 1:54.4. Cantab Lindy finished third. John Ducharme campaigns Valley Of Sin, who pushed his career bankroll to $237,899. Aaron Merriman piloted three winners on the 14-race card. With two victories, Mike Wilder extended to five his streak of multiple-win programs; his win total during that stretch is 21. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 16, 2016 -- At 3, Valley of Sin trotted to a track record in a Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows but paid a terrible price -- a suspensory injury that cost him his entire 4-year-old harness racing campaign and limited him to four starts the following year. On Wednesday, the 6-year-old Yankee Glide-Anklet Hanover ridgling again graced The Meadows winners' circle, scene of his greatest triumph and despair, when he stormed from worst to first to capture the $20,000 Preferred Trot. Valley Of Sin trailed by 5 lengths at the three-quarters but at the urging of trainer/driver Wilbur Yoder brushed wide through the lane to score in 1:54.2. Early leader Nothinbutanallstar finished second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Tall Cotton third. John Ducharme owns Valley Of Sin, who pushed his career bankroll to $229,149. Jim Pantaleano piloted four winners, including a pair for trainer Rich Gillock, on the 14-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 1, 2015 -- Coffee Addict knifed through the slop first over, wore down the leader and went on to a convincing victory in Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Coffee Addict was fourth when Wilbur Yoder sent her after the leader, White Metro, who was seeking her sixth consecutive win. The 5-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Kahlua Queen powered by White Metro in the lane and drew off to score in 1:52.1. Ubettorbeturlife rallied for second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with Macharoundtheclock third. Norm Parker trains Coffee Addict, who now boasts $414,178 in career earnings, for James Clarke, Sr. and Anthony Altobelli. Dave Palone piloted four winners, including a pair each for trainers Ron Burke and Jason Robinson, on the 15-race card while John DeLong, Aaron Merriman and trainer Trent Stohler each bagged a triple. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Last for most of the race, Coffee Addict was widest and fastest in the lane as she scored a narrow victory in Monday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred Handicap Pace at  the harness racing meeting at The Meadows. Coffee Addict still trailed by 4 lengths at the top of the stretch when the 5-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Kahlua Queen roared into high gear for Wilbur Yoder, nailing early leader Stucklikeglue by a nose in 1:53. The first-over Jaded Dream was a close-up third. Norm Parker trains Coffee Addict, who soared over $400,000 in career earnings, for James C. Clarke, Sr. and Andrew Altobelli. Dave Palone piloted four winners on the 15-race card while Mike Wilder and Yoder each enjoyed a triple. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 8, 2015 -- Coffee Addict moved first over to wear down a stubborn Stuck Like Glue and capture Wednesday's $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Stuck Like Glue endured a parked-out 26.4 first quarter before reaching the front from post 9. Under Wilbur Yoder's urging, Coffee Addict inched away in mid-stretch and downed her game rival by 1/2 length in 1:51.4. Certified Ideal was a non-threatening third. Norm Parker trains Coffee Addict, a 5-year-old daughter of Dragon Again-Kahlua Queen who now boasts $391,678 in career earnings, for James Clarke, Sr. and Andrew Altobelli. Brian Zendt piloted three winners on the 15-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, March 3, 2015 -- Terror Of The Nite opened an 8-length lead at the three-quarters, then coasted home to capture a division of Tuesday's harness racing Walter Russell Memorial Pace at The Meadows. The opening leg of the series for 3- and 4-year-old colts, stallions and geldings was contested over three divisions, with Techtor Hanover and Sopravvissuto taking the other $12,000 splits. The series honors the memory of the late Hall of Famer Walter Russell, a distinguished judge at a number of tracks. Although parked the opening quarter from post 8, Terror Of The Nite disposed of the early challenge by Somekindaparty and was all by himself turning for home. He won geared down for Dave Palone in 1:56 on a "good" surface, 4-3/4 lengths better than Whoopedemaginjosey. Rollinlikeahotshot finished third. Ron Burke trains Terror Of The Nite, a 4-year-old Western Terror - Her Odyssey gelding, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura. Palone piloted four winners on the 14-race card while Tony Hall and Wilbur Yoder each enjoyed a triple. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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  

$200,000 will be on the line on Saturday night at The Meadows, as the 2014 Pennsylvania Fair Finals will be featured as part of a special 13-race evening card. Post time is 6:55PM.   Horses have been traveling the circuit since mid-June earning points in Pennsylvania Sire Stake fair events at 21 venues. The top eight point-earners in each of eight divisions will meet for the annual championship events.   The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association (MSOA)  will also host a Family Fun Night, helping to bring the county fair atmosphere to the track with plenty of activities for kids.   Parade marshal Wendy Ross will have a special tribute to America between races 3 and 4 on the card, and after the 6th race a special Gold Medal Celebrity Match Race will take place, featuring former Pittsburgh Penguin Bob Errey and former basketball star and current University of Pittsburgh basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio. Errey earned a gold medal in 1997 as part of Team Canada in the World Hockey Championships, and McConnell-Serio was a member of the 1988 USA Olympic championship winning women's basketball team.   On the track, eight $25,000 PA Fair Finals will be the top attraction, featuring some of the top winning horses in the nation. Freshman pacing filly Tropical Terror, trained by Jason Shaw for owner Mason Shaw, and driven by Chris Shaw will look for win #17 on the season. In 18 starts, the Western Terror filly has 16 wins and 2 second place finishes, and has the rail in race #2.   