Horse Racing in Pennsylvania: It’s A Winner
July 21, 2016 Qualifiers
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The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association is pleased to announce the winners of its 2016 Collegiate Scholarships.
This year, a total of over $15,000 is being awarded to nine students that are sons and daughters of MSOA members.
The $6,300 Western Ideal/Hanover Shoe Farms/MSOA Scholarship will be divided between Sierra Manzi-Owens and Sara Zidek. Manzi-Owens will be a freshman this fall at Otterbein University, while Zidek will be a freshman at the College of Wooster.
The $5,000 Meadows Standardbred Owners Association Scholarship will be split between Grace Paver and Brett Schoeffel. Paver attends Temple University, while Schoeffel is a student at Butler County Community College.
This year’s $2,500 CSC Insurance/MSOA Scholarship will be shared by Cody Walters and Casey Hite. Walters will continue his education at Rosedale Technical School, while Hite will be a freshman at Bethany College.
The $1,000 Dr. Barry C. Betts Memorial Scholarship, presented by LCM Nutraceuticals and the MSOA, goes to Hunter Adams and Kassie Adams. Hunter is a sophomore at Otterbein University while Kassie attends Waynesburg University.
The $580 Winning Key Farms/MSOA Scholarship has been awarded to Ryan Zidek. He will be a senior at Saint Vincent College this fall.
“The MSOA would like to not only congratulate this year’s deserving winners, but we would also like to thank all of our partners in helping us have a record year in terms of the number and amount of the scholarships we have been able to award,” said Rich Gillock, MSOA President. “Thanks to breeding donations and the generosity of all involved, we are able to assist these fine young men and women in their pursuit of a higher education, and we are proud to continue our program again this year.”
The recipients will be honored in a winners circle presentation at The Meadows Racetrack on Adios Day, Saturday, July 30.
by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows
With expectations of him high for Saturday’s eliminations at The Meadows for the 50th edition of the Delvin Miller Pace for the Orchids — he trains six of the 12 entrants — Ron Burke found a way to relieve the pressure.
He went fishing.
And just as you would expect of America’s leading trainer, he was as sharp on the ocean as he is on the track. He and his fellow anglers had been trolling the Florida coast for only 30 minutes Friday morning when they reeled in a large wahoo.
Burke hopes Adios 50 won’t be the one that got away. His six Adios entrants may be a record, but not by much.
“The last year I worked with my dad (Mickey), we had five of them in,” he said. “It’s been something we’ve been doing for a while. Out of all the races every year, this is the one we point to.”
Here’s how Burke handicaps his six hopefuls in the two Adios eliminations, which go as races 8 and 9:
- More Dragon (race 8, post 3) — “He’s probably the weakest of the bunch. He’s good at qualifying for finals, but he’s a little overmatched when he makes the finals.”
- Stolen Glimpse (race 8, post 4) — “He’s the one with the most potential to get better. His first race on a half-mile track was very impressive. He has serious speed.”
- Check Six (race 8, post 6) — “He was a little dull about a month ago, but he’s super now. He was great in the Meadowlands Pace but had two awful trips.”
- Manhattan Beach (race 9, post 1) — “He’s been drawing the worst of any of my horses. From the inside, I look for him to be more aggressive. He should be tough to beat. Historically, Check Six has been the better horse, but Manhattan Beach is coming on.”
- Big Top Hanover (race 9, post 2) — “We’ve been racing him hard, so he skipped the Meadowlands Pace to prep for the Adios. He drew into the easier division, so I look for him to get into the final.”
- Fernando Hanover (race 9, post 3) — “He seems to be back to himself. He has more ability than he’s been able to show. This is a good spot for him. He can sit and make one move.”
The $400,00 Adios final is set for Saturday afternoon, July 30. The first four finishers in each elimination, plus the fifth-place finisher with higher career earnings, return for the final. The Adios eliminations card offers two strong supporting stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers — the Romola Hanover, a $159,360 Pennsylvania Sires Stake that features juvenile champion Pure Country, and a $100,000 PA Stallion Series event.
First post Saturday is 1 PM, with the first Adios elimination set to go at approximately 3 PM.
By invitation of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, Dr. Mary Robinson VMD, PHD, Director of Penn Vet Equine Pharmacology Lab and Acting Director of the PA Equine Toxicology and Research Lab will meet with horsemen on Saturday, July 30th at 10:30 AM in the Paddock Lounge.
She will be on hand to discuss and answer questions regarding equine testing procedures, withdrawal times and newly available testing of horses for cobalt for horsemen, as well as any other questions or concerns of The Meadows horsemen.
Due to the Horsemen’s Golf Outing scheduled for Thursday, July 28, qualifiers that week will be moved to Friday, July 29 at 10:30AM.
This is a one-time change due to the golf outing.
Please note that there is also live racing that evening at 5PM.
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The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association celebrated a special night away from the track on Friday (July 1), visiting nearby CONSOL Energy Park for a minor league baseball game hosted by the Washington Wild Things.
