East Rutherford, NJ — Yannick Gingras came to play Friday night (Nov. 25) at the Meadowlands, and so did the 20-cent Pick-6 players.
The 43-year-old Hall of Fame pilot recorded four wins to lead the driver colony while bettors awoke from their post-Thanksgiving slumber with some huge play in the Pick-6 with motivation provided by a $100,000 guaranteed pool.
Gingras got his night rolling in the second race by guiding Portofino (at odds of 5-2) to victory lane in a non-winners of two trot for trainer Ron Burke in 1:55 despite a 41-day layoff. Gingras came right back in the next race with the Bruce Saunders-trained Texas Miki, who snuck through the inside late to score in 1:54.1 at odds of 6-1 in a TrackMaster 77 pace.
“The Green Hornet” recorded a natural hat trick by scoring with 4-1 chance Troycen for Burke in a non-winners of $3,000 trot in 1:57.1 before completing his big night with Saunders student Best Keepsake in the seventh-race fillies and mares non-winners of $3,000 pace in 1:54.4 as the 6-5 favorite.
With stiff winds in their faces coming through the stretch, it was tough to make up ground, making the front end the place to be on a night that felt chillier than the 46-degree thermometer reading.
“You just pay attention to what’s going on,” said Gingras of the track bias. “You have to be close anyway, so I put my horses on the point and a few got the job done. Winning races brings confidence, and when you feel good in the bike, it definitely makes a difference.”
The 20-cent Pick-6 had a double carryover of just over $32,000, which led to Meadowlands management – in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering initiative – to guarantee the total pool at $100,000. What resulted was $107,218 in “new money” for a total pool of $139,648.
The winning horses’ odds during the Pick-6 sequence were 9-2, 5-2, 4-1, 7-5, 12-1 and 8-5, and those with all six winners collected a handsome $6,101.92.
A LITTLE MORE: Dexter Dunn recorded a driving triple while Andy McCarthy and Corey Callahan had two wins each. … Burke and Saunders led the trainers with two winners apiece. … Despite only one horse going off at odds greater than 9-2, the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 returned $5,833.78. … All-source handle totaled $2,891,501 as total play in the two 50-cent Pick-4 wagers totaled just under $150,000. … Racing resumes Saturday (Nov. 26) at 6:20 p.m. on “Fall Final Four/TVG Championships Night”; eight stakes events – contested as races four through 11 – will go for purses totaling $2.7 million. The marquee attraction is the presumptive Horse of the Year Bulldog Hanover, who, along with the super mare Atlanta, will make the final starts of their respective careers.