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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Fives have been wild of late at The Meadowlands, as some of the biggest harness racing payouts have come in a pair of low-minimum bets at the mile oval. The 10-cent Pentafecta, which requires one to correctly select the first five finishers in a given race, replaced the 20-cent based "jackpot" version, and has returned great dividends to players, as has the 20-cent Pick-5. Both wagers now give bettors two chances every night to make a score. Last weekend's (Oct. 2-3) Pentafectas left winning players with big smiles. On Friday, the race five return was $736 before race 13 saw bettors walk away with $507, despite the race being won by the 8-5 favorite. Saturday's fifth race came back a whopping $2,799 before the 13th capped the weekend with a payoff of $991. The average payout for the wager with the low 15 percent takeout was $1,258 for a miniscule 10-cent investment. Friday's Early 20-cent Pick-5 (races one through five) brought the weekend's biggest payoff, as one sharp handicapper raked the pool, cashing in for $35,516. The odds of the horses during the sequence were 5-2, 11-1, 11-1, 3-1 and 7-1. Given how wide tickets can be "spread" with the low 20-cent minimum, that was a handsome payoff to be sure. The second Pick-5 is offered every night on races nine through 13. "Value is so important in the racing industry," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "And you need liquidity in the pools to help create that value. The Saturday Pentafecta paid out at odds of almost 28,000-1. The Friday Pick-5 paid out at more than 177,000-1. That's incredible value, and at The Meadowlands or any other racetrack, fair value will always draw horseplayers." The drivers in the GSY (Gural Settlemoir Yarock) Series may not include names that are as famous as those that sit at or near the top of the Big M standings, but that did not stop the public from betting those races with vigor. The first race Friday night saw a total handle of $231,871, good for the highest pool of the night at the track as well as the entire country, before $177,887 was pushed through the windows in the third race, meaning that the members of the driving club saw over $400,000 in action on their races. At the end of the weekend, total handle on the 26 Meadowlands dashes was just short of $5 million. "The Meadowlands low 15 per cent takeouts and competitive mile-track racing," said Settlemoir. "Create pools that tantalize players around the world with something that most other tracks cannot offer." PROLIFIC PILOTS: With most of the Big M's top drivers out of town at Lexington's Red Mile, a pair of reinsmen who do good work elsewhere had a great time on their trip to East Rutherford. Pocono Downs regular Simon Allard led the way last weekend with five victories, while Victor Kirby, who drives on the Delaware circuit, scored four times, all on Friday night. RED MILE FINALE: Racing at Lexington, Kentucky's famed Red Mile concludes this weekend, with three cards of top-flight stakes action to be contested Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a 1 p.m. post time. The Big M's own Dave Brower will handle post-race interviews and will partner up with the sport's popular jack-of-all-trades and leader of the #senditin army, Gabe Prewitt, for analysis of the races. Prewitt also serves as track announcer. For everything Red Mile, check out Prewitt on Twitter at @gabe_prewitt. FREE STUFF: For free past performances of Meadowlands races, go to playmeadowlands.com, where one can access races nine through 13 for both Friday and Saturday's program. Those races include the 20-cent Late Pick-5, 50-cent Late Pick-4 and 10-cent Late Pentafecta, not to mention the Late Daily Double. TWEET THE TEAM: Stay in touch on Twitter with the Big M's Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1). Check in everyday for Meadowlands news and updates at those handles, as well as @TheMeadowlands and #playbigm. 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 Brower's selections and commentary. Click on this link to check out Friday's card: http://playmeadowlands.com/RaceReviews.aspx?racedt=10/9/2020 Additionally, track announcer Warkentin's blog is available on the site and offers his picks and analysis. On race nights, access picks and plays from the Big M TV team at #playbigm or at @TheMeadowlands. CHECK OUT THE SHOW: As always look for the "Racing from The Meadowlands" live in-house simulcast show every Friday and Saturday night. It begins at 6:42 p.m. First race is at 7:15 p.m. If you want to watch all the action at home, go to rtn.tv to catch every race live. CHECK BEFORE YOU LEAVE: For those who want to spend a night at the races, please go to playmeadowlands.com before you head out and look for updates with regard to whether or not fans will be permitted to attend. From the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands Racetrack will remain closed to harness racing fans on Friday, October 9th for simulcasting, sports wagering and live racing. Winners Bayonne remains open. Live harness racing will take place at 7:15 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night. Horsemen are reminded to have the COVID questionnaire completed when arriving at the stable gate for their temperature check. Face masks worn over the mouth and nose are required at all times while in the paddock. Visit PlayMeadowlands.com for the most up-to-date information. Reminder you must be 18+ to wager on horses; 21+ to wager on sports. Gambling problem? Dial 1-800-Gambler. From the Meadowlands  

