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Harness Racing fans headed to the windows in full force on Wednesday (March 8) at The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, attempting to take home a share of a Pick-5 pool that had grown for several days.   The Meadows, in partnership with the USTA's Strategic Wagering program, had guaranteed the pool to $50,000. The end result was one of the track's largest single-wager payouts in recent memory.   Ms Mullen (3-1) and Broadway Hot Stuff (4-5) won the first two legs, keeping many players alive with their tickets. Southwind Warsaw (5-2) won the third leg and plenty of tickets were still intact going into the fourth leg.   However, Pro Side (11-1) and Rail Kat (5-1) won the final two legs, and the resulting payout was $63,580 for a $2 Pick-5 ticket. The Meadows thanks for their support of the Pick-5, and encourages all horseplayers to try their luck again when racing resumes tomorrow (March 11) at 1PM. The Pick-5 will start over again, in the final five races of the day. From the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association        

TORONTO, March 8 - Harness racing horseplayers can start studying immediately, as the draw is out for this Saturday's (March 11) Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout race at Woodbine Racetrack. A carryover of $578,231.58 is being brought into the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout, which is offered on Race 10 this Saturday. A 12 horse field has been put together for the Jackpot Hi-5 race. Overnight pacers meeting the conditions of Non-Winners of $10,500 last five or $18,000 last 10 will battle for an increased purse of $25,000. All starters in Saturday's Jackpot Hi-5 race will receive money. The winner of the race will receive 50 per cent of the purse, while horses finishing sixth through 12th will receive one per cent. The remainder of the purse will be split up as usual to the horses finishing second through fifth. The current Jackpot Hi-5 carryover has been growing since the last mandatory payout on December 23rd. On that evening, a carryover of $548,396 was brought into the mandatory payout and horseplayers wagered $2,081,441 of new money into the Jackpot Hi-5 pool. Gregg McNair trainee The Rev won the Jackpot Hi-5 race on December 23rd and once again will be competing in Saturday's mandatory payout race, starting from post position nine. Dialamara (PP6) and Half A Billion (PP7) join The Rev as the only three horses from the most recent mandatory payout race to compete in Saturday's event. A $0.20 winning ticket on the December 23rd mandatory payout returned $4,842.70. If previous mandatory payouts are any indication, a total pool well over $2 million is very likely on Saturday's mandatory payout. This Saturday will be the seventh major mandatory payout on WEG Standardbred racing since the Jackpot Hi-5 was introduced to the wagering menu in the fall of 2013. An average of $1.7 million in new money has been wagered on each of the previous six major mandatory payouts. The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order. The minimum wager is $0.20, while the takeout is 15 per cent. To view early program pages for Saturday's card, click here. Post time for Saturday's card at Woodbine is 7:30 p.m. Below is the field for Saturday's Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout race. Race 10 - Saturday, March 11 - Purse: $25,000 PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer 1. Machal Jordan (Roger Mayotte - Kenneth Switzer) 2. Casimir Overdrive (Doug McNair - Carmen Auciello) 3. Panedictine (Colin Kelly - Laurie Bako) 4. Single White Sock (James MacDonald - Ted MacDonnell) 5. Erle Dale N (Doug McNair - Ron Adams) 6. Dialamara (James MacDonald - Pat Fletcher) 7. Half A Billion (Louis Philippe Roy - Corey Giles) 8. Champagne Phil (Paul MacDonell - Dean Nixon) 9. The Rev (Doug McNair - Gregg McNair) 10. Mach On The Beach (Louis Philippe Roy - Richard Moreau) 11. Darcee N (Travis Cullen - Travis Cullen) 12. Bank Shot Hanover (Trevor Henry - Victor Puddy) Mark McKelvie

Pompano Beach, FL...March 6, 2017...With nobody able to solve Pompano Park's Pick-5 on Saturday night, a $1,606 carryover has spawned a harness racing $10,000 guaranteed pool for Sunday night's Pick-5 beginning with the first race.   The south Florida oval will also offer a $20,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool, as well. The Pick-4 covers races 6 through 9.   Gabe Prewitt, Director of Racing, said "It was pretty amazing that one 18 to 1 long-shot sandwiched in between an even money winner, a 4 to 5 favorite, a 3 to 5 favorite and a 5 to 2 chance resulted in this guarantee.   "It definitely belongs in our 'better for the bettor' department for Sunday night."   There is also a carryover in the Pick-6 for Sunday night as it took only 4 of 6 to cash in our Saturday's Pick-6.   Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 finale sports a carryover of $29,065 for the Sunday night program.   Post time for the 11 race program is set for 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park

Rob Krausz, of Bronx, NY, captured the February 25 BetAmerica World Harness Handicapping Championship Super Qualifier at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The Super Qualifier required contestants to place exactly ten $20 minimum win, place, show or any combination WPS wagers on Meadowlands races. Krausz built his $200 bankroll into $1,400 earning him the $2,800 top cash prize and an $800 seat in the BetAmerica World Harness Handicapping Championship on April 29 at Meadowlands Racetrack. Krausz's hit on six of ten wagers with two early night scores the key to his Qualifier win. Rob hit for $510 on #7 B Fast Eddie in Race 3 and for $1,440 on #7 One More Miracle in Race 4. Also earning berths into the BetAmerica World Harness Handicapping Champion Final were Patrick O'Malley of Westbury, NY, Mark Acerra of Staten Island, NY and the 2016 WHHC champion Stan Koper, of Chicago Ridge, IL. The official Qualifier Top 10 is below:   Prize $ Bankroll First Last $2,800.00 $1,400.00 Rob Krausz $1,400.00 $868.00 Patrick O'Malley $1,050.00 $830.40 Mark Acerra $700.00 $796.00 Stan Koper $350.00 $647.00 Joe Barre $140.00 $567.00 James Bohnarczyk $140.00 $500.00 Arthur Suckow $140.00 $454.00 Guy Gerber $140.00 $392.00 Greg Capece $140.00 $374.00 Frank Palmer The BetAmerica WHHC is a one-day tournament [April 29, 2017], with a welcome reception the evening prior.  Players that did not earn a seat through a qualifying event can directly buy-in for $800.  The BetAmerica WHHC contest format requires players to bet 10 races: their choice of six Meadowlands races, plus four designated mandatory races from partner tracks.  Players keep all pari-mutuel winnings.  Prize payouts are to the Top 10, with an guaranteed prize pool of $50,000. is currently hosting regular online Qualifiers for the BetAmerica WHHC Entries for the first online Qualifier are now open, with an entry fee of $35. New accounts to BetAmerica are eligible for a $300 Sign Up Bonus. Cal Expo, Hoosier Park, Monticello Raceway, Northville Downs, Plainridge Racecourse, Scioto Downs, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs and Buffalo Raceway have signed up to host BetAmerica World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifiers.  Registration deadline is 10 p.m., Friday April 28.   For the contest entry form and complete rules visit Rachel Ryan

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 17, 2017 -- On Saturday, Feb. 18, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $20,000 total-pool guarantee for its Pick 5 harness racing wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. The Meadows added the "instant" guarantee after Wednesday's Pick 5 was uncovered, resulting in a two-day carryover of $7,212.32. In addition, Saturday's card includes a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4, a regular feature of each program at The Meadows. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (races 4-7) and Pick 5 (races 8-12) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post for Saturday's program is 1 PM.   The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

