$5,000 Live Bankroll Contest set for Friday night

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association and The Meadows Racetrack are combining efforts for a Live Bankroll Contest during the evening races this Friday, May 29.

The cost to enter is $100, with $50 to be used as the wagering bankroll. The other $50 will go to the prize fund, with a $5,000 guaranteed prize pool.

The MSOA will offer a free buffet dinner for those that register for the contest. The dinner will take place in the Triple Crown Banquet Room on the track’s lower level, next to the Racebook.

The Meadows Racetrack will administer the contest and give a free program to all registered contestants. 

Registration will take place between 4:30 and 6:15PM on Friday, or you can register in advance by calling 724-503-1509. 

Friday will feature a 12-race card, with first post at 6:55 p.m.

PHRC issues notices regarding Cobalt, Hobbles and Methylprednisolone

The MSOA advises horsemen of three notices released by the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission.  Please read each of the notices below by clicking on the links.

Hopples/Hobbles 05-2015

Methylprednisolone 05-2015 (UPDATED)

Cobalt Testing

Video Profile: Owner Steve Moore

In the first of what will be a series of videos featuring MSOA members, here is a profile of Steve Moore, an owner and caretaker in the Ray Romanetti Stable.

CLICK HERE to watch.

NOTICE: Qualifying date change

Because there will be live racing on Thursday, May 28, qualifying races that week will be moved to Friday, May 29.

Also please note that two-year-old qualifiers will be combined together as soon as there are enough entrants declared to qualify.

Local horse Daylon Miracle wins Meadows Maturity

Daylon MiracleDaylon Miracle, the MSOA’s reigning Trotter of the Year, stalked 2014 national Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry from the pocket, then blew by the champ in the passing lane to pull off a 5-1 upset in Friday’s (April 24) inaugural edition of the $51,100 The Meadows Maturity for mare trotters.

In the first start of her 4-year-old campaign, Shake It Cerry led the field through a snappy 1:24.3 three-quarters but tired late and faded to fourth, beaten five lengths. Classic Martine, the 2014 Mare Trotter of the Year, was buried from post nine and never got involved, finishing sixth.

Daylon Miracle triumphed in 1:53.3, four lengths better than Cowgirl Hall, with the winner’s stablemate, Anaffairtoremember, third. That gave locally based horses a sweep and provided a bonanza for bettors who backed them to show. With Shake It Cerry off the ticket, the show payoffs for the top three were $9.40, $19.00 and $22.40, respectively.

Winning driver Aaron Merriman was sitting with a handful of live horse and knew it.  “Anywhere down the backside, I felt like I could have pulled at any time. She was that good,” Merriman said of the 6-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur-Daylon Marvel, who now has banked $474,907 in her career. “But I was following a great horse and a great driver. David made my decision (to stay in the pocket) for me. His horse didn’t look as sharp, and I thought he carried her a lot farther than she would have gone with somebody else.”

Former MSOA Director and longtime local trainer Bill Bercury, who owns and trains Daylon Miracle and Anaffairtoremember, called it the biggest win of his career. He had spoken of a 1-2 finish for his mares days before the race. It was a bold vision, and Bercury’s mares nearly pulled it off with their 1-3 result.

“We beat the two best mares in the country from last year,” he said. “I’m very excited about that. I had a lot of confidence in both my mares. They both have a lot of heart. They both really like racing, and that means so much. I love them.”

Story by Evan Pattak, photo courtesy of Chris Gooden Photos

PHRC Notice: Cobalt Testing now underway

The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission is conducting random cobalt testing on samples being collected at our various racetracks, effective May 1, 2015.

Warnings will be issued to horsemen whose findings are above a 25 parts per billion until June 1, 2015, when the Commission will officially adopt a policy identifying findings and thresholds leading to a possible penalty for violations.

360-Degree Camera takes a trip around The Meadows

360Fly, a company based just a few miles from The Meadows, recently teamed with the MSOA to test out their product on the helmet of Mike Wilder during a race.  Enjoy the video!