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands Racetrack will remained closed to patrons for simulcasting and sports wagering through Tuesday, October 6th. Re-opening details will be posted at PlayMeadowlands.com. Winners Bayonne OTW remains open for simulcasting.   From the Meadowlands Media Department

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - It's easy to run short of superlatives when describing Highalator, and Saturday night at The Meadowlands in the featured Preferred for harness racing pacers, he once again showed why. The 6-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere-Higher And Higher won his third straight at the mile oval competing in the weekly feature, and rather than prevailing after a nail-biting stretch duel as he did in his last two, the Jenny Bier trainee was moving rather easily this time around as he hit the finish an easy length in front of his closest pursuer. The game plan rarely changes for Highalator, as his driver Ricky Still had the pedal down around the first turn from post six in the eight-horse field, and while it appeared for a brief moment he might take back into a two-hole behind a fast-leaving Harambe Deo, Still put Highalator on the point while parked past the quarter in :26.3. "Sometimes, he can get a little lazy when you are trying to put him on the front," said Still. "But once he gets to the front, he doesn't want anybody to pass him." No pressure came during a rated second panel that went in :28.1, but soon after the half was hit, U S Captain, the 5-2 second choice in the wagering, moved swiftly at the leader around the turn and was just about on even terms with that foe at three-quarters in 1:23.1. But then Highalator got busy. Digging in once that threat came, he shrugged off U S Captain in an instant, grabbing a quick 1½-length edge by the time they reached the head of the stretch, and during a final quarter timed in :26.3, there was never an anxious moment, as Highalator recorded the 38th win of his career from only 82 starts. Second-place finisher Slick Tony was disqualified from second to third for interfering with Harambe Deo, who was elevated from third to second in the official order of finish. U S Captain finished a tired seventh.   "No matter what kind of trip you give him, he's a pretty good horse," said Still. "He's such a great horse. He takes care of himself. He's going to do what needs to get done. Last week and the week before he let them get a little closer than I like. Tonight, I called on him a little earlier than usual." Highalator paced the mile in 1:49.4 in lifting his lifetime earnings to $615,864 for owners Jenny Bier, Joann Dombeck and Midsize Construction Inc. The even-money favorite returned $4.20 to win. The public finally caught on. In his last two starts, he returned $11.60 and $11.00. So, Rick, with four wins in five Big M starts this year, not to mention his sweep of the 2019 Golden Receiver Series, which is Highalator's favorite track? "He excels at Pocono. But he also excels at The Meadowlands, and that's probably his favorite." A LITTLE MORE: Simon Allard had himself a big weekend at the big track. After driving two winners Friday, Allard added three more Saturday. ... Yonkers kingpin Jason Bartlett also won three times on the Saturday program. ... The weekend started slowly for players who like favorites, as only five of the first 18 races were won by the post-time choice. The chalkies dug out, however, as faves won six of the final eight dashes. ... Betting was steady all night long, as a total of $2,638,114 was pushed through the windows. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – With many Meadowlands regulars in Lexington racing at The Red Mile, opportunities for other harness racing drivers were there for the taking at the mile oval Friday night. Making the most of his chances was Delaware regular Victor Kirby, no stranger to the Big M winner’s circle, who won four times on the card, all in the Fall Harvest Series, a late closer for horses of moderate class. Kirby recorded a “natural hat trick” by taking the fourth, fifth and sixth races in succession, scoring first with Adorabella in a division for pacing fillies and mares. The Don Biccum trainee, who was the 3-1 third choice, hit the wire in 1:53.3, lowering her previous lifetime best by two-and-four-fifth seconds. Next up was 7-1 sixth choice in the wagering Pirates Alley, a John Wyatt-trained gelding who scored in a division for male pacers in 1:56, before Walks Of Life (5-1 third choice) took another pacing males event in 1:53.2, completing an all-Kirby Pick-3 that returned $514.60 for $1. But Kirby’s fans had one more score in store. The 48-year-old pilot, currently fourth in the standings at Harrington Raceway, kept 20-1 long shot Thunder Some Where close to the action in the 11th race, another male pacing division, and got up nearing the wire in 1:53.1 for trainer Paul Blumenfeld. 