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East Rutherford, NJ - In response to a possible case of respiratory EHV-1 at Saratoga Harness track, all horses entered to race this weekend at The Meadowlands that are stabled at that track have been scratched as a precaution.   When he became aware of the situation this morning, Meadowlands Race Secretary Scott Warren contacted Presiding Judge Pete Koch to discuss how they might best protect horses and horsemen racing at The Meadowlands.   After consulting with the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) veterinarians it was decided to eliminate the risk of allowing horses from Saratoga to be brought into the paddock, thus the scratches which number 15 on Friday and 3 on Saturday. Affected horsemen were notified immediately.   "We hope to get more information this weekend and will communicate to the affected horsemen about entering on Tuesday for next weekend," said Warren. "Only those horses stables on the grounds at Saratoga are affected by the exclusion until the problem is controlled to the satisfaction of the NJRC vets." From the Meadowlands      

Wherever he goes, JL Cruze is still the man. "Everybody knows him, everybody loves him," trainer Eric Ell said about the 9-year-old harness racing trotter, who was a Dan Patch Award winner in 2015. "He's a household name around here. Everybody asks about him when he's not racing to make sure he's all right. They keep track of him. When people see him, they come up hugging on him. He's been unbelievable." JL Cruze might not be the Grand Circuit warrior of old, but he remains a fighter. And with two wins in three races this season, including a 1:51.2 score that is as fast as any win time he's posted since he was 6, he could be looking to turn back the clock. In addition to his 1:51.2 victory at The Meadowlands on Jan. 11, JL Cruze won in 1:53.4 over a track rated good because of inclement weather on Jan. 18. "He was incredible his last two starts," Ell said. "Two starts ago, he did it the old-fashioned way, like his old self. He was parked to the half in :54.3 and he won by a length and a half, last quarter :27.3 on the end of it. The next week, that was a great mile that night and he did it easily. "He's probably as sound as he's been since I've had him, and he loves doing what he does. He's better this year, even with the turns. You used to almost have to grab into him a little bit because he could get rough going. (Driver) Dexter Dunn said he's just whistling right around the turns now." JL Cruze's next start is Saturday at The Meadowlands in the preferred trot. JL Cruze will start from post 10 in a field that includes Pappy Go Go, who brings a three-race win streak to the event. "If he's as good as he was the last three starts up there, they'll know he's in there for sure," Ell said about JL Cruze. For his career, JL Cruze has won 37 of 104 races and $1.46 million. His most memorable victory came at The Meadowlands in 2015 when he captured the Graduate Series championship in 1:49.4 to become the first trotter to go faster than 1:50 in Big M history. He was limited to six races in 2018 because of surgery for a twisted intestine but returned last year to win six times and earn $100,720. He made all but one of his 26 starts at either The Meadowlands or Hoosier Park and Ell plans to keep JL Cruze on the big tracks again this season. The gelding is owned by Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar Jr., and Steve Iaquinta. "We didn't stake him last year because we didn't even know how he would be," Ell said. "We just did the overnights and he ended up making a hundred (thousand dollars) that way. He's getting pretty long in the tooth now. He's still competing well, but I don't know how well he would take all the shipping (on the Grand Circuit). But the time off might have helped him. He's been really good." As for what JL Cruze has meant to Ell, well, he's still the man. "Words can't say," Ell said. "I've had a lot of open horses that I've trained in my life, but never a world champion like him. He's just a tough rascal." Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EST) Saturday at The Meadowlands. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Management at the Meadowlands is never afraid to shake things up, and starting on Friday, February 7, Big M fans will see an earlier start for the harness racing with a 6:55 p.m. post time, and once the card begins, they'll have a new array of wagers to titillate their wagering palates. "As the popularity of multi-race wagers continues to grow," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "We at the Meadowlands have chosen to expand our wagering menu to now include two Pick-4s, a new 20-cent Pick-5 and a new straight 20-cent Pick-6. "All four of these wagers will offer a low 15 percent takeout, which keeps more money in players' pockets. We are also going back to rolling Pick-3s, which will give bettors a vast assortment of multi-race wagers to play throughout the course of the evening. There is no doubt that this is one of our most ambitious and value-conscious wagering menus ever implemented at the Meadowlands." These are the pertinent facts: 20-cent Pick-5 (Race 1): The wager - which will continue to offer a $25,000 guaranteed pool - still begins with the first race of the night, but now has a 20-cent minimum and can be played in 20-cent denominations (such as 20 cents, 40 cents, 60 cents, etc.).  20-cent Pick-6 (Race 4): A "traditional" Pick-6. Should no player select all six winners, there will be a carryover to the next racing program. The 20-cent minimum will enable bettors to "spread" further without a big investment. Early 50-cent Pick-4 (Race 6): The "signature" wager at the Meadowlands now moves from the eighth race to the sixth, which immediately follows the cashing out of the Pick-5. The $50,000 guaranteed pool remains, as does the 50-cent minimum. Free program pages for this wager are available at ustrotting.com and playmeadowlands.com. Late 50-cent Pick-4 (Race 10): Immediately following the payoff leg of both the Pick-6 and Early Pick-4, this additional Pick-4 will give Meadowlands' fans another big multi-race pool to shoot for before the end of the program. 