Locally owned pacer Schoolkids tops $1 million mark

The Meadows Standarbred Owners Association would like to congratulate members Martin Valentic and John Bednarski, Jr on a recent landmark win by their pacer, Schoolkids.

A longtime Meadows regular, Schoolkids earned a victory in the 14th race on April 9 at Harrah’s Philadelphia. With the win, the 9-year-old pacer surpassed the $1 million mark in career earnings.

Schoolkids, a son of I Am A Fool-Game Bunny (Precious Bunny) is in his 8th season of racing. He started his career in 2008 in the Tracy Brainard Stable, winning 7 races and over $200,000. His top victory was in a division of the Matron Stakes eliminations at Dover Downs. At age three, he won 5 of 21 starts and banked just under $300,000, returning to Dover at the end of the season and winning the 3YO Matron Stakes with Tim Tetrick in the bike.

The remaining half of his career earnings have come in the aged ranks, where he has faced some of the sport’s best horses. In all, he now has 46 career wins in 169 starts. This season, he is 2-for-9 and still has plenty of speed. Last season at age 8, he paced in 1:49.4, just one-fifth of a second shy of his career mark of 1:49.3, set at Harrah’s in 2010.

His victory this week was in 1:53.2. Scott Zeron drove Schoolkids to the million-dollar-topping win for trainer Michael Capron. For Zeron, it was career win #2500.

Local Media Celebrities Take To The Track For “Casino Olympics”

Winner circle bubba joeThere may have only been two horses on the track, but the competition was fast and furious at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino on Wednesday afternoon (April 8), as a special Match Race took place with help from the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association.

Bubba Snider and Joe Starkey are well known to radio listeners around Western Pennsylvania. Snider, from Star 100.7 Pittsburgh and Starkey, from 93.7 The Fan, have also become familiar faces at The Meadows, where they have taken their on-air battles to a new level, competing in their own version of “Casino Olympics.”

After dueling in craps and blacjkack on the casino floor, bowling in the casino’s downstairs bowling alley, and a Cook-Off in Headliners Lounge, the pair took to the track for a special match race, held as a non-wagering event.

Paired with two Hall of Fame drivers, Dave Palone and Dick Stillings, Snider and Starkey competed in two-seat jog carts. After plenty of trash talking before – and during – the race, Starkey emerged as the winner.

The loss was disappointing to Snider, who has been coming to the track since childhood and is a longtime harness racing fan, but both radio personalities seemed to have the time of their lives.

For video of the event, courtesy of the United States Trotting Association, CLICK HERE.


Qualifying standards: Effective April 16, 2015

From The Meadows Race Office:
Effective April 16h the new Qualifying standards will be, until further notice:

2:00 Pacers
2:02  Trotters

Three-year-olds will be allowed 2 seconds.
Two-year-olds will be allowed 4 seconds.

MSOA Scholarship Applications now being accepted

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for its 2015-2016 Collegiate Scholarship Program.

The MSOA’s scholarship program, which began in 2008, continues to grow. Thanks to generous donations from many members of the harness racing community, more than $13,000 will be available to deserving young men and women.

This year’s scholarship options include the $5,000 MSOA Collegiate Scholarship, the $2,500 CSC Insurance Options Scholarship, the $1,000 Dr. Barry C Betts Memorial Scholarship (sponsored by LCM Nutraceuticals), the Crazed Scholarship (sponsored by Hanover Shoe Farms) and the Tom Ridge Scholarship (sponsored by Ted Tomson).

Applicants must be a son or daughter of an owner, trainer, driver or groom who has participated in harness racing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on a regular basis over the 2 years preceding the application.  Said parent must be a member of the MSOA, and the applicant must be at least a senior in high school.

One application covers all of the above listed scholarships.  An independent committee will review the applicants and determine the winners of each individual award.

Applications must be submitted to the MSOA Office or postmarked no later than Friday, May 1, 2015.

CLICK HERE for the application.

