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Bettor Memories wins from off the pace and captured the $32,500 Preferred Pace at Dover Downs on Thursday night. Bo Mach (Corey Callahan) and Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) sprinted for early race position going to the quarter. Wiggle It Jiggleit became anxious in the pocket and took the lead away from Bo Mach. The opening quarter was paced in 27.4 over a sloppy track. Wiggle It Jiggleit was allowed to cut the mile and reached the half in 55.4, a 28 flat quarter. Down the backstretch Closing Statement marched 1st up.  Kimani N followed 2nd over and Bettor Memories was carried 3rd over as the backfield was in motion and threatening the leader. Wiggle It Jiggleit continued to lead the field to the three quarters in 1:23.3. Driver Montrell Teague was asking for more but the champ surrendered the lead at the head of the stretch. Closing Statement and Yannick Gingras sprinted clear to take a short lead into the stretch.  However, Bettor Memories and Dexter Dunn launched a three wide blast and drew clear of the field to win by a measured  1 ¾ lengths as the favorite at odds of 3/2.   Bettor Memories is owned by Gus Dovi and trained by Nifty Norman. Q’s Cruise was a fast closing 2nd for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King Jr. Closing Statement was third. Yannick Gingras was the driver for trainer Mark Harder. Wiggle It Jiggleit finished last. Proper One was able to repeat and win the $30,000 Blue Hen Open pace.   It was  Sicily and Proper One  wholeft alertly establishing early race position. Andrew McCarthy retook the lead with Proper One and paced the quarter in 26.1 over a sloppy track. Slick Tony rushed up from third and took the lead away from Proper One, who already had been used twice  The half was paced in 54.1. Slick Tony continued to lead down the backstretch. Late Mail N pulled first over and pressured Slick Tony to the three quarters in 1:22.3 The tandem paced a third quarter in 28.2 Little Ben was in perfect position to pounce as he was 2nd over on the outside.  Sicily was caught inside and was raging with pace as the field turned for home.  Driver George Napolitano Jr. asked Slick Tony for every ounce of courage in the deep stretch. Proper One showed his toughness after being used a 3rd time in the race.  Andrew McCarthy found a seam on the inside with Proper One and won by a nose.   Proper One won in 1:51.1 and was sent off at odds of 10-1. Proper One, who won back to back weeks, is owned by Louis Tomzak Jr. and trained by Carlo Poliseno. Slick Tony picked up the place spot, for trainer George Leager. Sicily was loaded with pace but had nowhere to go and finished 3rd.  Victor Kirby drove for trainer Wayne Givens. Racing resumes at Dover Downs on Monday. Post Time is 4:30 pm.   by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs  

All eyes were on Major Occasion A who was sent off as the harness racing favorite in the Mares Open Pace at Dover Downs Wednesday night. Valuable Art, last week’s winner, left quickly and Delishka N accepted the pocket trip. The first quarter was paced in :26.4  Tim Tetrick rushed past the quarter pole with Ideal Lifestyle A, who responded clearing the lead.  They led the field to the half in :55 seconds flat.  Major Occasion A was the first to pull past the half. Dexter Dunn had to urge his charge on and accelerated past Ideal Lifestyle A, who offered little resistance.  The three quarters were paced in 1:22.4, a :27.4 quarter.  Baron Remy attempted to shadow Ideal Lifestyle ‘s move but could not gain any ground.  Moments of Joy, Delishka N and Valuable Art all were out paced in the late stages of the race. Major Occasion A sprinted away from the field and won by four and three quarter lengths stopping the teletimer in 1:49.4.  She was sent off at odds of 2/5 .   Major Occasion A was driven to victory by Dexter Dunn for trainer R. Nifty Norman.  The Owners are Enzed Racing Stable Inc.  Ideal Lifestyle held on for 2nd. Tim Tetrick drove for trainer Jim King Jr. Baron Remy finished 3rd and was driven by Andrew McCarthy for trainer Ron Burke. After the race, trainer Nifty Norman was not sure how Major Occasion A would take to the smaller race track.  She raced on the mile track previously. The huge smile on his face provided a confident answer. Racing continues on Thursday at Dover Downs.  Highlighting the 14 race card is Blue Hen Open Pace in the 10th race.  The feature will be the Preferred Handicap Pace in race 12. Post Time is 4:30 pm by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The Meadowlands is known as a track with a driver colony that's got big-time talent from top to bottom, but last weekend, two harness racing standouts stood far above the rest of the crowd. Over the course of the two-day race week at the Big M on Jan. 17-18, Dexter Dunn and Yannick Gingras were both at the top of their respective games, to say the least. Of the 28 races contested, the prolific pair won 18 times, with each pilot hitting the winner's circle four times Friday and five times Saturday. Dunn, a 30-year-old New Zealand native, took both features with Down Under breds, winning Friday with Major Occasion A and then Saturday with Franco Totem N. His fans were especially thrilled with Dunn's Friday success as the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year scored with longshots Bold Goddess ($43.80) and Auteur Hanover ($54.60). In addition, DD swept the $348.20 daily double that covered races seven and eight. Gingras, whose $13.4 million in earnings was good for second in North America during 2019, maintained his place as one of the most popular drivers at the Big M by scoring a half-dozen times over the weekend with non-favorites as both he and Dunn - not surprisingly - showed a flat-bet profit by the time the dust cleared Saturday night. Racing fans won't get the chance to play Gingras or Dunn this weekend, however, as neither is listed to drive. Gingras will be in France attending - not participating in - the Prix d'Amerique while Dunn has a previous commitment. Racing fans can look forward to another ace being in the fold, however, as Tim Tetrick, the leading money-earning driver from 2019 with over $15.6 million, will be in the sulky at the Big M this Friday and Saturday night. Post time is the usual 7:15 p.m. PICK-4 REPORT: The Meadowlands' signature wager, the 50-cent Pick-4, saw its usual big play last weekend, as a total of $81,661 was bet Friday and $91,480 was in the pool Saturday. Friday's final leg saw a 25-1 shot score, leading to a payoff of $3,155.05. Chalk players hit the $55.85 return Saturday as Dunn and Gingras each won twice during the sequence. FREE PPs: When it comes to the 50-cent Pick-4, the Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five and the 20-cent Can-Am Pick-4, if you want to play, but prefer not to pay for past performances, all you have to do is go to playmeadowlands.com or ustrotting.com where you can access them for free. GIANT SCORE: One sharp handicapper made the score a lifetime Friday. Betting into the Oregon Express hub, that player held the only 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five ticket with the winning combination of 1-7-3-6-4 and cashed in for $118,148.72. The race was won by 2-1 favorite Lily Hammer and driver Corey Callahan. Finishing second through fifth, respectively, were Northern Swift (25-1), Moonshinecharleigh (8-1), Manhattan Play (3-1) and Justabitofcharm (30-1). MARK YOUR CALENDARS On Jan. 24, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold'em on "Free Poker Friday", hosted by World Free Poker. On Jan. 25, the Big M hosts it's annual "Chili Cook Off", which will have its usual "Homestyle Chili" division. This year, a "Chili Verde" contest has been added to the festivities. In addition, there will also be a competition for the best salsa. For complete information and registration, go to https://chilicookoff.com/cookoffs/list. On Feb. 2, professional football's championship game - that pits the Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers - kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to watch and wager in the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook. On Feb. 7, come to the track and enjoy a "Brunch for Love" from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The event benefits non-profits from the Meadowlands Chamber. On Feb. 14, bring your sweetheart to the races and enjoy a fabulous Valentine's Day dinner in the Big M's Pink Restaurant. You might be one of three couples to win a gift certificate for a bed and breakfast in Cape May, NJ. For reservations, call 201-THE-BIGM. Meadowlands Media Relations  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - It figures the way things are going lately for harness racing driver Dexter Dunn that if he had a decision to make, it would be the right one. And in Saturday night's feature at the Meadowlands - the $37,500 Preferred for pacers - the red-hot driver naturally chose correctly. The 30-year-old native of New Zealand had choice of three in the race: Effronte A, who became harness racing's fastest performer of 2020 by virtue of a 1:48.3 clocking a week ago; Harambe Deo, an iron-tough winner of two of his last three; and Franco Totem N, who finished a close second in two of the last three weekly pacing features. Dunn opted for Franco Totem N and the 7-year-old gelded son of Changeover-Treaty Franco responded with a huge mile, clearing the lead while parked to the half in :55.2, taking bitter pressure from McThriller to three-quarters in 1:23.4, and then finishing the job by kicking home in :27.3 to hit the finish in 1:51.2. "He raced the way he looked.....great," said Dunn. "He's a very nice horse and doesn't take anything out of himself in the mile." Endeavor, the 2-1 second choice in the betting, left the gate from post six, but with many leavers to his inside, had to take back to last in the field of six before sprinting home in :26.4 after swinging three-wide at three-quarters to claim second, just a half-length back of the winner. Harambe Deo rallied for third. Effronte A was scratched.   Franco Totem N scored as the 6-5 public choice and returned $4.40 to his backers. He is trained by Nifty Norman, owned by Enzed Racing Stable and Jerry Kovach and now has 21 wins from 64 lifetime starts and $163,189 in his bank account. The remarkable Dunn, who took both features over the course of the weekend, kept winning at a torrid clip, recording five victories Saturday. Over the last three race cards, he's visited the winner's circle 16 times and now has a total of 23 victories to lead the Big M standings. Last Saturday, he hit victory lane on seven occasions to fall one win short of tying the Big M record. Yannick Gingras went toe-to-toe with Dunn over the course of this weekend's action, matching Dunn with four Friday winners and five Saturday scores, meaning the Dynamic Duo won 64 percent of the 28 races offered over the two-day race week. Trainer Ron Burke conditioned four of Gingras' Saturday winners. A LITTLE MORE: JL Cruze, the first trotter ever to break the 1:50 barrier at the Big M, won a high-end conditioned trot in 1:53.4 as the 1-9 favorite to win his second straight. ... Montrell Teague, who was the guest on the Big M's in-house "In the Sulky" interview segment, guided Kid PK to victory in the Dr. Martin Luther King Remembrance Race, an event that featured African-American drivers. ... Kid PK and driver Montrell Teague winning the MLK Pace Favorite players wore out a path to the windows as seven post-time choices scored. Twelve of the 14 races were won by horses whose odds were 5-2 or less. ... The second edition of the Cam-Am Pick-4 returned $77.14, in sharp contrast to last week's payoff of over $1,400. ... All-source handle on the program totaled $2,395,435. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. From the Meadowlands Media Department

It was a case of deja vu for Bettor Memories.   Bettor Memories established a lifetime mark of 1:49.3 in November at Dover Downs and nearly duplicated that effort with a victory on Thursday night at Dover Downs in the $30,000  Preferred-Handicap Pacing feature.   Strong winds hindered the chances of Wiggle It Jiggleit and Slick Tony. They were forced to take back to the 7th and 8th positions respectively at the quarter pole. Q’s Cruise reversed race strategy and left quickly. They then allowed,Trump Nation, the 8/5 race favorite to cut the race fractions. The fractions were 26.4 55.2 1:23.3.   Quality Bud and Anthony Morgan rushed 1st over and challenged Trump Nation thru 27.1 third quarter. Bettor Memories and driver Dexter Dunn were able to catch a 2nd over trip and took the lead in mid stretch to win by a half length in 1:50.2.     Bettor Memories is owned by Gus Dovi and trainer R. Nifty Norman. They were sent off at odds of 5-1.   