Sunday, January 28, 2024

Heading into the featured 10th-race Saturday night at The Meadowlands, driver Andy McCarthy had already won three races – all favorites – on the program, but the 37-year-old pilot gave his fans one to get extremely excited about after guiding Ferretti to victory at odds of 11-1 in the $27,500 winners-over for trotters.

“He’s like driving a sports car,” said McCarthy. “I think he’s got a bit of a future.”

McCarthy, whose 85 wins were good for third in the 2023 final Big M driver standings, gave Ferretti a perfect steer as the 5-year-old gelded son of Creatine-Ferrari Of recorded his 11th career victory in 40 starts for owner-trainer Anette Lorentzon.

Ferretti was asked for early speed from post eight in the 10-horse field and delivered, leading the way to the quarter in :27.2. Little Expensive, the 4-5 public choice, steadily marched toward the point, finally clearing just after the half, which was timed in :56.3.

Platinum As, who won this event 15 days ago, was now left first-over but never provided a stiff challenge for the leader, who sailed past three-quarters in 1:25.2 looking very much like a horse heading for a third straight score.

But McCarthy was patient, waiting until just the right moment in deep stretch to scoot up the rail and nail Little Expensive by a head in 1:53.1. Toccoa Falls finished third.

“We had an outside draw but drew inside the two good ones,” said McCarthy. “We got a nice trip out of it. He’s great. He gets across the ground easily.”

As the fifth choice in the wagering, Ferretti returned $25.20 to win while lifting his lifetime earnings to $151,855.

HI-5, HIGH PAYOFF: After no winning tickets were sold on Friday night’s Early 20-cent Hi-5 (race seven), a carryover of $13,065 motivated players to bet over $43,000 in “new money” into a pool that totaled $56,257. Despite 8-5 favorite King Alphonso and 4-1 third choice Challenger finishing 1-2, those with tickets reading 7-2-1-4-8 collected a handsome $682.72.

A LITTLE MORE: There were no winning tickets sold on the 20-cent Pick-6, creating a carryover of $5,938 for Friday. Those with five correct selections collected $494.88. … Betting was vigorous on the 14-race program, as wagering topped the $300,000 mark on four races, topped by the $334,794 pushed through the windows on the sixth. All-source handle totaled $3,779,096, a 2024 Big M best and fifth time from seven cards this year when wagering busted the $3-million barrier. … Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m.

PHOTO: Ferretti and driver Andy McCarthy rally up the inside to take the Saturday night feature at The Meadowlands. (Credit: Lisa Photo)