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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Management at the Meadowlands is never afraid to shake things up, and starting on Friday, February 7, Big M fans will see an earlier start for the harness racing with a 6:55 p.m. post time, and once the card begins, they'll have a new array of wagers to titillate their wagering palates. "As the popularity of multi-race wagers continues to grow," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "We at the Meadowlands have chosen to expand our wagering menu to now include two Pick-4s, a new 20-cent Pick-5 and a new straight 20-cent Pick-6. "All four of these wagers will offer a low 15 percent takeout, which keeps more money in players' pockets. We are also going back to rolling Pick-3s, which will give bettors a vast assortment of multi-race wagers to play throughout the course of the evening. There is no doubt that this is one of our most ambitious and value-conscious wagering menus ever implemented at the Meadowlands." These are the pertinent facts: 20-cent Pick-5 (Race 1): The wager - which will continue to offer a $25,000 guaranteed pool - still begins with the first race of the night, but now has a 20-cent minimum and can be played in 20-cent denominations (such as 20 cents, 40 cents, 60 cents, etc.).  20-cent Pick-6 (Race 4): A "traditional" Pick-6. Should no player select all six winners, there will be a carryover to the next racing program. The 20-cent minimum will enable bettors to "spread" further without a big investment. Early 50-cent Pick-4 (Race 6): The "signature" wager at the Meadowlands now moves from the eighth race to the sixth, which immediately follows the cashing out of the Pick-5. The $50,000 guaranteed pool remains, as does the 50-cent minimum. Free program pages for this wager are available at ustrotting.com and playmeadowlands.com. Late 50-cent Pick-4 (Race 10): Immediately following the payoff leg of both the Pick-6 and Early Pick-4, this additional Pick-4 will give Meadowlands' fans another big multi-race pool to shoot for before the end of the program. 20-cent Can-Am Pick-4: This wager - which is on Saturday nights - will see a shift once the earlier post time takes effect. The bet, which challenges players to select the winners of two races at the Meadowlands and Woodbine Mohawk Park, will still begin with WMP's 10th race, but from there the sequence will be Meadowlands 11, WMP 11 and Meadowlands 12. The Pick-5, Pick-6, both Pick-4s and Can-Am Pick-4 will all offer a low 15 percent takeout. Rolling Pick-3s are returning: All races that do not have a Pick-4, Pick-5 or Pick-6 will offer a $1 Pick-3. On a typical 13-race card, the Pick-3s will be available on races 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 11. Daily Double players will get the same opportunities they had for many years as the traditional format of the first two and last two races will go back into effect. The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 will be dropped. With the new earlier post time of 6:55 p.m., simulcast fans can now look for the "Racing from the Meadowlands" live in-house pre-game show to begin nightly at 6:22 p.m. DRIVER COLONY DEEPENS: Last weekend (Jan. 24-25), Corey Callahan (six winners), Vinny Ginsburg (five) and Tim Tetrick (five) led the driver's colony, combining to win 16 of the 26 races contested over the two race cards. For the upcoming Friday and Saturday racing programs, things will get tougher for drivers - not to mention bettors. Yannick Gingras and Dexter Dunn, who combined to win 18 of the 28 races Jan. 17-18, are both back on the mile oval this weekend. In addition, back from his native Australia is Andy McCarthy, making the driver colony as deep as it's been in some time. With just one race card left in the month, Dunn leads the January driver standings with 23 victories. Rounding out the top four are Callahan (16), Gingras (12) and Ginsburg (10). Trainer Andrew Harris' barn stayed hot last week, sending out three to victory lane. Ron Burke is the top January trainer with 10 wins. He is followed by Harris, who has nine victories. Racing takes place this Friday and Saturday, with post time - for the last time for the foreseeable future - slated for 7:15 p.m. SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALL RIGHT: It was a typical Saturday (Jan. 25) business-wise at the industry's handle leader, as wagering on the Meadowlands' 13-race card totaled $2,696,394. Betting for the weekend came just $13,000 short of $5 million. A total of $270,747 was wagered on Saturday's eighth race, which included $85,070 in 50-cent Pick-4 wagers. TIME FOR THE BIG GAME: On Sunday (Feb. 2), professional football's championship game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. In what looks like a highly competitive matchup, the Kansas City Chiefs are a slight favorite over the San Francisco 49ers. Why not skip your usual gathering and come out to the Meadowlands? You can watch and wager on the game in the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook, where you can sit in comfort and enjoy many food and drink options in the Victory Sports Bar & Club. COMING UP.... On Jan. 31, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold'em on "Free Poker Friday", hosted by World Free Poker. 