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WASHINGTON, PA -  March 25, 2021 -- Native's Sweetlou survived a brutal first quarter and toughed out a narrow harness racing victory in Thursday's feature at The Meadows, a $20,000-$25,000 Claiming Handicap Pace. Tony Hall sent Native's Sweetlou for the lead from post 8, but it wasn't until the three-eighths that the 5-year-old Allamerian Native-Windsong Filou gelding could cross over after a 26.2 first-panel clocking. The pocket-sitting Winning Is Sweet attacked in the Lightning Lane, but Native's Sweetlou dug in to edge him by a nose in 1:51.1 for his second straight win. Touch Of The West rallied from last for show. John Sullivan trains the winner, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $186,035, for Greg Usner and Joe Seman. NATIVE'S SWEETLOU REPLAY   Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. and trainer Ron Burke teamed for four wins on the 13-race card while Hall enjoyed a three-bagger. Live racing at The Meadows continues Friday when the 13-race program features a $9,834.31 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 8, 2018 -- At 13, Mainland Key N probably has reached an age where he'd rather kick back, nosh carrots and binge-watch Season 3 of Mr. Ed. But trainers keep claiming him -- he's performed for eight of them this season alone -- so the old boy keeps working . . . and keeps producing. In fact, when he goes forward in Saturday's third race at The Meadows, he'll be looking to edge closer to $900,000 in career earnings, an impressive bank account for a hard knocker. He'll leave from post 8 for Dan Rawlings and owner/trainer John Sullivan. First post is 1:05 PM. Mainland Key N had 26 starts and a little more than $20,000 on his card when he was imported from New Zealand. He sparkled stateside, competing against some of the best. The son of Shiney Key-Eastwood Bluejeans enjoyed his finest season in 2011 when he banked more than $200,000 and sprang a 32-1 upset in a leg of the prestigious George Morton Levy Series. He's taken season's marks at five different venues -- Dover Downs, Harrington, Harrah's Philadelphia, The Meadows, Yonkers -- indicating that he never had to take his racetrack with him to succeed. While he's stayed largely sound, diminishing speed has forced trainers to race him where he can win -- in claimers. That's how he ended up in eight stables this year -- 10, if you count the two stints each for trainers Kevin Johnson and Marcus Marashian. Sullivan grabbed him Oct. 6 for $10,000. "I wasn't concerned that he's 13," Sullivan says. "He still has a whole year to race, and he's pretty sound. I had a couple other horses in for $10,000, and this guy was always beating me. He'd already earned about $50,000 this year, so I figured he had to be worth $10,000. He still starts 30 to 40 times a year, and he's definitely a classy old horse. He has to be, to have made that kind of money." Mainland Key N has seven wins this year and has hit the board in 21 of 33 outings, but he's had little recent luck with post positions. Counting Saturday's race, he's drawn post 6 or deeper for nine of his last 10 races, prompting Sullivan to make a change. "He loses interest when he gets away towards the back, so I dropped him to the $7,000-$8,000 Claiming Handicap. Sure enough, he drew post 8 again." Sullivan, by the way, has become something of the go-to guy for geriatrics. He also trains 9-year-old Thiswayorthehighwy, who's banked $212,651, and Sam Hill, a fan favorite who at age 12 has earned $634,827 and continues to compete in fast classes. "I try to get them back together and do what I can for them," Sullivan says. "I think I've helped a couple of them. They have bumps and bruises, so you have to pick your spots when you train them. But they're warhorses. They know what to do." The Meadows Racetrack & Casino today announced changes involving guarantees for its daily Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers. Beginning Saturday, Nov. 10, The Meadows no longer will offer pool guarantees for each Pick 4 and Pick 5 wager. Instead, the track, in association with the United States Trotting Association Strategic Wagering Initiative, will offer a $5,000 total-pool Pick 4 guarantee on Mondays and Tuesdays only. While there will be no scheduled Pick 5 guarantees, The Meadows indicated it may add "instant" Pick 4 and Pick 5 guarantees when pools are carried over. Each live card at The Meadows features a Pick 4 (races 4-7), a Pick 5 (final five races) and a Super Hi-5 (final race). by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Batavia, NY---Trainer John Sullivan is a regular at the Meadows Racetrack. But the Rochester, NY native visited his old stomping grounds on Saturday night (Aug. 6) and left with the winner's share of the $10,000 purse after winning the Open pace at Batavia Downs with his classy harness racing veteran, Sam Hill. If the race were a fight, they would have called it early after Kevin Cummings left with Sam Hill and put local top side-wheeler Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) in his place when he tried to leave against him. From there, Sam Hill called all the shots. Sam Hill led and Fireyourguns was sitting second when they passed the half in :56.3, then Whosurpal (Todd Cummings) joined the party when he pulled from fifth and tried to challenge. But the best he could do was get within a loose length of the leader in the :28.3 third panel. From there Kevin Cummings gave Sam Hill his head and he powered away to an easy two-length victory in 1:53.3. The time was the fastest pace of the 2016 meet to date. It was the fifth win in 15 starts for Sam Hill ($5.10) and it pushed his earnings to $55,100 for the year. The 10-year-old Artsplace gelding now has 44 wins and $478,767 lifetime. Sam Hill is owned by Don Tiger. In the co-featured $9,000 Open II pace, the red hot Jim Graham Stable saw Closing Credits ($8.70) add to their win total as the 6-year-old Rambaran gelding went wire to wire in 1:54.3 for driver Dave McNeight III. Closing Credits is owned by his trainer and the Cybo Stable Inc. Drivers Dave McNeight III and Jack Flanigen both scored triples on the card, as did trainers Jim Graham and JD Perrin. Flanigen and Perrin teamed up to win the last three races of the night. Racing resumes on Sunday Afternoon (Aug. 7) at Batavia Downs at 1:15 p.m. when the NYSS 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings invade the Genesee County oval to compete for $119,300 in purses.   By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 7, 2015 -- Sam Hill had to work hard for the early lead, but he was much the best once he got there, capturing his third straight harness racing victory in Friday's $15,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life Pace at The Meadows. Carol's Comet seized the lead and forced Sam Hill to a 27.1 opening quarter. But the 9-year-old Artsplace-Apple Of My Eye gelding suffered no anxious moments thereafter, easily thwarting the first-over challenge of Hillbilly Hanover to defeat him by 1/2 length in 1:51.3. Visible Gold rallied for show. Greg Wright, Jr. piloted Sam Hill, who extended his lifetime bankroll to $378,477, for trainer John Sullivan and owner Don Tiger. Eric Goodell drove three winners on the 12-race card. Friday's 11th race, a $5,000 claiming pace, produced what might be called the geriatric trifecta -- Fox Valley Armor (age 13), Just Pretend A (age 14), Western Kissed (age 10). Among them, the trio has amassed 812 career starts. Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino    

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