Trump Nation and driver Yanick Gingras for trainer Ron Burke finished 2nd. Quality Bud finished 3rd. Beach Art, who was claimed by Arty Foster Jr. for $17,500 in November, won the $18,000 Blue Hen Pace at Dover Downs on Thursday night (Jan. 16). Wind conditions in excess of 30 miles an hour played a major factor in race strategy. Late Mail N blasted off the gate from post eight and was parked out by Proper One before clearing in a :26.3 first quarter. Grantmeawish was also parked, but advanced to seize the lead well before a :54 half. Beach Art and driver Russell Foster pulled first-up nearing the half and battled Grantmeawish through a :27.4 third quarter. Beach Art powered past 8-5 favorite Grantmeawish at the seven-eighths pole and won by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:50.3.   Grantmeawish secured the place spot, while Silver Fox J raced second-over and finished third. by Alex Kraszewski, for Dover Downs  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - On Dec. 27 of last year, one sharp Meadowlands harness racing player held the only ticket with the winning combination of 10-6-5-3-9 in the Early 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five and walked away with $23,262.20. Were someone to hit the Late JSH5 this Friday (Jan. 17) night, that payoff would look small by comparison. The carryover for the wager that requires one to be the lone holder of a ticket with the top five in official order of finish now stands at $105,787.13. Thus, for a wager of two thin dimes, a player could cash in for over $100,000 at the conclusion of Friday night's 14th race. For those looking for a 20-cent base bet that's a tad easier to hit, the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 is sure to please. Over the last four race cards at the Big M, the SP10 has returned no less than $3,526.86. The $5,022.74 payout on Jan. 10 was interesting because one only had to last five legs to collect. While a 21-1 shot did start the sequence, two of the other four winners went to the gate at 3-1 or less. The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 begins nightly in the third race. DEXTER'S BIG SATURDAY: Dexter Dunn became the first driver since Yannick Gingras (Feb. 1, 2019) to win seven times on a Meadowlands program Saturday night. For the weekend (Jan. 10-11), the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year won eight races in 27 starts, good for a gawdy win percentage of 29.6. Corey Callahan and Marcus Miller also did well over the two days, scoring four times apiece. The Big M's big fields and competitive racing led to 26 different trainers winning last weekend, with only Trish Adams and Darren Cassar winning twice. Cassar's Effronte A - with Dunn driving - took advantage of unseasonably warm conditions, fast fractions and a perfect trip to post the fastest mile of the year in the sport when he stopped the clock in 1:48.3 Saturday night. In fact, that program saw the only four sub-1:50 North American miles of 2020. PICK-4 REPORT: The Meadowlands' signature wager - the 50-cent Pick-4 - did big business as usual last weekend, with total pools of $85,813 (Friday) and $82,539 (Saturday). Friday's payoff of $226.75 was significant when you consider the last two legs of the wager were taken by 4-5 shots. Saturday's return of $970.05 started with a 7-5 chalk and ended with the most challenging of the sequence at 12-1. The wager has a low 15 percent takeout and a guaranteed pool of $50,000 and is featured nightly on the eighth race. Friday night's 50-cent Pick-5 returned a whopping $32,166.95 to a one superb handicapper even though favorites won twice. The wager is offered every night on race one. This Saturday will mark the second week of the Meadowlands and Woodbine Mohawk Park offering the popular Can-Am Pick-4, where players have to select two winners at each venue to cash. Those who hit a week ago cheered long and loud, as the bet with the 20-cent base returned $1,413.40. Last weekend was the third straight where betting exceeded $5 million at the industry's handle leader, as $2,773,142 was bet Friday and $2,594,301 on Saturday. FREE PPs: When it comes to the 50-cent Pick-4, the Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five and the 20-cent Can-Am Pick-4, if you want to play, but prefer not to pay for past performances, all you have to do is go to playmeadowlands.com or ustrotting.com where you can access them for free. O'MALLEY WINS WHHC: Patrick O'Malley hit big in the 14th and final race to the tune of $2,120 after betting $50 across-the-board on Duckies Dynasty at 27-1 to take the 11th World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier, presented by DerbyWars.com, at the Big M Saturday night. Completing the top four finishers - and also earning spots in the WHHC Final on April 18 - were Bob DiPalma, George Wagner and Paul Weber. DerbyWars hosts online qualifiers for the WHHC every Saturday night and players can qualify for as little as $22. For complete information, go to DerbyWars.com or playmeadowlands.com. PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT: On Jan. 17, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold'em on "Free Poker Friday", hosted by World Free Poker. THE FORECAST IS CHILI: On Saturday, Jan. 25, the Big M hosts it's annual "Chili Cook Off." The contest will offer its usual "Homestyle Chili" division, and this year, a "Chili Verde" contest has been added to the festivities. Both divisions offer a $1,000 Grand Prize plus a spot in the ICS World Championship. In addition, there will also be a competition for the best salsa, which has a $500 prize. For complete information and registration, go to https://chilicookoff.com/cookoffs/list. CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY: The AFC and NFC Championship games take place this Sunday (Jan. 19), and football fans can watch and wager on the action at the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook. The first game kicks off at 3:05 p.m. when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans in the AFC title tilt. At 6:40 p.m., the Green Bay Packers travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers to see who takes NFC honors. From the Meadowlands Media Department  