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 stay in Cape May, NJ. For reservations, call 201-THE-BIGM. On Feb. 22, The Big M will host its February World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier. The top two finishers will qualify for the WHHC Final. It's only $200 to play ($100 to enter; $100 bankroll). For complete information, check out the brochure at http://playmeadowlands.com/uploadedFiles/2020%20February%20WHHC%20qualifier.pdf. Last Saturday's annual Chili Cook Off was a huge success. A pair of chili experts took home $1,000 prizes, as Nathan Gramm won the homestyle division and Gregory Farm the chili verde division. A record-number 36 contestants entered the contest. From the Meadowlands  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Odds On St Lucie gave harness racing driver Vinny Ginsburg quite a workout Friday night. And that was just in the post parade. Before the featured $31,250 high-end conditioned pace for fillies and mares at the Meadowlands, the 4-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou-Shes Some Treasure was rank in the pre-race lineup and would not calm down until the outrider intervened. "Headstrong doesn't quite describe her," joked Ginsburg. Given how she raced, the amount of difficulty she brought was well worth it. Odds On St Lucie saw her two-race win streak end last week at the hands of odds-on favorite Major Occasion A, but got back on the winning track Friday by beating a top-flight field in 1:50.2. Wisdom Tree, the 4-5 favorite, made her way to the top while parked at the half in a demanding :54.4. Once Wisdom Tree cleared, Odds On St Lucie was left first-over, and while she did inch her way closer to the leader down the backstretch, she was still 2¼ lengths behind in third with just three-sixteenths to go. But she was up to the task at hand. "She's wicked fast and becoming versatile and improving every time she goes on the track," said Ginsburg. Odds On St Lucie Through the stretch, 'Lucie' kept on coming, and after having to swerve a bit to avoid contact with Sandy Win as that one vacated the pocket, went on to a neck victory. Sandy Win finished second with Wisdom Tree third. "She really dug in tonight off a tough trip against some nice mares," said Ginsburg. "I thought I'd be second-up but when Timmy (Tetrick, driving Wisdom Tree) went to the lead I just rode and she did the rest." Odds On St Lucie returned $8.00 to her backers as the 3-1 second choice in the betting. She races out of the Tony Alagna barn for owners Odds On Racing and has now won 10 of her 27 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $231,217. ALL HAIL THE CAPTAIN: Corey Callahan had the hot hand among the drivers, steering five to the winner's circle. 'The Captain' piloted the winners of four in a row beginning in the sixth race before taking the 13th and final to cap his five-bagger. ... Muscle Fashion and Pat Berry Pat Berry had three winners, including 5-1 and 16-1 shots, respectively, in the 10th and 11th races, to complete the Pick-4, which paid $285.40 despite Callahan winning the first two legs at 3-5 and 3-2. ... Ginsburg also handled three winners on the card, meaning Callahan, Berry and Ginsburg combined to win 11 of the 13 races on the program. A LITTLE MORE: One sharp player betting into the Kentucky hub was the only bettor to last eight legs in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 and collected a healthy payoff of $7,538.82. That makes seven straight SP10s that have paid $3,000 or more. ... All-source handle totaled $2,290,954. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Odds On St Lucie Muscle Fashion Tt`s D-jay By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Freehold, NJ --- There was a big upset in Saturday's Preferred Handicap harness racing pace at Freehold Raceway, as 19/1 Polak A upset 1/5 Matticulous.   George Brennan blasted off with Matticulous, clearing him to the lead and setting up shop before the quarter. While he did get to the lead, he had to work very hard for it: the opening quarter was 27.1 seconds. Meanwhile, Vinny Ginsburg conceded the lead with Polak A and pocketed up behind the leader.   As they rounded the final turn, Polak A edged out of the pocket, and presented a serious challenge to the favored leader. Though Matticulous tried hard to hold him off, Polak had plenty of horse, and got by to win by a length. The final time for the mile was a blazing 1:52.     