NORTH STRABANE TOWNSHIP (KDKA) –Summer 1967. A horse named Romulous Hanover wins the very first Adios Stakes at the Meadows Racetrack. The race is named Adios in honor of the track’s most famous horse of all.
This Saturday, the track will hold its 50th annual Pace for the Orchids.
Twenty-five years have passed since we visited the legendary driver who founded the Meadows, and owned the horse now buried on his Meadowlands farm.
The late Delvin Miller also initiated the Adios race, after his beloved horse passed away.
Longtime track announcer Roger Huston has called the Adios 41 times.
“The Adios is tradition,” he says. “People come out, they watch the race, they see the biggest horses in all of harness racing.”
Mike Wilder has been a harness racer for 30 years. But the Adios? He says that’s special.
“Just all the people here, and all the rave. It’s a big week,” Wilder said.
But he says he looks forward to each and every race in a career that never grows old. Speaking of which, 72-year-old Dick Stillings raced in the very first Adios, 50 years ago.
“I win one, and was third in three others, so I was lucky,” he says.
Though racing crowds have dwindled, thanks to competition from other activities, he says the Adios still pulls them in.
“If you live here, you always watch the Adios,” said Stillings.