Machnhope upsets at Meadowlands
February 29, 2020
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Machnhope pulled off an upset in the feature on an otherwise formful evening of racing, and betting came oh-so-close to the magic $3 million mark on an eventful Friday night at the Meadowlands.
The Noel Daley-trained Machnhope, a 5-year-old daughter of Mach Three-Hope For Life, scored in the $25,000 fillies and mares high-end conditioned pace after racing along the rail in the three-hole before Pat Berry swerved her to the outside at the head of the stretch. The pair then exploded home in :27.2 to record a half-length win over Odds On St Lucie in a lifetime-best 1:51.3.
The race set up for a closer after early leader Lily Hammer, in search of her fifth victory in six starts, was pressed by Odds On St Lucie, who was nothing short of gigantic going parked the mile, racing without cover from start to finish. ‘Lucie’ nudged past the leader with a sixteenth of a mile to go and was clear nearing the finish, only to get gunned down. Write Me A Song, the 6-5 favorite who was making her 2020 debut, went second over and finished third.
Machnhope returned $29.60 to win as the fifth choice in the eight-horse field for owner Gary J. Lance and now has 20 wins from 70 lifetime starts and earnings of $243,867.
BETTING BIG: All-source handle reached $2,970,735, the third best night of business in 2020 at the Big M. The only two bigger totals occurred on Jan. 3 ($3,069,967) and Feb. 1 ($3,026,740).
Betting has now exceeded $2.5 million nine of the last 10 race cards.
PICK-6 CARRYOVER: With three of the winners going off at odds of 25-1, 17-1 and 13-1, there were no tickets with all six winners in the 20-cent Pick-Six, creating a carryover of $11,270 heading into Saturday’s card. Those with five winners cashed in for $939.30.
As part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering initiative, there will be a $40,000 guarantee on Saturday’s pool.
There was a Pick-6 carryover of $14,376 heading into the card of Feb. 21, which led to $76,682 in “new money” being poured into the pot for a total of $91,058. Saturday’s 20-cent Pick-6 begins with the fourth race in the program.
A LITTLE MORE: Yannick Gingras kept his February roll moving, driving two winners on the card, giving him 21 victories for the month. … Berry and Andy Miller also had two winners apiece. … Chalk players ruled again, as for a second straight program, eight winning favorites hit victory lane. … Racing resumes Saturday at 6:55 p.m. (Meadowlands)