Polak A performed well in the amateur races over the fall at the Meadowlands, winning two of three in that class. Last out, he finished fifth after showing speed in the Preferred at Freehold. He's owned by Tony Beltrami and trained by Vinny Fusco Jr.   Benson Boys, Ozone Blue Chip, Bullet Bob, Gotta Go BB, The Onlyest One, and Clint Westwood completed the order of finish.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Thursday, beginning at 12:30 PM EST. There's a 2-day pick 5 carryover for the card, worth $2,031.83.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- A big first-over move paid off for Clarebear at Freehold Raceway on Friday (January 10), as she won the fillies & mares Preferred harness racing pace by 1 3/4 lengths.   Sent off as the 8/5 favorite from the outside post position eight, she dropped into fifth place in the early stages. Approaching the half-mile pole, driver Vinny Ginsburg sent her to the outside, leading the first-over charge to challenge early leader Shecouldbegood. Heading around the final turn, Clarebear cleared to the front and kicked away from her rivals.   She had a 4 1/2 length lead entering the stretch, and although her rivals cut into the margin late, she had more than enough to hold on for the win. The final time was 1:54.3 for the mile, including a final quarter in 28.4 seconds.     The seven-year-old mare is owned by Cavalli Veloci Stables and trained by Mike Russo. She finished third by a neck last week, after getting parked out almost the whole way. For her career, she's earned more than $317,000, while winning 23 races.   Petal to the Metal closed well to get second at 11/1, while Cruisinwithmybaby was third at 12/1. She's a Billionair, Stonebridge Honey, Unspoken Promise, I Wish You Well, and Shecouldbegood completed the order of finish.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, starting at 12:30 PM EST. The 11-race card features two carryovers: the early pick 4, beginning in race 2, has a carryover of $881.11. The pick 5, starting in race 5, has a carryover of $718.39.   From Freehold Raceway  

Freehold, NJ --- Drazmatazz surprised most Freehold Raceway harness racing bettors on Friday (December 20), as he won the featured Preferred Handicap trot at 12/1.   Leaving from post position one, driver Vinny Ginsburg tucked him into the pocket off early leader Dynamic Edge. While he and Limerence got into an early duel, Drazmatazz watched the action unfold while saving ground. Heading up the backstretch the final time, numerous horses made their moves, but no one could catch up to Dynamic Edge, who remained clear turning for home.   Ginsburg kept Drazmaztazz glued to the pylons turning for home, and angled him out for a clear shot in the stretch. Dynamic Edge was game, but Drazmatazz had all the momentum, and got up to win by a head. The final time was 1:57.3.   This gelding has been doing his best trotting at Freehold as of late: he's got three wins and two seconds in his last five starts over the Jersey half-miler. He's owned by Danbry Racing and trained by Tom Angerame. Angerame also won race 5, with Great Emancipator.   Ginsburg's win in the Preferred was one of four he bagged on Friday. He teamed up with Angerame on Great Emancipator, and also won race 3 with Data and race 11 with Jacinta Hanover.   Live racing continues at Freehold on Saturday, starting at roughly 12:30 PM EST. There will be two carryovers: the early pick 4, starting in race 2, has a carryover of $1,151.56, while the pick 5, beginning in race 5, will have a carryover of $735.45.   From Freehold Raceway

Freehold, NJ --- Saturday's 10th race at Freehold Raceway was an unforgettable one for Alex Urbanski, as she conditioned Mister Love to victory, for her first career harness racing training win.   The 10-year-old gelding, one of two horses in the 18-year-old's stable, was sent off as the 1/1 favorite from the inside post.   Driver Vinny Ginsburg put him on the lead, then encountered a stiff first-over challenge from Northern Jack heading around the third turn. Northern Jack began to give way after the three-quarter point, and Mister Love cruised under the wire four lengths in front. He stopped the clock in a season's best 1:57.2.   Urbanski has been working with her dad, John, a regular trainer at Freehold, for many years. She began sending out her own string in March. She's had horses race at Freehold, Ocean Downs, Yonkers Raceway, and Harrah's Philadelphia. So far in her career, she's had 53 starters, with one win, four seconds, and seven thirds. Her career earnings stand at $13,491.   Live racing resumes at Freehold on Friday afternoon, starting at around 12:30 PM EST. From Freehold Raceway          

