Big M Pace card will feature big stars, huge action

East Rutherford, NJ — Eight of the horses in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown weekly Top 10 poll will be in action on the Saturday (July 13) program at the Meadowlands, and a slightly different wagering menu — which promises to create big pools — will also be offered on the highly-anticipated Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace Night card.

Top-ranked Shartin N seeks her ninth win in a row in the Golden Girls for free-for-all mare pacers. Her last Meadowlands appearance came on Nov. 24 of last year when she won the TVG Mares pace in 1:50.3.

No. 2 Atlanta, who a week ago recorded the fastest trotting Big M mile ever of 1:49.1 in the Graduate Series final, will look to stay perfect in seven seasonal starts in the Hambletonian Maturity, an open event for 4-year-olds at a mile and an eighth.

In the evening’s feature, Captain Crunch (No. 3) and Bettor’s Wish (No. 5) will go head-to-head in a second consecutive major event in the 3-year-old male pacing division, the $682,650 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. Four weeks ago, Captain Crunch bested Bettor’s Wish by three-quarters of a length in the North America Cup.

No. 4 Greenshoe, whose explosive late rally left him a head short at the wire in the June 29 Beal, will try to make it six wins in nine lifetime tries in the second of two divisions of the Stanley Dancer Memorial for 3-year-old open trotters. Speaking of polls, Greenshoe is currently the top-ranked horse in Meadowlands track announcer Ken Warkentin’s weekly ‘Road to the Hambletonian’ Top 10.

Last Saturday, in the Graduate Series final for pacers, sixth-ranked Lather Up became only the second horse in harness racing history to complete a mile in 1:46. He’ll take on defending Horse of the Year McWicked in the William Haughton Memorial at a mile and an eighth.

No. 9 Warrawee Ubeaut, who was upset two weeks ago in the Lynch, takes on the horse that beat her — Stonebridge Soul — in the Mistletoe Shalee for 3-year-old pacing fillies at a mile and an eighth.

Finally, Hannelore Hanover (No. 10) takes on Darling Mearas S, one of only four horses to ever break the 1:50-barrier on the trot at the Big M, in the second leg of the Miss Versatility for open mares.

Wagering Menu: The Saturday card will feature an extra 50-cent Pick-4 as well as an extra Pick-3 as compared to a normal 13-race card.

There will be Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta wagering on all 13 races; Daily Doubles will be offered on races 1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 8-9, 9-10 and 12-13; the 50-cent Pick-5 will begin with race one, but will have a $50,000 guaranteed pool instead of the usual $25,000; the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 will be offered starting with race three while the pair of 20-cent Jackpot Super-High Fives will be in their usual spots, races five and 13.

Fans of the track’s signature wager, the 50-cent Pick-4, will get to double their pleasure. There will be two rounds of the bet on Saturday. The first — which will be made up of the Golden Girls, Hambletonian Maturity, Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace and Haughton Memorial — takes place on races six-nine and will offer a guaranteed pool of $100,000, while the second will be on races 10-13 with a $50,000 promise.

Keep in mind that the Survivor, Pick-5 and Pick-4 all offer a low 15 percent takeout.

Check Your Watch: The Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace field will head to the gate at 10:10 p.m. Racing on Friday and Saturday night will get underway at the usual 7:15 p.m. For the remainder of the meeting, racing will be conducted on a Friday-Saturday 7:15 p.m. basis, except for Hambletonian Day (Saturday, Aug. 3), when the card gets underway at noon.

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