Callahan sweeps features on $3 million Big M night
February 02, 2020
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The action at the Meadowlands has heated up in a big way of late, and the trend continued Saturday night. Wagering on the 13-race card pushed past the $3-million mark for the second time this year as $3,026,740 was put in play.
The other time betting went past the magic $3-million mark was on Jan. 3, when $3,069,967 was pushed through the windows.
Saturday night got off to a good start, as in the first race, $250,382 in action was taken. A total of $71,830 was pumped into the 50-cent Pick-5 pool, outdoing the previous 2020 best of $63,798 (on Jan. 4) by 12.5 percent.
Betting on the 50-cent Pick-4 also reached a season high with a total pool of $117,502, which is just over $8,000 more than was pushed through the windows on Jan. 3. Total wagering on the eighth race – which is the start of the Pick-4 – was a night-best $306,163.
Betting has now surpassed the $2.5-million mark for three straight racing programs at the Big M.
Pappy Go Go ran his winning streak to four facing his toughest test yet, taking the co-featured $37,500 Preferred for trotters.
The Andrew Harris-trained 6-year-old son of Tad The Stud-Paging Willy left the gate quickly, along with Nows The Moment and JL Cruze while Misslarose was also away alertly to protect rail position.
Pappy Go Go marched to the top at the three-eighths and took the field past the half before taking pressure from JL Cruze, who backed off just a bit on the far turn before coming back on late, only to be out-kicked for second by Muscle Diamond, who was explosive in the latter stages to miss by a neck.
Corey Callahan drove the winner, who covered the mile in 1:52.3, to his 33rd win from 84 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $268,297 for owners Michael Goldberg Racing. He returned $4.20 as the even-money favorite.
“It’s the Pappy-lands,” joked Harris. “He’s as good as he’s ever been. He beat a solid group tonight. In this class, you can’t expect a blowout every week. Corey is driving him smart.”
Callahan, aka The Captain, was the driver colony’s top gun Saturday, winning four times on the night. The 41-year-old pilot swept both features, as after winning with Pappy Go Go, he guided Endeavor to the winner’s circle in the $37,500 Preferred for pacers.
Working out a pocket trip behind 8-5 favorite Italian Delight N – who was looking for his third win in as many starts since arriving in North America from Australia – Endeavor vacated the pocket in mid-stretch and rolled right by the public choice to record an authoritative 3½-length victory in 1:49.1. Sicily out-kicked Italian Delight N for second.
Endeavor, a 7-year-old gelded son of American Ideal-Jett Diamond who is trained by Jeff Cullipher, won for the 33rd from 112 lifetime starts, and now has earnings of $702,062 for owners Pollack Racing and Jeff Cullipher. As the third choice in the betting, he paid $8.20 to win.
When racing resumes Friday, Feb. 7, post time will change to 6:55 p.m.
Woodbine Mohawk Park TV personality Monique Vag correctly selected the Can-Am Pick-4 that returned $260 for a 20-cent bet. Yannick Gingras matched Callahan, driving four winners on the card. Not surprisingly, trainer Ron Burke conditioned all of Gingras’ winners. One sharp player betting into the Oregon hub held the only ticket to last six legs in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 and cashed in for $10,026. (Meadowlands)