MSOA hosts College Games, Series Finals

College Games2The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association hosted a big night of racing on Friday, March 27 at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino.

Featured were the 2nd Annual College Games, which brought dozens of local college students to the track to enjoy a night of harness racing and compete for various local charities in events such as bowling, cornhole and harness handicapping. First prize was $500, with $250 for second and $125 for third.

The winning team was from Washington & Jefferson College’s Kappa Kappa Gamma.

The event was sponsored by the MSOA, Meadows Racing and the Meadows Chaplaincy Program.

The top races on the evening card were four late closing series finals. First up was the 3&4YO filly and mare pace, the $28,100 Donna Dunn Memorial. The victory went to 13-1 longshot One Over Par, owned by Mark Maynard, KO Racing Stables and Tangie Massey.  Kelly O’Donnell trains and Aaron Merriman drove the winner.

Race #3 of the evening was the $33,200 Ken Weaver Memorial, for 3&4YO colt and gelding trotters. Keystone Chester, owned by Murdock Racing, trained by Andy Rickert, and driven by Aaron Merriman, won as the 1-2 favorite in 1:58.

The $30,500 Walter Russell Memorial was the 4th race on the card, for 3&4YO colt and gelding pacers. Heavenly Knox, a Chicago invader that had won 5 of 6 career starts for owner Wolf Creek Farm and trainer John Zawistowski, cruised to the win for driver Eric Ledford in 1:54.1.

Race #9 was be the final of the Mary Wohlmuth Memorial, for 3&4YO trotting fillies and mares. Wu Long, owned by Harmon Racing and Knightstalker Stable, got up in the closing strides in a snow squall in 2:00.  Dave Palone drove the winner for trainer Rob Harmon.

The MSOA congratulates all of the winners!

HHI Scholarship Information available

Harness Horsemen’s International invites college students to apply for their 2015 HHI Scholarship.  For more information, CLICK HERE.

Insurance information available from HHI

Here is an update from Harness Horsemen International regarding the “Fire and Disaster” and “Third Party Liability” policies that are included free of charge for all MSOA members. As a member of HHI, the MSOA receives the benefit of group coverage with the other member associations.

The document is an overall coverage statement as well as a list of frequently asked questions that you will find informative. Also included is a list of racetracks, fairgrounds and training centers covered in the Fire and Disaster Policy.

If anyone is interested in adding a fairground or training center to this list, please contact the MSOA Office at 724-228-3644.

CLICK HERE to read the document.

Western Ideal, Winning Mister breedings benefit MSOA Scholarship Fund

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association is pleased to announce that breedings to Western Ideal and Winning Mister have been donated to be auctioned off to benefit the MSOA’s Collegiate Scholarship Fund.

Western Ideal, stands for a fee of $7,500.  Hanover Shoe Farms donated the breeding.  Local horse owner Bob Key donated the breeding to Winning Mister, valued at $6,000.

“For two of the most prominent breeders in the sport to donate to our scholarship program is tremendous,” said MSOA President Rich Gillock. “The MSOA is very thankful for these donations.”

The auctions are hosted on the website OnGait.com. Terms are 10% non-refundable down at the conclusion of the auction. The remainder is payable upon a live foal.

UPDATE: Laurie Poulin was the top bidder for the Western Ideal auction, at $6,300.  Deborah Kvernmo had the high bid on the Winning Mister breeding, at $5,800. The MSOA would like to thank Laurie, Deborah and everyone else that bid on the auctions!

Time to renew MSOA membership for 2015

It is time for all members to renew their memberships to the MSOA for 2015.  Please choose from the appropriate form below:

2015 MSOA Owner Membership Application
2015 MSOA Trainer/Driver Membership Application
2015 MSOA Associate Membership Application

Cambria Suites Meadow Lands discount available to MSOA members

cambria2A reminder, MSOA members are eligible to receive a discount at the Cambria Suites, Meadow Lands.

Be sure to mention the MSOA when booking by phone at 724-223-5555.

The Cambria Suites is located at 451 Racetrack Road.