Gingras, 'Trump' Tough At The ‘Big M’

On Saturday (Feb. 22), for a second consecutive night, driver Yannick Gingras recorded five wins and won the feature at the Meadowlands Racetrack, as he scored with Trump Nation in the ‘Big M’s Preferred Handicap for pacers.

Trump Nation, who was sent to the gate as the public’s 4-5 choice, blasted away from Post 7 in the field of eight along with Atta Boy Dan and Americanprimetime. Endeavor was in the early scrum, but driver Corey Callahan decided to back off into the four hole as Atta Boy Dan led at the quarter. Trump Nation continued on until he surged to the top at the three eighths.

Endeavor, the 2-1 second choice, was on the move at the half racing on the rim and chipped away at the leader’s edge (he drew to within a length at the head of the stretch). The rivals battled through the lane as Endeavor continued to inch closer, but, at the wire it was an ultra-determined Trump Nation who ‘out-gamed’ Endeavor by a neck in 1:49.4. Harambe Deo finished third.

Trump Nation (inside), victorious in the featured Preferred Handicap for pacers at the Meadowlands Saturday night.

Gingras wasn’t worried as his primary foe was closing in. “I was pretty confident I was going to be able to hold him off,” said Gingras. “This horse was super again.”

Trump Nation, a five-year-old gelded son of Betterthancheddar who is trained by Ron Burke, returned $3.80 to his backers. He’s now won 15 of 40 lifetime starts and earned $432,446 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Evan Katz, Weaver Bruscemi and Purnel & Libby.

THE NEED FOR SPEED: A ‘fast’ track and comfortable-for-the-time-of-year temperatures in the 40s on a clear night led to some rock-the-clock times on the program.

The red-hot Bell I No, who won a week ago in 1:49.1 despite cold conditions and a -1 track variant, recorded the second fastest mile in North America of 2020 when he ripped through fractions of :26.4, :54.1 and 1:22 before completing the mile in a lifetime-best 1:48.4 to record his third win in four starts in the sixth race high-end conditioned pace. Andy Miller drove the Andrew Harris trainee.

Just two races later, the Ron Burke-trained Covered Bridge equalled Effronte A’s national season’s-best of 1:48.3 by coming from off the pace while winning another high-end conditioned pace. Driven by Gingras, Covered Bridge lowered his previous lifetime mark by two-and-one-fifth seconds while making his seasonal debut.

A LITTLE MORE: Chalk players ruled the night, as eight winning favourites scored on the card. … Wagering on the track’s four popular multi-leg puzzles was vigorous, as the 20-cent Pick-5 ($75,544), 20-cent Pick-6 ($29,150), 50-cent Early Pick-4 ($89,159) and 50-cent Late Pick-4 ($74,289) accounted for total bets of $268,142. … Gingras, Dexter Dunn (three winners), Andy McCarthy (two) and Marcus Miller (two) combined to win 12 of the 13 races. … Burke recorded three wins on the night. ... All-source handle on the card totaled $2,687,050, the eighth time in the last nine programs that wagering has exceeded $2.5 million. … Racing resumes Friday at 6:55 p.m.

(Meadowlands Racetrack)

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