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Meadowlands Pace night handle tops $4 million

July 18, 2019
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Meadowlands Pace Night on Saturday, July 13, at the Meadowlands featured many things that bettors apparently like, as total wagering on the 13-race, stakes-laden card topped $4 million, the first time in 2019 wagering reached that lofty level at the mile oval.

Five favorites did emerge victorious on the program on which $4,044,303 was bet, but some of the post-time choices that went down clearly raised some eyebrows – and helped some to handsome scores – as odds-on choices Green Manalishi S (3-5 odds), Atlanta (1-5), Captain Crunch (1-2) and Warrawee Ubeaut (4-5) all tasted defeat in major stakes events.

Large fields at an added distance are always a big draw at the Big M, and on Saturday night, the Golden Girls (11 horses), Hambletonian Maturity (11), William Haughton (12) and Mistletoe Shalee (12) were all contested with overflow fields at a mile and an eighth. Betting on those four races totaled just under $1.6 million, good for an average of $397,614 per race.

“The betting public embracing the added distance races with larger fields on Meadowlands Pace Night should definitely be considered a big positive step forward for our sport,” said president and chief executive officer of the Hambletonian Society John Campbell. “The atmosphere in the building was electric. You could tell it was a special night.”

Big M management decided to double up on the track’s signature wager – the 50-Cent Pick-4 – and both times big pools were the result. In the initial Pick-4 (Races 6-9), a total of $146,229 – the most of any Pick-4 this year – was pushed through the windows, while in the Late Pick-4 (Races 10-13), wagering totaled $122,070.

The 50-Cent Pick-5 total of $116,401 was by far the largest non-carryover pool of 2019. Both the Pick-4 and Pick-5 both offered a low takeout of 15 percent.

Not surprisingly, the race on which the most wagering dollars were plunked down was the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, where $499,925 was put in play. Finishing a close second was the Golden Girls, which saw total action of $480,757.

“We are so appreciative of our owners, trainers, drivers, and of course, our faithful fans for a big Meadowlands Pace Night,” said Big M chief operating officer and general manager Jason Settlemoir. “And we look forward to that support continuing through the end of the meeting, which concludes on Saturday, Aug. 3 with the $1 million Hambletonian serving as the centerpiece.”

Just six race cards remain for the 2018-19 meeting at the Meadowlands. Racing will continue to be conducted on a Friday-Saturday basis with a 7:15 p.m. post time through Friday, Aug. 2.

The final program takes place on Saturday, Aug. 3, Hambletonian Day. Post time is noon. (Meadowlands)

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