East Rutherford, NJ – The first race on Saturday night (Oct. 12) at the Big M’s opening weekend for its Fall/Winter racing series featured 10 amateur drivers going to post.
As the gate opened, Matt Zuccarello, driving Pretty Boy Swag, took the lead and never looked back. He set an ambitious fraction for the first quarter to clear to the lead in :26.2, but was able to back it down some to a :55.4 half-mile time. As the field approached three quarters, pocket sitter Bettor Spirits N, with Tony Ciuffetelli holding the lines, made his move on the outside but Zuccarello rebuffed his challenge en route to a four-length victory. Ciuffetelli held second while So Take That, with John Calabrese, finished third. It was an Italian triple that paid handsomely to all of its backers.
Zuccarello paid a generous $64.20 for $2. After the race, an emotional Zuccarello said (while interviewing himself) that this win is dedicated to his dad, who is currently in the hospital for the past several days and has some major health issues. He also dedicated the win to his late father-in-law and his brother-in-law, Mike Velardi, was on hand to celebrate in the winner’s circle with him. It was his first career victory at the Meadowlands and 14th overall in his racing career. It was his fastest win time ever in 1:51.3.
This 5-year-old Marced Card gelding is owned by Connie and Roger Roland, and Harmon Racing Stable LLC and is trained by the Patti Harmon.
The GSY Pace Series will continue next weekend at the Big M. Post time is 7:15 p.m.