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WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 28, 2013 — Count Me In seized the two hole from the gate and used the ensuing pocket trip to pull off a 15-1 upset victory in Monday’s $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Mike Wilder hustled Count Me In to the front, but the pair quickly settled in behind Summer Indian, the 1-1 favorite. The 4-year-old Full Count-Howl gelding was stronger in the lane, brushing outside to defeat Summer Indian by a head in a career-best 1:53.2. Rembrandt Spur finished third. Marty Wollam trains Count Me In, who extended his lifetime bankroll to $219,791, and owns with Acadia Farms. Wilder drove four winners and Brian Zendt three on the 15-race card. by Evan Pattak for The Meadows  

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

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 20, 2013 — Seemingly blocked behind a wall of horses, Isabella’s Magic knifed inside at the top of the lane, weaved a path between horses and scored a 9-1 upset victory in Friday’s $22,500 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Isabella’s Magic was third over for Greg Grismore, who elected to shift inside rather than send the 6-year-old daughter of Blissfull Hall-Follow The Magic well wide in the stretch. That move worked out perfectly when Isabella’s Magic found a seam and barreled home in 1:52, matching her career best. Early leader Darena Hanover was second, 1/2 length back, with Star Keeper third. Ray Simms trains Isabella’s Magic, who now boasts $194,662 in lifetime earnings, for William Spotti, Jr. Grismore and Brian Zendt each drove three winners on the 15-race card. With one victory on the program, Dave Palone pushed his career win total to 15,995 in his quest to become the first North American driver with 16,000 wins. Evan Pattak

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 16, 2013 — Trustworthy Kid peeled off cover around the final turn and was strongest of all in the stretch as he scored a 6-1 upset in Monday’s $18,000 Preferred Trot at The Meadows. Trustworthy Kid was sitting fourth down the backside when Brian Zendt tipped him off the cones to follow the first-up Cantab Lindy. The 4-year-old SJ’s Caviar-Penn Worthy Lane gelding roared through the lane to triumph in 1:55.2, 2-1/4 lengths better than Schalom G. Cantab Lindy was third. The task for the field was made easier by the early break of Unefoisdansmavie, the 3-5 favorite. Walter “Boots” Dunn trains Trustworthy Kid, who has won four of his last five starts, for owner/breeder Dunn Stable. Elsewhere on the card, Eric Ledford notched the 5,000th win of his career when he guided DM Bodatious to victory in the first race. by Evan Pattak for The Meadows  

PORT ROYAL PA - Pennsylvania-sired three-year-olds were spotlighted Wednesday on a beautiful day at the Juniata County Fairgrounds in Port Royal PA. Monroe County, who has set two all-age track records and two other divisional track records this summer at the local fairs, bounced back to form from the trailing post seven to post a 2:03.4 win in her division of the filly trot, by over two seconds the fastest Sire Stakes mile of the day on the diamond gait. In doing so, the Glidemaster filly ended the 6-6 fair run of Homepage, who finished second, for driver Aaron Johnston and trainer John McMullen Jr ., the latter co-owner with Michelle McMullen (all doublers on the day). The redoubtable Roger Hammer took three races with horses he owns, trains, and drove, including two cuts of the 3PC races. The faster was the Somebeachsomewhere gelding Camturo Beach, now 8-6-2-0 at the PA twicearounds after the speediest mile of the day, 2:02.2; the other was the homebred Nuclear Breeze gelding Falcon's Breeze, who despite being last year's leading pointleader was winning only for the first time at the fairs this year when, undoubtedly relishing the scratch of the thunderous McAlvin, he tallied in 2:05.1, with a 29.1 kicker. (Hammer's ol' wrestling buddy from their Bedford-area high school days, Sam Beegle, won the other glamor division event with newcomer Nittany Nation in 2:03.2.) Have More Wine drew the inside of the field of four and Keystone Wanda, second-fastest fair Sires performer of the year (1:57.2, behind McAlvin's twin 1:57s), drew the outside - and that may have made the difference in the quickest 3PF division, with the Western Terror filly Have More Wine victorious for the seventh time at the fairs, here in 2:03-29.2 for trainer/driver Steve Schoeffel (three wins in the sulky and two as a coniditioner) and owners Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel, James Reuther, and James Nelson. The Port Royal racing began on Tuesday night with contests for two-year-olds. Unfortunately, the times for the freshman heats had to be voided (NTR). The Port Royal oval is known as Port Royal Speedway, home to good local car racing, 363 days of the year, and is less than a half-mile in circumference; after harness rainouts in 2011 and 2012, the old marks for precise placements of the start/finish and other "quarter poles" were no longer in place, and a small miscalculation when setting up for Tuesday resulted in time quicker than expected; when the track was remeasured and set to rights for Wednesday's card, it was decided in total overall fairness to disallow the Tuesday times. While there may be no chronological basis for measure, the mind against the memory still produces strong impressions of special victories, and among Tuesday's from this corner's perspective were: --The Boots Dunn bred/owned/trained pair of 2TFs, Bella Palazzo and especially Glide By Shooting. Both were driven by Brian Zendt; before the races Brian, brother Phil, father Bill, and grandfather/patriarch Wilbur, who hails from Juniata County, were honored in impressive trackside ceremonies. --2PC El Chivato, now 5 for 5 at the fairs, and his filly counterpart Southern Sweetie, who controlled the throttle and won in hand to run her lifetime record to 5-3-2-0. FINISHING LINES - They'll draw Sunday for Monday (2YOs) and Tuesday (3YOs) racing at the York Fair, third-to-last stop on this year's circuit, with action both days starting at 10:30 am. by Jerry Connors  