20-cent Can-Am Pick-4: This wager - which is on Saturday nights - will see a shift once the earlier post time takes effect. The bet, which challenges players to select the winners of two races at the Meadowlands and Woodbine Mohawk Park, will still begin with WMP's 10th race, but from there the sequence will be Meadowlands 11, WMP 11 and Meadowlands 12. The Pick-5, Pick-6, both Pick-4s and Can-Am Pick-4 will all offer a low 15 percent takeout. Rolling Pick-3s are returning: All races that do not have a Pick-4, Pick-5 or Pick-6 will offer a $1 Pick-3. On a typical 13-race card, the Pick-3s will be available on races 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 11. Daily Double players will get the same opportunities they had for many years as the traditional format of the first two and last two races will go back into effect. The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 will be dropped. With the new earlier post time of 6:55 p.m., simulcast fans can now look for the "Racing from the Meadowlands" live in-house pre-game show to begin nightly at 6:22 p.m. DRIVER COLONY DEEPENS: Last weekend (Jan. 24-25), Corey Callahan (six winners), Vinny Ginsburg (five) and Tim Tetrick (five) led the driver's colony, combining to win 16 of the 26 races contested over the two race cards. For the upcoming Friday and Saturday racing programs, things will get tougher for drivers - not to mention bettors. Yannick Gingras and Dexter Dunn, who combined to win 18 of the 28 races Jan. 17-18, are both back on the mile oval this weekend. In addition, back from his native Australia is Andy McCarthy, making the driver colony as deep as it's been in some time. With just one race card left in the month, Dunn leads the January driver standings with 23 victories. Rounding out the top four are Callahan (16), Gingras (12) and Ginsburg (10). Trainer Andrew Harris' barn stayed hot last week, sending out three to victory lane. Ron Burke is the top January trainer with 10 wins. He is followed by Harris, who has nine victories. Racing takes place this Friday and Saturday, with post time - for the last time for the foreseeable future - slated for 7:15 p.m. SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALL RIGHT: It was a typical Saturday (Jan. 25) business-wise at the industry's handle leader, as wagering on the Meadowlands' 13-race card totaled $2,696,394. Betting for the weekend came just $13,000 short of $5 million. A total of $270,747 was wagered on Saturday's eighth race, which included $85,070 in 50-cent Pick-4 wagers. TIME FOR THE BIG GAME: On Sunday (Feb. 2), professional football's championship game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. In what looks like a highly competitive matchup, the Kansas City Chiefs are a slight favorite over the San Francisco 49ers. Why not skip your usual gathering and come out to the Meadowlands? You can watch and wager on the game in the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook, where you can sit in comfort and enjoy many food and drink options in the Victory Sports Bar & Club. COMING UP.... On Jan. 31, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold'em on "Free Poker Friday", hosted by World Free Poker. On Feb. 7, come to the track and enjoy a "Brunch for Love" from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The event benefits non-profits from the Meadowlands Chamber. On Feb. 14, bring your sweetheart to the races and enjoy a fabulous Valentine's Day dinner in the Big M's Pink Restaurant. You might be one of three couples to win a gift certificate for a bed and breakfast stay in Cape May, NJ. For reservations, call 201-THE-BIGM. On Feb. 22, The Big M will host its February World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier. The top two finishers will qualify for the WHHC Final. It's only $200 to play ($100 to enter; $100 bankroll). For complete information, check out the brochure at http://playmeadowlands.com/uploadedFiles/2020%20February%20WHHC%20qualifier.pdf. Last Saturday's annual Chili Cook Off was a huge success. A pair of chili experts took home $1,000 prizes, as Nathan Gramm won the homestyle division and Gregory Farm the chili verde division. A record-number 36 contestants entered the contest. From the Meadowlands  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (January 28, 2020) –  Thirty-six cooks entered Meadowlands Racetrack’s 5th Annual Homestyle Chili Cookoff last Saturday night, all vying for the grand prize of $1,000 and a spot in the International Chili Society’s 2020 World Championship. Nathan Gramm of Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, took home the $1,000 prize for his homestyle chili.  Gramm is an ICS competition veteran and flies all around the United States to compete in chili cook-offs. Chili cook-off veteran, Chris Johnson took home $500 for her second place finish.  Meadowlands chili cook-off veteran Laura Stoessel, took the $250 third place prize.  Gregory Farm of Rosyln, PA, took home the $1,000 grand prize for his chili verde beating out 18 other competitors in the category.  This was Farm’s first time competing at the Meadowlands. His win also qualifies him for the 2020 World Chili Verde Championship. “This was an awesome event, said Farm. “ It was lots of fun. I’m excited to compete again next year!”  Robert Quinones, the 2018 & 2019 People’s Choice champ, finished in second place for his chili verde and took home $500 while first time competitor Jarron Smith walked away with $250 for his third place finish. It was a record number of participants and a record number of patrons on hand to sample and vote for their favorite chili throughout the evening. The $250 People’s Choice prize went to Brian Walker.  “This has become a major event for us at the track,” said Meadowlands General Manager and COO Jason M. Settlemoir. “Each year the number of participants grows and exceeds our expectations.  We are looking forward to next year’s event!” For upcoming events and promotions, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. From the Meadowlands Media Department

