Sunday, March 6, 2022

On an extremely busy night of business, all-source wagering at The Meadowlands was $3,755,422, establishing a 2022 track and industry best on Saturday.

“Going back to the post-time ‘drag’ combined with having all of our top drivers back in the fold has increased our handle dramatically,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “We are thrilled with the betting over the last few weeks as our last two Saturday cards have resulted in over $7 million being wagered on our races.”

Big action during “Prime Time” served as the catalyst for the big night.

A single-race season’s-best $380,544 was bet on race six, with $108,586 of that on the 50-cent Pick-4. The seventh, eighth and ninth races saw $311,820, $371,995 and $293,481 pushed through the windows, respectively, for a total of $1,357,840 over the four dashes, an average per race of $339,460.

The high Pick-4 pool of the year lasted only about an hour or so, as $112,702 was put in play on The Big M’s most-popular multi-leg bet in race 10, when a total of $367,181 was wagered on the race.

The 20-cent Pick-6, which spans races eight through 13, started with a modest carryover of $7,215 and ended up with a total pool of $58,171. Those who cashed winning tickets walked away with $99.26 after five favorites and one second choice reigned supreme.

Total wagering for the weekend was $6,647,319, another yearly high.

LET IT RIDE N REWRITES ‘HISTORY’: After sitting an ideal pocket trip throughout the mile, Let It Ride N rolled by American History in deep stretch in the $34,500 featured Preferred Handicap for pacers, and in the process, established a season’s-fastest mile at The Big M of 1:48.3.

“I just wanted to see who was leaving,” said winning driver Dexter Dunn of his decision making in the early going. “With a trip like that, he can really accelerate. He’s a fast horse.”

In search of a third straight victory, American History was sent to the gate as the even-money choice, and driver Todd McCarthy put the Tony Alagna trainee on the point as Let It Ride N sat right behind the pacesetter through fractions of :27.1, :55 and 1:22.1.

Dunn popped Let It Ride N out of the two-hole with about a sixteenth to go and got past a stubborn American History to win by a head. Bee Two Bee was third.

“He was a different horse tonight, really relaxed,” said Dunn. “Nearing the wire, Todd [McCarthy] looked over and said, ‘You got me’.”

Let It Ride N, a 9-year-old gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Love A Gamble who is trained by 2021 Dan Patch Award winning Trainer of the Year Nifty Norman, returned $5.00 to win as the 3-2 second choice. His time was just one-fifth-of-a-second slower than the 1:48.2 national season’s-best mile put up by Sprocket at Dover Downs on Feb. 10.

Owned by William Hartt and Enzed Racing Stable, Let It Ride N has now won 29 of 78 career starts, good for earnings of $506,312.

GRAND SLAMS: Dunn finished the night with a driver-colony best four winners while Izzy Estrada trained four to victory lane, which means the duo have the inside track to repeat as The Big M’s Driver and Trainer of the Week, respectively.

A LITTLE MORE: Yannick Gingras won once on the card, ending his streak of winning at least twice on every program in 2022, but his streak of winning at least one is alive and well at 15. … Joe Bongiorno drove three to victory lane. … Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m.

PHOTO: Let It Ride N and driver Dexter Dunn take the Saturday night feature at The Meadowlands. (Credit: Lisa Photo)