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Meadowlands 2012 Meet Gets Underway

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Published: January 6, 2012 11:34 pm ET

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The much anticipated 2012 Meadowlands harness racing meet kicked off on Friday night at the newly banked East Rutherford, New Jersey racetrack with a pair of successful Canadian-owned competitors taking the spotlight during the track's first pari-mutuel card of racing ever conducted under private management.

The 12-race program featured the third annual $20,000 We're Not So Young Anymore Pace, which was won by 10-year-old Northern Luck gelding Silent Swing. Andy Miller, a four-time Friday night winner, drove the fan favourite to a sharp 1:51.4 front end score for trainer Mark Ford, who co-owns with David Shea of Campbellville, Ont. The career winner of almost $1.8 million notched his 51st victory while 11-year-old Tarver Hanover (David Miller) finished four and a half lengths behind in second and 10-year-old Eviction Notice N (Tim Tetrick) rounded out the top three.

Later on the card, favourite Equity, driven by Yannick Gingras for trainer Ron Burke, held off Celebrity Hercules (George Brennan) to win the $30,000 Invitational Trot by half a length in 1:55.2. The six-year-old homebred Kadabra gelding is now a perfect three-for-three south of the border for owners Charalambos Christoforou of Campbellville, Ont. and Banjo Farms of Toronto. The win was Equity’s 20th lifetime and bumped his earnings to more than $650,000.

The Gingras-Burke combination also paired to win the evening’s $25,000 Mares Preferred Pace with the popular Ginger And Fred. The six-year-old Real Artist mare swept from third to first after the opening quarter and cruised home to a one length victory in 1:52.1 over Delightful Diva (David Miller) and Southwind Swallow (Mike Vanderkemp). The winner of 23 races and over $1.5 million in purses is owned by Howard Taylor, Robert Feldman, Edwin Gold, and Jerry Silva.

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.

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 (price 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 Racetrack. First race post time is 7 p.m.

To view Friday’s harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Meadowlands Racetrack.

(With files from Meadowlands Racetrack)


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