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Shellie De Vie was the recipient of a superb harness racing drive by Vinny Ginsburg, and the result was an easy 3¼-length score in the $25,000 featured conditioned pace for fillies and mares at the Meadowlands Friday night. The 4-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Beach Girl De Vie was put on the point around the first turn and made the quarter in :27.3. Oceania, the 4-5 favorite, was sitting sixth at this stage before working her way into the outer flow third-over as Shellie De Vie hit the half in :55.3. You Should Be Here came calling first-over to pressure the leader, but Shellie De Vie kept on rolling to three-quarters in 1:23.1 after a middle-half rating of :55.3 by Ginsburg with a strong winds at the horses' backs. Oceania was now three-wide with cover as the field came to the top of the stretch. Through the final three-sixteenths of a mile, Shellie De Vie continued to move well while Oceania could provide no punch after tipping off cover. Trained by Paul Fusco, Shellie De Vie completed the mile in 1:52. Annabeth came from way back to grab second while Renaissance Lady K finished third. Oceania was seventh in the nine-horse field.   As the second choice in the wagering, Shellie De Vie, who's now won 11-of-56 lifetime with earnings of $129,304 for owner Robert Arzano, paid $11.80 to win. THE BIG NIGHT IS HERE: Saturday night, the Meadowlands is hosting its biggest night of the autumn meeting, Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night, with purses totaling just over $2.8 million. A galaxy of harness racing stars will be on the card, including Atlanta, Hannelore Hanover, Papi Rob Hanover, Amigo Volo, Sister Sledge, Senorita Rita, American History, McWicked, Bettor's Wish, Lyons Sentinel, Six Pack, Gimpanzee, Manchego, Warrawee Ubeaut, Caviart Ally, and last but not least, the great Shartin N, who will look to claim the Horse of the Year trophy should she emerge victorious. The star-studded program gets off to an earlier-than-usual start, with the first race going off at 7 p.m. A LITTLE MORE: Dexter Dunn and Yannick Gingras both drove three winners on the card. Dunn leads the way at the Big M at the current meeting with 24 victories. ... The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 returned $3,147 for those who lasted seven legs. Of the seven winners, four were post-time choices. ... All-source handle totaled $2,193,101 for the 13-race program. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Historically, the Meadowlands is a track where a horse can win from well off the pace, but Alotbettor N took that to an extreme in taking the featured high-range conditioned pace at the Big M harness racing on Saturday night. Bushwacker, the 9-2 third choice in the wagering, was on the point from the start to the head of the stretch, but nearing three-quarters there was a live flow coming after the leader, with the train being led by 2-1 favorite, Dover Downs shipper Penzance Hanover. Driver Vinny Ginsburg had Alotbettor N in the flow but had much to do since he was seventh in the eight-horse field with a quarter-mile to go racing fourth over. The duo proved up to the task. Ginsburg steered Alotbettor N to the outside for the stretch drive and the pair fired home in :27 to record a half-length win over McThriller. Stonedust finished third. "Alotbettor is such an honest horse," said winning trainer Jenn Bongiorno. "And he absolutely loves it when we bring him back to the Big M. I wasn't surprised at all how he won the race because I know he loves to come from off the pace and never gives up." Alotbettor N returned $16.60 to win as the fifth choice in the wagering after completing the mile in a lifetime-best 1:49.3. For his career, the 8-year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight-Falcons Flybye has won 25-of-88 starts and banked $259,415 for owners Joe Bongiorno, Howard Taylor and Thomas Lazzaro. On the driving side of things, Yannick Gingras had what for him is a typical night at the salt mine, visiting the winner's circle four times on the 13-race program. Gingras scored with McClinchie N ($3.80 to win as the favorite) in 1:51.3 in the first race conditioned pace, Blacklight ($3.80 as the favorite) in 1:52.2 in the fourth race for pacers who were non-winners of two, Spaghetti Eddie ($9.20 as the third choice) in 1:51.3 in the 11th race conditioned pace before capping his night off with U F Rockin Dragon ($4.40 as the favorite) in 1:52.1 in the 12th race conditioned pace. A LITTLE MORE: One lucky simulcast player betting into the Catskills hub was the holder of the only ticket that lasted six legs in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 and was rewarded with a payout of $14,376. ... Ginsburg, Andy Miller and Dexter Dunn all had driving doubles while Nick Surick trained a pair of winners. ... The 50-Cent Pick-4 pool saw $108,946 in bets. Those who had 28-1 shot Mach N Cheese in the first leg and then went on to cash collected a hefty $3,874. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,782,432. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little Meadowlands Media Relations

Chris Lakata hopes it's best to be "Lucky" this weekend at The Meadowlands. Lucky Weekend, trained by Lakata, starts from post eight with driver Vincent Ginsburg in Saturday's $221,540 Kindergarten Classic Series championship for 2-year-old male harness racing trotters at the Big M. The gelding, purchased last month by Richard Mishkin for $45,000 at the inaugural Lexington Selected Mixed Sale, has won five of nine races and is among the season's 10 fastest 2-year-old male trotters, with a mark of 1:54.2. He went off stride in his first start for his new connections on Oct. 12, but rebounded with a Kindergarten win a week later. He was scratched last week because of sickness. "There are a lot of horses that are sick now; it seems to be going around," Lakata said about Lucky Weekend, a son of Lucky Chucky-Weekend Vacation who was trained previously by Chuck Sylvester. "He seems to be better now. "He seems like a nice solid horse. He's got a great attitude and is a very happy horse. I really like everything about him. He was already on his way to looking good before we got him. He made a break the first week we raced him so we changed a couple things and he was really good his last start." The Meadowlands hosts four Kindergarten championships on Saturday. In addition to the final for 2-year-old male trotters there is the $236,060 final for 2-year-old female trotters, $173,800 final for 2-year-old male pacers, and $148,700 final for 2-year-old female pacers. Post time is 7:15 p.m. (EDT) for the program's first race. Lakata, a former longtime assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Ron Gurfein, is in his fourth year operating his own stable. His barn at Joie De Vie Farm in New Jersey typically numbers five to 10 horses. Lucky Weekend's appearance in the Kindergarten championship is Lakata's first trip to a Grand Circuit final with his own stable. "Some weeks are great, and some are not so great," said a laughing Lakata, who grew up near Saratoga and began working with horses there after graduating from high school. "Sometimes you think you're a genius, and other times you look in the mirror and ask yourself if you know what you're doing. I've been doing it all my life, so I'm used to it. "I don't think I could work indoors in an office. As soon as I started (with the horses) I liked it. You're around all kind of people and they all blend together. It's a lot of fun." Lucky Weekend faces a field that includes 4-for-4 Seven Hills, trained by John Butenschoen, and Divine Spirit, trained by Brett Pelling. The horses, which were tied atop the Kindergarten standings, both enter the final off back-to-back wins in the series. This will be Lucky Weekend's final start of the year. "I think (Lucky Weekend) is as good as the others in there," Lakata said. "We'll find out. I hope he's as good this week as he was in his last start. He should be OK." For Saturday's complete entries, click here. For the Kindergarten standings, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Driver Vinny Ginsburg and trainer Tony Alagna were the big stars at the Meadowlands Friday night, as each scored three times on the 10-race program. The potent pair teamed up to win twice on the card, first with Odds On Stephanie in a conditioned event for filly and mare pacers. The 3-year-old by Somebeachsomewhere-Worldly Treasure scored as the 1-5 favorite in 1:53.4 in the second race to win for the second time in her career. Ginsburg and Alagna scored again in the ninth race with 5-2 second choice Odds On St Lucie in a division of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-old fillies on the pace. The daughter of Sweet Lou-Shes Some Treasure completed the mile in 1:53.2, winning for the third time in eight career starts. Ginsburg's third winner of the night came in race seven behind the Chris Lakata-trained Lucky Weekend, who came back to win despite yielding the lead at the three-eighths. The son of Lucky Chucky-Weekend Vacation hit the wire in 1:56 after going post ward at odds of 5-1 in a Kindergarten division for freshmen colt and gelding trotters. Eric Abbatiello drove Alagna's other winner of the night, Escapetothebeach, in the fifth race Kindergarten for pacing colts and geldings. The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Shelliscape hit the wire in a lifetime-best equaling 1:52.2 after going off at odds of 3-1. A LITTLE MORE: There was one very happy simulcast player in the Buckeye State. Only one ticket - sold in Ohio - had all 10 winners in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10, and returned $8,444. ... The 50-Cent Pick-4 pool reached a meet-high $76,960. ... All-source wagering on the card totaled $1,340,547. ... Marcus Johansson and Victor Kirby each recorded driving doubles. ... Racing resumes Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

