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Kindergarten finals, new betting menu on tap at Big M

November 05, 2020

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When it comes to the best that harness racing has to offer, all roads lead back to the Meadowlands.
Last week a winding stakes highway that took the best horses and horsemen from Woodbine at Mohawk Park in Ontario to the Delaware, Ohio Fairgrounds to Lexington’s Red Mile made its final stop at Indiana’s Hoosier Park for the Breeders Crown.
Now, the Big M will be the place for the sport’s biggest events for the next three weeks as this Saturday’s program kicks everything off with four Kindergarten Classic finals for 2 year olds of both sexes and gaits.
Anoka Hanover will try to up her winning streak to six in the $252,340 filly trot while Lindysmusclemania and Jula Muscle Pack – both winners in their final Kindergarten preliminaries – take on Peter Haughton champion Zenith Stride in the $207,570 trot for colts and geldings.
Breeders Crown winner Fire Start Hanover is the marquee attraction in the $151,030 filly pace while Simon Says Hanover – who seeks his fifth straight score – takes on Breeders Crown winner Summa Cum Laude (who dead heated with Perfect Sting) in the $204,050 colt and gelding pace.
Once the Kindergarten is over, it will be time for all Big M watchers to get ready for the third biggest program of the calendar year – after Hambletonian Day and Meadowlands Pace Night – when Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night takes place on Nov. 21, with many Breeders Crown participants expected to be on hand.
That evening, 2 year olds will once again be in the spotlight as the Governor’s Cup (colt pace), Three Diamonds (filly pace), Valley Victory (colt trot) and Goldsmith Maid (filly trot) makeup the Fall Final Four, with total purses of about $1.8 million.
In addition, year-end divisional honors figure to be determined by what happens in the four TVG Finals, which are the Mares Trot, Open Trot, Mares Pace and Open Pace, a fabulous foursome which will see just over $1 million get doled out.
The Meadowlands is refreshing its betting menu. There will be some addition and subtraction of wagers and it is bringing back guaranteed pools to its most-popular plays.
On a normal 13-race card, gone is the fifth race 10-cent Pentafecta and ninth race 20-cent Pick-5, but those who liked the 20-cent Survivor will no doubt be pleased that bet is back, albeit in a seven-race format rather than the former 10-race marathon.
Effective, Saturday, Nov. 7, here is the new wagering lineup for a normal 13-race card. Each bet offers a low 15 percent takeout:
  •          Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5 ($50,000 guaranteed)
  •          Race 3: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7
  •          Race 6: 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed)
  •          Race 8: 20-cent Pick-6
  •          Race 10: 50-cent Pick-4 ($40,000 guaranteed)
  •          Race 13: 10-cent Pentafecta
“We are aware that many of our fans wanted the Survivor wager back,” said Big M chief operating officer and general manager Jason Settlemoir, “and we are happy to oblige them with the Survivor Pick-7.”
On Friday night, the Meadowlands will offer a 12-race card, so there will be one less Pick-4 offered, but because of a two-day carryover in the 20-cent Pick-6, a $25,000 guaranteed pool will be offered on the wager that kicks off in the sixth race. There will also be $50,000 promises on the first race Pick-5 and ninth race Pick-4, meaning that during the weekend, a total of $265,000 in guaranteed green will be up for grabs.
For free past performances of Meadowlands races, courtesy of the United States Trotting Association and TrackMaster, go to playmeadowlands.com, where one can access races six through 12 on the Friday night card and races one through five for Saturday. (Meadowlands)
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