Live handle was up more than 50 percent on opening night of the 2012 harness meet at Meadowlands Racetrack.
On-track wagering was $380,499 vs. $245,139 the previous year, a 55 percent increase. The $2,166,584 total handle was on a par with 2011, despite one less race on the card. The numbers are a promising start to the Meadowlands’ first season under private management.
Silent Swing romped to victory in the $20,000 We’re Not So Young Anymore for veteran pacers, one of four victories on the card for driver Andy Miller. The 10-year-old gelded son of Northern Luck wired the field in 1:51.4, notching his 51st career win in his 200th start. Mark Ford trains and co-owns the millionaire pacer with David Shea of Campbellville, Ontario.
Driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke teamed for victories with Ginger And Fred in the $25,000 Mares Preferred and Equity in the $30,000 Invitational Trot. Ginger And Fred surpassed $1.5 million in earnings with an easy 1:52.1 score. The 6-year-old Real Artist mare improved her career totals to 23 wins in 82 starts for owners Howard Taylor, Robert Feldman, Edwin Gold and Jerry Silva. Charalambos Christoforou and Banjo Farms’ Equity made it three in-a-row with his 1:55.2 effort.
Meadowlands Racetrack’s opening weekend festivities continue Saturday night with a calendar giveaway to the first 3,000 paid admissions and a special $19.95 buffet in Terraces (excludes tax and gratuity). The 2012 Meadowlands calendar is sponsored by Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Tattersalls, Hanover Shoe Farm, The Horseman and Fair World, Standardbred Horse Sale Company, Diamond Creek Farm and Mohawk Raceway. First race post time is 7 p.m.
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