Hightstown, NJ — Dexter Dunn wasted little time in making a name for himself in North America. In his first full season of harness racing competing in the U.S. and Canada, the 30-year-old New Zealand native won 460 races and more than $12 million in purses on his way to being named Driver of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. He ranked eighth in wins and third in earnings among all drivers on the continent. Among the highlights for Dunn were sitting behind Dan Patch Award-winning 3-year-old male pacer Bettor’s Wish and piloting Manchego to the fastest mile ever by a female trotter, 1:49 at Red Mile. Dunn will receive his award Feb. 23 at the Dan Patch Awards banquet in Orlando, Fla. “It was a massive thrill,” Dunn recently told Racing from the Meadowlands co-host Dave Little on the Big M’s In the Sulky broadcast. “It’s really a dream come true. I just had a great year with the horses I got to drive. The support I got was huge. It was a big thrill.” Dunn came to the U.S. during the summer of 2018 at the invitation of trainer Chris Ryder, a longtime family friend. A native of Christchurch, Dunn led New Zealand’s premiership in wins for 10 consecutive years from 2008 through 2017 and his 2,225 wins ranked fifth in history there. Upon his arrival stateside, Dunn picked up two wins on the 2018 Grand Circuit, with Ryder’s Stonebridge Soul in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes and trainer Richard “Nifty” Norman’s Southwind Avenger in the Valley Victory Stakes. Last year, he was a major player on the Grand Circuit, where his wins included Breeders Crown finals with Norman’s Amigo Volo and trainer Nancy Takter’s Manchego, as well as the Fan Hanover with trainer Tony Alagna’s Treacherous Reign. Counting restricted stakes, Dunn won 25 races worth at least $100,000 in 2019. “I got lucky,” Dunn said. “I got, obviously, great support from Chris Ryder and Nifty Norman when I got here. They gave me a chance early on and put me on some horses with ability and got me going. I guess it was a snowball effect from there. I picked up other ones and it sort of just ran on from there. It was a surprising season, I didn’t expect it whatsoever, but it was great and thoroughly enjoyable.” Bettor’s Wish was Dunn’s top horse, winning 13 of 19 races and never finishing worse than second on his way to leading harness racing in purses with $1.64 million. He colt won the Carl Milstein Memorial, Art Rooney Pace, Matron Stakes, a division of the Tattersalls Pace, and the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship. He finished second in the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace, Messenger Stakes, Breeders Crown, and against older horses in the TVG Series Open Pace championship. The colt was named the sport’s best 3-year-old male pacer in Dan Patch Award voting and is a top contender for Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year, both of which will be announced at the awards banquet next month. “The horse is once-in-a-lifetime for someone like me to be able to drive,” Dunn said. “He had an unbelievable year. He’s just so tough and game. He had some pretty tough runs, but he bounced back week after week. I almost feel sorry for him. I think if I had drove him a bit smarter in some of those big races, he would have won them. But he was just awesome all year.” To watch Little’s complete In the Sulky interview with Dunn, which also covers topics such as his former rugby aspirations, win in the 2015 World Driving Championship, and the differences in racing in New Zealand and North America, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The hottest name in harness racing these days is Dexter Dunn, and the recently named United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year lived up to his considerable current hype at the Meadowlands Saturday night, winning seven times on the 14-race program, falling just one victory short of tying the mark for most wins on a Big M program. Dunn was red-hot from the start sweeping the Early Daily Double that paid $24.20. The 30-year-old New Zealand native then turned up the volume to "10" by winning five straight races beginning in Race 5. Among those winners were JL Cruze, the first-ever sub-1:50 trotter in Meadowlands history, and a pair of Down Under pacers from Darren Cassar's barn.  The first was Italian Delight N, who flew home off cover to take the sixth race before Effronte A, a 7-year-old gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Fleur De Lil, exploded home in :25.4 after a cover trip to win in 1:48.3, the fastest mile of the year in the sport. Dunn's final two wins were of the close-call variety, as he scored with Harambe Deo in the featured high-range conditioned pace, barely edging out Eddard Hanover, who came back along the inside very late after being passed in deep stretch. In the next race, Dunn and Hurrikane Ali got passed by Whatstroublnurocky only to come back nearing the wire and score by a small neck to give Dunn his seven-bagger. "JL Cruze was great," said Dunn. "I was really happy with the way he trotted tonight. He was very smooth. Effronte A was awesome. He got a really good trip. When I asked him halfway down the straight, he knuckled down and was really motoring." Here is a recap of Dunn’s winners, with horse, winning time, post-time odds (*-denotes favorite) and race conditions: ·         Willie Boots, 1:52.1, 9-5*, TrackMaster rating of 79.5 or less pace ·         A Major Omen, 1:50.2, 7-2, 5YO and under NW of 2 pace ·         JL Cruze, 1:51.2, 3-5*, NW of $15,000 trot ·         Italian Delight N, 1:50.1, 9-5*, NW of $10,000 pace ·         Effronte A, 1:48.3, 6-5*, NW of $10,000 pace ·         Harambe Deo, 1:50.2, 7-5*, NW of $22,500 pace ·         Hurrikane Ali, 1:51.2, 7-2, TrackMaster rating of 79.5 or less pace “I was not aware,” said Dunn if he knew about how close he was to making Meadowlands history. “I had some good drives, but it doesn’t always work out. I got some good trips and my horses raced really well tonight.” In Race 11, it appeared Dunn had the record tied when he and Rock Lights had a 4-length lead with three-sixteenths of a mile to go. But it wasn't to be. "He just over-raced," said Dunn. "He got down to the half fast (:53.4) and I was trying to get him to go slower, but he was really fired up." Rock Lights weakened and finished third. The record of eight wins on a Meadowlands program is shared by Mike Lachance (July 14, 1995) and Brett Miller (December 16, 2016). The last time a driver had seven on a card was Yannick Gingras, who turned the trick on Feb. 1 of last year. A LITTLE MORE: For those who hit the first 2020 edition of the Can-Am Pick-4 it was a good night, as the payout for the wager with the 20-cent base was $1,413.40. ... The Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $105,787. ... All-source handle totaled $2,567,930. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, for The Meadowlands    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - It was about two months ago when the Jeff Cullipher-trained Endeavor pulled off an 11-1 harness racing upset in the Nov. 10, $100,000 Potomac Invitational Pace at Maryland's Rosecroft Raceway, defeating some tough customers such as Dealt A Winner, American History, Dorsoduro Hanover and Courtly Choice. After that, he failed to hit the wire first in his next four outings, but Saturday night at the Meadowlands, the 7-year-old gelded son of American Ideal-Jett Diamond found his way back to the winner's circle, taking the $25,000 featured high-range conditioned pace in 1:50.3 over a track rated 'good' with a -1 variant. On a night when a majority of the races saw winners on the lead or close to it, driver Jim Marohn Jr. moved Endeavor out of the three-hole after the quarter and moved to the top before the half, stopping the clock at that station in :55.1. Endeavor continued to move well over the soggy track, hitting three-quarters in 1:22.4 while clear of the pocket-sitting Shoreview and first-over American Boy N. Through the stretch, Endeavor drew clear of those foes, hitting the wire 1¾ lengths in front of a fast-closing 6-5 favorite Franco Totem N. Keystone Phoenix closed ground late for third. As the 8-5 second choice, Endeavor returned $5.40 to his backers and has now won 32 of 110 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $673,937 for owners Pollack Racing and Jeff Cullipher. "I was very confident in him coming into tonight," said Cullipher. "After the Potomac, right before the TVG, he popped a quarter crack. It was somewhat minor but it put a damper on things because I had him really good. It's completely healed now." Is Endeavor good enough to take on the older male pacing division's best during 2020? "He may not go in every single one of those races," said Cullipher. "But we'll take our chances in some of them." Endeavor REPLAYS ON TVG: To see the replays of the Thursday, Friday and Saturday races, tune in to TVG at 10 a.m. Monday morning. A LITTLE MORE: Fall Meeting leading driver Dexter Dunn, recently named the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year, was up to his old tricks, visiting the winner's circle five times on the program. ... Joe Bongiorno had a driving triple, Ron Burke a training double. ... Wagering was strong in the track's two popular multi-leg puzzles. A total of $63,798 was poured into the 50-cent Pick-5 pool while $94,701 was pushed through the windows in the 50-cent Pick-4. ... The Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $94,800. ... All-source wagering on the 14-race card was $2,744,633. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Dexter Dunn and Andrew Harris were the leading driver and trainer, respectively, at the recently concluded Fall Meeting at the Meadowlands. Dunn, who was recently named the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year, topped all pilots with 47 wins from just 199 starts, good for a gawdy win percentage of 24. During the 28-night stand, Dunn - who took a handful of programs off - registered three wins on six occasions while scoring four times four times. On Dec. 15, the 30-year-old New Zealand native had his biggest night of the meet by making five winner's circle visits. Yannick Gingras finished second in the standings with 37 wins while Andy McCarthy, who scored 12 times last weekend (Dec. 26-28), finished third with 34. Harris, who teamed with McCarthy to win three times on Dec. 27, finished at the top of the trainer standings with 18 victories. Ron Burke (14) and Nifty Norman (12) rounded out the top three. BIG BETTING: The last weekend of racing in 2019 at the Meadowlands (Dec. 26-28) brought vigorous action at the windows. Meet-high handles were established for a Thursday ($1,872,320), Friday ($2,907,339) and Saturday ($2,913,163) over the three-card span. Total wager for the weekend was $7,692,822, an increase of 26 percent over the weekend before (Dec. 19-21) and 43 percent over the weekend (Dec. 12-14) prior to that. Last week's 50-cent Pick-4 was extremely popular, as just over $75,000 was bet on Thursday before Friday and Saturday's pools combined to total a little more than $200,000, good for an average of $100,000 a night. Free program pages for the Pick-4 - which carries a $50,000 guaranteed pool on Friday and Saturday as well as a low 15 percent takeout - are always available at playmeadowlands.com and ustrotting.com. MAKING A SCORE: One sharp 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five player hit big last Friday. The holder of the lone ticket bearing the combination 10-6-5-3-9 walked away with $23,262. No doubt that bettor - and many more - are looking forward to this Thursday's JSH5 in Race 10. That's when they'll be betting into a huge carryover of $84,186. Once again, the Big M will offer big fields this weekend when racing takes place Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:15 p.m. This Thursday (Jan. 2) is the last Thursday of live racing until June 4. MARK YOUR CALENDAR: On Saturday, Jan. 11, put your handicapping acumen on display and maybe win a lot of cash when the track hosts a $400 Qualifier for the World Harness Handicapping Championship. The top four finishers will earn a spot in the WHHC Final, which takes place on April 18. For complete details, go to http://playmeadowlands.com/uploadedFiles/2020%20January%20WHHC%20qualifier.pdf A NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE: "All of us at the Meadowlands would like to thank our horsemen and faithful fans for helping us have a successful 2019," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "And would like to wish them all the best for 2020." BET THE NFL AT THE BIG M: The NFL Playoffs begin this weekend and you can get your action at the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook. During Wild Card weekend, there will be two games on both Saturday and Sunday. The Saturday early game (4:35 p.m.) has the Buffalo Bills traveling to Houston to take on the Texans while the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots host the Tennessee Titans in the late game (8:15 p.m.) On Sunday, the early game (1:05 p.m.) has the Minnesota Vikings heading to New Orleans to take on the Saints before the Philadelphia Eagles host the Seattle Seahawks in the late game (4:40 p.m.). From the Meadowlands  

HARRISBURG PA – The partnership of Courant Inc., which encompasses principal owner Anders Ström and individual partners on several horses, teamed exceptionally well with harness racing trainer Marcus Melander during 2019, campaigning the “Three G’s” – Greenshoe, Gimpanzee, and Green Manalishi S – who dominated the three-year-old trotting colt ranks while earning over $3 million among them this year alone. They also raced freshman trotting filly Hypnotic AM and other quality performers, with the result that Courant and Melander were voted Owner of the Year and Trainer of the Year, respectively, during voting conducted by the United States Harness Writers Association, the sport’s leading media organization. In addition, New Zealander Dexter Dunn, who had a sensational first full year campaigning in the United States and Canada, was voted as the Driver of the Year by USHWA. Ström, who with his outright-owned horses campaigns in red-and-gold colors worn by the driver, saw Greenshoe and Gimpanzee each earn over $1 million while winning the majority of the sport’s major stakes for their group – Greenshoe a Dancer division, the Zweig, a Bluegrass division, the Kentucky Futurity, the Sire Stakes crown in New Jersey, and the Kentucky program’s championship; Gimpanzee the Yonkers Trot, the Breeders Crown, the Matron, and the New York Sire Stakes championship. Green Manalishi S added a Tompkins-Geers division, the Simcoe, and the Canadian Trotting Classic; Hypnotic AM won her New York Sire Stakes finale and the Doherty Memorial. Despite sending only 16 starters, Courant and partners saw their horses earn over $3.9 million, putting them in the North American Top Ten. Courant also has powerful divisions of the stable in Sweden and in France, and Ström put himself in position for future success by spending over $1.6 million at the major yearling sales in Lexington and Harrisburg. Melander, still only 27 years of age and coming off winning USHWA’s Rising Star Award, continued his rapid ascent to harness racing’s top circles, with his horses earning almost $5.4 million during 2019, fourth among all North American trainers. The “Three G’s” who dominated the sophomore trotting ranks of course were the primary contributors to that amount, but along with Hypnotic AM Melander also sent out Cutler Memorial winner Cruzado Dela Noche, a 2018 winner of the Yonkers International Trot. In addition, there were a host of young, bright prospects who showed talent in limited campaigns and could come on like gangbusters in 2020 (remember, Greenshoe only started four times at two). With the firm support of his family and staff (who frequently overlap), Melander certainly didn’t have the “sophomore jinx” in 2019, and it would be no surprise if the winning continued this coming year. Melander’s family (including a Hambletonian-winning uncle) is from Sweden – another North American “import,” Kiwi-born Dexter Dunn, came from Down Under with sterling credentials, having won multiple New Zealand driving titles and even the 2015 World Driving Championship. But his first full season of driving in the United States and Canada produced success in quantity and quality that few, not even Dexter, would have predicted. Horses handled by the red-and-black-clad driver won over $11 million during 2019, putting him third behind the perennial top pairing of Tim Tetrick and Yannick Gingras. The fact that he won 457 races, also putting him in the North American Top Ten, was also impressive but not that surprising since he had won ten “Enzed” sulky dash titles before he reached his current age of 30, but his seamless assimilation into the rarefied circles of top stakes competition was the exclamation point on his year. Dunn was the driver for sophomore colt pacer Bettor’s Wish, who was the leading moneywinner of 2019 with over $1.6M in earnings and a 19-13-6-0 record primarily completing in the “glamour division.” Amigo Volo (2TC) and Manchego (OTM) benefited from his expertise in winning Breeders Crown events. He won championships in state programs with Bettor’s Wish in Kentucky, Milles Possesion in Pennsylvania, and Fortune Starlet in New Jersey. In his first full year of driving at Harrah’s Philadelphia, Dunn finished third in the drivers win standings, behind Tim Tetrick and George Napolitano Jr. – who between them have won the last thirteen victory belts at the oval. And just as Melander had some “family” behind him, so did Dunn – Chris Ryder was the first to regularly use Dunn upon coming over, and a disproportionate share of Australian and New Zealand expatriate  conditions quickly, and soon unhesitatingly, gave him regular work. The remainder of the human and broodmare Dan Patch awardwinners are being announced today and tomorrow; the twelve racehorse divisional champions will be announced this Friday, January 3, at 6:30 p.m. on The Meadowlands’ “pre-races” show, with media releases following (availability to view that announcement will be released shortly). Anders Ström and Courant, Inc., Marcus Melander, and Dexter Dunn will be honored at USHWA’s annual Dan Patch Awards Banquet, celebrating the best and brightest of harness racing in the past year. The banquet honoring the champions of 2019 will be held on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando FL, the climax of a weekend that also finds USHWA holding its annual national meetings. The Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year, and Horse of the Year will be revealed for the first time at the Banquet. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet are $180, with a filet mignon dinner featured; “post times” on February 23 are cocktails at 5:30 p.m., with dinner to follow. Tickets, and other Banquet-related information, can be obtained through Dinner Planning Committee Chair Judy Davis-Wilson, at zoe8874@aol.com or 302 359 3630.   Hotel reservations for those attending can be made through USHWA’s website, www.ushwa.net; a link to the hotel’s computer is on the front page of the website. Those who would like to take out congratulatory ads for awardwinners in the always-popular Dan Patch Awards Journal can do so by contacting Kim Rinker at trotrink@aol.com (the 2019 journal is online at the writers’ website). From the United States Harness Writers Association

Driver Dexter Dunn’s season is done. After a long and prosperous year, Dunn, who exceeded even his wildest expectations, has earned some time off. “I’m taking 10 days off,” said Dunn on Saturday (12/21). “I’m going to Scotland to visit my daughter.” Acclimating to the U.S. racing schedule, Dunn found the going a little slow early but by year’s end others were having difficulty keeping up with him. The statistics were astounding as Dunn drove 2,696 horses competitively, managing to win 461 times. The gaudy number with the dollar sign to its left was in excess of $12 million. While Dunn may have come to this country with a solid reputation as the best driver from Down Under, his climb to the top echelon was incredible in that many of the better drives he picked up came later in the season with other top drivers getting first crack at many of the leading horses in the nation. To read the full article written by Jay Bergman on DFR click on this link.

