Sunday, January 22, 2023

Driver Scott Zeron is known as “The Money Man”, and fans of the 33-year-old pilot had plenty of green in their pockets at the conclusion of the Saturday night card at The Meadowlands, after the two-time Hambletonian winner guided four to victory lane.

Zeron got his night underway guiding 8-5 favorite – and New Zealand import – Vespa N to his first win in North America. The Erv Miller trainee stopped the clock in 1:51.2.

Dontlikeitleave was win No. 2, as the Jared Cooper trainee shrugged off a bump up in class from $28,000 claimers to the $50,000 level and took the seventh in 1:51.2 as the 2-1 second choice.

Then, Zeron’s fans started to party.

Urban Renewal took the eighth race at odds of 19-1 for trainer Mike Watson in 1:51, a lifetime-best despite the chilly 37-degree conditions, before Zeron completed his four-pack with another double-digit score, 12-1 chance Dance It Out, who completed the mile in a lifetime-best 1:50.4 for trainer Bill Mac Kenzie in the 12th dash.

A PAIR OF EIGHTS FOR OTTEN: Jessica Otten enjoyed picking eight winners on top eight days ago so much that the Big M – and Fox Sports – TV talent picked eight on top again on the 14-race program.

The “Red-Hot Ott” had her fans cashing all night long, as a $20 bet on her selections netted a profit of $314. She saved her best for last, tabbing Walknafter Midnite ($9.20) in the 13th and Rockabilly Charm ($15.80) in the 14th for the ice-cold Late Daily Double ($77.80).

BIG PICK-6 PAYOUT: With a double carryover of $22,246 motivating the players to pour $83,124 of “new money” into the pot, a grand total of $105,370 was up for grabs in the 20-cent Pick-6. With Zeron’s bombs providing the biggest challenges during the sequence, those with winning tickets collected $16,891.

THE JOY OF SIX: All-source handle totaled $3,088,731, keeping the Big M’s streak alive of betting at least $3 million on a program.

This year, there have been six cards conducted at the mile oval, with each eclipsing the $3-million plateau. Business is booming as compared to last year. During 2022, betting did not top $3 million for the sixth time until April 2nd, the 23rd program of the year.

A LITTLE MORE: Andy McCarthy was next in line behind Zeron, guiding three to the winner’s circle. Tyler Buter recorded two victories. … The competitive racing has people who don’t like betting favorites loving life, as only seven public choices have scored over the last 28 races (25 percent). … Racing resumes Sunday at 12:30 p.m., the first of two consecutive Sunday afternoon cards.

PHOTO: Dontlikeitleave takes the seventh race at The Meadowlands Saturday night, one of four winners on the card for driver Scott Zeron. (Credit: Lisa Photo)