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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Barimah A and Apple Bottom Jeans were the big winners as the Meadowlands hosted a pair of harness racing series finals on Saturday night. Barimah A used a quick burst of speed to grab the top at the quarter in :27 in the $53,500 Whata Baron for horses and geldings on the pace. He hit the half in a rated :55 as Phoenix Warrior N was making progress on the outside before the pair duked it out through a lightning-fast third fraction of :26.1 as Barimah A maintained a length advantage at the top of the stretch. From there, the 8-year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight paced his final quarter in :28 as pocket-sitting Windsong Leo was desperate for racing room along the pylons. At the wire, Barimah A would prevail by a neck over Windsong Leo with Phoenix Warrior N holding on for third. The winner completed the mile in 1:49.1 - the fastest of the year at the Big M - and paid $5.00 to win as the favorite for driver Andy Miller, trainer Scott Di Domenico and owners Brian Carsey, John McGill and Adrian Friedland. In the $54,500 Burning Point, Apple Bottom Jeans completed a sweep of the series for pacing mares, following up her two convincing preliminary scores with a half-length victory over Valuable Art in 1:50.2. Princess Fabulosa was third. Driver Victor Kirby brushed Apple Bottom Jeans to the top at the three-eighths before having to yield to a headstrong Windsun Glory just before the half. Valuable Art, who had drawn post 10, was up to challenge the leader at three-quarters with Apple Bottom Jeans continuing to sit the two hole. In deep stretch, Apple Bottom Jeans found some space along the inside and the Kevin Switzer trainee exploded home once clear to run her Big M win streak to three. As the 2-5 public choice, she paid $2.80 to win for owners KDK Standardbreds. The 5-year-old daughter of Mr Apples now has 18 wins from 43 career starts and earnings of $477,224. A LITTLE MORE: Bettor's Edge defeated arch-rival Western Joe in the $20,000 Preferred Handicap for pacers, completing the mile in 1:50 and paying $11.20 to win. ... Miller and Kirby both recorded driving triples on the card. ... The 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 pool reached a new all-time high, as $25,788 was poured into the pot with two winners each walking away with $12,244 for surviving seven legs. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five wager has now reached a milestone, as the carryover now stands at $200,837. ... All-source wagering on the 10-race program was $2,048,556. ... Racing resumes at the Meadowlands Friday at 7:15 p.m. Dave Little

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - After a successful harness racing 3-year-old campaign in 2016 that saw him bank a little more than $360,000, Sutton did not race at all last year. Foot problems derailed his 4-year-old season, so trainer Julie Miller and staff worked patiently with the horse, opting to keep the son of Donato Hanover on the sidelines until April 6 of this year, a layoff of 16 months. Sutton proved worth the wait, taking the $52,500 Shiaway St. Pat Series Final for trotters at the Meadowlands Friday night. "I couldn't ask for anything more," said Miller after the victory. "He had a good week." And an even better night. Sutton didn't race like a horse with any problems, sitting fourth in the early going before moving aggressively to the lead at the half. The Andy Miller-driven 5-year-old then drew clear of 5-1 fourth-choice Perseverance by 2½ lengths at the head of the stretch on the way to an easy 1¾-length win over a late-closing Deep Impact in 1:53.1. Perseverance held third. "He had a solid mile last week (when he won leg two of the series)," said Julie Miller. "Right now, we have all of his issues under control." Sutton, who paid $4.20 as the even-money favorite, has now won nine of 29 lifetime starts and earned $475,263 for owners Andy Miller Stable and Jason and Douglas Allen. A LITTLE MORE: Gold Medal Swan ($3.00) took the GSY Amateur Driving Club Spring Fling Series Final in 1:56.3, winning his third straight since trainer Mark Silva took over the driving chores. ... Leading driver Jim Marohn Jr. had three winners on the card. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $197,059. ... All-source wagering for the 10 races was $2,078,568. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