Wiggle It Jiggleit had another tough mile in his harness racing comeback trail, finishing sixth in the $30,000 Open Handicap Pace Thursday at Dover Downs. The 12th race feature was won by New Zealander Billy Badger N in an upset score. Wiggle It Jiggleit and driver Jim Morand were able to get to the lead by the opening quarter mile in :26 over Bo Mach (Corey Callahan). Stuck on the outside from the start was the race favorite, Dealt A Winner (George Napolitano, Jr.), who started coming after Wiggle It Jiggleit with Larry Karr (Mike Cole) second-over. Then in the backstretch, Cole came three-wide with Larry Karr as Quality Bud (Victor Kirby) followed their cover and Larry Karr cleared to challenge Wiggle It Jiggleit at the three-quarters in 1:21.4. Wiggle It Jiggleit began to fade, Larry Karr took the lead and there was Billy Badger N tipping three-wide and coming on. Quality Bud overtook Larry Karr in the stretch but could not hold off Billy Badger N, who won by a slim nose over Quality Bud with Larry Karr third. The time of the mile was 1:50.   It was a lifetime mark for New Zealand import Billy Badger N, a six-year-old gelding by Art Major, who is not only driven by but is also owned by Dexter Dunn. He is trained by Nifty Norman and paid $23.00 to win. Wakizashi Hanover was reunited with trainer Jim King, Jr and driver Tim Tetrick as they captured the fourth race $15,000 pace in a photo finish. The seven-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again had been “off-the-shelf” for six months and then qualified and raced in of all place, Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia, Canada (His owners live there). He won his first start and then was off for five months until returning to the King Stable. Wakizashi Hanover was given a perfect drive by Tetrick. As Bro Hanover (Dexter Dunn) cut the mile, Lyons King (Mike Cole) had the pocket seat through early fractions of :26.4 and :55.1. Then the action heated up as Abner The Great (George Napolitano, Jr.) came first-up with Wakizashi Hanover second-over past the three-quarters in 1:23.4. On the final turn Wakizashi Hanover tipped three-wide and then it was a five-horse dash to the wire with Wakizashi Hanover winning by a nose over Lyons King with 99-1 long shot Quick Shot (Jonathan Roberts) photo bombing the photo finish for show. The fifth place horse was a half length off the winner.   Undefeated in two starts in 2019, Wakizashi Hanover is owned by Bruce Kennedy, Percy Bonnell, Wayne Burley and Jennifer Weeks, all of Nova Scotia. He paid $8.20 to win. Slick Tony ($4.80) swept three-wide on the backstretch for driver Dexter Dunn, collared pacesetter Late Mail N (George Napolitano, Jr.) and then held off a late charge by Little Ben (Tim Tetrick) by a nose to win the $27,500 Blue Hen Open Pace.   It was the 16th win this year for the four-year-old son of No Spin Zone. He covered the one-mile race in 1:50.3 for owner and trainer George Leager of Sudlersville, MD. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The Meadowlands' Pick-4 pools raised to high levels last weekend, just in time for what is in all probability to be a record three days in terms of average harness racing field size at the mile oval. Last Friday (Dec. 13) and Saturday (Dec. 14) saw the second- and third-highest 50-cent Pick-4 pools of the Fall Meeting, as $95,479 was wagered Friday before $97,773 was bet Saturday. The top Pick-4 pool came on TVG/Fall Final Four night (Nov. 23) when $110,502 was poured into the pot. Couple those numbers with the average field size of the three race cards that will be offered this Thursday-Saturday, and you get ideal conditions for big Pick-4 play. This Thursday's (Dec. 19) card gets a "perfect" score, as all 11 races have full 10-horse fields. The Friday (Dec. 20) and Saturday (Dec. 21) programs each have 14 races, with 13 full fields and one that has nine horses. In total, the Big M will offer 39 races over the three-day race week, with 37 offering 10-horse fields. The average field size - assuming no scratches - will be 9.95 horses per race. It's hard to imagine a higher number than that over a span of three programs ever, even though records do not exist. "We are so pleased at the response we've received at the entry box," said Meadowlands' Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "Big fields are what our customers want, and over the next three race cards, we will deliver." Last Friday's Pick-4 featured a 75-1 winner in leg one, leading to a handsome payoff of $3,528 despite no horse longer than odds of 5-2 winning any of the final three legs. Saturday night's 50-cent Pick-5 featured a 26-1 shot and a 36-1 shot, resulting in a single-ticket-winner payoff of $33,873. Twenty-cent Jackpot Super High-Five players are no doubt chomping at the bit to get their action Thursday. The carryover for Race 5 is at $12,866, while Race 11 will start out with $54,275 in the hat. Free program pages for the 50-cent Pick-4, the Big M's signature wager that has a $50,000 guaranteed pool on Fridays and Saturdays as well as a low 15 percent takeout, are available at ustrotting.com and playmeadowlands.com. CARTER'S UP NEXT: The USTA's Michael Carter is next in the 'batting order' to "Borrow Ken's Binoculars", as guest announcers give Big M voice Ken Warkentin a breather on Thursdays during December. Carter will call the races Thursday (Dec. 19) with Big M TV personality Dave Little scheduled to call on Dec. 26. DON'T PANIC! IT'S DEXTER AND YANNICK: Last weekend was another good one for the Big M's dynamic driving duo of Dexter Dunn and Yannick Gingras. Dunn won nine of his 26 drives, good for a win percentage of 35. The track's leading driver upped his Fall Meet win total to 41 while compiling a positive return on investment of 34 percent over the three racing programs. Gingras had six winners (and nine seconds) in 34 attempts (18 percent) and is second to Dunn in the overall standings with 27 victories. QUINCY'S COOL: New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa held court on Saturday (Dec. 14) night at the track, signing autographs and taking selfies with fans as the U.S. Marine Corps collected hundreds of gifts for the annual "Toys for Tots" drive. FOX5 sportscaster Tina Cervasio was on hand to serve as master of ceremonies at the event. She also helped out when driver Pat Berry won the 4,000th race of his career, taking part in the winner's circle presentation. All toys collected were donated to Harlem Grown, helping to brighten the season for children in need. DECEMBER SCHEDULE: During the