Concert @ MetLife Stadium 5/17 & 5/18. Please allow for extra travel time.


Saturday, May 4, 2024

Yannick Gingras had the touch Friday night at The Meadowlands, becoming just the third driver during 2024 to win five races on a Big M card.

Gingras’ night gets more impressive when you consider that he was ineligible to drive in three of the 14 dashes, with those events restricted to members of the Meadowlands Amateur Driving Club.

Not surprisingly, three of the winners came with horses trained by Ron Burke, who uses Gingras as his go-to pilot.

“The Green Hornet” got win No. 1 with the Burke-trained 3-year-old gelding trotter Wellington Hanover (International Moni-Wishful Me) in the second race, returning $6.80 as the 2-1 second choice in the dash for non-winners of two in a lifetime-best 1:54.2.

Spy Coast (Walner-Zeppole) went coast-to-coast for Burke in the sixth race, a non-winners of two for 3-year-old filly trotters. She won for the first time in her career in 12 tries, stopping the clock in 1:53.2, and paid $5.40 as the 8-5 public choice.

Corsini A, a 10-year-old daughter of Sportswriter-Upton, took an inside route late to win the seventh race and pay $7.60 as the 5-2 third choice in a fillies and mares TrackMaster 76.5 pace. The Jeffrey Smith trainee, making her 151st career start, lowered her previous lifetime best by one-and-one-fifth seconds after stopping the clock in 1:53.2.

Burke and Gingras struck once more in the 10th race, a mid-range conditioned trot, with the 7-year-old gelding Yanks Dugout (Triumphant Caviar-Yansky), who used his back class to register an easy win in 1:52.4. The 3-5 favorite paid $3.20 to win.

The drive for five came to fruition in the 14th race, as Massive Matter, a 6-year-old gelded son of Explosive Matter-Stick Of Butter, went wire-to-wire in 1:54.1, a lifetime best which came in the Donald Maiorano trainee’s 104th career start in a low-end conditioned trot. The win payout was $8.80 for the 3-1 third choice.

Previously, the only drivers to record five wins on a card this year were Jason Bartlett (on Jan. 19) and Andy McCarthy (Feb. 24).

OTTEN SPOTS HUGE PICK-4: It was another tough night for most handicappers Friday night, but not for Jessica Otten.

Big M TV’s Otten gave out the Early 50-cent Pick-4 that paid a whopping $1,961.20.

Playing a 50-cent ticket using a 2x3x3x4 configuration, Otten had 12-1 chance Crown Monarch in the eighth race, and then for good measure, picked her first winner of the night, Sand Sniper, in the ninth who paid $16.40 to complete her huge hit. Her followers made a profit on the play of $1,925.20 after deducting a $36 investment.

Otten came close to what’s believed to be the all-time high on-set Pick-4 hit, which was $2,000, set by Dave Brower several years ago.

A LITTLE MORE: It was a big night at the windows, as all-source wagering on the program totaled $3,450,418, the second-most prolific Friday night during 2024 and the 28th time from 34 race cards this year where betting bettered the $3-million mark. … The 20-cent Pick-6 went unhit, creating a carryover of $4,222. Those with five correct selections cashed in for $1,407.76. … Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m. There will be a pair of live Meadowlands races contested before the track takes a break to show the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby. Post time for The Derby is 6:57 p.m.

PHOTO: Yanks Dugout scores in the 10th race at The Meadowlands Friday night, one of five winners on the night for driver Yannick Gingras. (Credit: Lisa Photo)