WILKES-BARRE PA - All three divisions of the Great Northeast Open Series (GNOS) - for open pacers, open trotters, and mare pacers -- have filled this week, which means three heats of competitive action for $30,000 each at the eastern Pennsylvania tracks this weekend. The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will play host to the open pacers on Saturday evening. Accorded 5-2 morning line favoritism is More The Better N, a son of Bettor's Delight who made his U.S. debut a successful one this past Sunday at Philly, rallying from far back to post a 1:49.4 tally. A winner of $445,168, More The Better N drew the challenging post seven in a field of eight for driver Vinnie Ginsburg, trainer Ross Croghan and the ownership of Robert Cooper Stables LLC and J&T Silva Stables LLC. Highalator, starting from post two for driver Eric Carlson, is no stranger to winning over the Pocono oval, and having posted a career-best 1:48 at The Meadowlands two starts ago, he is rated the early second choice at 3-1 in the GNOS contest, tenth on the mountain oval's card. The action goes south 100 miles on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike for the two races at Harrah's Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon. First up will be the sixth race open trot, with Guardian Angel AS, who set a track record of 1:52 for four-year-old trotting horses when he raced here on June 24, given the early nod at 5-2 from post five for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Anette Lorentzon, and owners Kjell Johansson and the ACL Stuteri AB of John Erik Magnusson, who passed away last week. The son of Archangel will be going for his fourth win in five seasonal starts on Sunday. Co-second choices at 3-1 are Such An Angel (post one, driver George Napolitano Jr.), who won an Open handicap at Yonkers in the time of 2:24.2 for 1¼ miles last time out, and the two-time divisional champion mare Broadway Donna (post two, driver David Miller), who won here in the GNOS on June 10. Pacing mares will take to the track in race eleven, with the 5-2 early choice Tequila Monday beginning from post six in a seven-horse grouping. The daughter of American Ideal, to be driven by Eric Goodell for trainer Chris Oakes and the partnership of Northfolk Racing Stable and Chuck Pompey, won a GNOS event at Pocono on June 3, and she missed just a head to Newborn Sassy in a distaff handicap pace at Yonkers in her last race. L A Delight, who won a GNOS contest here on May 27 and has been consistently-close to the best of her group since, is held at 3-1 early as she begins from post three for driver Yannick Gingras. The Great Northeast Open Series contestants are trying to earn enough points to make their way into their division's GNOS Championship - all three of the groups will go for $100,000 over 1¼ miles at Pocono on Sunday, September 2, also the card featuring the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championships for three-year-olds. From the PHHA/Harrah's & Pocono Downs

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - After finishing a solid second and third, respectively, in his two preliminaries, Mike's Powerhouse upped his game Saturday night, saving his best effort for the Caramore Series Final, winning the $20,850 harness racing feature at the Meadowlands for non-winners of $20,000 in 2018 on the pace. Driver Vinny Ginsburg, who won three races on the evening, put the 6-year-old gelded son of Camluck on the lead around the first turn from the rail and hit the quarter in :26.2. The eventual winner got a :57.3 breather through the middle half as Rockinwiththebest, the slight 3-2 favorite, popped out the four hole at the three-eighths and inched his way toward the leader on the rim. But Mike's Powerhouse brought just enough through a final quarter of :26.4 to hold off the late-charging Astor, who finished a neck back. Rockinwiththebest held on for third. Byby Landon, the slight 3-2 second choice, was blocked in the pocket and had to settle for fifth. Mike's Powerhouse returned $11.80 to win as the third choice in the wagering and completed the mile in a lifetime-best 1:50.4 for trainer Vincent Fusco Jr. RED MAN, BLACK INK: Driver Eric Abbatiello continued to endear himself to value players Saturday, guiding one 6-1 shot and a 9-2 chance to victory lane. This after his 22-1 score on the Friday card. FAVES NOT FAB: After post-time choices went only 2-for-9 on the Friday program, the chalk players probably felt they were due for a big night Saturday, but it wasn't to be. The first 10 chalks failed before Music Is Art clicked at 4-5 in the