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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Full fields, top trotters headline Friday at the Big M

Meadowlands Media Relations

East Rutherford, N.J. – Two Open events for trotters and a $20,000 “Dash for the ‘G’ Notes” final for first-level square-gaiters headline the on-track action Friday (December 11) at The Meadowlands, with full fields of 10 contestants squaring off in all but three of the evening’s 13 events.

In the featured $25,000 Open 1 Handicap, carded as the ninth race on the program, Opulent Yankee (post 4) makes his second start back after nearly five months away from the races.  Last week, the 4-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding finished sixth behind 29-1 longshot winner Crosbys Clam Bake, yet he only missed by 1-3/4 lengths while one-paced from the pocket.  As usual, Andy Miller handles the driving duties for his wife, trainer Julie Miller.  Crosbys Clam Bake (post 8), the 5-year-old gelded son of Kadabra who kicked on late to just prevail last week, retains the services of Scott Zeron.  Handover Belle (post 9, Yannick Gingras) comes back as well after the narrowest of defeats last week, as her first-over bid was bested by only Crosbys Clam Bake in the final yards.  A trio of Saratoga invaders—Stirling Cadet, Stitch in Time, and Cash Me Out—all line up on the inside portion of the gate.

Three races earlier, a field of nine contest a $20,000 Open 2 event, with 3-year-old Lima Pride facing older foes after a pair of mild closing wins in Pennsylvania.  The Åke Svanstedt trainee starts from post 1 and seeks his third win in as many tries this season, but he faces strong upper-level contenders in T Js Mr Lavec (post 4, Greg Merton) and Hyway Marcus (post 8, Gingras).  Bob Krivelin’s Current Crisis (post 5, Zeron) is a noteworthy addition to this group as well, sustaining a wide bid to take the $25,000 Billings Final at Harrah’s Philadelphia in his most recent outing.

In addition to the evening’s Open events, a field of 10 first-level trotters vie for $20,000 in their “Dash for the ‘G’ Notes” final in the seventh race.  Ulster figures to be the horse to beat, reeling off two dominant front-end wins in as many starts for trainer Kyle Spagnola.  Corey Callahan who was listed on the likely favorite instead opted to drive Tag Up and Go, a last out winner.  Scorcher Hall (post 4, Marcus Miller), and Sweet Justice (post 10, Zeron) also return off wins in their respective preliminaries from last week.

As always, the program features two Jackpot High-5 opportunities, with the 20-cent wager available in races 5 and 13.  With the early Jackpot High-5 taken down last Saturday for $36,414.40, the fifth race pool will start fresh.  The High-5 in the Friday finale boasts a carryover of $28,724.02.  Fans on track this weekend will also have the opportunity to win a 30-second spree in the Meadowlands Money Machine.

Post time is 7:00 p.m. Eastern time.  For more information on racing at The Meadowlands, visit