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Joey Bats One Of Five For McCarthy

Published: December 28, 2019 12:44 am ET

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While being interviewed on the in-house simulcast show before the start of the card, Andrew Harris spoke glowingly about his trainee Joey Bats, who would go up against the best trotters currently racing at the Meadowlands in the Preferred Handicap for trotters Friday night.

And Joey Bats lived up to the hype.

Using explosive early speed to get the lead from post six in the seven-horse field, Joey Bats reached the quarter in a quick :27.2. Looking for his second straight win in the weekly feature, 2-1 favourite Rich And Miserable came after the leader, poking a head in front while parked at the three-eighths, before clearing and hitting the half in :56.2.

Max, a 25-1 chance, tried to mount a challenge around the far turn from first-over, but was not up to the task at hand. Rich And Miserable continued to move well through the stretch, but driver Andy McCarthy moved Joey Bats out of the pocket with a little more than a sixteenth-of-a-mile to go and cruised past that foe with ease to win by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:52.2, a lifetime best. Southwind Chrome was way back most of the way before sprinting home in :26.2 to grab third.

“'Joey' is maturing into a serious horse,” said Harris after the race. “He is long-strided and is still learning. Andy (McCarthy) got off the bike and said he thinks 'Joey' will trot in (1):49 this summer.”

Joey Bats, a four-year-old Holiday Road-JN Daytona gelding owned by Scott Dillon, Michele Nelson and Marc Reynolds, returned $8.20 as the second choice in the betting. He now has 17 wins from 55 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $304,787.

MEET-HIGH HANDLE: Wagering on the first race was giant at $355,775 ($98,455 in the exacta pool alone) and Big M fans kept on playing with both hands throughout the evening, betting a meet-best $2,907,339 on the 14-race program. The previous high was $2,730,886, which occurred on November 2.

A LITTLE MORE: McCarthy and Harris teamed up to win three times on the program while McCarthy finished the evening with five victories overall. Corey Callahan drove three to victory lane while Vinny Ginsburg had a driving double. Tony Alagna had a training double. … Two players lasted four legs in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 and walked away with $6,324 each. … The fifth race 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five was hit, paying off a serious $23,262 for the winning combination of 10-6-5-3-9. Narcian Jewel won the race at odds of 21-1. … Wagering on the 50-cent Pick-4 was vigorous, with a total pool of $93,243. … Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

(With files from Meadowlands Racetrack)

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