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - In the unlikely event you weren't sure who the best trotter on the grounds at the Meadowlands was before Saturday night's harness racing feature, there was positively no doubt after. Despite taking two weeks off, the red-hot Pappy Go Go upped his winning streak to three after taking the $37,500 Preferred in 1:52.2 over a track rated 'good' with a -1 variant, missing his lifetime best by just two-fifths of a second. The Andrew Harris trainee never had an anxious moment after being sent to the gate as the 8-5 favorite in the talented field of seven as driver Corey Callahan - who won five races on Friday's card - hit the gas pedal early with the 6-year-old gelded son of Tad The Stud-Paging Willy from post seven and made the front while parked at the quarter after a headstrong Misslarose yielded the top in :27.2. Pappy Go Go trotted easily through the second fraction while unpressured in :27.3 as Misslarose sat the pocket. Morairtime, who was so good winning eight days ago after going a first-over trip, was in gear making up ground while racing on the rim uncovered. After three-quarters was reached in 1:23.4, Pappy Go Go accelerated, opening up a 3-length edge at the head of the stretch on the way to an easy 3½-length score. Morairtime was second with Misslarose third. "I wasn't worried about the layoff at all," said Harris. "He'd been prepping every week in between. They just didn't have a Preferred for him, so hopefully, horses start entering so I can race him a little more." Is Pappy Go Go the type of horse who can go with the game's best? "I don't have any big dreams for him," said Harris. "He's a nice open horse, but realistically, I can't spend money staking him to go against the likes of Manchego and Atlanta. So, we'll race in the Preferred and try to keep him happy and fresh and being the big fish in the pond until the floods come later." Pappy Go Go returned $5.40 to his fans and has now won 32 of 83 career outings, good for earnings of $249,547 for owners Michael Goldberg Racing. ANOTHER GIANT MILE: The Robert Cleary-trained Harambe Deo went parked for a little more than the final half-mile and had no trouble blowing away his foes in the pacing feature, a high-end conditioned event with a $31,250 purse. The 5-year-old gelded son of Woodstock-Tea Time, who was the 8-5 favorite, stopped the clock in 1:50.4 with Tyler Buter in the bike to win for the third time in his last five starts. McThriller finished second, 1¼ lengths behind. A LITTLE MORE: Tim Tetrick had the hot hand, leading the driver colony with four winners. Buter, Drew Monti and Vinny Ginsburg had two apiece. ... The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 failed to pay at least $3,000 for an eighth straight time, but it came close, as three players lasted eight legs and cashed in for $2,611.98. ... The 20-cent Can-Am Pick-4 came back $175.32, the key to cashing being Leg One, when Heza Thrill N won at Woodbine Mohawk Park at odds of 7-1. ... All-source handle totaled $2,667,043. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The Meadowlands is known as a track with a driver colony that's got big-time talent from top to bottom, but last weekend, two harness racing standouts stood far above the rest of the crowd. Over the course of the two-day race week at the Big M on Jan. 17-18, Dexter Dunn and Yannick Gingras were both at the top of their respective games, to say the least. Of the 28 races contested, the prolific pair won 18 times, with each pilot hitting the winner's circle four times Friday and five times Saturday. Dunn, a 30-year-old New Zealand native, took both features with Down Under breds, winning Friday with Major Occasion A and then Saturday with Franco Totem N. His fans were especially thrilled with Dunn's Friday success as the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year scored with longshots Bold Goddess ($43.80) and Auteur Hanover ($54.60). In addition, DD swept the $348.20 daily double that covered races seven and eight. Gingras, whose $13.4 million in earnings was good for second in North America during 2019, maintained his place as one of the most popular drivers at the Big M by scoring a half-dozen times over the weekend with non-favorites as both he and Dunn - not surprisingly - showed a flat-bet profit by the time the dust cleared Saturday night. Racing fans won't get the chance to play Gingras or Dunn this weekend, however, as neither is listed to drive. Gingras will be in France attending - not participating in - the Prix d'Amerique while Dunn has a previous commitment. Racing fans can look forward to another ace being in the fold, however, as Tim Tetrick, the leading money-earning driver from 2019 with over $15.6 million, will be in the sulky at the Big M this Friday and Saturday night. Post time is the usual 7:15 p.m. PICK-4 REPORT: The Meadowlands' signature wager, the 50-cent Pick-4, saw its usual big play last weekend, as a total of $81,661 was bet Friday and $91,480 was in the pool Saturday. Friday's final leg saw a 25-1 shot score, leading to a payoff of $3,155.05. Chalk players hit the $55.85 return Saturday as Dunn and Gingras each won twice during the sequence. FREE PPs: When it comes to the 50-cent Pick-4, the Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five and the 20-cent Can-Am Pick-4, if you want to play, but prefer not to pay for past performances, all you have to do is go to playmeadowlands.com or ustrotting.com where you can access them for free. GIANT SCORE: One sharp handicapper made the score a lifetime Friday. Betting into the Oregon Express hub, that player held the only 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five ticket with the winning combination of 1-7-3-6-4 and cashed in for $118,148.72. The race was won by 2-1 favorite Lily Hammer and driver Corey Callahan. Finishing second through fifth, respectively, were Northern Swift (25-1), Moonshinecharleigh (8-1), Manhattan Play (3-1) and Justabitofcharm (30-1). MARK YOUR CALENDARS On Jan. 24, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold'em on "Free Poker Friday", hosted by World Free Poker. On Jan. 25, the Big M hosts it's annual "Chili Cook Off", which will have its usual "Homestyle Chili" division. This year, a "Chili Verde" contest has been added to the festivities. In addition, there will also be a competition for the best salsa. For complete information and registration, go to https://chilicookoff.com/cookoffs/list. On Feb. 2, professional football's championship game - that pits the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers - kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to watch and wager in the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook. On Feb. 7, come to the track and enjoy a "Brunch for