ALBANY -- In 2003, New York's racetracks were paying out among the lowest prizes in the nation, and many of the tracks, particularly upstate harness racing facilities, were nearly set to be put out to pasture. Then the racetracks started adding video-lottery terminals. Now, the purses -- the amount paid out to winners in the races -- are among the highest in the nation, and the revenue at the so-called racinos has also soared. With three new upstate casinos opening in recent months, the state's existing gaming halls face new competition after enjoying years of rising revenue for their casino-like facilities and horse-racing operations, a review of records by the USA Today Network's Albany Bureau found. Purses at New York's seven harness tracks have tripled over the past 14 years, creating an unprecedented dynamic: There's nearly no one in the stands, but the prize money is at levels not seen in decades. "I’ve said to many people that if you want to make money in (harness) racing, this is the best opportunity you’ve had in many, many years," said Bob Galterio, the COO at Yonkers Raceway, the state's largest harness track. ►NY just had a record year for its lottery ►With three new NY casinos open, can they succeed? ►House wins big with casino tax breaks Ninety-two percent of the money from gamblers at the state's racetracks with the video-lottery terminals goes to pay the players as prizes. The key figure is the 8 percent that's left: It is split among the tracks, the horsemen and the state. Without the piece that goes to purses and breeders, horse racing in New York would be nearly non-existent, track officials and experts said. The industry is a major one in New York's agricultural sector: It employs 32,000 people, according to its trade organizations. "If the VLTs didn’t come in 2004, I really doubt racing would be here," said Chris Riegle, the president of Finger Lakes Gaming and Racing, the only upstate thoroughbred track outside of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course. Also, "I don’t think there would be very many harness tracks in New York." Avoiding closures Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, then-Gov. George Pataki and state lawmakers sought to help the state's economy by allowing the horse tracks to add video-lottery terminals -- the slot-machine-like devices controlled by a central computer system in Schenectady. The move was a way to boost the state's coffers by designating about half of that coveted 8 percent to fund schools. It also was a way to keep horse racing alive after decades of decline in the sport, which was once a major local draw. Batavia Downs in western New York is the oldest nighttime harness track in the nation. Yonkers drew 40,000 people on weekend nights in the 1960s. In 2004, the first VLT facilities opened. It has been a boon to all sides. "It definitely saved racing; it saved the jobs," said Jeff Gural, the owner of Tioga Downs in the Southern Tier and Vernon Downs in central New York. Of the net win -- the money left in the machines after payouts to winners -- 8.75 percent goes to the horsemen and 1.25 percent to the breeders. The rest is split between the state and racinos. The tracks also get 10 percent for marketing and 4 percent for facility improvements -- including hotels that some are building. The money has helped the state's coffers: The racinos contributed nearly $1 billion in 2015 to the state designated for education -- or 48 percent of the nearly $2 billion in net win. Anthony Palermo, of Rochester, plays a slot machine on opening day of del Lago Casino.  (Photo: Jamie Germano/@jgermano1/Staff Photographer)   Soaring purses The purses at the state's eight racetracks and the three tracks run by the New York Racing Association hit $301 million in 2015 -- up 87 percent since 2003. For just the seven harness tracks, purses went from $35 million to $118 million, records from the state Gaming Commission showed. So the average purse per race went from about $4,000 to $11,000 over the 14 years -- putting New York among the top five in the nation. The figures have been extraordinary at some tracks: Batavia Downs' purses grew from $1.8 million to $5.5 million; from $4 million to $18 million at Saratoga harness; and from $20 million to nearly $63 million to Yonkers. Some tracks said they are dealing with a shortage of horses. "If you and four friends had $20,000. The best thing to do is to get together, each kick in $4,000 and buy a $20,000 claimer and race it at Yonkers Racetrack," Galterio said. "The purses are so good. You race every week." Rising racinos While the gambling money has throw life preserver to racing, it also boosted the tracks' owners. The money going to the racinos has skyrocketed since they opened. The tracks, after a sluggish start, negotiated lower payments to the state in 2007. At Finger Lakes, the so-called agent commission -- the tracks' main revenue stream -- doubled to $40 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year that ended March 31. At Yonkers, it was up 50 percent to $177 million since 2008, while Tioga Downs' commission grew 59 percent since 2007 to $22 million. So while the purses are up, so too are the tracks' fortunes, said Joe Faraldo, president of the state's Standardbred Owners Association, which represents the harness horsemen. "The horsemen, their purses have gone up dramatically -- the same way track revenue has gone up with these VLTs," Faraldo said. Live harness racing at Batavia Downs. (Photo: Annette Lein)   Subsidizing racing So the situation has created a scenario where purses are up despite fewer people betting on the races. Yonkers stopped publishing its attendance figures in the late 1980s. VLT revenue provides an increasing percentage of the purses: In 2004, 50 percent of the purses came from the VLT revenue; in 2011, it was 71 percent, state records show. At the same time, total handle at the harness tracks -- the amount bet on the races -- dropped 21 percent between 2003 and 2015, hurt in part by the closure of New York City Off-Track Betting in 2010. The on-track betting on the races also fell: It was down 56 percent at Yonkers over that stretch and down from $3.4 million to $1.5 million at Batavia. Most of the betting comes from simulcasting of races around the state, country and internationally, which is a growing business at Yonkers, in particular. "I don’t want to say it’s become a television studio, but it more important to produce a good-looking television signal than to have tasty hot dogs in the stands," Galterio said. Growing competition The reliance on VLT revenue has raised concerns within the racing industry, which fears the tracks will one day seek to drop racing or cut the amount that goes to it. "A lot of these racinos kind of make it difficult to go to the track, because they would rather be a straight casino and not do racing at all," Assembly Racing Committee Chairman Gary Pretlow, D-Mount Vernon, said. Those fears have grown after the casinos opened in recent months in the Finger Lakes and Schenectady, with one set to open next year in the Catskills. At Finger Lakes, it received a lower tax rate last year because of the competition from del Lago, which opened earlier this month in Tyre, Seneca County, 28 miles away. Even with the competition, though, the horsemen will be held harmless. The 2013 law that allowed for four upstate casinos included a provision that requires the new casinos to keep purses at the same level as 2013 -- if the new casinos cut into the racinos' bottom line.  (Photo: File photo)   Negotiating at Finger Lakes That's a current fight: The horsemen at Finger Lakes face a cut in purses if the racino's revenue drops because of del Lago, which is not required to make the track whole. The casinos have to help the racetracks in the zones established by the state: Finger Lakes, though, is outside the del Lago zone. The sides -- Finger Lakes, del Lago and the state -- are now trying to find a solution to help the horsemen. "I’m hopeful we’ll come to a conclusion very quickly," Riegle said. Pretlow said the Legislature has no plans to revisit the split of revenue between the tracks and the racing industry: "Part of this whole thing is to help racing." The tracks said they continue to invest in their racing, saying it is still a viable portion of their business. Yonkers points to expansion in recent years of hosting major stakes races, including the $1 million International Trot each fall; tracks said they have upgraded their racing facilities. But the tracks often seek fewer racing dates each year, despite protests from the industry, and Finger Lakes won't disclose how many dates it wants this year as it negotiates a new contract with its horsemen. "It really boils down to how much purse money you have to hand out and how many horses you have," Riegle at Finger Lakes said. "If you have a respectable amount of both, you can run more." Gaming the future Dave Brown, president of the Finger Lakes horsemen association, charged that the tracks would just as soon drop racing if they could, but they are bound by the state law. "There is no question they’d love to not run. And they make it difficult for us," he said. Riegle rejected that idea, saying it is still "a pretty significant piece" of the business. Gural, a horse owner who also owns the Meadowlands track in northern New Jersey, said he's concerned about the future of racing in New York. The tracks are not required to market the sport to new customers, and its fan base is dwindling. In December, Tioga Downs received a gaming license to turn from a VLT facility to a full-scale casino. "Without the slots or the VLTs, there would be no harness racing. It’s totally dependent on the revenue we receive from the slots," Gural said. He added, "The problem is that most of our customers are older and we have not successfully created an industry for the younger generation. So what happens when all those people die off?" Joseph Spector , Albany Bureau Chief Reprinted with permission of The Democrat and Chronicle

Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $25,000 Pick-5 total pool guarantee on Wednesday (February 8th). Beginning in Race 3, the $25,000 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $5,304.95. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. Northfield's Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3's offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent. Wednesday's post time is 6:00 p.m.

Pompano Beach, FL...January 31, 2017...Pompano Park has set a $25,000 Guarantee on Wednesday night's (February 1) harness racing Pick-5. The guarantee was ignited when Stiletto Jake won the final leg of the Tuesday night Pick-5 at 56 to 1--his first win since January 10, 2015 covering 63 starts--creating a carryover of $8,085. The Pick-5 covers races one through five with post time set at 7:20 p.m. The track's Pick-6 also went untouched on Tuesday and the carryover for that item on the Pompano wagering buffet is $13,553. Finally, Pompano Park's Super Hi-5 finale had multiple winners on Tuesday night and the carryover for the Wednesday program has ballooned to $43,267. To claim the Super Hi-5 finale jackpot, only one ticket must be sold on the winning combination. If there are multiple winners, a portion of the nightly Super Hi-5 pool is shared by the winners with the remainder going into the next racing night's Super Hi-5 pool. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

Pompano Beach, FL...January 24, 2017...Despite the fact that the first four winners in Pompano Park's Pick-5 sequence were 5 to 2, 9 to 2, 3 to 5 and 3 to 1, when Star Treatment won the final leg at 32 to 1, not a single winning ticket was produced and, as a result a $6,217 carryover has sparked a $25,000 Guaranteed Pool for Wednesday night's Pick-5 at the South Florida harness racing oval.   Gabe Prewitt, Director of Racing, said, "with the largest Pick-5 carryover of the season, we have decided to make things even 'better for the bettor' with the largest Pick-5 Guaranteed Pool in track history."   The Pick-5 is conducted on races one through five.   Also, with multiple winning tickets out in the Pompano Super Hi-5 finale, that carryover has ballooned to $24,682 for the Wednesday program.   The entire Super Hi-5 jackpot goes when there is one unique winning ticket. That has happened 12 times thus far in the season, with the highest winning payoff being over $37,000 for the 20 cent ticket.   On Tuesday night, there were multiple winning tickets on the Pick-6, with the 3-3-1-5-2-5 combination worth $7,854.75 for the 50 cent ticket.   Post time for the Wednesday program is 7:20 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park

