05/07/2013 1:18PM

Dick Jerardi: Penn National's big night to showcase painting horse


Penn National will host the biggest night in its 40-year history June 1, anchored by the $500,000 Penn Mile and supported by five other stakes with total purses of $570,000, a $1 million night.

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The racing should be terrific. Metro Meteor, a 10-year-old gelding, will not be racing that night, but he will be at the track. And he will be displaying his paintings. In fact, if the mood strikes, the Painting Racehorse may even decide to display his talents on the spot.

Metro Meteor earned $299,420 in 27 races before being retired in 2009. He was adopted by Ron and Wendy Krajewski.

They made him into a riding horse, but knee issues ended that career. So Ron did the obvious. He taught the horse to paint.

It is true. Metro Meteor can paint. The horse holds a brush in his mouth and does his best Jackson Pollock impression. On the big night, Metro Meteor will be in a portable stall in the apron area, while 50 of his “Metro Mini” paintings will be for sale. So far, the horse’s paintings have sold for more than $32,000, with half the proceeds going to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program and the rest to keeping Metro Meteor himself in good health as he ages.

Penn National is going to donate a total of $10,000 to New Vocations, Canter of Pennsylvania, and ReRun, Inc., all equine aftercare programs. The three organizations will have representatives at Penn National that night to share information on their programs and get donations.

Metro Meteor is big in central Pennsylvania, but is getting bigger as word spreads. The “Today” show recently did a story on the painting racehorse. You can buy Metro Meteor’s work on eBay.

“It seemed natural to tie in the biggest night of racing in our track’s history with the important initiative of raising awareness for equine aftercare efforts,” said Dan Silver, director of racing operations at Penn National Race Course. “I’d like to thank Ron and Wendy Krajewski for bringing their incredible artist on track, in addition to Canter of Pennsylvania, New Vocations, and ReRun for being part of what will be an incredible evening.”

Metro Meteor, a New York-bred, earned his way in grass sprints at Saratoga and Belmont, mostly against statebreds. Seven of his eight career wins were on turf. He finished up at Penn National in an $8,000 claimer on June 11, 2009. Now, he will be back at Penn nearly four years after that final race, a new career just getting started.

Record month at Charles Town

Spurred by the Charles Town Classic card and helped by some massive show betting on some obvious favorites that night, Charles Town Races had a record average handle in April, $1,367,336 per live racing day. In the 18 live days of April, Charles Town handled $24,612,046 in all-sources handle.

“We were able to reach these new heights on the back of the Charles Town Classic’s evolving presence as a brand-defining event and race of national significance,” said Charles Town’s vice president of racing operations, Erich Zimny.

Average handle at Charles Town has increased by more than 30 percent since 2009. The April 20 Charles Town Classic card attracted a single-day record handle of $4,398,984 and a single-race record handle of almost $1.3 million on the Classic won by Game On Dude.

Samantha Colvin gets her first

The jockey grew up in Williamsport, Pa., home of the Little League World Series. She spent almost 10 years in the U.S. Army in signals intelligence. Last week at Pimlico, Samantha Colvin, 26, got the first win of her career.

Rocket Ninetyeight won by nearly four lengths in a maiden claimer and paid $18.80. It was just Colvin’s fifth career mount.

Great claim at Parx

Anearful was claimed for $7,500 by Ramon Moya on Jan. 3. Since then, the Pennsylvania-bred has moved up the claiming ladder into a first-level allowance win. The horse has won three races by a combined 24 1/2 lengths and has earned $100,000. In the seven races with Moya, Anearful has earned $105,000. In the first 27 races of his career, the horse won $125,000 with five wins.

Ramon Moya More than 1 year ago
Pops is the Man.!!!! . I just hang on em
clairelouiseros More than 1 year ago
awww bless,another lovely horse saved,great news,is he on facebook at all,would love to spread his work.How do i reserve a painting,or go on the list?? i live in the uk. xx xx
Lise McLain More than 1 year ago
Hi! Love Metro. So happy to learn that Metro has received a "third" chance. He used to hike some trails after his racing days. Thank you! Lise from Maine
fanelli302 More than 1 year ago
I would like to comment on the article about "great claim at Parx" the article says Anearful was claimed by Ramon Moya which is partially true. The horse was claimed by John Fanelli (owner) Mr Moya is the trainer of the horse.
Ivan More than 1 year ago
YEA...Sure...ujummm..way to GO Mr. MOYA - what an AMAZINGLY SURPRISING story about the cheap claimer that becomes a HUGE $$$$ earner..."Fortunately" is NOT YOUR FIRST and based on where it took place - PARX - it won't be your last! Wink-Wink Keep 'em here...Together with Rudy Rodriguez and Rick Dutrow as well as the Lake"s and Preciado's you are on your way to BIGGER and BETTER recognition as "juice squeezer" for getting so much juice out of such a "skinny orange"...WAY TO GO SENOR!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PA is a classic example of how slots do nothing for the horseplayers. Since slots provide additional revenue for the track, shouldn't the takeout rates be lowered to off set this? Yes, it should, but tracks continue to double dip at the expense of the horseplayer. I live in IL & there has been an ongoing fight for slots at the tracks. I hope it never passes!
Bruce Epstein More than 1 year ago
In addition to that point, the so called "class" upgrade has never come to be. aka, they are still running low level claimers. The hope of upgraded animals is just a joke. All Racinos hope for better class horses, but in truth, the same old stables with the the same class naggs run for more money. It's a joke
Mike Hummel More than 1 year ago
Slots do a great deal for horseplayers - they keep horseracing a viable business. How many tracks were shuttered then reopened due to slots, or created after slots passed? Delaware Park, both Indiana tracks, SunRay Park, Zia Park, Presque Isle, and Harrah's Philly are the first that immediately come to mind. Even Arlington reopened after being shuttered for two years when slots revenue from the IL casinos were redirected to horseracing. Slots are the future, like as not. They are, in many respects, the present.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lower the takeout pennsylvania and you might get more action
PennNatRick More than 1 year ago
That's the frustrating part. Almost a third of the payout is taken out by the track. No attempts to lower exotic wagering makes it very discouraging to place wagers. Even with the success of slot machines...no changes. Damn Shame!
Jon More than 1 year ago
penn mgmt. want to see horse racing disappear! they are not going to do anything that will pull people away from the casino. thats the bottom line!
Bob More than 1 year ago
Only way to make it work is to boycott in unison. Don't go to he track and dont bet. See how fast things will change. Problem is people will still go and gamble to feed the disease