This week the race card is comprised of the regular Saturday overnight stock with nothing but pacing races, leading one to believe that this offering may well eclipse last Saturday's total handle of over $3.6 million.
Open pacers take to the track for the ninth race with ten fast horses (post positions were handicapped) competing for the lion's share of the $25,000 purse. Bushwacker is the ambiguous 5-2 choice here as trainer Chris Ryder brings Craig Henderson's Rocknroll Hanover gelding into the race off several impressive efforts at Dover Downs. Corey Callahan has the mount on Saturday.
Chief among the competition is the improving Kingofthejungle who has strung three straight wins together including one at the open level in his last since joining Mark Capone's barn. Andy Miller is back aboard as he has been for each of those wins on behalf of owners Fox Racing, Inc. and Darius Oshidar.
Leaving from the outside post ten is Doctor Butch who has done some of his best work over the Meadowlands mile oval. He has beaten Meadowlands open fields in the past and was the "hot horse" for a spell here last winter. He's earned over $1 million in his career for owner Ken Jacobs, has a fast 1:48.1 record taken at The Meadowlands in 2015 and gets Hall of Famer John Campbell to drive on Saturday for trainer Linda Toscano.
Race eight sends fourteen starters to the post at the distance of a mile and an eighth in a $10,000 claiming class. Historically the big fields are well-received by the horseplayers and the payoffs reflect the high difficulty level faced in handicapping the race.
The inflated number of races on Saturday (due to the holiday schedule) requires the early 6:35 p.m. first post and the wagering format has again been adjusted to accommodate the early start. Things will return to normal with live racing on Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. next week.
The horizontal wager guaranteed pools are set at $30,000 for the Pick-5 (races three-seven), $25,000 for the Early Pick-4 (races five-eight) and $50,000 for the Late Pick-4 (races nine-12). The Jackpot Super Hi-5 comes up in races seven and 15 (carryover at $44,988).
Both Pick-4 bets and the Jackpot Super Hi-5 are at the low retention rate of 15%.
Get an early start to handicapping the $50,000 guaranteed Late Pick-4 by downloading the Platinum Past Performances for those races, courtesy of TrackMaster.
The Meadowlands offers several attractive dining options for your consideration. Reservations are recommended.