Day At The Track

Record Super Hi-5 paid out

12:10 PM 31 Dec 2019 NZDT
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Big Dutch, harness racing Cherry Peep, harness racing
Big Dutch and driver Tony Hall beat Enoch to the wire
Chris Gooden photo
Cherry Peep and driver Aaron Merriman
Chris Gooden photo

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 30, 2019 -- What a way to go!

The Meadows brought down the harness racing curtain Monday on its 2019 live racing season with an action-packed card that featured the championships of five Holiday Claiming Series and wagering fireworks in the Super Hi-5.

The Super Hi-5 jackpot stood at $105,000.96 following Saturday's carryover. Fueled by frenzied Monday wagering, however, the jackpot swelled to $323,614, by far a record for the Super Hi-5 at The Meadows. Ordinarily, the jackpot is paid only if there is a single correct ticket. But because the pool could not be carried over to next year and had to be paid out, the jackpot was shared by all holders of correct tickets, who each received $366.78

On the racing front Big Dutch and Cherry Peep each pulled off a mild upset in a series final. In a $24,000 championship for $20,000 claiming horse and gelding pacers, Big Dutch was forced to a 26.4 opening panel to reach the lead but picked up cover thereafter. He had enough left to edge Enoch by a head in 1:53 for Tony Hall, trainer Mike Palone and owners Charles Haley and Mitchell Fini. BB's Harley completed the ticket.

 

A 7-year-old Jereme's Jet-Big Duchess gelding, Big Dutch now boasts lifetime earnings of $144,773.

Cherry Peep prevailed in the $24,500 championship for $20,000 claiming trotters, holding off the determined challenge of her stablemate, Mac Deeno, and downing him by 1/2 length in 1:56. Aaron Merriman piloted the 4-year-old daughter of Conway Hall-Jenny On The Block, who extended her career earnings to $153,848. Andy Rickert trains and owns Cherry Peep with Corey Hendricks and Nichole Stahl.

 

In the other championships:

$18,600 Championship -- $10,000 Claiming Trotters

Mr Quaker completed a series sweep when he quarter-poled to the point for Dave Palone and held off the late rally of Just Jewel to down him by 3/4 lengths in 1:57.2 Parnell completed the ticket. Mike Palone conditions Mr Quaker, a 4-year-old Pilgirms Chuckie-Julia Jet gelding who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $139,874, for J.R. Ryan and Collin Ryan.

$18,400 Championship -- $10,000 Claiming Horse & Gelding Pacers

Here Comes Stubbie took advantage of a hot pace to register his first win of the year in 15 tries. He moved three wide with cover down the backside for Aaron Merriman and triumphed in 1:55, a length better than Nobetterplacetobe. Innocent Victim shot the Lightning Lane for show. Jack Smith trains the 5-year-old Pine Valley-Maggie Hanover gelding, who vaulted over $100,000 in career earnings, and owns with Bob Adamo.

$17,400 Championship -- $10,000 Claiming Filly & Mare Pacers

The Spinster N made a power move down the backside and romped to victory for Merriman, trainer Justin Pirillo and owners Vince Aiello and Scott Aiello. The 7-year-old daughter of American Ideal-Millwood Bella scored in 1:55.2, 2-3/4 lengths better than 60-1 long shot Unbeamlievable, with Strong Coffee third. The Spinster N pushed her career bankroll to $148,925.

Mike Wilder, Palone and Merriman each enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card.

The 2020 season at The Meadows kicks off Monday, Jan. 6, first post 1:05 PM.

By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

 

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