11s WILD IN PICK-5: Horses that went off at odds of 11-1 scored in both races two and three on the card, setting the stage for an Early 20-cent Pick-5 that yielded but one winner – who was betting into the Elite Turf Club hub – that walked away with $35,515.06. The lone winning favorite during the sequence was a lukewarm 5-2 choice in the first race. The 20-cent Pick-6 failed to yield a winning ticket, which means a carryover of $4,577 will be available Saturday night. A LITTLE MORE: Simon Allard, currently fifth in the Pocono Downs standings, and Marcus Miller, who’s in sixth, each drove two winners on the card. … Nice job by the Big M TV fill-in team of Brett Risi and Andrew Demsky, who both gave out winning Early 50-cent Pick-4 tickets on the in-house simulcast presentation. … All-source wagering on the 13-race program totaled $2,304,358. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands Racetrack will remained closed to patrons for racing, simulcasting and sports wagering until Monday, October 5th. Live harness racing will take place as scheduled on Friday, October 2nd and Saturday, October 3rd without spectators. Post time is 7:15pm. Fans are encouraged to wager online by visiting their favorite online OTW. Must be 18+ to wager. Re-opening details will be posted at PlayMeadowlands.com. Winners Bayonne OTW remains open for simulcasting. From the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The Meadowlands harness racing fans were seen cashing some big tickets during the month of September, and those who collected used the track's three smallest based-bet wagers to do it. The 20-cent Pick-6, offered nightly on races three through eight, returned an average of $4,113 during September, while the 20-cent Pick-5, which can be played both on races one through five and nine through 13, came back $477 for 20 cents and $2,388 for one dollar. The new non-jackpot 10-cent Pentafectas, offered on races five and 13, have returned an average of $794. Those five wagers, along with the Big M's popular 50-cent Pick-4s, which are available on races six through nine and 10 through 13, make up the track's "Magnificent 7", wagers which offer a low 15 percent takeout. "You don't need a big bankroll to play at The Meadowlands," said Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "Given the low minimums and low takeout, we have made it possible to play all of these wagers and get a greater return when you win. The action starts with the Early 20-cent Pick-5 on the first race, with multi-race wagers in every race - except the last race - the home of the 10-cent Pentafecta, the ultimate "get out" bet. If our fans can't stay for the later races, they can wager early and watch the replays at home by going to this website: https://protect-us.mimecast.com/s/WQTSC31JXKuL66lhg1HTG?domain=meadowlandseacetrack.com." Increasing the September payoffs was a decrease in the percentage of winning favorites, as 36 percent clicked at The Big M over the eight race cards, eight percentage points lower than an average harness facility. And even though the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-olds, which conducted its opening two legs, did yield some mismatches (chalks won 55 percent of the time), that's always vital information for bettors who need "singles" to anchor their multi-leg wagers. (Thirty-two percent of public choices scored in overnight events.) TODD TERRIFIC: No one at The Big M had heard of Todd McCarthy when the month began, but they sure have now. The 27-year-old younger brother of Andy McCarthy made a huge impact upon his arrival from Australia, topping the driver colony during September with 11 victories. Dexter Dunn was next with 10 followed by Tim Tetrick, who had nine. Jenn Bongiorno, Tony Alagna and Ron Burke were tops among the trainers with six wins apiece. YOU'LL LOVE IT AT LEX: Racing at Lexington, Kentucky's famed Red Mile starts this weekend, with six cards of top-flight stakes action to be contested the next two Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with a 1 p.m. post time. The Big M's own Dave Brower will handle post-race interviews and will partner up with the sport's popular jack-of-all-trades and leader of the #senditin army, Gabe Prewitt, for analysis of the races. Prewitt also serves as track announcer. For everything Red Mile, check out Prewitt on Twitter at @gabe_prewitt. BRING YOUR CHECKBOOK: Smack in the middle of the two big weeks of racing at The Red Mile is the 2020 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, which takes place from October 5-9 at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Lexington. Given the new reality that is life in the era of COVID-19, hopeful bidders can go to lexingtonselected.com for all information, including how one can bid online or via phone. "People can go to the website where there will be a link for the live stream of the sale," said Dave Reid, the President of Preferred Equine who serves as the co-sales manager at Lexington. "Obviously, 2020 has been challenging for everybody, and we are very fortunate that we will have a live venue. I think it's important for the industry to have a live in-person sale. We are looking forward to it, and hope to see more champions like Ramona Hill, Tall Dark Stranger, Venerate and Captain Barbossa, who all came out of this sale." PREAKNESS NEXT: The third and final leg of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown takes place Saturday in Baltimore with the running of the 145th Preakness from Pimlico Race Course. The first of 12 races on the card gets underway at 11 a.m. The Preakness, which is race 11, goes to the starting gate at 5:36 p.m. FREE STUFF: For free past performances, go to playmeadowlands.com, where one can access races nine through 13 for both Friday and Saturday's program. Those races include the 20-cent Late Pick-5, 50-cent Late Pick-4 and 10-cent Late Pentafecta, not to mention the Late Daily Double. TWEET THE TEAM: Stay in touch on Twitter with the Big M's Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1). Check in everyday for Meadowlands news and updates at those handles, as well as @TheMeadowlands and #playbigm. 