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Pappy Go Go wins Big M feature on $3 million night

January 04, 2020
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Wagering at the Meadowlands has been on the increase in recent weeks, with last Saturday’s $2.913 million the biggest number during the recently-concluded 2019 Fall Meeting.

On Friday night at the Big M, on the second day of the 2020 Winter Meeting, betting surpassed the magic $3-million mark, with all-source wagering that totaled $3,069,967.
Play was consistent throughout the 14-race card, with two races, the first and eighth, both seeing betting in excess of $290,000. The first was helped by a healthy 50-cent Pick-5 pool of $58,789, while the eighth saw vigorous play in the 50-cent Pick-4 of $109,615.
 
Maybe the classy veteran Pappy Go Go isn’t all the way back to his best just yet. But if he isn’t, he sure is close.
 
The 6-year-old gelded son of Tad The Stud-Paging Willy won his second straight after failing in his previous eight starts, scoring in the Friday night feature, a $25,000 high-range conditioned trot.
 
Pappy Go Go was in tough, facing the likes of 9-5 favorite JL Cruze, who was off consecutive third-place finishes to the top-notch Preferred-caliber Southwind Chrome, and 2-1 second choice Sutton, the half-millionaire who was getting some class relief in his third start back from a layoff.
 
The race played out in unspectacular fashion as JL Cruze, the first trotter ever to break the 1:50 barrier (in 2015) on the trot at the Meadowlands, sailed along on the point past the quarter in :27.2 and half in :55.2 with Sutton in the pocket and Pappy Go Go the three hole.
 
Driver Corey Callahan moved Pappy Go Go to the outside with three-eighths of a mile to go and chipped away at JL Cruze’s advantage as they hit three-quarters in 1:24.1.
 
Through the stretch, JL Cruze was game, but could not deal with Pappy Go Go, as he edged clear in deep stretch to win by three-quarters-of-a-length over a fast-closing Kenziesky Hanover in 1:52.3 over a track labeled ‘good’ with a -1 variant. JL Cruze held third. Sutton weakened to fifth.
 
“He’s at his best off the layoff,” said winning trainer Andrew Harris of Pappy Go Go, who was making his third start back after three months on the shelf. “He’s fresh. He has the same speed in the winter as he did in the summer, so we tried to time his break to hopefully allow us to benefit from that. Right now, the way he’s looking, there’s nothing in training that scares me. He’s no layover by any means, but if he gets his trip, he’ll pounce on them.”
 
As the third choice in the wagering, Pappy Go Go returned $8.60 to his backers, and has now won 31 of 82 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $230,797 for owners Michael Goldberg Racing.
 
The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 continues to pay big numbers, and Friday was no exception. One Ontario-hub player that lasted eight legs in the bet walked away with $13,034. Harris trained two other winners on the program, giving him his second consecutive three-score Friday. (Meadowlands)
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