East Rutherford, NJ - Friday night at The Meadowlands brings with it a ten race live harness racing card featuring the $52,500 final of the Shiaway St Pat series for trotters. An interesting field it is, with the ultra impressive leg #1 winner Deep Impact getting a slight 3-1 nod from the oddsmaker after skipping last week's leg #2. The carefully managed 5-year-old rolled right on by the field in a career best 1:53.1 a fortnight ago, looking like there was plenty left in the tank. He'll begin from post 9 for trainer driver Ake Svanstedt and owner the Van Camp Trotting Corporation. Deep Impact, however, is not in by himself and faces another fast, fresh horse in the speedy Sutton, leaving from post 7 for Andy Miller. After missing an entire season, Sutton disappointed as the heavy favorite in the first leg but redeemed himself with a scorching 1:51.3 last week and will have to be dealt with in the final. Julie Miller trains the accomplished 5-year-old for Andy's interest as Andy Miller Stable and partners Jason and Doug Allen. We're giving away lawn mowers, too via the "Spring Spruce Up" promotion. The guarantees are in place and the Jackpot Super Hi-5 carry over is way up to $192,943. Get your free pp's for selected wagers here. Post time is 7:15 pm. BIG M HIGH-FIVE CARRYOVER NEARING $200,000  Meadowlands players will have an opportunity Friday night unlike any other in harness racing: Wager a measly 20 cents and walk away at the conclusion of the 10th race with almost $200,000. “When live racing resumes this Friday,” said Jason Settlemoir, the Big M’s chief operating officer and general manager. “The Meadowlands will offer the second-largest carryover in horse racing, behind only the Rainbow Six at Gulfstream Park. The final race on the program will offer a Jackpot Super High-Five carryover that has now grown to $192,943. The popular wager has a 20-cent minimum.” “April has been a very good month at the Big M as the pools continue to grow,” said Settlemoir. “The competitive GSY Spring Fling Series amateur driving club trot was the first race of last weekend and handled $241,407. We never looked back. Our Pick-4 pool exceeded the $100,000 barrier for the third time this year ($105,082) and our average handle per race for the week was $226,917, compared to $188,099 for the comparable weekend a year ago. In addition, our 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 pool was an all-time best $25,061. We can’t thank our fans enough for their incredibly loyal support.” Free program pages are available here. Live racing at the Big M is this Friday and Saturday. Post time is 7:15 p.m. MEADOWLANDS HAPPENINGS PARKING DURING VOLTA: Those heading to the Big M for live racing need to be aware of what to do when they arrive at the track to avoid a $20 parking fee, which is for those attending the Cirque Du Soleil Volta show. Volta will have performances on the same nights as live racing through Saturday, May 5. When track patrons arrive, they should stay to the right-hand side of the toll plaza to avoid the $20 fee. OWN A HORSE! The Big M’s popular “Own a Horse” promotion offers fans a chance to own a piece of a Standardbred risk free. Sign up on or before Saturday, April 28, and if you are one of 10 lucky contestants chosen during live racing that night, you’ll get a chance to own up to 10 percent of a Big M horse’s earnings during the month of May. CALLING ALL HANDICAPPERS: The World Harness Handicapping Championship, presented by DerbyWars.com, is scheduled for Saturday, April 28 at the Meadowlands and has a guaranteed prize pool of $75,000. The WHHC is a one-day tournament and has a welcome reception the evening prior.  Players that did not earn a seat through a qualifying event can directly buy-in for $1,000.  The WHHC contest format requires players to bet 10 races: their choice of seven Meadowlands races, plus three designated mandatory races from Buffalo, Vernon Downs and the Meadowlands.  Players keep all pari-mutuel winnings.  Prize payouts go to the top 10 finishers. Players interested in purchasing a buy-in for the WHHC can visit http://playmeadowlands.com/contest_detail.aspx?id=8240. ‘SURVIVE’ THE SUMMER: The Meadowlands’ Summer Survival Challenge kicks off on Friday, May 4, with registration scheduled to begin next week. Contestants will need to pick a winner in one of three selected races in a given week to advance and the player at the end of the contest with the largest mythical bankroll will win a grand prize of $1,500 and a spot in the 2019 WHHC final. DERBY COUNTDOWN: The 144th Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs is the main simulcast attraction at the Big M on Saturday, May 5. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Post time for the Derby is 6:34 p.m.  BEER HERE: The third annual Spring Beer Fest takes places on Saturday, May 19. The beer will be poured until 9:30 p.m. with VIPs welcome to arrive at 4:30 p.m. and those with general admission at 5:30 p.m. Those taking part will be treated to the best craft beer, cider, music, live harness racing and food the state of New Jersey has to offer. To purchase tickets click here.  Meadowlands Media Relations Dave Little

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Apple Bottom Jeans stamped herself as the favorite for next week's $54,500 Burning Point Series final with a monstrous win in the first division of the second and final leg of the harness racing event for pacing mares Saturday night at the Meadowlands. Sent to the gate as the 2-5 favorite, 'ABJ' sat a four hole past the quarter as 2-1 second choice Bettorhaveanother was on the point. Apple Bottom Jeans moved to the outside at three-eighths, got up to the leader's throat on the far turn, and then drew clear to a 2¾-length victory in a lifetime-best 1:50.1 for driver Victor Kirby and trainer Kevin Switzer. Bettorhaveanother was second with Tica Hanover third. The 5-year-old daughter of Mr Apples returned $2.80 to win. Valuable Art ($4.60 to win