WASHINGTON PA - The two-year-olds altered two more divisional records at the Washington (PA) County Fair Tuesday, bringing the total at Washington for the two-day session to three, most at any one track to date this season, and elevating the seasonal track record count to 14. And appropriately enough, the two new entrants in the books were fillies, as the misses have set 11 of the 14 record clockings, including all three all-age records. Walter "Boots" Dunn, whose hometown Meadville fair will be visited the circuit next week, swept the 3TF events as owner/trainer/breeder. The recordsetter in his pair was Bella Palazzo, a daughter of Tom Ridge who scooted around the former "Arden Downs" Grand Circuit track for driver Wilbur Yoder in 2:04.4 to drop two full seconds off the old standard co-held by Meadowbranch Karin (1995) and Desired Outcome (2011). Cantab Hall also won for Dunn, with Brian Zendt in the sulky Also earning a line in the books was TSM Maija Star, who won in 2:02.1 to equal the 2PF standard of Star On Broadway (1996) and Bell On Wheels (2008). The daughter of Dragon Again, driven by Dan Rawlings, is trained by Bob Krenitsky Jr. and owned by breeder Ted Tomson; the latter two came right back 15 minutes later to take another freshman pacing filly cut with TSM Soul Sister, driven by Todd Cummings. Multiple wins in a class were popular on Tuesday - the team of trainer Al Manke and driver Marty Wollam accounted for both two-year-old colt trots: Rudi's Jet, owned by co-breeder Hans Bachmann along with Wollam, and Mickie The Mouch, a homebred owned by Anthony Minute. The fair action now returns to Dayton PA for racing on Wednesday and Thursday, both days starting at noon. The early part of the week saw the two-year-old colt pacers set themselves up for both the pari-mutuel Sire Stakes and Stallion Series Championships by racing their fourth and final preliminary legs at The Meadows. The top eight for the division's Sire Stakes Championship are in order Allstar Partner and McWicked (both with two wins and two seconds for 120 points), Limelight Beach, Let's Drink On It, Sometimes Said, Seventh Secret, Tellitlikeitis, and Bristol Bay. King Of The Jungle is AE1; Naked City is AE2. If those two do not scratch in to the Championship, they will head the consolation. The next three horses tied at 50 points, and since non-declarations could elevate their status, moneyearnings were used to break the tie among Cabana Boy Hanover, Avalanche Hanover, and At Press Time, who rank in that order. At 49 points, He's Got It got the edge over West Matters on money; Invictus Hanover had enough points for the final consolation spot. In the Stallion Series, the first six were Here Comes William, Dontmeswiththebest, and A OK Hanover, followed by the tied triumvirate of Finley Hanover, Ivan Bob, and Leyden, who are all assured of entrance. The final two Championship spots could prove interesting, as four horses tied at 70 points, with three of them - Jack Attack, So Surreal, and Somewhere In L A - the highest moneywinners in the quartet at $20,000 each. Since points and money do not separate these horses, should it come down to that, a shake of the pills would decide which two move on to the Championship. by Jerry Connors  

All Heart Gal yielded the lead to Magic Starlight early but brushed by her rival in the Lightning Lane to capture Saturday's $22,500 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows in a harness racing career-best 1:51.2.

Big And Little rebounded big time from last week's miscue when he captured Monday’s $20,000 Preferred Trot at The Meadows in a track-record 1:52.4 — on a surface rated “good.”

Terror High continued to terrorize his harness racing competition in the Schoolkids Pace at The Meadows, capturing his third straight split in a career-best 1:51.4 in Tuesday's (April 23) third leg. Dew N Doughnuts took the other $12,500 split in the series for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The $20,000 (est.) series final is set for Tuesday, April 30.

Taking advantage of his native speed and a sloppy track, Red Falkor forged to the front and dared his harness racing rivals to catch up — they couldn't — as he captured Monday's $30,500 championship of the Ken Weaver Memorial Trot for 3- and 4-year-old colts, horses and geldings at The Meadows.

Tired of being the bridesmaid, Tremor Hanover took matters into her own hands Monday (January 28) at The Meadows when she powered to the lead and fashioned a game harness racing victory in the slop in the $22,500 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace.

When trainer Bill Zendt saw that Upfront Billy drew post 10 for last week's Oliver Trotting Classic at Indiana Downs, he was pretty disappointed.

Returning to his stomping grounds after a disappointing road trip, Sir Caviar regained his form with a narrow harness racing victory in Friday's (October 12) $22,500 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows.

UF Dragon's Queen finally found her comfort zone on the lead, drawing off to score in 1:54.2 in the slop in the fastest harness racing division of Tuesday's (September 18) Keystone Classic at The Meadows. The $140,000 event for 2-year-old filly pacers was contested over four divisions, with Somwherovrarainbow, South Pacific and Want Answers also taking $35,000 splits.

A nine strong harness racing card greeted visitors to the Washington County Fairgrounds, known as Arden Downs, on Tuesday (August 14).Freshmen were featuredin both PA Sire Stake and Quaker Stake events.

Houston (Pa) based haness racing driver Brian Zendt drove the 2,000th winner of his career when he piloted Hall Of Memories to victory in Wednesday's (August 1) sixth race at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Zendt credited his success to such trainers as his father, Bill Zendt, and Walter "Boots" Dunn for giving him the opportunity to drive well-prepared stock.

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