Saturday, February 25, 2023

In his typical consistent fashion, Yannick Gingras has made his way to the top of the driver standings at The Meadowlands during the current winter meeting.

On Friday night at The Big M, the 43-year-old Hall of Fame pilot padded his lead by winning five times on the 13-race card, a superb night at the races when you consider there were only 11 chances for Gingras, since two of the dashes were exclusively for GSY Amateur Drivers Club competitors.

Gingras scored in the third race with 2-1 second choice Violence for trainer Ron Burke, taking down 1-2 favorite Big Christian by a nose in 1:56.3 in a conditioned trot to win for the first time in seven lifetime starts. The Quebec native came right back in the next dash, connecting with 3-2 second choice Shes A Sassy Beach in wire-to-wire fashion for Megan Scran in 1:54.4 in a conditioned pace for mares.

The Gypsy Queen IR – another Burke trainee – was win No. 3 in the seventh race for “The Green Hornet”, taking a conditioned pace for mares in a lifetime-best 1:55 as the 6-5 public choice. Gingras then won the 11th with the pocket-sitting Always A Panther, who took a TrackMaster 74.5 pace in 1:53.1 as the even-money chalk for Edwin Quevedo, before capping his big night with the Bruce Saunders-trained Texas Miki, who got up from the pocket in 1:52.2 in the 12th as the 3-1 third choice in a conditioned pace.

Gingras now has 32 wins to lead the Big M driver colony, five more than closest pursuer Joe Bongiorno. Over the last six race cards, he has recorded at least two wins five times, while winning three or more thrice. He’s won nine times over the last two race cards, with only two going off as the favorite. A year ago, Gingras was the most prolific dash-winning driver at The Meadowlands with 136 winner’s circle visits.

STILL PERFECT: Despite conducting one less race than usual, betting bettered the $3-million mark yet again.

Thus far in 2023, there have been 14 cards contested on Friday and Saturday nights, and each one has seen wagering exceed $3 million.

On Friday’s 13-race program, a total of $3,123,459 was pushed through the windows.

A LITTLE MORE: Bruno and Stacy Chiodo both recorded driving victories on the card, becoming the first husband and wife duo in recent memory to turn the trick at The Meadowlands. … Dexter Dunn will be the guest on “In the Sulky”, which takes place during the Saturday pregame show at 5:45 p.m. … Racing resumes Saturday at 6:20 p.m.

PHOTO: The Gypsy Queen IR wins the seventh race at The Meadowlands Friday night, one of five victories on the night for driver Yannick Gingras. (Credit: Lisa Photo)