Love" from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The event benefits non-profits from the Meadowlands Chamber. On Feb. 14, bring your sweetheart to the races and enjoy a fabulous Valentine's Day dinner in the Big M's Pink Restaurant. You might be one of three couples to win a gift certificate for a bed and breakfast in Cape May, NJ. For reservations, call 201-THE-BIGM. Meadowlands Media Relations  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - It figures the way things are going lately for harness racing driver Dexter Dunn that if he had a decision to make, it would be the right one. And in Saturday night's feature at the Meadowlands - the $37,500 Preferred for pacers - the red-hot driver naturally chose correctly. The 30-year-old native of New Zealand had choice of three in the race: Effronte A, who became harness racing's fastest performer of 2020 by virtue of a 1:48.3 clocking a week ago; Harambe Deo, an iron-tough winner of two of his last three; and Franco Totem N, who finished a close second in two of the last three weekly pacing features. Dunn opted for Franco Totem N and the 7-year-old gelded son of Changeover-Treaty Franco responded with a huge mile, clearing the lead while parked to the half in :55.2, taking bitter pressure from McThriller to three-quarters in 1:23.4, and then finishing the job by kicking home in :27.3 to hit the finish in 1:51.2. "He raced the way he looked.....great," said Dunn. "He's a very nice horse and doesn't take anything out of himself in the mile." Endeavor, the 2-1 second choice in the betting, left the gate from post six, but with many leavers to his inside, had to take back to last in the field of six before sprinting home in :26.4 after swinging three-wide at three-quarters to claim second, just a half-length back of the winner. Harambe Deo rallied for third. Effronte A was scratched.   Franco Totem N scored as the 6-5 public choice and returned $4.40 to his backers. He is trained by Nifty Norman, owned by Enzed Racing Stable and Jerry Kovach and now has 21 wins from 64 lifetime starts and $163,189 in his bank account. The remarkable Dunn, who took both features over the course of the weekend, kept winning at a torrid clip, recording five victories Saturday. Over the last three race cards, he's visited the winner's circle 16 times and now has a total of 23 victories to lead the Big M standings. Last Saturday, he hit victory lane on seven occasions to fall one win short of tying the Big M record. Yannick Gingras went toe-to-toe with Dunn over the course of this weekend's action, matching Dunn with four Friday winners and five Saturday scores, meaning the Dynamic Duo won 64 percent of the 28 races offered over the two-day race week. Trainer Ron Burke conditioned four of Gingras' Saturday winners. A LITTLE MORE: JL Cruze, the first trotter ever to break the 1:50 barrier at the Big M, won a high-end conditioned trot in 1:53.4 as the 1-9 favorite to win his second straight. ... Montrell Teague, who was the guest on the Big M's in-house "In the Sulky" interview segment, guided Kid PK to victory in the Dr. Martin Luther King Remembrance Race, an event that featured African-American drivers. ... Kid PK and driver Montrell Teague winning the MLK Pace Favorite players wore out a path to the windows as seven post-time choices scored. Twelve of the 14 races were won by horses whose odds were 5-2 or less. ... The second edition of the Cam-Am Pick-4 returned $77.14, in sharp contrast to last week's payoff of over $1,400. ... All-source handle on the program totaled $2,395,435. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. From the Meadowlands Media Department

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Last Friday, Major Occasion A flew home in :25.3, but because she was eighth at three-quarters while three-wide, had to settle for second at the hands of rival Sandy Win, who would win a third straight harness racing start. Driver Dexter Dunn made sure that wasn't going to happen again. Major Occasion A, instead of racing from well off the pace as she had in her first two North American outings, was hustled to the top at the half this time around and had little trouble from there, recording an easy score in the Friday night feature at the Meadowlands, a $25,000 high-end conditioned pace for fillies and mares. Dunn, who would go on to win four times on the program after his incredible seven-winner night last Saturday, had Major Occasion A in the four-hole early before brushing up to take command at the half while parked before settling in on the point. Ideal Lifestyle A was left first-over at this point while applying token pressure as Major Occasion A used a :27.1 third quarter to maintain a safe 1½-length lead on the pocket-sitting Odds On St Lucie. Through the stretch, no one threatened the 1-2 favorite, who reported home an easy 1¾-length winner in 1:51 after pacing her final half in 54.2. Odds On St Lucie held second with Wisdom Tree rallying for third. Sandy Win failed in her bid for a fourth straight score, settling for fourth after racing three-wide at three-quarters from mid-pack. Major Occasion A, a 6-year-old daughter of Art Major-Fake Occasion who is trained by Nifty Norman, returned $3.00 to her backers and has now won 16 times from 51 lifetime starts for owners Enzed Racing Stable. Her earnings stand at $193,280. For Dunn, it was merely another day at the salt mine, with one - make that two - exceptions. The 30-year-old New Zealand native did score with the heavy favorite in the feature and with 4-1 Hammer Time in a mid-range conditioned trot, but he also won with a pair of longshots. The 2019 United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year guided 20-1 Bold Goddess to victory lane in a low-end conditioned trot and also scored with the night's biggest price of the night with 26-1 chance Auteur Hanover, who hit the wire first in another low-end conditioned trot. Dunn now has 18 winners at the winter meeting and is well in front of Corey Callahan, whose driving double gave him 10 victories, good for second in the driver standings. A PAIR OF FOURS: Yannick Gingras is apparently not interested in Dunn running away with the driver's title, as the Big M overall driver champ from 2019 also guided four to the winner's circle. A LITTLE MORE: One sharp player betting into the Oregon Express hub held the only ticket to last five legs in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 and walked away with $8,596.70. The wager has now paid at least $3,526.86 during each of the last five race cards. ... Chalk players took it on the chin most of the night as only two favorites won over the first 12 races, which helped bolster the payouts of the 50-cent Pick-5 ($6,292.35) and 50-cent Pick-4 ($3,155.05). ... All-source wagering on the card totaled $2,416,176. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - For one lucky player, the 14th and final race Friday night at the Meadowlands was well worth the wait. That sharp handicapper, betting into the Oregon Express hub, held the only 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five ticket with the winning combination of 1-7-3-6-4 and cashed in for $118,148.72. The race was won by 2-1 favorite Lily Hammer and driver Corey Callahan. Finishing second through fifth, respectively, were Northern Swift (25-1), Moonshinecharleigh (8-1), Manhattan Play (3-1) and Justabitofcharm (30-1). The carryover heading into Friday night's JSH5 was $105,787. Last Friday, Major Occasion A flew home in :25.3, but because she was eighth at three-quarters while three-wide, had to settle for second at the hands of rival Sandy Win, who would win a third straight start. Driver Dexter Dunn made sure that wasn’t going to happen again. Major Occasion A, instead of racing from well off the pace as she had in her first two North American outings, was hustled to the top at the half this time around and had little trouble from there, recording an easy score in the Friday night feature at the Meadowlands, a $25,000 high-end conditioned pace for fillies and mares. Dunn, who would go on to win four times on the program after his incredible seven-winner night last Saturday, had Major Occasion A in the four-hole early before brushing up to take command at the half while parked before settling in on the point. Ideal Lifestyle A was left first-over at this point while applying token pressure as Major Occasion A used a :27.1 third quarter to maintain a safe 1½-length lead on the pocket-sitting Odds On St Lucie. Through the stretch, no one threatened the 1-2 favorite, who reported home an easy 1¾-length winner in 1:51 after pacing her final half in 54.2. Odds On St Lucie held second with Wisdom Tree rallying for third. Sandy Win failed in her bid for a fourth straight score, settling for fourth after racing three-wide at three-quarters from mid-pack.   Major Occasion A, a 6-year-old daughter of Art Major-Fake Occasion who is trained by Nifty Norman, returned $3.00 to her backers and has now won 16 times from 51 lifetime starts for owners Enzed Racing Stable. Her earnings stand at $193,280. For Dunn, it was merely another day at the salt mine, with one – make that two – exceptions. The 30-year-old New Zealand native did score with the heavy favorite in the feature and with 4-1 Hammer Time in a mid-range conditioned trot, but he also won with a pair of longshots. The 2019 United States Harness Writers Association’s Driver of the Year guided 20-1 Bold Goddess to victory lane in a low-end conditioned trot and also scored with the night’s biggest price of the night with 26-1 chance Auteur Hanover, who hit the wire first in another low-end conditioned trot. Dunn now has 18 winners at the winter meeting and is well in front of Corey Callahan, whose driving double gave him 10 victories, good for second in the driver standings. A PAIR OF FOURS: Yannick Gingras is apparently not interested in Dunn running away with the driver’s title, as the Big M overall driver champ from 2019 also guided four to the winner’s circle. A LITTLE MORE: One sharp player betting into the Oregon Express hub held the only ticket to last five legs in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 and walked away with $8,596.70. The wager has now paid at least $3,526.86 during each of the last five race cards. … Chalk players took it on the chin most of the night as only two favorites won over the first 12 races, which helped bolster the payouts of the 50-cent Pick-5 ($6,292.35) and 50-cent Pick-4 ($3,155.05). … All-source wagering on the card totaled $2,416,176. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

Tom Pollack calls Endeavor one of his favorite horses and it is not difficult to understand why. The 7-year-old male harness racing pacer possesses a tough-guy attitude and never-give-in style. "I call him The Big Boy," said Pollack, who owns Endeavor with trainer Jeff Cullipher. "He's kind of a hard-hitting blue-collar lunch-pail-type horse. He's the big, strong, grinding type. He's had very few clunkers, he just gives his all every time." Endeavor has won 19 of 49 races and $419,905 in purses for Pollack and Cullipher since they purchased the son of American Ideal-Jett Diamond privately in May 2018. He rose through the conditioned ranks to compete on the Grand Circuit, winning last year's Potomac Pace to go with a second in the Harrah's Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and third in the Dan Patch Stakes. On Saturday, Endeavor races in the preferred at The Meadowlands. He won his seasonal debut on Jan. 4 at the Big M after finishing an outside-trip second in his 2019 finale. "He's been sharp, and you hate to shut him down," Pollack said. "We're giving him until he tells us (to stop) and then he'll have a month or two off before we get into the stakes season." Last year, Endeavor raced in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, now called the MGM Borgata Pacing Series, but is unlikely to head to Yonkers Raceway for this season's event. "We probably did him a disservice putting him in the Levy," Pollack said. "He's a bigger horse and runs in some in the turns. It's not that he can't get around Yonkers, he won a leg of the Levy, but that's not really the best place for him." Endeavor caught Pollack's eye two years ago when he won a preferred handicap at The Meadowlands. Four months later when the horse became available, he made the purchase. Endeavor was sent to Harrah's Hoosier Park and worked himself up the class ladder. After a seventh-place finish in his debut for his new connections, he won six of his next seven. That included a five-race win streak in which he won each start in 1:49.2 or faster. "Jeff did a great job with him," Pollack said. "(Endeavor) took a liking to Hoosier