News & Stats



Saturday, January 20, 2018

Western Joe is one of the top horses in harness racing right now, and Saturday night at the Meadowlands he completed his climb to the top of the Big M class ladder with a powerhouse win in the featured $20,000 Preferred Handicap for pacers.
It only took two months for Western Joe to complete his meteoric rise. He impressed at the Big M on Nov. 18, taking a non-winners of $5,000 event in 1:51.1. The Chris Choate trainee then took on the likes of Downbytheseaside and Fear The Dragon in the Progress Pace at Dover Downs and performed credibly, finishing fifth in his elimination and fourth in the final.
Since then, he’s been on a roll back at the New Jersey mile oval.
He had hit the board in four straight starts, winning two of them against high-range conditioned foes, before his Saturday night score, which was his most impressive yet.
The 4-year-old son of Western Ideal sprinted up to the top at the three-eighths and took care of things from there as driver Jim Marohn Jr. was able to rate the third fraction in :29.1, which left plenty of fuel in Western Joe’s tank.
A final quarter of :26.2 would leave Bettor’s Edge, the 3-1 second choice who challenged at three-quarters, in the winner’s wake, as Western Joe hit the wire in 1:50.4, 2 lengths in front of Alotbettor N. Tullow N was third.
Western Joe returned $4.00 to win as the public choice, winning for the 11th time in 31 starts for owner Anthony J. Ruggeri.
A LITTLE MORE: The final two races of the Big M’s Pick 5 wager saw favorites win, but that didn’t prevent the bettors from making a score. Those who had the winning combination of 9-5-2-9-5 were rewarded with a payout of $11,645.50 for a 50-cent bet. The key to the big hit was 33-1 chance Dr C’s Z Tam, who scored in the wager’s first leg. … The 20-Cent Survivor Pick 10 result saw one lucky simulcast player in Maine walk away with $18,404.80. … Corey Callahan drove four winners on the card. … The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $75,102.54. … All-source wagering totaled $2,700,774. … Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 6:35 p.m.

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