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 Brower's selections and commentary. Click on this link to check out Friday's card: http://playmeadowlands.com/RaceReviews.aspx?racedt=10/2/2020 Additionally, track announcer Warkentin's blog is available on the site and offers his picks and analysis. On race nights, access picks and plays from the Big M TV team at #playbigm or at @TheMeadowlands. From The Meadowlands  

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands Racetrack will close at 6 pm today, Tuesday, September 29th. The racetrack continues to take an aggressive stance against the spread of COVID-19. Over the past several days the medical team has identified a few individuals that tested positive for COVID-19 that they acquired either in the workplace or at home. Contact tracing is ongoing. Out of an abundance of caution the entire facility will be shut down for top to bottom sanitization. The Meadowlands Racetrack is committed to providing a safe and healthy grandstand for all employees, patrons and fans. The plan is to re-open to fans at 10 am on Saturday, October 3rd. Live harness racing will take place as scheduled on Friday, October 2nd without spectators. Horsemen are reminded to have the COVID questionnaire completed when arriving at the stable gate for their temperature check. Face coverings are required at all times while in the paddock. Fans are encouraged to wager online by visiting their favorite online OTW. Must be 18+ to wager. Re-opening details will be posted at PlayMeadowlands.com. Winners Bayonne OTW remains open for simulcasting. From The Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Neither three weeks off nor a horse grabbing the lead off the far turn could stop Highalator from continuing his winning ways at The Meadowlands, as the 6-year-old won his second straight after being under siege throughout the stretch at the mile oval Saturday night. For those who bet on the Jenny Bier trainee, who last raced on Sept. 5 at The Big M, it looked almost too good to be true in the early going, as driver Ricky Still urged the harness racing son of Somebeachsomewhere-Higher And Higher to the lead from post 10 without having to work too hard to do it. The quarter was reached in a leisurely :27.1 before the half was hit in a sleepy :55.3. But on the far turn, Jesse Duke N made a race of it after popping out of the three-hole on the far turn, and came after the leader with good momentum, actually grabbing a half-length advantage with three-sixteenths-of-a-mile to go. But Highalator had more. Through the stretch, Highalator and Jesse Duke N went at it toe-to-toe while U S Captain on the outside and Ideal Feeling at the rail made their way into the scrum. At the wire, Highalator determinedly prevailed in 1:50, finishing a head in front of Ideal Feeling. U S Captain, the 2-1 public choice, was third while Jesse Duke N was fourth. Owned by Jenny Bier, Joann Dombeck and Midsize Construction Inc., Highalator, who has won three of four 2020 starts at The Big M, returned $11.60 to win as the third choice in the wagering. He now has 37 victories from just 81 lifetime starts and earnings of $604,614. A LITTLE MORE: Brian Sears and Dexter Dunn sat atop the driver's colony for the evening, as each guided three winners. ... One of Sears' wins came with Exotic Dance, a 4-year-old pacing mare from the Jenn Bongiorno stable who increased her winning streak to four in a $15,000-$20,000 claiming handicap. ... Despite favorites winning both races, each 10-cent Pentafecta brought handsome payouts. The fifth race paid $1,404.70 and the 13th race came back $1,633.47. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,251,836. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.     By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

East Rutherford, NJ - Statement regarding the Meadowlands Racetrack's Friday, September 25th race 13 pentafecta payout. "When we noticed a carryover posted for our last race pentafecta, it immediately raised a red flag for us," stated the Meadowlands Racetrack's GM & COO Jason Settlemoir. "We reached out to our tote provider Sportech and asked them to research the wager for us." Ted Shaine, General Manger/QDC East for Sportech Racing issued the following statement: "For the 13th race Pentafecta pool on 25-SEP-20, the system encountered a software bug and did not properly detect tickets with 5/5 winners and therefore created a carryover. The carryover has been removed from tonight's (Sept 26th) card and wagers with 5/5 from last night will be paid manually. The software bug has been corrected for tonight's (Sept 26th) card." "We appreciate Sportech researching this quickly," said Settlemoir. "Racing and wagering integrity is of the utmost importance to us. We will continue to work with Sportech and the New Jersey Racing Commission on this issue." All bettors are urged to hold their September 25th last race pentafecta tickets if they had 5-for-5 so they can be properly paid out. From the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Fire Start Hanover, Commanding Officer and Summa Cum Laude all remained perfect through two harness racing legs of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-olds at The Meadowlands Friday night. Fire Start Hanover had an easy time of it in the first race filly pace, sailing down the road in a lifetime-best 1:52.1 to win by 1¾ lengths with driver Victor Kirby calling the shots. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Fit To Frame, who is trained by Nifty Norman, paid $3.20 to win as the 3-5 favorite and ran her overall winning streak to three. Commanding Officer completed an all-chalk Early Daily Double for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Scott Zeron. The 2-5 favorite cleared to the lead before the three-eighths on the way to a 1½-length romp in 1:52.1 in a division for colt and gelding pacers. The son of Captaintreacherous-Turnoffthelights returned $2.80 to win. Summa Cum Laude stayed unbeaten in taking another division for male pacers in race nine. Driven by Simon Allard for trainer Ron Burke, Summa Cum Laude took over the lead after Bettor Not Talk went off stride while racing on the point on the way to the half. The winner, a son of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Graduate, scored by a length in 1:52.2 and returned $4.00 as the even-money post-time choice. A LITTLE MORE: Allard was the top driver of the night. Currently fifth in the standings at Pocono Downs, Allard won three races on the night, two of them for Burke. … Kirby guided a pair of winner’s circle visitors for Norman. … Mark MacDonald and Zeron also steered two to victory lane. … Big M TV personality Jessica Otten correctly selected the $267.40 Early 50-cent Pick-4. She also gave out best bet Mazzarati, who returned $9.80 to win. … Despite the 4-5 favorite scoring easily, the 13th race Pentafecta failed to yield a winning ticket. The next Late 10-cent Pentafecta will start out with a carryover of $14,331. … All-source wagering totaled $1,878,489. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Historically, wagering at The Meadowlands has been less than spectacular in September. In fact, the last time there was harness racing at the mile oval in the ninth month of the year, the average handle was a mere $1.6 million on the four cards conducted in 2017. But since then, a cavalry has appeared to save the day. Garden State Gov. Phil Murphy - along with the members of the New Jersey Legislature - approved an appropriation earmarked for the horse racing industry in the winter of 2019, which increased purses at the track, which created the positive cycle of bigger fields, better horses and bigger handle. Over the last four race cards of September 2020, the average handle stands at $2.5 million. "The appropriation has made quite a difference," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "We are very appreciative of the work Gov. Murphy and members of the Legislature did. New Jersey has experienced a resurgence as the leader in the harness industry, with a revitalized breeding industry. It's also allowed The Meadowlands to offer lower takeouts to bring bettors everywhere in the world back to New Jersey." THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: The Big M's betting menu offers seven wagers nightly that offer low 15 percent takeouts. There have been several adjustments to the lineup, as "jackpot" wagers have been eliminated to further lower takeout to horseplayers. The bets: Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5 Race 3: 20-cent Pick-6 Race 5: 10-cent Pentafecta Race 6: 50-cent Pick-4 Race 9: 20-cent Pick-5 Race 10: 50-cent Pick-4 Race 13: 10-cent Pentafecta FREE STUFF: For free past performances, go to playmeadowlands.com, where one can access races nine through 13 for both the Friday and Saturday programs. Those races include the 20-cent Late Pick-5, 50-cent Late Pick-4 and 10-cent Late Pentafecta, not to mention the Late Daily Double. HOT TO TROT: Last weekend (Sept. 18-19), three drivers - Dexter Dunn, Tim Tetrick and Todd McCarthy - registered five winners. McCarthy, 27, a newcomer to the Big M driver colony, has nine victories over the last three programs at the track, the first nine wins of his career at the mile oval since his arrival from Australia. On the training side, Marcus Melander, Nancy Takter and Tony Alagna had three trips to the winner's circle apiece. COME OUT, TUNE IN: Simulcast fans will have plenty of options at The Big M over the next few days. On Thursday (Sept. 24), the 75th edition of The Little Brown Jug takes center stage at the Delaware (Ohio) Fairgrounds. The top four finishers from races 15 and 16 return for the 20th race final, which offers a purse of $335,400. Post time for the first race is noon. Race 20 is scheduled for 7:36 p.m. Seven races with a purse of at least $100,000 are on Friday's (Sept. 25) card at Indiana's Hoosier Park while Woodbine Mohawk Park offers another in what has been a string of super Saturday (Sept. 26) programs of late, with the $455,000 She's A Great Lady, $215,000 Milton, $720,000 Metro and $1.3 million Mohawk Million the featured events on a night when over $2.8 million in purses will be doled out. TWEET THE TEAM: Stay in touch on Twitter with the Big M's Dave Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1). Check in everyday for Meadowlands news and updates at those handles, as well as @TheMeadowlands and #playbigm. CHECK OUT THE PICKS: For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to playmeadowlands.com to check out selections and commentary. For Friday's card, click on this link: http://www.thebigm.com/RaceReviews.aspx?racedt=9/25/2020. ALL THIS....AND SPORTS BETTING, TOO: The Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook is the place to get all of your MLB, NBA, NHL, WNBA, PGA and NFL action, every day from 10 a.m.