Sophomore filly trotter Cantabs Lightning, owned, trained and driven by Wayne Long, has won 10 of 16 this season. The Cantab Hall filly has drawn post 4 in the sixth race on the card.   In the 3YO pacing filly ranks, Allstar Morning, owned by Kristen and Ethan Spahn, has won 10 of 26 this year and has post 3 in the 7th race. Dave Palone drives the Four Starzzz Shark filly for trainer Gerald Lee.   Police Navidad, who has the rail in the 8th race 2YO colt trot, has won 11 of 17 this season for owners Lander Stables, Kathy & Virginia Schoeffel and Jim Reuther. The Muscle Massive gelding is trained and driven by Steve Schoeffel.   Another Shaw Stable entrant, Marshmallow Pulse, has the rail in the freshman colt pace. In 16 starts, the Quik Pulse Mindale gelding has 12 wins and has never been worse than third. Tony Hall will drive. The main challenger will be his stablemate, Nippy, with Chris Shaw driving. Nippy, a Nuclear Breeze gelding, has won 14 of 17 with three second place finishes.   Two more double-digit winners will square off in the 3YO colt trot, as Mr Weaver (12 for 23) will face Fly Past Hanover (11 for 22). Mr Weaver has post 1 for owners John and Owen McMullen. John McMullen trains and Wilbur Yoder drives. Fly Past Hanover is owned by Susan Daugherty, trained by Bill Daugherty, and will be driven by Aaron Merriman.   The MSOA is proud to host the event once again this year, and looks forward to a fan-friendly night.   by Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 24, 2014 -- Ralph R moved confidently first over as the 1-5 favorite and rolled to an easy victory in Wednesday's $117,200 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Wimborne Hanover took advantage of breaks by four of his six rivals to capture the other division in the stake for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Although he had just one victory on his card, Ralph R appeared to be the best following a third-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship. The son of Muscle Massive-Aiken For Clay proved it was more than a paper advantage when he brushed from third for Mike Wilder and scored in a career-best 1:56, 4-1/2 lengths better than Red Maple Lane. Sixteen Encores was third. "He scored down fantastic," Wilder said. "Not knowing the horse, I just got him away safe. But there was really nothing to know. I never moved -- plugs in, and I never laid the whip on him. He was push button." Robin Cruise trains Ralph R, who has banked $133,374 this year, for Ervin Miller Stable Inc. and Paymaq Racing. Wimborne Hanover boasted nine wins entering the stake; most, however, were at PA Fairs, and, at 8-1, he figured to have his work cut out for him. But he watched Don't Mind Me break at the start. He saw Hurrikane Jonny K, the 3-5 favorite, jump it off while moving first over. He noticed the pocket-sitting Cue Hall run around the final turn. Finally, when the leader, Longcat Hanover, broke stride in the stretch, Wimborne Hanover had seen enough. He dug in for Eric Ledford and triumphed in 1:57.3. Longcat Hanover survived an inquiry and held second, 4 lengths back, while Massive Storm earned show. With all the dancing during the race, Bill Daugherty, Jr., who trains the Muscle Massive-Wherley gelding for Susan Daugherty, feared his youngster -- who broke stride in his last start -- would join the conga line. "I thought about that a little bit because, being 2-year-olds, they'll do that," he said. "I was hoping to get a decent check today, not really win it, but we'll take it. He ran down a little bit behind in his last start, so I put a longer shoe on the back, and that seemed to make a difference." Wimborne Hanover will wrap up his fine freshman campaign in the Pa Fairs championships Oct. 4 at The Meadows. In the $18,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Daylon Miracle had little trouble capturing her 13th victory this year with a 1:53.1 tally for Aaron Merriman and owner/trainer Bill Bercury. The pocket-sitting Kandian Club was second, 3-1/2 lengths in arrears, while ER Ellie completed the ticket. A 5-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur-Daylon Marvel, Daylon Miracle extended her career bankroll to $398,987. Tony Hall, Wilbur Yoder and Wilder each piloted three winners on the 16-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday when the card features a $91,998 Keystone Classic for freshman colt and gelding pacers. First post is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, July 22, 2014 -- Certified Ideal changed tactics but got the same results as she captured her Third Straight victory in Tuesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. While her last win was on the front end, Certified Ideal took back to fifth early before moving second over for Tony Hall. She gobbled up the leader, Do Me Honor, and scored in 1:52, 1/2 length better than Rescue Team. Do Me Honor saved show. Randy Bendis trains the 4-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Areba's Last, who extended her career bankroll to $250,042, and owns with Mike Novosel, Jr., Tom Pollack and James Walton. Wilbur Yoder and Brian Zendt each drove three winners on the 15-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, July 3, 2014 -- Given a second-quarter breather, Visible Gold clicked off the back half in a nifty 55.1 en route to his second straight victory in Thursday's $22,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Visible Gold had to work hard for the lead through a 26.4 opening panel. But when Dave Palone was able to give him a more leisurely 29.2 second quarter, Visible Gold got the pick-me-up he needed. He scored in 1:51.2, a length better than the pocket-sitting Pop Cop, with Somewhere With You third. Ron Burke trains Visible Gold, a 6-year-old son of Bettor's Delight-Gabrielle who now boasts $286,534 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables. Tony Hall, Wilbur Yoder and Palone each piloted three winners on the 15-race program. After a break for the holiday, live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday with a 16-race card highlighted by a $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallions Series stake for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

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