After the horsemen enjoyed a buffet dinner, longtime Meadows trainer/driver Wilbur Yoder threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Bus Lane, a retired Standardbred, greeted baseball fans on their way into the park, and local charity Horses With Hope was on hand to promote their organization as well.
MSOA members enjoyed a Wild Things victory, 4-3 over the visiting Florence (KY) Freedom.
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Dear MSOA Members,
State legislators in Harrisburg are trying to amend the Gaming Act with a bevy of gambling expansion ideas that would drive people away from horse racing facilities.
The letter makes it clear that expanded gaming is bad judgement – and that it will hurt a growing horse racing industry that has created 23,000 jobs and invests millions into local communities and farms every year!
If you don’t know who your legislators are, you can find them: HERE
For more information, here is a link to the legislation: CLICK HERE
As you know, casino gaming in Pennsylvania could only be enacted when the state partnered with the agricultural community to ensure the horse racing industry stayed intact. It’s a partnership that aimed to preserve our farms, our workers, our veterinarians and all facets of the industry that support our racetracks. The law worked. Today, our industry has created 23,000 jobs, features some of the best horses in the world, is investing millions into the Pennsylvania economy, and is helping to preserve thousands of acres of open farmland.
But if some legislators have their way, they’ll expand gaming practically everywhere to include liquor establishments, fire halls, truck stops, video gaming terminals in taverns and more. There’s even a plan to allow for internet gaming at a much lower tax rate. That means casinos with racetracks are more likely to market internet gaming at the expense of our racetracks!
We must act now! Contact your local legislators today and tell them to oppose legislation that would expand gaming and hurt Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry.
Let’s stand together.
Rich Gillock, President
Due to the late passage of the Pennsylvania state budget, the purse pool at the Meadows is taking a drastic hit because the annual funds taken by the Commonwealth are being withdrawn in a very condensed time frame. In previous years, the Racehorse Development Fund paid these funds over 22 weeks between July 1st (beginning of the state fiscal year) and approximately December 22nd.
This year, due to the delay in the passing of the 2015-2016 budget, causing the new beginning date of May 5th, the payback is spread over only 8 weeks (to be concluded by the end of the State fiscal year) instead of 22 weeks as in the past.
Therefore, the purses will be reduced by 10% beginning May 22nd. The MSOA regrets having to take such a measure, but it is imperative to take immediate action to avoid a non-scheduled break in the racing schedule.
Harness Tracks of America and David Snyder, President of International Sound Corporation, are pleased to announce the renewal of the Harold Snyder Memorial Scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year. The annual program offers $15,000 in scholarships for post-secondary education to daughters and sons of licensed trainers, drivers, caretakers, management personnel, or young people themselves who are actively engaged in the harness racing industry. Three $5,000 grants are customarily awarded every year.
For additional information, CLICK HERE.
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Instead, Dott’s sign proudly announces the arrival of the latest member of his family…a four-legged Standardbred member named Clavius.
Dott, 61, is a Standardbred owner and breeder from McMurray, Pennsylvania that first got hooked on harness racing in the 1970s. “I came to The Meadows and heard Roger Huston calling a race. That was it, I was hooked,” he says. “There was no turning back from there.”
He spent most of his life as just a fan, but five years ago decided to take the next step and become an owner. He met trainer Tim Twaddle and claimed a Real Artist mare named Hard Shoe Hannah. A lifetime winner of more than $280,000, Hard Shoe Hannah was a good racehorse, and Dott hoped that she would make a great broodmare prospect as well. “We turned her into a pet,” he says. “She didn’t race as well as we wanted to, so we sent her to Dennis and Gina Hoffman at Lindwood Farms to start a new career.”
Hard Shoe Hannah’s first foal was a Shark Gesture filly that was given an unusual name, Jeffrey Hard Shark. “My wife Adele and I named her after my nephew, who died at 12 of a brain tumor. I had told my brother that I would name the horse after his son. We wanted a colt, but it was a filly, and I still kept the name.”
Jeffrey Hard Shark, co-owned by Dott and John Valdisera, made a handful of appearances on the track last season before spending the winter at Pinehurst. “Gordon Corey trained her down there this winter. He’s a very good trainer. I always liked Pinehurst. I used to play golf there and wanted my horse down there. We just brought her back and Tim (Twaddle) is getting her ready for her three-year-old season. Tim’s a good guy and a good trainer.”
The second foal, Pjonmyshoulder, by Hypnotic Blue Chip, is a two-year-old this season, and the latest arrival is Clavius, by Western Ideal, foaled this month at Lindwood, as the sign in his yard proudly notes. “Everybody stops by my house and sees the sign out there,” he says. “Lindwood Farm also promotes it, and I’ve had nothing but positive comments. I love racing and The Meadows.”
That love is evident to anyone following Dott on the highway as well, where stickers with the names of his horses cover the back windows, just like the stick-family decorations on many minivans on the road.
Dott’s goal in the sport is the same as most other owners, “Hopefully I can make some money and have really good, winning horses.” But for now, he is just happy seeing his Standardbred family grow, and sharing that news with his family and friends. “I’ve tried not to spoil the horses, but I love them all. They’re my babies.”