-midnight. From The Meadowlands  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – We’ve seen this before. And before the year is out, it’s almost a certainty we’ll see it again. Allywag Hanover, a close-up third in The Meadowlands Pace two months ago, ended a personal three-race losing streak with authority Saturday night at The Meadowlands, exploding home in the final eighth of a mile to take a high-end conditioned harness racing pace in 1:49.2. “We’ve seen him get airborne before,” said trainer Brett Pelling. “He gets going faster than most horses go.” Heading into the ninth race, it was difficult to know which Allywag Hanover would show up, given his disappointing fourth-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship as the 3-5 favorite at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sept. 6. “When he came back from Canada [after finishing sixth in the North America Cup on Aug. 29], he coughed a little on the Monday before the Sire Stakes,” said Pelling. “He had some clear mucus, and he had the same thing Friday, which was very acceptable. But at Philadelphia, he came up sick, so that was pretty devastating.” After taking antibiotics and getting some rest, Allywag Hanover was ready to go Saturday after taking 12 days off. Rodeo Rock, a veteran hard-hitter with a lifetime bankroll of over $723,000, grabbed the lead at the half after brushing from an early three-hole and the 6-5 second choice had things his own way after getting clear of the field through a third fraction of :27.1 saw him reach three-quarters in 1:22.3. At the head of the stretch, Rodeo Rock was sailing along on a 2½-length advantage while Allywag Hanover was a non-threatening fourth racing with cover with plenty to do. But then he did it. At the eighth pole, Rodeo Rock still looked like the winner, but Allywag Hanover, much like he did on July 4 when he kicked home in :25.3 to win in 1:48, found another gear to nail Rodeo Rock at the finish by a neck after pacing a final quarter in :26. Like Clockwork was third. “It looked to me like he moved twice,” said Pelling. “[Driver Tim] Tetrick said the same thing. He was going, then it looked like he spotted [Rodeo Rock] and started going again.” In upping his lifetime stats to eight wins from 19 career starts, Allywag Hanover returned $3.60 to his backers as the 4-5 public choice. His earnings now stand at $234,163 for owners Allywag Stable. Pelling revealed what the plan is for his prized 3-year-old colt, who is a product of Captaintreacherous-Anderosa Hanover. “He’s going to Hoosier Park Friday for the Jenna’s Beach Boy Stakes,” said Pelling. “And he has other races, too. He’s Breeders Crown eligible. Beyond that, I’m pretty sure he’ll race beyond this year, but it hasn’t been spoken about yet.” A LITTLE MORE: Todd McCarthy continued to make a big impression at The Meadowlands, driving three winners on the program. Andy McCarthy’s 27-year-old little brother has now won nine races over the last three Big M programs. … All-source handle on the 13-race card was $2,448,703, capping a second straight weekend where wagering exceeded the $5-million mark. … Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Marcus Melander shined brightest at The Meadowlands Friday night, as his trainees scored three times among the 10 harness racing divisions of the first leg of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gait. Moonstone S was the first winner of the night for Melander in the third race colts and geldings trot. The son of Muscle Hill-Moonlight Kronos, who finished second in the Aug. 8 Peter Haughton Memorial, pulled the pocket after the half and sailed off to an easy 2½-length score as the 6-5 favorite with Tim Tetrick driving. He recorded his first win in five lifetime starts after stopping the clock in 1:55. Melander and Brian Sears teamed up to take the fourth race filly trot with Ineffable, a daughter of Cantab Hall-Jolene Jolene, who won for the second time in five lifetime tries. The 6-5 public choice, who was third in the Aug. 8 Jim Doherty Memorial, emerged from the pocket to win by a half-length in 1:56.2. In race seven, Melander completed his three-bagger with a second score in a colts and geldings trot as his Sonofamistery, with Sears driving, rolled to an easy 1¾-length win in 1:56.1 after racing parked out for the final half mile. The son of Muscle Hill-Mistery Woman, who broke in each of his first two seasonal starts, paid $3.00 after being sent off as the heavy 1-2 favorite. He’s now won twice from four outings. BIG ACTION: Betting was vigorous in the two multi-leg wagers that offered carryovers. The Late 20-cent Pick-5, which had $21,811 in the hat to start, attracted $123,810 in “new