finale. For the race week, favorites went 3-for-20 (15 percent). A LITTLE MORE: Wagering was down when compared to the comparable card from a year ago, with short fields the main culprit. During the course of the night, four fields had but six betting interests at post time. On last year's card, the average numbers of starters per race was 8.2. This year, it was 7.2. Last year, the total wagered was $2,229,350. This year, it was $1,878,057, a decrease of 15.8 percent. ... One lucky player betting into the Elite Turf Club hub raked the pot in the Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five. He or she who held the only ticket with the winning combination of 1-8-6-2-5 in the ninth race cashed in for $16,154. ... The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $265,472. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

East Rutherford, NJ - Summerlike conditions greeted harness racing fans at The Meadowlands on Saturday evening, with temperatures in the low 80's bringing out a large crowd for the annual Beerfest and Battle of the Burgers. Odds on Equuleus (Vinny Ginsburg) made it back-to-back Big M scores with a win in the feature, a $17,500 conditioned event, unleashing a wicked 26 second final kicker to rally up in time for a three-quarter length win in 1:48.4. Mr D's Dragon (Christian Lind) blasted off the wings to take the early lead, with Iwillmakeyousaywow (Daniel Dube) taking a two-hole tuck past the opening quarter in 26.4. Shortly after the field settled up the backstretch, Driver Jordan Stratton was on the attack first over with the New Zealand bred Iammrbrightside N, who was imported to the U.S. in early spring. Ontario Success (Dan Charlino) followed that live cover up second over, with the 9-5 slight favorite Odds on Equuleus setting things up third over in the flow. Mr. D's Dragon continued to stand tall after putting up crisp fractions, by the half in 54.1 and three-quarters in 1:22, but it was ultimately Odds on Equuleus who tipped 4-wide down the lane and made up the four-length difference from sixth to outsprint his rivals and hit the line first in 1:48.4. It was the 20th victory of his career, and a seasons best effort. Mr D's Dragon held on for the second spot, with Iwillmakeyousaywow staying on late to be third. Odds on Equuleus Total handle on the 11-race card was $2,349,707. Live racing continues at The Meadowlands on Friday and Saturday nights with a first post of 7:15 p.m. Justin Horowitz  

East Rutherford, N.J. -- The Rock and Roll Stable's Americanprimetime ($7.40) was resolute amid early pressure, turning aside two early harness racing challengers and setting fast fractions en route to a 1:49 triumph in the featured $17,500 top-level pace at the Meadowlands on Saturday (June 25) evening.   Joe Bongiorno had the accelerator down early with the 4-year-old American Ideal entire, battling with Vapour N (Pat Berry) and Art History (Victor Kirby) through a :26.2 first quarter and refusing to yield. While Vapour N eased off the pace, Americanprimetime would not shake off the challenge of Art History until well after a :53.4 half, subsequently gaining separation on the field through the far turn. Americanprimetime amassed a 3-1/2 length lead in upper stretch, but was fully extended in the last eighth to stave off a massive rally from Jacksrluckytoo (Jim Marohn, Jr.), who circled three-wide off the far turn and closed boldly to miss Americanprimetime's 1:49 mile by a scant head. Ashley's Husband (Vinny Ginsburg) circled from the rear of the field to take third, a farther 3-1/2 lengths back.   Rick Dane, Jr. trains Americanprimetime, now a 7-time winner.   For Bongiorno, the featured win was one of five on the 12-race card. Vinny Ginsburg also accounted for five driving wins on the evening, including the $15,000 Dash for the "G" Notes mini-series final for first-level conditioned pacers with Vague Traces ($2.20, 1:50).   Kate Repetto was crowned the 2016 Ms. Hot to Trot at the Meadowlands and Alicia Blanks the runner-up, taking a $5,000 grand prize and $2,500 second prize, respectively.   Both 20¢ Jackpot High 5 wagers carry over to next Friday's (July 1) program, with $21,976.73 going to the fifth-race High 5, and $267,769.47 added to the closing-race High 5 should one bettor take down the entire pool.   Despite one fewer race on the card in comparison to the corresponding Saturday program in 2015, total all-sources handle increased by $178,363.   Friday evening's program is due to commence at 7:15 p.m. Eastern. Fans and horsemen alike are advised that the Saturday (July 2) card carries a special first post of 6:30 p.m. For full information on racing, dining, and events at the Meadowlands, visit www.playmeadowlands.com.   by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