as the 6-5 public choice) made the lead at the quarter in the other Burning Point division and after being passed by a pesky Windsun Glory in mid-stretch, came back to record a thrilling nose win over that foe in 1:51.2. Stormtracker was third. The winner, a 5-year-old daughter of Art Official, was driven by Corey Callahan and trained by Shaun Callahan. Barimah A ($5.60 as the 9-5 second choice) made the lead at the three-eighths and kept 3-5 favorite Windsong Leo at bay throughout the final quarter to record a three-quarter-length win in the lone division of the second leg of the Whata Baron Series for horses and geldings on the pace. Hug The Wind N third. Barimah A is an 8-year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight who completed the mile in 1:50.4. He was driven by Andy Miller and trained by Scott Di Domenico and is the likely favorite for next week's $53,500 Whata Baron final. A LITTLE MORE: The Pick-4 continues to be as popular as any multi-leg bet in all of harness racing as the total pool topped the $100,000 mark ($105,082) for the third time this year. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,328,218 on the 10-race card. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed once again to result in a single-ticket winner, inching the carryover ever closer to the $200,000 mark, at $192,943. ... The 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 had a record-setting night, as the biggest pool in the history of the wager, $25,061, was the total play. For those who survived all 10 races, the reward was a payoff of $7,633. ... Favorites ruled as post-time choices won 14-of-20 races over the course of the Big M's Friday-Saturday race week. ... Live action resumes at the Meadowlands Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - One week after breaking stride in a disastrous start to his 2018 campaign, Sutton came back with a superb performance at the Meadowlands in the Friday night harness racing feature, the second and final leg of the Shiaway St. Pat series for trotters. After disappointing the chalk players last week - finishing last in a seven-horse field as the 3-5 public choice - Sutton's trainer Julie Miller added trotting hobbles to the 5-year-old son of Donato Hanover and everything worked to perfection. In the early stages, it was the Millers' Opulent Yankee who had the lead. The 4-5 favorite had the top at the quarter, yielded the point to Royal Becca J at the half, and then retook the front at three-quarters, leaving Sutton uncovered. Andy Miller moved Sutton to the pocket briefly when Opulent Yankee was clear at the head of the stretch, but Sutton had more in the tank, and after tipping to the outside, he used a final quarter of :27.2 to overtake his stablemate - who would taste defeat for a second straight week as the odds-on choice - on the way to a 1¼-length win in 1:51.3. Opulent Yankee held second with Perseverance grabbing the show dough. Sutton returned $15.80 to win for owners Andy Miller Stable and Jason and Douglas Allen. Next Friday's $52,500 Shiaway St. Pat final shapes up as a great matchup with Sutton, Opulent Yankee, and leg one winners Elysium Lindy (who broke at the start of Friday's race) and Deep Impact (who took the week off). A LITTLE MORE: Andy McCarthy kept up his winning ways, scoring three times on the card. His 21 wins since his March 16 return are tops in the driver colony. ... Make it seven straight Pick-4 pools of at least $88,000, as a total of $90,804 was poured into the pot of the Big M's signature wager. ... Speaking of seven, that's how many favorites won on the 10-race card. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five did not result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $189,336. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,210,132. ... Racing resumes at the Meadowlands Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - A pair of short-priced harness racing favorites tasted defeat in the first leg of the Shiaway St. Pat series for trotters at the Meadowlands Friday night. In the first division, Opulent Yankee was sent to the gate as the 1-5 public choice for the husband and wife team of driver Andy and trainer Julie Miller. All appeared well as Opulent Yankee brushed to command at the half and reached three-quarters in a tepid 1:25.4. But one horse had yet to make an impact. Deep Impact, to be exact. Deep Impact was making his debut for new trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt and put together a superb mile. He was parked around turn one, surged to the lead just before three-eighths before yielding the top to the favorite at the half. He then popped out of the pocket at three-quarters and took his time inching up to and then passing Opulent Yankee through the stretch on the way to a 2-length victory in 1:53.1, lowering his previous lifetime best by a full two seconds. Deep Impact, a 5-year-old gelded son of Donato Hanover, paid $16.60 to win as the third choice in the wagering. Opulent Yankee held second with Filled Donut finishing third. The second and final division brought more bad news for "Team Orange Crush", as the Miller's Sutton, back at the races after 17 months on the sidelines, was never in the hunt as the 3-5 public choice. The 2016 Hambletonian third-place finisher went off stride at three-quarters and finished last in the field of seven. The surprise winner was 11-1 chance Elysium Lindy ($24.60 to win) for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Ron Burke. The 5-year-old gelded son of Cantab Hall made every call a winning one, prevailing by 1¼ lengths over Royal Becca J in a lifetime-best equaling 1:53.3. Perseverance was third. A LITTLE MORE: The two losing favorites in the Shiaway St. Pat helped two of the track's popular wagers result in handsome payoffs. The 50-Cent Pick-5 (Races 2 through 6) returned $3,063 while the 20-Cent Survivor Pick 10 resulted in a single winner cashing in for $20,076 for surviving six legs. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $177,515. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,091,835. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The king has regained his crown. The hard-hitting Western Joe reigned supreme once again at the Meadowlands, winning the Saturday night harness racing feature - the $20,000 Preferred Handicap for pacers - for a fifth time in eight tries this year. The 4-year-old son of Western Ideal scored some revenge over arch-rival Bettor's Edge, who gunned down Western Joe at the wire when the pair squared off last week. This time around, things started out pretty much the same way as they did that night. Western Joe went right to the top. Bettor's Edge, the back. Western Joe cut out fractions of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:24.3 (middle half of :57.2) while Bettor's Edge set sail after the leader from last in the six-horse field, following the cover of Statham N, down the backside. As they straightened away with three-sixteenths to go, Western Joe had plenty left in the tank, but so did Bettor's Edge, who tipped off his cover and was closing ground while pacing his final quarter in :25.2. But Western Joe had more than enough to keep his foe at bay, winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:50.1. Bettor's Edge was second, giving him seven on-the-board finishes in nine starts in the Preferred ranks. The pocket-sitting Durant finished third. "I still think my horse gets a little lonely on the lead," said winning trainer Chris Choate. "But you can't always race covered up, so the front end was the place to be. If you can get a head start on Bettor's Edge, it's a good thing, because he raced huge tonight." Western Joe paid $3.00 to win as the 1-2 public choice and was driven by Jim Marohn Jr. for owner Anthony Ruggeri. He's now won six of nine this year and 15 of 38 overall, good for a lifetime bankroll of $231,548. A LITTLE MORE: The 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 pool was extremely popular as wagering reached a 2018-high $24,145. When the dust cleared, one lucky bettor wagering into the Twin Spires hub was the only ticket holder to survive six legs, and they cashed in for $20,522. ... Leading driver Marohn and Andrew McCarthy each had three winners on the card. Victor Kirby had two, giving him five victories over the last two Saturdays. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,454,142. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $172,812. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The final quarter was eventful, but that didn't stop Opulent Yankee from winning the Friday night harness racing  feature at the Meadowlands. The 7-year-old gelded son of Muscles Yankee, who won the Preferred Handicap on March 9, made it two straight spotlighted Big M events, taking the $15,000 high-class conditioned trotting event in 1:54. Opulent Yankee, coupled in the wagering with Double L Lindy, was sent to the gate as the 1-5 public choice and not surprisingly made his way to the top in :27.4. After backing down the half to :57.1, Buff popped out of the four hole to go after the leader, towing Di Oggi and Iron Mine Johnny with him as Freehold shipper Dekeyser sat the pocket. During the final quarter of a mile is when the judges earned their pay. Coming out of the far turn, the leader raced inside of a pylon, but stayed on course from there. Dekeyser was erratic through the stretch as driver Brett Miller was desperate for racing room in the two hole. Inside the eighth pole, Dekeyser went inside three pylons, and after he finished second, the judges took a long look at the stretch run. They determined that there was no need to penalize Opulent Yankee, who did not gain an unfair advantage, but Dekeyser was disqualified and placed last in the seven-horse field for racing inside "two or more consecutive pylons" as the rules state. The official order of finish was Opulent Yankee, Di Oggi and Iron Mine Johnny. Opulent Yankee hit the wire 1½ lengths to the good and paid $2.40 to win for "Team Orange Crush", trainer Julie and driver Andy Miller. He's now taken four of five outings this year for Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, Arthur Geiger and David Stolz. A LITTLE MORE: Wagering was vigorous throughout the card, as a total of $2,442,065 was bet on the 11-race program, an average of $222,005 per race. ... The Pick-5 took in $57,507 in wagers, the second biggest non-carryover pot during the month of March. ... The track's signature Pick-4 was popular as usual, as total play was a month-best $94,375. ... Andy Miller, Brett Miller, Marcus Miller and Jim Marohn Jr. all recorded driving doubles. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five once again failed to result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $152,982. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Western Joe is the early 8-5 choice to win his fifth Preferred Handicap for pacers in seven tries this year. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Western Joe proved once again why he is top dog at the Meadowlands Saturday night, winning the featured $20,000 Preferred Handicap for harness racing pacers for a fourth time in six tries this year. Sent to the gate as the 3-5 public choice, Western Joe was away third around the first turn but was quickly moved to the outside by driver Jim Marohn Jr. as the pair made the top and hit the quarter in :27.3. A sleepy second quarter devoid of movement followed, allowing the favorite to reach the half in :55.4. Rodeo Romeo and 5-2 second-choice Bettor's Edge, who won this race a week ago when Western Joe took the night off, tried to mount challenges at the top of the stretch, but Western Joe was in high gear through the lane, sprinting the final quarter in :26.2 to record a safe half-length win in 1:50.4 over a sharp Rodeo Romeo. Artful Way was third. "I was very happy with the trip," said winning trainer Chris Choate. "I wanted to see him on the lead. He doesn't like to get beat. He's getting more mature and I'm very proud of him." Western Joe returned $3.40 to his backers for owner Anthony Ruggeri and has won five of seven starts this year. Lifetime, the 4-year-old son of Western Ideal has won 14 of 36 and earned $216,548. A LITTLE MORE: Showing no rust in his first weekend back on the track after an extended family vacation, driver Andrew McCarthy followed up his driving double Friday with a four-bagger Saturday. ... Chalk players had their way on the program, as eight public choices scored on the 12-race card. ... In the Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five (Race 9), 3-5 favorite Maajaackkobe hit the wire first, and that suited the player with the only winning ticket just fine, as $14,365 was the payoff. ... There was no single-ticket winner in the Late 20-Cent JSH5 (Race 12), raising the pot-of-gold carryover to $148,306. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,162,363. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday. Don't forget that post time will be 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Week in and week out Bettor's Edge has used his high turn of gate speed to battle top-quality stock at the Meadowlands but had yet to win in 2018 even though his resume showed five straight on-the-board finishes heading into Saturday night's featured $20,000 Preferred Handicap for harness racing pacers. So this time, he tried it from off the pace, and it resulted in his first victory of the year. In the early going, Rodeo Romeo sped to the top at the quarter in :26.4 before 3-5 public choice Awesomeness, in search of his third straight win, made his way to the point just before the three-eighths. The favorite hit the half in :55.1 as Bettor's Edge started his march toward the leaders while racing uncovered from the back of the pack. Rodeo Romeo, sent off at 15-1, popped out of the pocket on the far turn to challenge Awesomeness and had a nose in front as they turned for home while Bettor's Edge picked up that cover. Brett Miller then tipped Bettor's Edge to the outside with an eighth of a mile to go and the lifetime $2 million earner blew by the dueling leaders to win by a half-length in 1:50.1, sprinting the final quarter in :26.2. Awesomeness held second with Western Fame finishing third in his first start of the year. Was it a conscious decision to not leave the gate? "Yes. It was a great audible on Brett's part," said winning trainer Jennifer Lappe. "And when he got away last I knew my horse was going to love it. It was a refreshing change for him. He's been used hard in all of his starts since the layoff and all he needed to do was race with a breather early." Bettor's Edge returned $13.60 to win as the fourth choice in the wagering for owners Lappe and Robert Santagata. Lifetime, the 9-year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight has won 37 of 164 starts. A LITTLE MORE: Great Vintage, driven by Yannick Gingras and trained by Jimmy Takter, took the seventh race conditioned pace in 1:49.2, which equaled the second-fastest North American mile of the year. Only Major Uptrend has gone faster, by virtue of his 1:49 clocking at Dover Downs on Feb. 15. ... The Pick-4 pool surpassed the $90,000 mark for a third straight Saturday ($91,904) and after a sequence that included a pair of favorites, the payout was $351.40 for a 50-cent bet. ... Anthony Napolitano drove three winners on the program while Jim Pantaleano and Gingras had two apiece. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $139,614. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,875,940, the second highest handle of 2018. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 6:35 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Harness racing driver Andy Miller drove patiently in Friday night's feature at the Meadowlands, and when he asked Opulent Yankee for trot in the stretch, the Julie Miller trainee responded in a big way, taking the $20,000 Preferred Handicap in a season's-best 1:52.4. Coupled in the wagering due to common ownership (Jeff Gural's Little E group owns a piece of both), Opulent Yankee and Gural Hanover were sent to the gate as the heavy 1-5 favorite. Gural Hanover settled on the lead at the quarter, with Opulent Yankee sitting the pocket and 2-1 second choice Melady's Monet racing in the three hole. In an abbreviated seven-horse field with the best three horses racing on the front end, there was no movement as Gural Hanover clicked off fractions of :27.4, :56.3 and 1:24.4. Melady's Monet, racing at the Big M for the first time since April of last year, made the first move, tipping off the rail for the stretch drive while shifting into high gear. With an eighth of a mile to go, Andy Miller swung Opulent Yankee to the outside and easily went by a tired Gural Hanover to record a 1-length win. Melady's Monet was second in what was a good-looking Meadowlands return. Gural Hanover held third. The winner returned $2.60 to his backers for owners Little E LLC, Arthur Geiger and David Stolz, and now has three victories this year in four tries. Lifetime, the 7-year-old gelded son of Muscles Yankee has won 21 of 85 starts and earned $411,295. HISTORY MAKER: Seventy-four-year-old Terry Morgan guided 36-1 shot Master Of The Hill to victory lane in the third race, and by doing so, became the first driver in Meadowlands history to win a race in both 1976 (the track's opening year) and 2018. A LITTLE MORE: Prolific pools and payouts continued in the Big M's popular multi-leg wagers. The 20-Cent Survivor Pick 10 attracted $16,711 in action, and with one patron who was wagering in Canada ending up as the only seven-leg survivor, the payout was $18,447.56 after the conversion of American vs. Canadian funds. ... The Pick-5 saw $48,126 in play and even though three favorites scored during the sequence, a handsome $4,429.35 was the return. ... A total of $87,607 was poured into the Pick-4 pot, with the those holding winning tickets walking away with $4,131.05. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,342,323. ... Once again, the Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $132,042. ... Yannick Gingras drove four winners on the card after winning three last Saturday. All seven horses were the betting favorite. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 6:35 p.m. SURVIVOR PICK 10 PAYS $18K AT BIG M  The Meadowlands’ popular 20-Cent Survivor Pick 10 wager once again played out as a ‘jackpot’ bet on Friday night. One lucky patron betting in Canada was the only player to walk away the survivor of seven legs and cashed in for $18,447.56. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - They came to play. Meadowlands harness racing fans wagered with both hands throughout Saturday night's 13-race program and despite only two horses paying $10 or more and six races that saw favorites emerge victorious, the betting swelled to a new 2018 high. For the first time this year, wagering surpassed the magic $3 million mark. In fact, it wasn't merely surpassed, it was smashed. The all-source total handle of $3,454,633 easily outdistanced the industry handle leader's previous 2018 best, which was $2,790,201 on Jan. 27. The corresponding race card a year ago saw $2,581,495 bet on 12 races. The on-track, on-product play totaled $296,916. The Pick-5 carryover of $30,202 served as a catalyst for not only that wager, but for the entire night, as $230,199 in "new money" was poured into the Pick-5 pot. The third race, which is the first leg of the bet, saw $422,271 in total play. After a formful sequence that saw the odds of the winners come back 7-2, 7-2, 6-5, 3-1 and even-money, many winning Pick-5 tickets for $541.70 were cashed after the total pool of over $260,000 was divvied up. But there was more. The 20-Cent Survivor Pick 10 once again saw big play (a total pool of $20,005), and, once again, it resulted in a 'jackpot' as one lucky winner, betting into the Portland, Ore. hub, walked away with $17,000.54 after surviving seven legs. The Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five resulted in a single-ticket winner, and that patron, wagering into the Maryland hub, cashed in for $7,622.70 at the conclusion of the ninth race. About the only big pot not raked belonged to the Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five (Race 13), which once again failed to produce a single-ticket winner. That wager's carryover now stands at $126,952. 