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Dunn, Harris Win Fall 'Big M' Titles

Published: January 2, 2020 11:17 am ET

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Dexter Dunn and Andrew Harris were the leading driver and trainer, respectively, at the recently concluded Fall Meeting at The Meadowlands.

Dunn, who was recently named the United States Harness Writers Association’s Driver of the Year, topped all pilots with 47 wins from just 199 starts, good for a 24 per cent strike rate.

During the 28-night stand, Dunn – who took a handful of programs off – registered three wins on six occasions while scoring four times four times. On Dec. 15, the 30-year-old New Zealand native had his biggest night of the meet by making five winner’s circle visits.

Yannick Gingras finished second in the standings with 37 wins while Andy McCarthy, who scored 12 times last weekend (Dec. 26-28), finished third with 34.

Harris, who teamed with McCarthy to win three times on Dec. 27, finished at the top of the trainer standings with 18 victories. Ron Burke (14) and Nifty Norman (12) rounded out the top three.

BIG BETTING: The last weekend of racing in 2019 at The Meadowlands (Dec. 26-28) brought vigorous action at the windows.

Meet-high handles were established for a Thursday ($1,872,320), Friday ($2,907,339) and Saturday ($2,913,163) over the three-card span. Total handle for the weekend was $7,692,822, an increase of 26 per cent over the weekend before (Dec. 19-21) and 43 per cent over the weekend (Dec. 12-14) prior to that.

Last week’s 50-cent Pick-4 was extremely popular, as just over $75,000 was bet on Thursday before Friday and Saturday’s pools combined to total a little more than $200,000, good for an average of $100,000 a night.

Free program pages for the Pick-4 – which carries a $50,000 guaranteed pool on Friday and Saturday as well as a low 15 percent takeout – are always available at the track's website.

MAKING A SCORE: One sharp 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five player hit big last Friday. The holder of the lone ticket bearing the combination 10-6-5-3-9 walked away with $23,262. No doubt that bettor – and many more – are looking forward to this Thursday’s High-Five in race 10, which offers a huge carryover of $84,186.

Once again, the Big M will offer big fields this weekend when racing takes place Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

This Thursday (Jan. 2) is the last Thursday of live racing until June 4.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: On Saturday, Jan. 11, put your handicapping acumen on display and maybe win a lot of cash when the track hosts a $400 qualifier for the World Harness Handicapping Championship. The top four finishers will earn a spot in the WHHC Final, which takes place on April 18. For complete details, go to this link.

A NEW YEAR’S MESSAGE: “All of us at The Meadowlands would like to thank our horsemen and faithful fans for helping us have a successful 2019,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “And would like to wish them all the best for 2020.”

BET THE NFL AT THE BIG M: The NFL Playoffs begin this weekend and you can get your action at the Big M’s FanDuel Sportsbook.

During Wild Card weekend, there will be two games on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Saturday early game (4:35 p.m.) has the Buffalo Bills traveling to Houston to take on the Texans while the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots host the Tennessee Titans in the late game (8:15 p.m.)

On Sunday, the early game (1:05 p.m.) has the Minnesota Vikings heading to New Orleans to take on the Saints before the Philadelphia Eagles host the Seattle Seahawks in the late game (4:40 p.m.).


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