money” for a total pool of $145,621. Those who had tickets with the combination of 5-8-6-6-5 cashed in for $414.64. The Late 20-cent Pick-4 sported a total pool of $172,828 after $134,438 was added to the $38,390 carryover. Tickets reading 8-6-6-5 returned $344.30. … All-source wagering totaled $2,618,071. A LITTLE MORE: Lindysmusclemania stayed perfect in three starts after taking a Kindergarten division for trotting colts and geldings. The Ake Svanstedt-trained son of Muscle Hill-Possessed By Lindy hit the wire in a lifetime-best 1:54.4, 3½ lengths to the good with Andy Miller driving the 6-5 favorite. … Speaking of favorites, they scored in nine straight races beginning in race two. By night’s end, 10 post-time choices had visited the winner’s circle from 13 races. … Live racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The first full weekend of racing at The Meadowlands since Hambletonian week saw plenty of action on a pair of popular multi-leg wagers last Friday and Saturday (Sept. 11-12), the result of sizable carryovers, and harness racing fans will have similar opportunities on a pair of prominent puzzles this week when racing resumes Friday (Sept. 18) at 7:15 p.m. Last Saturday (Sept. 12), driver Pat Berry, aka "The Blueberry Bomber", lit up the board with Harambe Deo in the 10th race at odds of 33-1, which served as the reason that the 20-cent Late Pick-5 and 50-cent Late Pick-4 failed to yield a winning ticket. As a result, both wagers will have sizable carryovers to titillate the palates of those who sample the Big M's betting menu this Friday. A week ago, the Early 20-cent Pick-5 had a carryover heading into Saturday's card, and after $151,228 in "new money" was poured into the pot, the total wager was just over $188,000. Those who correctly selected five winners (there was a 6-5 shot and a 4-5 during the sequence) cashed in for $271.46. The 20-cent Pick-6 saw almost $14,000 in new action, which ran the total pool to $20,760. Players with winning tickets were singing the praises of trainer-driver Eric Abbatiello, whose superb handling with Like Clockwork led to a score at odds of 20-1 in the anchor leg (race eight). The payoff was $6,222.48. This Friday, bettors will shoot first for the Late 20-cent Pick-5 (races nine through 13), which has a carryover of $21,811, before getting a rare opportunity by betting into a Late 50-cent Pick-4 with a carryover, which stands at $38,390. Friday will mark the first time in 2020 that a Pick-4 (races 10 through 13) has had a carryover, thus, it is likely that this will be the biggest pool of the year. On Meadowlands Pace Night (July 18), a total of $191,288 was pushed through the P4 windows for the high-water mark of 2020. "Carryovers create added interest in our already popular multi-leg bets, which always offer a low 15 percent takeout," said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "At The Meadowlands, our fans can always shoot for a big score, and with low-minimum base wagers, players can bet a little and win a lot." SUPER SEPTEMBER: From management to patrons, all who follow Big M racing with interest are grateful to Gov. Phil Murphy and the members of the New Jersey legislature, whose efforts to see racing get the money it needs to flourish have shown results. Last weekend, handle was over $5 million. The last time racing was offered in September - 2017 - handle was $3.4 million over the two race cards. Saturday's total wager of $2.7 million was up over a million dollars as compared to the Saturday three years prior. TODD SCORES FOUR: It took driver Todd McCarthy, 27, one night to stamp himself as a player in the Big M driver colony. The younger brother of standout pilot Andy McCarthy won four races - his first four career wins at the mile oval - on Saturday night's card. For complete details of his big night, click on http://playmeadowlands.com/News.aspx?id=20716. BET LITTLE, WIN BIG: "Racing from the Meadowlands" TV personality Dave Little had a memorable Saturday night - as did those who followed his picks - by turning three dimes into one big dime. The former longtime handicapper and columnist at the New York Daily News gave out both the Early 20-cent Pick-5 as well as the Early 10-cent Pentafecta. The Pick-5 returned $271.46, but since Little had both 6-1 shots who deadheated in the third race, he and his followers had two winning tickets on his $24 bet. The 10-cent Pentafecta, in which Little used three horses in the win position then one more in positions two through five (3x4x5x6x7), proved that a small investment ($24.30) can end in a big payout ($580.70). In the end, betting $48.30 with Little ended up in a big $1,123.62 windfall. Until, of course, Little failed to hit either of his Pick-4 plays or Little's Late Double! "You're only as good as the last ticket you give out," lamented Little. The sampling is small, but the average payouts at the Fall Meeting have been impressive. The Pentafecta's average payoff is $565, the Pick-5's is $892 and the 20-cent Pick-6 checks in at $4,175. You can always find Little's plays, as well as those of Dave Brower, Ken Warkentin and Jessica Otten on Twitter at #playbigm. FREE STUFF: For free past performances, go to playmeadowlands.com, where one can access races nine through 13 for both the Friday and Saturday programs. Those races include the 20-cent Late Pick-5, 50-cent Late Pick-4 and 10-cent Late Pentafecta, not to mention the Late Daily Double. TWEET THE TEAM: Stay in touch on Twitter with the Big M's Brower (@eedoogie), Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Otten (@JessicaOtten1). Check in everyday for Meadowlands news and updates at those handles, as well as @TheMeadowlands and #playbigm. 