Pompano Beach, FL...January 24, 2017...In Pompano Park's "better for the bettor" department, there are three items that fit that mold for the Tuesday night harness racing program.   First, the Pick-6, conducted on races three through eight, has a season high carryover of $8,137. That wager has been unscathed the past two programs.   Next, Pompano Park's Pick-4, on races six through nine, will feature a $10,000 Guaranteed pool.   Finally, the Super Hi-5 finale has a carryover of $21,330 going into the Tuesday program.   Post time is set for 7:20 with the $12,000 Open Trot being the feature.   by John Berry for Pompano Park  

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 22, 2017 -- The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has increased -- to $12,500 -- the total-pool guarantee for its Monday, Jan. 23 Pick 4 harness racing wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. While $5,000 Pick 4 guarantees are regular features of each card, The Meadows sweetened the pot when Saturday's Pick 4 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $2,859.87. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (Races 4-7) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post for Monday's program is 1 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, January 19, 2017--Yonkers Raceway's Thursday evening's (Jan. 19) harness racing Pick 5, fortified by a spiffy double-carryover of $7,800.95, received its fair share of attention. A brand-new, 17,398 infusion created a total pool (after takeout) of $20,849 and some change. The winning combination was... 2-Diamond Cowboy ($10.40) 4-Santanna One ($9.80) 4-Rock Absorber ($5.90) 4-Analyze ($10.80) 3-Macho Chick ($6.10, Tyler Buter's fourth win in 10-race card) returning $969.50 for every correct half-a-buck wager. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base investment comprising races 6 through 10 (for programs with 10 races...if more, then it goes as races 7 through 11). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Monday and Tuesday nights), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program.   Frank Drucker

Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $25,000 Super High Five total pool guarantee on Monday harness racing program (January 16th). Offered in Race 13, the $25,000 Super High Five guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $5,847.88. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. Monday's post time is 6:00 p.m. Ayers Ratlif

London, December 23, 2016 -- Friday night's 16-race Super Card at The Raceway at Western Fair District produced an all-time record handle as harness racing patrons pushed $765,685 through the mutuel windows. That total eclipsed the previous high of $697,000 which was set on December 23, 2014. "A big thank you to the horseplayers who support our product all season and to our horsemen for supporting the entry box the way they did tonight with that number of races," said Director of Racing Greg Blanchard. "Our track crew had the oval in fantastic shape and we couldn't have asked for a better way to wrap things up here before the short Christmas break." The program was bolstered by a trio of $10,000 Guaranteed Pool Pick-4 wagers and an added Super Hi-5. The Raceway will be dark for December 23rd and 24th but will be back in action with the traditional Boxing Day program on Monday, December 26th, beginning at 1:15 p.m. There is limited seating available for the brunch that day and reservations can be made by calling 519-438-7203 (ext. 252). Greg Blanchard

TORONTO, December 23 - Harness racing horseplayers flooded to the windows and wagered more than $2 million into the Jackpot Hi-5 for the mandatory payout Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A significant carryover of $548,396 was brought into Friday's mandatory payout. Horseplayers threw their money down attempting to score a nice holiday payday and wagered $2,081,441 of new money into the Jackpot Hi-5, bringing the total pool, including carryover, to $2,629,837. Six-year-old pacer The Rev and driver Doug McNair crossed the wire first at odds of 3/1 to win the Jackpot Hi-5 race. A $0.20 winning ticket with the correct combination of 6-4-11-7-1 returned $4,842.70. The top-five finishers were: 1st: #6 The Rev (Doug McNair) 3/1 2nd: #4 Electric Western (Mario Baillargeon) 10/1 3rd: #11 Regal Son (Chris Christoforou) 8/1 4th: #7 Half A Billion (Jody Jamieson) 20/1 5th: #1 A Cool Card (James MacDonald) 23/1 The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order. The minimum wager is $0.20 and the takeout is 15 per cent. Friday's mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5 was the first offered since earlier this season on June 18th at Mohawk Racetrack. Outside of the Jackpot Hi-5, horseplayers were active throughout the entire Friday evening card. Multi-leg wagers were popular, as $75,216 was wagered on the Early Pick-4, $62,970 on the Pick-5 and $55,815 on the Late Pick-4. The total handle for Friday's 12-race card was $4,704,527. Live racing resumes at Woodbine on Boxing Day (Monday) with a 12-race matinee card beginning at 1 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 22, 2016 -- The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has tripled -- to $15,000 -- the total-pool guarantee for its Friday, Dec. 23 harness racing Pick 4 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. While $5,000 Pick 4 guarantees are offered each card, The Meadows sweetened the pot when Thursday's Pick 4 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $4,186.38. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (races 4-7) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post Friday is 1 PM.   The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

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