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Big payouts prevail at The Big M

January 28, 2021
HOME PRINT

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The nature of racing is sometimes favorites win, sometimes they don’t, and Meadowlands’ fans are versatile enough to adjust to whatever scenario comes their way, although smiles were likely broader last weekend (Jan. 22-23) when four-figure payouts were the norm.
 
During the 27-race (13 on Friday, 14 on Saturday), two-card race week, only seven favorites were seen in the winner’s circle at mile’s end, for a low percentage of 26. But when you remove Friday’s Early Double and Saturday’s Late Double – both of which were swept by post-time choices – the Big M faithful were able to make some scores over the 23 races in between, when only three chalks clicked (13 percent).
 
Friday saw a pair of handsome $2 Trifectas as $2,795 was the payout in the sixth race and $1,008 in the ninth. Those races were the bookends to a 50-cent Pick-4 that returned $8,987. The ninth race also served as the payoff leg to a huge $1 Pick-3 that came back $5,400, with driver Corey Callahan, aka “The Captain”, commanding 27-1 shot Explosive Ridge to victory.
Those who correctly selected five winners in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 cashed in for $2,162 before longshot lovers got one more bite of the big-payoff apple in the 11th, as the Pick-3 returned $1,705.
 
Saturday saw seven scintillating settlements where payouts were $1,000 or more. With Yannick Gingras winning his second of four races on the night (three of which went off at odds of at least 8-1), the second race saw a 10-cent Superfecta payoff of $1,072 and a Trifecta return of $2,244.
Race four’s Trifecta paid $2,016 even with the mile pace being taken by 5-1 second choice Sports Column (with Mark MacDonald driving) and completed a Pick-3 that came back $1,335.
 
The biggest payoffs of the night came later in the evening, as the fifth race 20-cent Pick-5 returned $6,907, with all of Gingras’ winners coming during the sequence. The ninth race Survivor, where one only needed to have six correct, came back $2,992.
 
The 20-cent Pick-6, which came into the night with a carryover of $7,293, saw a total pool of $36,159 and those who correctly selected all six winners walked away with $6,365 at the conclusion of the 13th race.
 
“When you have competitive, full fields on a mile track, there are going to be constant opportunities for a horseplayer to make a score,” said Big M chief operating officer and general manager Jason Settlemoir. “Combine that with low takeout options, which create even bigger payouts, it gives you the kind of wagering product that horseplayers around the world will always respond to. We continue to be the No. 1 nighttime signal of any breed in horse racing, with Saturday handle averaging more than $3.7 million during our Winter Meet.”
 
Once again, all-source wagering during the weekend was up considerably over the corresponding cards from 2020.
 
Friday’s total of $2,806,228 was better than a half-million more than the year before. There have been three Friday racing programs in 2021, and each has seen action of $2.8 million or more.
Saturday’s stayed perfect in four 2021 programs with wagering of at least $3.4 million. The $3,404,537 in total play Jan. 23 was $737,494 more than what was bet 12 months prior, an uptick of 28 percent. (Meadowlands)
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