Park and our program. He went on a heck of a run. That's when we knew we were really on to something. Since then, he's been a top-class horse. Capping the year off winning the Potomac Pace was really cool. "We thought we were buying a nice conditioned racehorse. He just got super sharp and confident and was able to maintain that. It's been great. You love to have horses like him. He gives it his all every time out. There's no cheating in him, that's for sure." For his career, Endeavor has won 32 of 110 races and $673,937. Pollack said he expects Endeavor to have a limited Grand Circuit schedule similar to 2019, minus the series at Yonkers. "He's in the class," Pollack said. "He's probably still a little 1A-ish, but we're looking forward to this year. A lot of the free-for-allers retired so we're going to give him shots, especially on the five-eighths and the mile-track races. "We'll see how he does this year. We know that as age creeps in it gets tougher. But based on how he's racing now and how he raced at the end of last year he's still got tread on the tires for sure." Another of the Pollack-Cullipher duo's stakes-winners will be in action Friday at The Meadowlands. Wisdom Tree, a 5-year-old female pacer who was a 2018 New York Sire Stakes champion, is in a conditioned race for fillies and mares. She has won 18 of 49 races and $618,181 in her career. "We're probably getting ready to shut her down for a little bit," Cullipher said. "We won't be at every (stakes) dance, but we're going to try to hit our share." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - On Dec. 27 of last year, one sharp Meadowlands harness racing player held the only ticket with the winning combination of 10-6-5-3-9 in the Early 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five and walked away with $23,262.20. Were someone to hit the Late JSH5 this Friday (Jan. 17) night, that payoff would look small by comparison. The carryover for the wager that requires one to be the lone holder of a ticket with the top five in official order of finish now stands at $105,787.13. Thus, for a wager of two thin dimes, a player could cash in for over $100,000 at the conclusion of Friday night's 14th race. For those looking for a 20-cent base bet that's a tad easier to hit, the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 is sure to please. Over the last four race cards at the Big M, the SP10 has returned no less than $3,526.86. The $5,022.74 payout on Jan. 10 was interesting because one only had to last five legs to collect. While a 21-1 shot did start the sequence, two of the other four winners went to the gate at 3-1 or less. The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 begins nightly in the third race. DEXTER'S BIG SATURDAY: Dexter Dunn became the first driver since Yannick Gingras (Feb. 1, 2019) to win seven times on a Meadowlands program Saturday night. For the weekend (Jan. 10-11), the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year won eight races in 27 starts, good for a gawdy win percentage of 29.6. Corey Callahan and Marcus Miller also did well over the two days, scoring four times apiece. The Big M's big fields and competitive racing led to 26 different trainers winning last weekend, with only Trish Adams and Darren Cassar winning twice. Cassar's Effronte A - with Dunn driving - took advantage of unseasonably warm conditions, fast fractions and a perfect trip to post the fastest mile of the year in the sport when he stopped the clock in 1:48.3 Saturday night. In fact, that program saw the only four sub-1:50 North American miles of 2020. PICK-4 REPORT: The Meadowlands' signature wager - the 50-cent Pick-4 - did big business as usual last weekend, with total pools of $85,813 (Friday) and $82,539 (Saturday). Friday's payoff of $226.75 was significant when you consider the last two legs of the wager were taken by 4-5 shots. Saturday's return of $970.05 started with a 7-5 chalk and ended with the most challenging of the sequence at 12-1. The wager has a low 15 percent takeout and a guaranteed pool of $50,000 and is featured nightly on the eighth race. Friday night's 50-cent Pick-5 returned a whopping $32,166.95 to a one superb handicapper even though favorites won twice. The wager is offered every night on race one. This Saturday will mark the second week of the Meadowlands and Woodbine Mohawk Park offering the popular Can-Am Pick-4, where players have to select two winners at each venue to cash. Those who hit a week ago cheered long and loud, as the bet with the 20-cent base returned $1,413.40. Last weekend was the third straight where betting exceeded $5 million at the industry's handle leader, as $2,773,142 was bet Friday and $2,594,301 on Saturday. FREE PPs: When it comes to the 50-cent Pick-4, the Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five and the 20-cent Can-Am Pick-4, if you want to play, but prefer not to pay for past performances, all you have to do is go to playmeadowlands.com or ustrotting.com where you can access them for free. O'MALLEY WINS WHHC: Patrick O'Malley hit big in the 14th and final race to the tune of $2,120 after betting $50 across-the-board on Duckies Dynasty at 27-1 to take the 11th World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier, presented by DerbyWars.com, at the Big M Saturday night. Completing the top four finishers - and also earning spots in the WHHC Final on April 18 - were Bob DiPalma, George Wagner and Paul Weber. DerbyWars hosts online qualifiers for the WHHC every Saturday night and players can qualify for as little as $22. For complete information, go to DerbyWars.com or playmeadowlands.com. PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT: On Jan. 17, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold'em on "Free Poker Friday", hosted by World Free Poker. THE FORECAST IS CHILI: On Saturday, Jan. 25, the Big M hosts it's annual "Chili Cook Off." The contest will offer its usual "Homestyle Chili" division, and this year, a "Chili Verde" contest has been added to the festivities. Both divisions offer a $1,000 Grand Prize plus a spot in the ICS World Championship. In addition, there will also be a competition for the best salsa, which has a $500 prize. For complete information and registration, go to https://chilicookoff.com/cookoffs/list. CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY: The AFC and NFC Championship games take place this Sunday (Jan. 19), and football fans can watch and wager on the action at the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook. The first game kicks off at 3:05 p.m. when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans in the AFC title tilt. At 6:40 p.m., the Green Bay Packers travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers to see who takes NFC honors. From the Meadowlands Media Department  