'AWESOME' IN FEATURE: Awesomeness lived up to his name, controlling the action from start to finish to win the featured $20,000 Preferred Handicap for pacers. The Brett Pelling trainee gave notice a week ago he'd have a big mile on tap, getting roughed up and racing with a broken headpole and winning nonetheless against a slightly weaker field. This time, back at the highest level the Big M offers, the 5-year-old gelded son of Mach Three emerged on the front end after a five-horse scrum into the first turn, cut out fractions of :26.4, :54 and 1:22.1 before sprinting home in :28 to record a three-quarter-length win for driver Jim Marohn Jr. and owner Martin Scharf. Awesomeness hit the wire in 1:50.1, just a fifth of a second off his lifetime best. Dr J Hanover was second with JK Will Power finishing third. Western Joe, the 5-2 second choice who was seeking his third straight score with this kind, opted to race from the rear and closed to get fourth. The winner paid $4.20 as the even-money favorite and now has 15 wins in 37 lifetime tries, with earnings of just over $235,000. A LITTLE MORE: Marohn and Yannick Gingras both recorded driving triples on the card while Pelling and Bob Lounsbury had training doubles. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 6:35 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - College basketball fans know what March Madness is. But what is "Carryover Craziness"? That's the phrase one might use for what the faithful at the Meadowlands will experience Friday night (Post time, 6:35 p.m.). For only the second time this year, the Pick-5 (Races 3 through 7) wasn't hit in its most recent offering, which will lead to a carryover of $30,202 heading into Friday night, when the 'payoff' leg of the wager will be shown on 'Meadowlands Harness Live' on SNY (SportsNet New York) at 9 p.m. "The last time we had a carryover in the Pick-5, it was $28,786," said Jason Settlemoir, the track's chief operating officer and general manager. "We then wagered $224,986 in new money for a total pool of over $250,000. That's why we are once again offering a guaranteed pool of $125,000, in partnership with the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering, in the hopes of creating another giant pot for our fans, who love to go for the big score." On that Jan. 12 card, there were many winning tickets as three favorites won during the sequence, yet the payoff for a 50-cent wager was still a hefty $2,820. The start of the Pick-5 (Race 3) has a post time of 7:25 p.m. In addition to the final Pick-5 leg, the first two legs (Races 8 and 9) of the track's signature wager, the 50-Cent Pick-4 - which sports a $50,000 guarantee and low 15 percent takeout - will also be seen on the live broadcast, hosted by Dave Brower, along with Dave Little, Bob "Hollywood" Heyden and track announcer Ken Warkentin. Post time for the eighth race is 9:22 p.m. Free program pages for the Pick-5 and Pick-4, courtesy of Track Master, are available on the Meadowlands' website (www.playmeadowlands.com) and on the handicapping section at www.ustrotting.com. WANNA WIN $100G? The 13th race 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five has a carryover of $120,134, which means something extremely simple: If there is one winning ticket, that player will collect well over $100,000 for a 20-cent wager. SUPER SATURDAY They'll be plenty going on at the Big M on Saturday (Post time, 6:35 p.m.) as well, with big action expected in different forms. Based on last week's wagering, one can expect to shoot for some big pools. Last Saturday's total handle was $2,719,591, which averages out to $209,199 per race, the fourth time this year the track has reached the $200,000 per race plateau. The action was especially big in Race 8 when a total of $317,113 was wagered, with the Pick-4 pool raking in $94,699, the Exacta $83,471 and Trifecta $68,065. Also on the Saturday schedule is the World Harness Handicapping Challenge, presented by DerbyWars.com. The WHHC Qualifier, which was canceled after three races due to the Feb. 17 snow storm, made it necessary for Big M management to reschedule the Super Qualifier for Saturday (March 3). Four seats for the WHHC Championship Qualifier are up for grabs. The qualifier has a $400 total fee ($200 to enter plus $200 in a real-money bankroll) and has a format that requires players to bet a minimum of $20 Win, Place, Show or WPS wagers on 10 Meadowlands races. Players can register on-site Saturday up until 7:15 p.m. Other WHHC Saturday events of note include an online qualifier hosted by TVG/4NJBets. The contest includes three seats into the WHHC Final (plus travel expenses). Also on tap is a qualifier that will take place at Tioga Downs (Nichols, NY). The WHHC Championship Final is slated for Saturday, April 28 at the Meadowlands and has a guaranteed prize pool of $75,000. For more information on how to become a WHHC partner outlet or sponsor, contact the Big M's Rachel Ryan at raryan@playmeadowlands.com or201-842-5015.   Dave Little

