For a guy whose first-ever career drive in a pari-mutuel race came in January of this year, things are moving along quite nicely for Brett Beckwith.
The 18-year-old, who currently drives consistently at Saratoga, Plainridge and Freehold, scored his first-ever Meadowlands victory Thursday night after guiding Meadowbranch Ricky to victory lane in the first race.
“That win was all about the horse,” said Beckwith shortly after his winner’s circle visit. “It’s one of those things. It hasn’t quite kicked in yet and I have to still pay attention to the rest of the horses I’m driving tonight. Hitting the wire, it was a release, you know you’re never going to feel that way again. It was really surreal.”
Beckwith put the six-year-old gelded son of Muscle Massive-Meadowbranch Jill on the lead at the quarter and never looked back, hitting the wire 2-1/4 lengths to the good in 1:56 as the 7-2 fourth choice in the seven-horse field.
The son of long-time driver Mark Beckwith and trainer Melissa Beckwith had 102 career wins entering the card, and thought he had a chance at winning after checking the past performances.
“When I looked over the program,” said Beckwith. “It showed that every time he’s been at the Meadowlands, he’s always done well. I’m just really grateful to get the opportunities that I’ve gotten. I told [trainer] Jenny Melander’s husband [Marty Noonan] that I appreciate getting a shot to drive.”
A $20,000 double carryover was more than enough to create a big final pool in the 20-cent Pick-6, as the bet with the low 15 percent takeout attracted over $80,000 in “new money” for a total pool of $103,514.
Those who had all six winners on their tickets collected $454.96. The winning odds for the horses in the sequence were 1-2, 9-5, 2-1, 9-2, 1-1 and 4-1.
If you followed Meadowlands TV’s Shades Demsky, you made a nice score, as he gave out a $64 wager that resulted in a Pick-6 hit.