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HUGE BIG M HANDLE THANKS TO ‘PERFECT STORM’

Thursday, March 8, 2018

  Everything was in proper alignment Saturday night at the Meadowlands, as harness racing’s handle leader had its biggest non-Meadowlands Pace or Hambletonian in two years, when the track saw $3,454,633 pushed through the windows. 

The handle was the highest since the track hosted the Breeders Crown on October 29, 2016 (excluding the 2017 Meadowlands Pace and Hambletonian), when $3,461,457 was wagered, only $7,000 more than what was bet Saturday. Both cards had 13 races. 

“The combination of a Pick-5 carryover, the World Harness Handicapping Championship tournaments, a $90,000 Pick-4 pool, a $120,000 Jackpot Super High Five carryover along with the cancellation of Friday’s card created the perfect storm for a big handle night,” said Jason Settlemoir, the track’s chief operating officer and general manager. 

“The night was great and the fact we almost handled what we did hosting the Breeders Crown Finals in 2016 is amazing. The Meadowlands players supported the Saturday card with incredible enthusiasm from start to finish. The last race went at 11:27 p.m., yet did almost a quarter of a million dollars, and all 13 races handled more than $200,000.” 

Saturday’s handle crushed the previous 2018 best of $2,790,201 (established on Jan. 27) by 24 percent while the per race average of $265,741 was a little over $50,000 more than the previous best of $214,630 (also Jan. 27). 

PICKY, PICKY: The $30,000 carryover in the Pick-5 led to $230,199 in “new money” for a final pool of $260,401. … Race 3, which is the first leg of the Pick-5, saw $422,271 in wagers. … The Pick-5 sequence (Races 3 through 7) handled $1,430,565. … The Pick-4 pool saw $90,666 in play and served as the catalyst for that sequence (Races 8 through 11), which saw $1,132,218 in play. 

Free program pages for the Meadowlands Pick 4, courtesy of Track Master, are available on the Meadowlands’ website (www.playmeadowlands.com) and on the handicapping section at www.ustrotting.com. 

SUPER JACKPOT: This Friday, players will be waiting around until the end of the night for a shot at a big pot. The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five (Race 13) has a carryover of $126,952. The bet requires one be the only ticket holder of the winning combination to rake the pot. 

Even when the jackpot isn’t hit, cashing a ticket can still be lucrative. On Saturday, those who had winning tickets cashed in for $1,600 for a 20-cent wager, that in a race where the Exacta paid only $10.40. 

LIVE SHOW FRIDAY: “Meadowlands Harness Live” returns Friday at 9 p.m. on SNY with coverage of Races 7, 8 and 9. The Big M TV team of Dave Brower, Dave Little, Bob “Hollywood” Heyden and Ken Warkentin will provide commentary, selections and interviews. … Post time for live racing this Friday and Saturday is 6:35 p.m. 

 


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