Sunday, December 10, 2023

Apparently, a three-winner night on Friday wasn’t enough to satisfy Hall of Fame driver Yannick Gingras, who came right back Saturday to guide four to victory lane at The Meadowlands.

The 44-year-old pilot clicked with Sugar Me N in the third race. The 6-year-old gelded son of Sweet Lou-Revere Me, a beaten favorite in two straight, once again had the confidence of the betting public, and this time delivered, hitting the wire first in 1:51.1 in the $20,000-$30,000 claiming handicap pace for trainer Ron Burke.

As the even-money public choice, Sugar Me N returned $4 to win.

Homestretch Wes gave Gingras his second victory in the fifth race. The 2-1 second choice ($6.60 to win), dropping in class from $20,000 claiming pacers to the $15,000 level, scored in a lifetime-best 1:52. The 6-year-old gelded son of Well Said-Ladyfield was trained by Richard Johnson.

Beach Cowgirl, a daughter of Captaintreacherous-Stonebridge Sundae, took the sixth race $20,000 conditional pace for 3-year-old fillies in a lifetime-best 1:49.4 despite being a little rough-gaited early on.

“I figured she was the big favorite,” said Gingras. “I thought she was the best filly in the race and she proved it. She got a little bumpy on me going into the first turn. After that, it was clear sailing.

“We were sprinting pretty hard [through the stretch] and [second-place finisher Talk Curdy To Me] was giving her best, too, but I felt pretty confident and was just trying to keep her brave while not asking too much.”

Beach Cowgirl, a Burke student, returned $2.20 to win as the 1-9 favorite.

Gingras and Burke teamed up to take the eighth, a high-end conditioned trot, with the speedy Lexus Kody, who went all the way in 1:52.2, to cap Gingras’ big night. The 5-year-old gelded son of Archangel-Lexus Helios paid $3.40 as the 3-5 public choice.

CARRY ME 5 TIMES: Saturday night marked the fifth consecutive time that the 20-cent Pick-8 failed to yield a winning ticket, creating a carryover of $35,785 when racing resumes Friday.

Those with seven winners collected $880.30. The Pick-8 begins nightly in the fourth race and concludes in the 11th.

Free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available by going to

ANDY ‘SOARS’ IN FEATURE: Andy McCarthy guided Soaring Now to a thrilling 1:48.3 score in the $23,000 featured high-end conditioned pace.

“We ended up getting a cozy [pocket] trip,” said McCarthy. “But he had to work there in the stretch.”

Soaring Now, a 4-year-old son of Jk Endofanera-Sunflower who hails from the Noel Daley barn, got past the speedy South Beach Star nearing the wire to record a head win as the 7-5 favorite, returning $4.80 to his backers.

A LITTLE MORE: Right behind Gingras were McCarthy and Jordan Stratton, who each had a driving triple. … Burke led the trainers with three wins. … All-source handle totaled $3,063,536, the 56th time from 83 race cards in 2023 where betting bettered the $3-million barrier. … Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m.

PHOTO: Beach Cowgirl wins the sixth race at The Meadowlands Saturday night, one of four winners on the card for driver Yannick Gingras. (Credit: Lisa Photo)