Day At The Track

Countdown to the Meadowlands Pace

04:16 AM 17 Jul 2020 NZST
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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The "Biggest Night in Harness Racing" takes place Saturday (July 18) at the track known as the Big M. And for bettors, Meadowlands Pace Night 2020 is now even bigger.

The action and stakes racing will be excessive Saturday at North America's top venue, with the marquee event - The Meadowlands Pace, a 3-year-old open for a purse of $636,650 - scheduled as Race 9, with a post time of 9:55 p.m.

"Every year, Meadowlands Pace Night sports one of the truly special race cards of the year," said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "The 13-race program has many stakes events, and the wagering opportunities are numerous. On Saturday, we will be offering a mandatory payout on our 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five, so the total pool should be huge."

This Friday night's Early 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five will not be offered so that Saturday's can start out with a carryover of $65,089 in the 11th race. "It is our hope that our players will go after the Saturday Super High-Five in a big way," said Settlemoir. "Hopefully, we can get $200,000 into that pool and get one - or several - players a nice score."

Saturday's wagering menu will be expanded. Here is a look at what - and when - players will be playing the track's popular puzzles, all of which offer a low 15 percent takeout:

  • 20-cent Pick-5 (Races 1-5, $50,000 guaranteed pool)
  • 50-cent All Stakes Pick-4 (Races 6-9, $100,000 guarantee)
  • 20-cent Pick-6 (Races 8-13)
  • 20-cent Pick-5 (Races 9-13)
  • 50-cent Pick-4 (Races 10-13)
  • 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five (Race 11, $65,089 carryover, mandatory payout, estimated pool $200,000)

The Big M has good momentum heading into this weekend's racing, with $3,440,248 having been wagered last Saturday, the high at the mile oval this year for a 13-race card, on which the track set a per-race average best of $264,634.

Despite the absence of the Early 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five on Friday, fans of the wager will still have a big opportunity in the 13th race, as that JSH5 will start out with a carryover of $80,368. Friday's program begins at the usual 7:15 p.m.

STAKES-STACKED CARD: Saturday's Meadowlands Pace Night program gets underway a little earlier than usual, with a first-race post time of 6:30 p.m.

In addition to The Pace, the card also offers the $40,000 Miss Versatility (featuring Manchego), $253,500 Del Miller Memorial (Hypnotic AM), $284,500 Stanley Dancer Memorial-two divisions (Amigo Volo and Beads), $194,400 Mistletoe Shalee (JK First Lady), $391,300 William Haughton Memorial (Dancin Lou), $464,900 Hambletonian Maturity (Gimpanzee), $172,850 Dorothy Haughton (Shartin N) and $123,100 William Haughton Memorial Consolation (Sintra).

OWNERS BACK IN THE WC: For the first time since before the coronavirus shutdown in early March, owners will be welcome back in the winner's circle on Saturday night, with masks and social distancing strictly enforced.

PACE CARD LIVE ON FACEBOOK: The entire Meadowlands Pace card can be seen live on the Meadowlands' Facebook page.

The races can also be seen on the Roberts Television Network (rtn.tv) or on the Television Games Network (TVG). To bet the races go to 4njbets.com, tvg.com or your favorite ADW (advance-deposit wagering) platform.

"We are looking forward to an international viewing audience on TVG on Pace Night," said Settlemoir. "But we also look forward to seeing our fans at the track as well."

For those who want to come out to the races, grandstand capacity is 25 percent with more patrons allowed outside on the apron. Theweatherchannel.com is forecasting fabulous conditions for Saturday night, with temperatures in the mid-70s, a few clouds and light winds.

ASHLEY RETURNS: The Meadowlands' Dave Brower, Dave Little, Ken Warkentin and Jessica Otten will be joined for a second straight weekend by Ashley Mailloux, the paddock analyst and handicapper at Ft. Erie Racetrack, who will be on hand to bolster the Big M's TV presence.

Mailloux also contributes - and freelances - for Post Time with Mike and Mike, America's Best Racing, the Maryland Jockey Club and the Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN).

Otten spent the early part of the week out at the farms of some of The Pace contenders, and her reports will be shown throughout the weekend.

On Friday, Mailloux will sit beside Brower and serve as co-host of the live simulcast presentation at 6:45 p.m. Saturday's show will have Brower and Little on set, with an earlier-than-usual start time of 5:45 p.m. Otten and Mailloux will have features and interviews all weekend long, and, of course, Warkentin, the voice of The Big M, will call all 26 races.

Due to the cancellation of racing at Del Mar, Meadowlands management is anticipating more coverage on TVG's live presentation of the races. Little will be on TVG duty Friday, and Mike Bozich, the track announcer at Harrah's Philadelphia, will take the microphone Saturday.

FREE STUFF: For free past performances, go to playmeadowlands.com. Friday night, the Late 50-cent Pick-4 and Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five (races 10-13) will be available.

On Saturday, bettors can access the entire Meadowlands Pace Night card.

CHECK OUT THE PICKS: For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to playmeadowlands.com to see track oddsmaker and analyst Dave Brower's selections and commentary. Go to the "handicapping" drop down and then go to "race reviews".

Additionally, track announcer Ken Warkentin's blog is available on the site and offers his picks and analysis.

TWEET THE TEAM: Stay in touch on Twitter with the Big M's Brower (@eedoogie), Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Otten (@JessicaOtten1) and Mailloux (@ashley_mailloux). Check in everyday for Meadowlands news and updates at those handles, as well as @TheMeadowlands, #playbigm and #paceyourself20.

FOLLOW THE FAVORITES: Want to know what the trainer and driver of Meadowlands Pace 7-5 morning-line favorite Tall Dark Stranger are saying? Follow trainer Nancy Takter (@NancyTakter) and driver Yannick Gingras (@Gingras3) on Twitter.

READ ALL ABOUT IT: Check the following harness racing outlets on the internet for everything Meadowlands Pace, before and after the race: playmeadowlands.com, ustrotting.com, drf.com/harness/, harnessracing.com, standardbredcanada.ca, harnessracingupdate.com and harnesslink.com.

From the Meadowlands Media Department

 

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