East Rutherford, NJ - Patrick O'Malley of Westbury, NY, captured the January 11th World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier presented by DerbyWars.com at the Meadowlands Racetrack. While O'Malley cashed on five of his contest wagers, he saved the best for last when his $50 Win/Place/Show wager on Duckies Dynasty in Race 14 netted him $2,120. His long-shot score vaulted him into first place and qualified him for the WHHC Final on April 18th. O'Malley is a contest veteran and qualified for the 2019 World Harness Handicapping Championship via the Winter Survival Challenge. Bob DiPalma of Househead, NY, also qualified for the April 18th Final with his second place finish in Saturday's contest with $621. DiPalma hit for $555 with a $50 Win & Place bet on Miss U Big Mike in the Meadowlands' thirteenth race. George Wagner of Warrington, PA, and Paul Weber of New Rochelle, NY also qualified into the WHHC Final with their third and fourth place finishes. The $400 Qualifier required contestants to place at least ten $20 minimum win, place, and/or show wagers on Meadowlands races. The World Harness Handicapping Championship presented by DerbyWars.com is a one-day tournament [April 18, 2020], with a welcome reception the evening prior. Players that did not earn a seat through a qualifying event can directly buy-in for $1,300. The $1,300 entry fee includes a $300 bankroll, with the remaining $1,000 going to the prize pool. The $150,000 prize pool is based on an estimated 150 entries.   DerbyWars hosts online Qualifiers for the WHHC every Saturday night. Players can qualify for as little as $22. Complete DerbyWars Qualifier information can be found at DerbyWars.com. TVG has signed up as a partner outlet and will host their online WHHC qualifier on Saturday, February 1st. They will award two entries into the WHHC Final set for Saturday, April 18th. Buffalo Raceway will also send one lucky winner to the WHHC Final from their Qualifier scheduled for Saturday, March 21st. For more information on how to become a WHHC partner outlet or sponsor, contact Rachel Ryan, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment (raryan@playmeadowlands.com) or 201-842-5015. For online qualifying on DerbyWars.com, players may contact support@derbywars.com. All WHHC details can be found at Playmeadowlands.com. From the Meadowlands Media Department  

East Rutherford, N.J. (Jan. 13, 2020) – Peter Grandich and Company (PGC) is pleased to announce that it will sponsor an Irish Heritage Driver Race on Saturday, March 14, which will be hosted at the Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Additionally, two PGC team members in New York Giants Super Bowl champion Jeff Feagles and former New York Jets quarterback Ray Lucas will be appearing for a meet and greet that night as well. “My wife and I have been sponsors of Irish Heritage Driver Races at Monticello and Freehold, and we are honored to now do so at the mecca of harness racing, the Meadowlands,” said Peter Grandich, Managing Member of Peter Grandich and Company. “Having two of our Irish heritage sports celebrities appearing as well will surely make it a great night.” Some of the leading contender to be in the race George Brennan, Irish Joe Hanney and Dublin's Jack Killeen.  This event marks the third by PGC at the Meadowlands Racetrack in recent months. The firm hosted a Hockey Night with Nick Fotiu, Bruce Driver and Brian Propp in November before holding a Football Night with Joe Klecko and Dan Klecko in December. “We are grateful to Peter Grandich and Company for sponsoring our 2020 Irish Heritage Driver Race,” said Jason Settlemoir, COO & GM of Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. “We are also excited to host Super Bowl Champ Jeff Feagles and New York Jets fan favorite Ray Lucas. This event showcases how intertwined racing & sports really are!” Punter Jeff Feagles played 22 seasons in the NFL, appearing in 352 games overall. He holds the NFL record for most consecutive games played in a career and ranks third in the NFL for most games played overall. The two-time Pro Bowler spent the final seven years of his career with the New York Giants, where he was a member of the 2007 Super Bowl champions who defeated the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. Feagles retired from the NFL after the 2009 season and now works as a successful real estate professional. Quarterback Ray Lucas played in the NFL from 1996 to 2002, spending time with the New England Patriots, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens. Since retiring from the NFL, the New Jersey native now works as a studio analyst on a variety of Jets shows for SNY, and he also works as a radio broadcaster for his alma mater, Rutgers University. To learn more about Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, and to view their upcoming schedule, make sure to visit their official website: PlayMeadowlands.com From Peter Grandich and Company

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The hottest name in harness racing these days is Dexter Dunn, and the recently named United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year lived up to his considerable current hype at the Meadowlands Saturday night, winning seven times on the 14-race program, falling just one victory short of tying the mark for most wins on a Big M program. Dunn was red-hot from the start sweeping the Early Daily Double that paid $24.20. The 30-year-old New Zealand native then turned up the volume to "10" by winning five straight races beginning in Race 5. Among those winners were JL Cruze, the first-ever sub-1:50 trotter in Meadowlands history, and a pair of Down Under pacers from Darren Cassar's barn.  