month of December, live racing at the Meadowlands will be conducted on a three day a week basis, Thursday-Saturday. Post time is 7:15 p.m. THANKING THE FANS: Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will be showing appreciation for their fans with some concession specials on Friday (Dec. 20). Hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn and soda will be available for $1, while Bud and Bud Light will cost only $2. The discount prices are available from 7-10 p.m. PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT: On Dec. 20, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold'em on "Free Poker Friday", hosted by World Free Poker. PLAY THE WHHC FOR FREE: The Big M will host a World Harness Handicapping Championship contest this Saturday (Dec. 21), and it is free to play. Players must check-in at the Players Club Desk by 7:15 p.m. and complete the official contest form prior to Race 2. Each participant will make mythical $2 across-the-board wagers on one horse for Meadowlands Races 2-10. All selections must be made prior to Race 2 on the official contest entry form, and if a selection scratches, contestants then get the post-time favorite. The winner receives $1,300 and a spot in the WHHC Final on April 18, 2020. For complete information, go to http://playmeadowlands.com/event_detail.aspx?id=17958. MEADOWLANDS HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: Here is the holiday operating schedule for simulcasting at the Big M:  December 22: Closed  Christmas Eve: Closed  Christmas Day: Closed  December 29: Closed New Year's Eve: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. For more information, go to playmeadowlands.com. FANDUEL HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: Here is the holiday operating schedule for the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook:  Christmas Eve: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.  Christmas Day: Closed  New Year's Eve: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.  New Year's Day: 10 a.m. - 1 a.m. For more information, go to playmeadowlands.com/fanduel. From the Meadowlands Media Department  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Southwind Chrome shrugged off a late challenger once again on the way to winning a second straight Friday night harness racing feature at the Meadowlands, the Preferred for trotters. Last week, the Jeff Cullipher trainee had to deal with Muscle M Up from the far turn to the finish but dug in determinedly to win in a snappy 1:51.4. On Friday night, the 4-year-old son of Chapter Seven-Counter Pointe had to deal with Melady's Monet in the latter stages, but once again proved up to the challenge. Southwind Chrome was asked for speed from the gate from driver Dexter Dunn and provided it, racing wide around the first turn before tucking into the three-hole as JL Cruze hit the quarter in :27. Shortly thereafter, Southwind Chrome was back on the outside moving toward the leader, clearing the top just after the three-eighths and leading at the half in :55.1. Melady's Monet, the 9-5 favorite, was activated first-over at this point and gradually made up ground on the leader but was still 1½ lengths behind when they turned for home. Through the stretch, Southwind Chrome maintained his edge in a thoroughly dominant performance, hitting the wire 1¼ lengths in front of Melady's Monet. JL Cruze held on for third.   Southwind Chrome paid $7.40 to win as the second choice in the wagering after completing the mile in 1:52.1. He now has 11 wins from 31 lifetime starts and earnings of $196,085 for owners Pollack Racing and Cullipher. "I would say he was better tonight than last week," said Cullipher. "When he broke three starts ago, we'll just leave it as a driver's error. He's a little funny with his mouth. He can't stand to be pulled on too much." As for Southwind Chrome's future, Cullipher has high hopes. "(Owner) Tom (Pollack) and I are going to sit down at the beginning of the year and discuss what we are going to do. I think we are going to try many of the older trotting events, races like the Graduate, during 2020." A LITTLE MORE: Leading driver Dunn upped his win total at the meeting to 37 after winning five times on the program. ... The Ettore Annunziata-trained Mister Truth pulled off a 78-1 shocker in the eighth race with Vinny Ginsburg driving, keying a 50-cent Pick-4 that came back $3,528.40 in the first of two Toys For Tots Finals (this one for a TrackMaster rating 74.5 or less on the pace) on the program. Piercewave Hanover took the other (for non-winners of $6,500 on the trot). ... All-source wagering on the 13-race program totaled $2,210,198. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

CHESTER, PA - The Sir Lincoln mare Lincoln's Girl N came uncovered into a :55 last half and still was able to draw away from favored Glorious Nite to win the $17,000 pacing distaff harness racing feature at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday afternoon in a career best 1:52.4. Jive Dancing A shot away from the gate to the lead, with Glorious Nite making a move at the :28.1 quarter to get the lead, and she got a breather to a :57.4 half. Dexter Dunn sent his "countrymate" first-over from third entering the backstretch, and the big battle was on with Glorious Nite retaining command through the 1:25.2 three-quarters, Lincoln's Girl N still coming up to her, and Jive Dancing A starting to get a bit loose in the pocket. In the stretch a 34-day layoff may have caught up with Glorious Nite, but Lincoln's Girl N was certainly strong in her own right, going by the leader to win by ¾ of a length, with Jive Dancing A holding third. Lincoln's Girl N is now 4-for-6 on these shores and looking headed for better things for trainer Josh Green, who is co-owner along with Richard Lombardo and David Kryway. The Kadabra gelding Smokee Mirrors closed valiantly from far back to miss just ¾ of a length in his last start, so today driver Corey Callahan tried the front end, and his trotter liked the trip just fine, taking a new mark of 1:55.4 in a 1½ length victory over Freshette Hanover. Andrew Harris conditions the winner for owner Robert Key. Tim Tetrick added four more wins on the Friday card, keeping his hot streak alive, but now we know his long period of recent success at Philly will end Sunday, for next week Tetrick has been invited to Finland - within four miles of the Arctic Circle -- to compete in a special tournament. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

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