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Carryovers should spice up weekend at Big M

September 17, 2020

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The first full weekend of racing since Hambletonian week saw plenty of action on a pair of popular multi-leg wagers last Friday and Saturday (Sept. 11-12), the result of sizable carryovers, and racing fans will have similar opportunities on a pair of prominent puzzles this week when racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.

Last Saturday, driver Pat Berry, aka “The Blueberry Bomber,” lit up the board with Harambe Deo in the 10th race at odds of 33-1, which served as the reason that the 20-cent Late Pick 5 and 50-cent Late Pick 4 failed to yield a winning ticket. As a result, both wagers will have sizable carryovers to titillate the palates of those who sample the Big M’s betting menu this Friday.

A week ago, the Early 20-cent Pick 5 had a carryover heading into Saturday’s card, and after $151,228 in “new money” was poured into the pot, the total wager was just over $188,000. Those who correctly selected five winners (there was a 6-5 shot and a 4-5 during the sequence) cashed in for $271.46.

The 20-cent Pick 6 saw almost $14,000 in new action, which ran the total pool to $20,760. Players with winning tickets were singing the praises of trainer-driver Eric Abbatiello, whose superb handling with Like Clockwork led to a score at odds of 20-1 in the anchor leg (race eight). The payoff was $6,222.48.

This Friday, bettors will shoot first for the Late 20-cent Pick 5 (races nine through 13), which has a carryover of $21,811, before getting a rare opportunity by betting into a Late 50-cent Pick-4 with a carryover, which stands at $38,390.

Friday will mark the first time in 2020 that a Pick 4 (races 10 through 13) has had a carryover, thus, it is likely that this will be the biggest pool of the year. On Meadowlands Pace Night (July 18), a total of $191,288 was pushed through the P4 windows for the high-water mark of 2020.

“Carryovers create added interest in our already popular multi-leg bets, which always offer a low 15 percent takeout,” said track chief operating officer and general manager Jason Settlemoir. “At The Meadowlands, our fans can always shoot for a big score, and with low-minimum base wagers, players can bet a little and win a lot.”

From management to patrons, all who follow Big M racing with interest are grateful to Gov. Phil Murphy and the members of the New Jersey legislature, whose efforts to see racing get the money it needs to flourish have shown results.

Last weekend, handle was over $5 million. The last time racing was offered in September – 2017 – handle was $3.4 million over the two race cards. Saturday’s total wager of $2.7 million was up over a million dollars as compared to the Saturday three years prior.

It took driver Todd McCarthy, 27, one night to stamp himself as a player in the Big M driver colony. The younger brother of standout pilot Andy McCarthy won four races – his first four career wins at the mile oval – on Saturday night’s card. (Meadowlands)

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