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 Brower's selections and commentary. For Friday's card, click on this link: http://playmeadowlands.com/RaceReviews.aspx?racedt=9/18/2020. Additionally, track announcer Warkentin's blog is available on the site and offers his picks and analysis. On race nights, access picks and plays from the Big M TV team at #playbigm or at @TheMeadowlands. CHECK OUT THE SHOW: The Big M's "Racing from The Meadowlands" pre-game show can always be seen on race nights live. On Friday, join the usual team of Brower and Little sitting on the set - socially distanced, of course - giving out Big M news and notes, as well as both Pick-4s during the evening. Saturday will find Little hosting with Otten in the co-host's chair. The show kicks off nightly at 6:42 p.m. with a hello from Warkentin, who provides the night's program changes. For those looking for access to the show, as well as the live racing, all they need to do is go to rtn.tv, so that they can access all the action on the Roberts Television Network. ALL THIS....AND SPORTS BETTING, TOO: The Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook is the place to get all of your MLB, NBA, NHL, WNBA, PGA and NFL action, every day from 10 a.m.-midnight. From The Meadowlands    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - McCarthy, McCarthy, McCarthy, McCarthy! No, not Andy of Hambletonian fame, but little brother Todd, who stole the show at The Meadowlands Saturday night. The recent Australian invader won four times on the 13-race card to record his first harness racing victories at the mile oval. There figure to be many more to come. McCarthy, 27, arrived from Down Under at the end of August and has made an immediate impact racing in the States, winning 11 times from 87 starts entering action Saturday. "Australia was good to me. It's been great for years," said McCarthy. "I was the top driver at Menangle Racetrack in Sydney for the last five years. The timing was tricky [to come to the States] the way things are in the world right now, but it was a good time to come over and give it a go. The racing here is definitely faster and a little more aggressive, but so far it's been great and I'm really enjoying it." So did those who bet him Saturday night. McCarthy got the ball rolling in the third race, finishing first in a dead heat. Guiding A Major Omen, he managed to catch Griffon Hanover at the wire to record his first career Big M win in 1:52.2 in a low-end conditioned pace, paying $7.20 to win. Both horses went off at odds of 6-1. Somebodyitreasure and McCarthy hooked up to destroy their foes in a non-winners of two pace by 5¾ lengths in 1:49.4 as the 6-5 favorite in race four before Flyingevenbettor N gave McCarthy his third win of the night in the sixth race non-winners of four pace in 1:51.2 as the 1-2 public choice. Completing McCarthy's grand slam was 7-1 chance The Bettormack N, who got the better of 3-5 favorite Ocean Colony nearing the finish of race seven. The time for the mile in the mid-range conditioned pace was 1:50. "I've had a good night," the understated McCarthy said. "With a lot of help from some good horses and some good trainers. I've been a lot busier than I thought I'd have been. I think for anyone in the harness racing industry, you look at America, The Meadowlands is the pinnacle. To crack one tonight and then to get a few more after that, it was pretty awesome." Big brother Andy has been in his corner. "Andy's been a key factor in throwing a lot of work my way," said Todd. "The fact that he's been away [racing in Canada] has been a help. He's told some of the trainers, 'I'm away, you can throw my brother down on something'." McCarthy said he plans to race at Philadelphia, Pocono Downs and The Meadowlands in the coming months. "I've enjoyed every track I've raced at," said McCarthy. It shows. BOMBS AWAY! Driver Pat Berry, aka "The Blueberry Bomber", was up to his old tricks again, guiding three winners on the card, none close to being the post-time public choice. Berry scored with Always The Sun ($15.20 to win) in the first race and Imageofarocker ($12.00) in the fifth before saving his best for last, winning with 33-1 shot Harambe Deo ($68.40) in the 10th. On March 7, the last night of racing before the coronavirus shutdown, Berry swept the late double that paid $2,700.40 with horses who went off at 47-1 and 27-1. A LITTLE MORE: With a carryover of $37,159 serving as the catalyst, Early 20-cent Pick-5 players got to shoot for a total pool of $188,387. Those correctly selecting five winners cashed in for $271.46. ... With Harambe Deo providing the big upset, neither the Late 50-cent Pick-4 nor the Late 20-cent Pick-5 were hit. When racing resumes, the Late Pick-4 will have a carryover of $38,390 while the Late Pick-5 will start out with $21,811 in the hat. ... All-source wagering on the 13-race card totaled $2,744,326. ... The Big M's next live racing program is Friday. Post time is 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

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