Day At The Track

Biggest wagering night of the year at Big M

01:00 AM 18 Feb 2019 NZDT
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K Ryan Bluechip, harness racing
K Ryan Bluechip and driver Andy Miller
Lisa Photo

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Perfect conditions and ultra-competitive harness racing led to the biggest betting night of the year at the Meadowlands, as a total of $3,166,920 was pushed through the windows during the 13-race Saturday night program. It was the second time during 2019 that wagering exceeded $3 million.

The night got off to a fast start at the industry's handle leader as $303,044 was wagered in the first race, with $79,108 of that poured into the 50-Cent Pick-5 pot. Not surprisingly, the second most money was wagered in the eighth race - $299,848 - with $115,218 wagered into the 50-Cent Pick-4 pool. The total bet in both the Pick-5 and Pick-4 were yearly bests.

The month of February has seen six racing programs at the Big M. On those programs, a total of $17,529,832 has been wagered, for an average per card of $2,921,638.

In the featured $21,000 Preferred Handicap for pacers, K Ryan Bluechip got back in the win column for the first time in six weeks, pulling off a surprise at odds of 7-1 in 1:50.4.

The red-hot Tuxedo Bay, sent to the gate as the 4-5 favorite in search of a third straight score in the weekly feature, had a rough go of it. Pushed four-wide into the first turn, driver Eric Carlson had to use his horse hard to reach the quarter on the front end in :26.

A rated second panel of :28 would follow, but K Ryan Bluechip, who was away early in fifth, was now making good progress while racing first over. KRB got to within a half-length of the public choice at three-quarters before powering past to lead by 1¼ lengths with three-sixteenths of a mile to go.

Through the stretch, the Virgil Morgan-trained, Andy Miller-driven K Ryan Bluechip maintained his edge as Tuxedo Bay weakened, and after a leisurely final quarter of :28.4, K Ryan Bluechip had his second victory in the Preferred ranks in seven tries. It was 1¾ lengths back to Castle Flight in second. New Talent finished third while Tuxedo Bay was last in the field of six.

K Ryan Bluechip, who is owned by Carl T Howard and Brian Witt, returned $17.60 as the fifth choice in the wagering. The 7-year-old gelded son of Art Major-Fool That I Am now has 32 wins in 104 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $410,484.

A LITTLE MORE: Andy Miller drove three winners on the card while Corey Callahan and Dexter Dunn had two each. ... Two bettors cashed in for $6,103 after lasting seven legs in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10. ... Mindtrip destroyed his foes as the 3-5 choice in the eighth race non-winners of $16,000 pace in a lifetime-best 1:50.1 for trainer Patti Harmon and driver Mitch Cushing. ... When racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m., a carryover of $50,930 awaits those playing the Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five (Race 5).

By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

 

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