Pennsylvania Harness Driver Injured, Race Horse Put Down

Posted on: June 10, 2024, 08:43h. 

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

A harness-racing driver was injured Saturday during a multi-cart accident at Pennsylvania’s Hollywood Casino at The Meadows.

Hollywood Casino at The Meadows
Hollywood Casino at The Meadows, pictured above. An accident at the track led to an injured driver. (Image: WTAE)

During a race, a horse got into second place. But it slowed down as it was running at the North Strabane Township, Pa. track.

Then, wheels of two sulkies, the carts used in harness racing, apparently locked.

Driver Thrown on Track

Driver Mike Wilder was thrown onto the track, Pennsylvania TV station KDKA reported. He lost consciousness from the impact. He had to be flown to a hospital for emergency treatment.

Details on his injuries weren’t revealed in news reports. As of Monday, he had been released from the hospital.

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

We are taking it one day at a time and appreciate everyone’s concern and well wishes. We are blessed to work together with these amazing animals that we consider family.”

Horse Euthanized

A race horse also suffered serious injuries. The injuries were so serious, the animal was euthanized, according to KDKA.

None of the other horses were injured.

Two other drivers were involved in the accident, but they didn’t get injured. They were identified as Hunter Myers and Dave Palone, according to KDKA. The two drivers were able to continue racing on Saturday.

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

Every horseman feels for each other when that has to happen. Especially, when it has to happen on a horse track like that. We’re all in this together, you know, you’re working with friends, [and] family,” Mull told KDKA.

The race track measures a five-eighths of a mile oval. Harness races are run over a mile so races begin on a backstretch and go through three turns, according to online information.

The harness-racing track and casino is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties and is operated by Penn Entertainment.

Penn Entertainment, formerly known as Penn National Gaming, the oldest gaming operator in Pennsylvania, gained the operations of The Meadows in 2018 through the company’s acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment.

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

The racetrack opened in 1963. The casino opened in 2007.

The complex is located some 25 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, Pa.

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