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Competitive harness racing, a sloppy track and a strong anti-speed track bias gave the chalk players fits Friday night at the Meadowlands, but for those who love to go for the big score, everything was just fine. Only three favorites emerged victorious on the 13-race card (only one in the first 11 races), which created some large payoffs for the Big M faithful, who love their multi-leg wagers. For starters, the 20-Cent Survivor Pick 10 saw a total pool of $17,432, and one player, wagering into the Mid Atlantic cooperative, walked away as the only winner, cashing in for $14,817 for surviving six legs. The Pick-5, which is guaranteed at $25,000, saw $39,786 in action, and when the sequence concluded in Race 7, those with winning tickets walked away with $8,454 for a 50-cent bet. The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High failed to result in a single-ticket winner, but those who had the winning combination of 6-1-3-8-2 aren't complaining, as those tickets were worth $1,932. The carryover continues to expand, as it now stands at $112,904. A LITTLE MORE: Finn Tack Driver of the Week Eric Carlson, meet leader Jim Marohn Jr. and Marcus Miller all recorded driving doubles. When Miller scored with Pappy Go Go in the second race conditioned trot, it lifted his meet-leading total of winners with trotters to 10. ... All-source wagering on the program totaled $2,329,745. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday at 6:35 p.m. In the feature, Rockin Ron takes on Western Joe in the Preferred Handicap for pacers. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - On a night that saw steady rain and heavy fog for most of the 13-race harness racing program, Western Joe emerged from the mist to explode by the field in the Meadowlands Saturday night feature, the $20,000 Preferred Pace. Starznheaven, fresh off an upset win in this event one week ago at 22-1, made his way to the lead after the quarter and was still on the point at three-quarters in 1:23.2 while being pressed by 36-1 longshot Ponyta Boy. Then the pace fell down. Awesomeness, the even-money favorite, tipped off his live cover and was raging through the lane, on the way to what appeared to be an easy win. But Western Joe had other ideas. The 4-year-old son of Western Ideal, who won this race on January 20 as the even-money choice, was forgotten in the wagering this time around, sent to the gate at 14-1, the sixth choice in the seven-horse field. Driver Pat Berry handled Western Joe patiently, sitting a three hole from the outset. He swerved off the rail in mid-stretch and exploded past the field using a final quarter of :27 to catch Awesomeness by a neck. Bettor's Edge finished third. Western Joe won for the third time in four starts this year and completed the mile in 1:50.4 for trainer Chris Choate and owner Anthony Ruggeri. He returned $30.20 to his backers. A LITTLE MORE: The Early Jackpot Super High Five resulted in a single-ticket winner. Even though 6-5 favorite Big Top Hanover won the ninth race, that one bettor walked away with a payout of $15,071.64. ... There were two players who lasted six legs in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick 10, with each cashing in for $7,964.88. ... The Pick-4 saw a total pool of $78,199 and despite the middle two legs being won by favorites, the payout was $1,099.80 for a 50-cent bet. ... All-source wagering was $2,463,011. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five did not result in a single-ticket winner, swelling the carryover to $101,270.81. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday night at 6:35 p.m. SUPER HIGH FIVE RETURNS $15K AT BIG M  Giant payoffs are not expected when 6-5 favorites win races, but Saturday night at the Meadowlands, that trend was bucked in the Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five. One shrewd player wagering into the Oregon Express hub was the only ticket holder of the winning combination of 2-7-10-9-8 in race nine when post-time choice Big Top Hanover hit the wire first, and as a result, cashed in for $15,071.64. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Driver Anthony Napolitano has been doing good things at the Meadowlands for the last three winters, and Friday night at the Big M, he was without question the big man on campus, winning five times on the 13-race harness racing card. Napolitano had help. With Yannick Gingras absent, 'ANap' drove trainer Ron Burke's stock, and the duo teamed up to win four times on the card. Their winners were Noble Prize ($5.20 to win as the favorite, 1:56.3 for the mile) in the fourth race conditioned trot, Jaded Dream ($7.20, 1:53) in the fifth race conditioned pace for fillies and mares, Stormont Wizard ($5.40 as the public choice, 1:53.4) in the ninth race conditioned trot and Misslarose ($3.60 as the chalk, 1:55) in the 12th race conditioned trot. Napolitano capped his big night in style, scoring in the 13th race fillies and mares conditioned pace with 12-1 chance Heavenly Bet ($26.80, 1:53) for trainer Brianne Good, who recorded a training double on the card. A LITTLE MORE: Marcus Miller also had a big night, guiding three winners on the card. ... The Pick 4 was popular as usual, as the second biggest pool of the year, $88,456, was wagered. The return for a 50-cent bet was $209.15 with favorites winning the last three legs. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,524,710. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five once again failed to result in a single-ticket winner, and as a result, the carryover crept ever closer to the $100,000 mark, just a little over $3,000 short at $96,484. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday at 6:35 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

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