William Donovan's 6-year-old pacing gelding Ashley's Husband ($16.60) sustained a first-over grind into a :54.4 last half to take Saturday (March 26) evening's harness racing featured $16,000 top-level conditioned event at The Meadowlands. Vinny Ginsburg wanted no part of the early pace, rating Ashley's Husband off dueling leaders Dynamic Youth (Joe Bongiorno) and Real Nice (Andy McCarthy) through a :27.1 quarter before tightening in on the backstretch as the pace slowed. After a :56.1 half, Ginsburg edged Ashley's Husband first-over, pushing Dynamic Youth to a :28.2 third quarter before wearing him down at the eighth pole. Ashley's Husband accelerated to the winning post for a 1:51 triumph, evading both Real Nice, who chased up the pegs, and the second-over Jacksrluckytoo (Jim Marohn, Jr.). Favorite Mel Mara (Scott Zeron) kept even off third-over cover, but posed no threat in the accelerating late pace, finishing fifth. The Kyle Spagnola trainee earned his 25th career win, and his second of the year in nine tries. Scott Zeron led all drivers with three wins on the night, teaming up with Watkins ($7.20, 1:55), Bettor Memories ($15.20, 1:52), and McArdles Lightning ($2.60, 1:51.2). A carryover in excess of $31,000 spurred $151,096 of new money in the 50¢ Pick 5, which returned $2252.30 to correct backers. As races 9 through 12 were cancelled due to a lighting malfunction on the clubhouse turn, the Late Pick 4 paid on all tickets with Ashley's Husband in race 7, McArdles Lightning in race 8, and any horses in races 9 and 10. The 1-4-all-all late Pick 4 returns $4.75 on every 50¢ wagered. Live racing returns to The Meadowlands on Friday, April 1, with post time at 7:15 p.m. EDT. The fifth race Jackpot High 5 carryover has grown to $12,633, while the same wager in the final race boasts $154,428 in added money. MEADOWLANDS FORCED TO CANCEL REMAINDER OF SATURDAY PROGRAM DUE TO POWER OUTAGE Due to a power outage that affected the track lights around the first turn and paddock area, the Meadowlands was forced to cancel the remainder of Saturday night’s racing card. Eight of the 12 scheduled races were completed before the outage. The outage only affected lights in those areas. The rest of the facility has power and continued to operate normally. The Meadowlands was already scheduled to be closed Sunday in observance of Easter. Daytime simulcasting will be conducted at Winners Bayonne Off-Track Wagering. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. by James Witherite, Meadowlands Media Relations

MANALAPAN, NJ - December 12, 2015 - It was all in the family when Vincent Ginsburg captured top driver honors and Vincent Fusco Jr. was the leading trainer when the 109-date Freehold Raceway meet concluded on Saturday, December 12, 2015. Ginsburg is the nephew of Fusco In the driver standings, Ginsburg posted 154 wins from 875 starters for earnings of $573,914. Finishing second was Eric Abbatiello with 148 wins and $586,070 while Stephen Smith topped earnings with $632,072, with 133 wins for third place. Rounding out the Top 5 are James Marshall III with 123 wins and Joseph Bongiorno with 78. Fusco led the way in the trainer standings with 72 wins and $223,271 in earnings. The Top 5 also included Nick Surick with 49 wins, John Urbanski with 40, Kelvin Harrison with 26 and Robert Bongiorno with 25. The 2016 meet opens on Friday, January 1, with qualifiers in the morning at 9:30 a.m. and the first pari-mutuel race at 12:30 p.m. Entries for the opening day card will close at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 while the box for qualifiers will close at 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 31, 2015. "I am looking forward to the 2016 racing season," said Freehold's Director of Racing and Racing Secretary Karen Fagliarone. "We have the Standardbred Development Fund for two year olds scheduled in the fall next year, and I am optimistic that we will offer fuller fields. Our stake schedule also includes the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres, the Dexter Cup, the Lady Suffolk, the Charles and Helen Smith Trots, the Lou Babic Paces, the Harold and Marion Dancer Trots, and a late closer which will be scheduled sometime in September. The Open Space Pace is scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2016." Live racing will take place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays plus three Mondays: January 18, February 15 and September 5. "Our draw schedule will remain the same with the exception of Martin Luther King Day," Fagliarone said. "We are hopeful that we can get together a race to honor Martin Luther King Day. I have reached out to Montrell and George Teague, and they have both expressed interest. The race will be held the prior week, though, to accommodate their schedule." By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ    

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