The first was Italian Delight N, who flew home off cover to take the sixth race before Effronte A, a 7-year-old gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Fleur De Lil, exploded home in :25.4 after a cover trip to win in 1:48.3, the fastest mile of the year in the sport. Dunn's final two wins were of the close-call variety, as he scored with Harambe Deo in the featured high-range conditioned pace, barely edging out Eddard Hanover, who came back along the inside very late after being passed in deep stretch. In the next race, Dunn and Hurrikane Ali got passed by Whatstroublnurocky only to come back nearing the wire and score by a small neck to give Dunn his seven-bagger. "JL Cruze was great," said Dunn. "I was really happy with the way he trotted tonight. He was very smooth. Effronte A was awesome. He got a really good trip. When I asked him halfway down the straight, he knuckled down and was really motoring." Here is a recap of Dunn’s winners, with horse, winning time, post-time odds (*-denotes favorite) and race conditions: ·         Willie Boots, 1:52.1, 9-5*, TrackMaster rating of 79.5 or less pace ·         A Major Omen, 1:50.2, 7-2, 5YO and under NW of 2 pace ·         JL Cruze, 1:51.2, 3-5*, NW of $15,000 trot ·         Italian Delight N, 1:50.1, 9-5*, NW of $10,000 pace ·         Effronte A, 1:48.3, 6-5*, NW of $10,000 pace ·         Harambe Deo, 1:50.2, 7-5*, NW of $22,500 pace ·         Hurrikane Ali, 1:51.2, 7-2, TrackMaster rating of 79.5 or less pace “I was not aware,” said Dunn if he knew about how close he was to making Meadowlands history. “I had some good drives, but it doesn’t always work out. I got some good trips and my horses raced really well tonight.” In Race 11, it appeared Dunn had the record tied when he and Rock Lights had a 4-length lead with three-sixteenths of a mile to go. But it wasn't to be. "He just over-raced," said Dunn. "He got down to the half fast (:53.4) and I was trying to get him to go slower, but he was really fired up." Rock Lights weakened and finished third. The record of eight wins on a Meadowlands program is shared by Mike Lachance (July 14, 1995) and Brett Miller (December 16, 2016). The last time a driver had seven on a card was Yannick Gingras, who turned the trick on Feb. 1 of last year. A LITTLE MORE: For those who hit the first 2020 edition of the Can-Am Pick-4 it was a good night, as the payout for the wager with the 20-cent base was $1,413.40. ... The Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $105,787. ... All-source handle totaled $2,567,930. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, for The Meadowlands    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Sandy Win has been her fans' best friend of late, and once again she came through for her faithful, winning a third straight start by taking the Friday night feature at the Meadowlands, a high-end conditioned pace for fillies and mares. The 8-year-old daughter of Sand Shooter-Google completed her natural hat trick - all against the same non-winners of $15,000 stock - by defeating 3-5 favorite Major Occasion A by a neck. In her 146th career start, the Chuck Connor Jr. trainee established a new lifetime best of 1:50.2, and kept her winning streak going by scoring again as the non-favorite. Corey Callahan asked for early speed from Sandy Win, and that's just what he got, as the pair hit the quarter in :26.4. Major Occasion A was well back at this point before picking up cover and racing fourth-over past the half. Sandy Win - after rating the second fraction back to :29.1 - had to step on the gas to the tune of a :27.3 third quarter to rebuff the challenge of the pesky first-over Believe In Me while Major Occasion A was mounting a challenge while three-wide at three-quarters with still quite a bit to do. Through the stretch, Sandy Win continued to find more as Major Occasion A was airborne late, and despite a :25.3 final quarter by Major Occasion A, Sandy Win's :26.4 kicker was enough to register a safe win. Believe In Me held third.   Owned by Robert Main, Sandy Win returned $8.20 to her grateful backers, who received $20.60 and $8.60 mutuels in her prior two wins. Lifetime, she has won 24 times and earned $211,693. CAN-AM PICK-4 RETURNS SATURDAY: The 20-cent Can-Am Pick-4, which gives the challenge to handicappers of selecting the winners of two races at the Meadowlands and Woodbine Mohawk Park returns on Saturday night. The sequence will begin with WMP's 10th race. A LITTLE MORE: Well, actually, it's a lot more if you had the 50-cent Pick-5. The sequence saw winner's odds of 9-1, 1-1, 21-1, 9-5 and 13-1, and one sharp handicapper collected the huge payout of $32,166. ... Alek Chartrand and Drew Monti both recorded their first Big M driving wins of the year, Chartrand is also the trainer of Trixie Dust, who was sent to the gate as the 9-5 post-time choice. ... The Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover for Saturday's 14th race to $97,077. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,773,142. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

Tattersalls reminds horsemen and women that entries for the harness racing supplemental catalog for the Winter Mixed Sale will close Sunday, Jan. 12.   Those wanting to add horses to the sale can call (914) 773-7777 during business hours Friday or enter online at tattersallsredmile.com.   The sale will get underway at noon on Monday, Jan. 20 in the Meadowlands race paddock. More than 130 lots are set to go under the auctioneer's hammer, including more than 100 racehorses.   "Not only are we very pleased with the overall quality, but like so many of our sales, a large number of these horses are currently racing with success and ready to go. In fact, many are in this weekend, so buyers will need to keep an eye on the very latest updates," said manager David Reid.   The sale features a powerful group of newly turned 4-year-olds like Escapetothebeach, Western Exposure, Captain Trevor and Deplorable Tom, who just won back-to-back at the Meadowlands and is entered again Saturday night.   "With outstanding FFA horses like Lindy The Great and Dr J Hanover, racemares and breeding prospects like Jezzys Legacy and Witch Dali, and a solid section of broodmares and stallion shares, there'll be something for everyone--racehorse owners and breeders alike," Reid said.   The sale catalog and recently updated past performances are both available for download at tattersallsredmile.com and on the Equineline sales catalog app.   From the Tattersalls Sales Co.

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