Pennsylvania harness racer injured, racehorse euthanized

Posted on: June 10, 2024, 08:43.

Last updated on: June 10, 2024, 08:43.

A harness racing driver was injured in an accident involving several go-karts at the Hollywood Casino at The Meadows in Pennsylvania on Saturday.

Hollywood Casino at The Meadows
Hollywood Casino at The Meadows, picture above. A driver was injured in an accident on the race track. (Image: WTAE)

During a race, a horse reached second place. But at the racetrack in North Strabane Township, Pennsylvania, it slowed down.

Then the wheels of two sulkys, the carts used in harness racing, apparently blocked.

Driver thrown off the track

Driver Mike Wilder was thrown onto the track, Pennsylvania television station KDKA reported. He lost consciousness as a result of the impact and had to be flown to a hospital for emergency treatment.

Details of his injuries were not disclosed in the news. He was released from the hospital on Monday.

“He’s home, resting and recovering,” Wilder’s wife Heather told KDKA.

We live day by day and appreciate everyone's concern and good wishes. We are blessed to be able to work with these wonderful animals who we consider our family.”

Horse put to sleep

A racehorse also suffered serious injuries. The injuries were so severe that the animal was euthanized, according to KDKA.

None of the other horses were injured.

Two other drivers were involved in the accident but were not injured. According to KDKA, they were identified as Hunter Myers and Dave Palone. The two drivers were able to continue racing on Saturday.

Chuck Mull, a horse trainer at the racetrack, called the accident “a very heartbreaking thing.”

Every rider has compassion for the others when that has to happen. Especially when it has to happen on a race track like this. We are all in this together, you know, you work with friends, [and] family,” Mull told KDKA.

The track is oval and measures five-eighths of a mile. According to online information, harness racing is one mile, so races start on the back straight and go through three turns.

The racetrack and casino are owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and operated by Penn Entertainment.

Penn Entertainment, formerly known as Penn National Gaming, the oldest gaming operator in Pennsylvania, took over operations of The Meadows in 2018 through its acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment.

More than three years after taking over operations, Penn National added its Hollywood identity to the gaming property, changing the name from The Meadows Racetrack and Casino to Hollywood Casino at The Meadows.

The race track opened in 1963. The casino opened in 2007.

The complex is located about 25 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Anna Harden

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