For Opinion, click here for View from the Racetrack Grandstand

Sunday, January 29, 2017


Third $3 million handle night of 2017 at the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (January 28, 2017) – Vegas Vacation, the 2013 Little Brown Jug champion, returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since the end of the 2013 season on Saturday night at the Meadowlands.

Vegas Vacation was making the sixth start of his most recent comeback on Saturday night in a $13,000 conditioned pace after missing 16 months due to a soft tissue injury.

Jim Marohn, Jr., who won four races on the card, put the 7-year-old millionaire Bettor’s Delight gelding on the front end through a 55.1 half mile and three-quarters in 1:22.4. Vegas Vacation opened up four lengths at the top of the stretch and cruised to victory as the 1/5 favorite in 1:50.2. It is his first win since November 17, 2013 when he won The Matron at Dover Downs.

“I was thrilled with him,” said trainer Andrew Harris. “I think that's the first time in his career he cut a mile. So to me that shows he's back. It took four starts to get him race ready but now he seems keen, alert, and very happy to do his work.”

Harris added that this win confirms to him that Vegas Vacation could have some stakes engagements this season.

“I think I'll talk with the crew, but I would imagine he may get staked up some,” explained Harris. “As for the Levy Series, I believe he's come back good enough to get the nomination but it's up to the owners. He owes them nothing and nothing is expected of him going forward. Whatever he tells us to do, we'll listen.”

Hillbilly Hanover moved past the $900,000 mark in career earnings with third win in his last four starts in the $15,000 featured pace. Hillbilly Hanover, one of three winners on Saturday night for Brett Miller, held off the late charge of millionaire Alexie Mattosie.

Total handle on the 13-race program was $3,028,082 – the third time this year that total handle surpassed the $3 million mark.

Live racing resumes Thursday with a 9-race card. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit