East Rutherford, NJ--Helios had a big rooting section at Meadowlands Racetrack on Friday night (Jan. 4).
Not only was he an overwhelming favorite, but he is also owned by The Little E LLC, the stable of Jeff Gural, chairman of New Meadowlands Racetrack LLC.
Driven by Andy Miller, the 4-year-old gelding by Muscles Yankee-Enjoy The Sun assumed command on the backstretch, rebuffed a challenge from Volare De Vie at the head of stretch and held that foe at bay all the way to the wire to score in 1:56.1.
Next up for Helios, the Super Bowl series at Meadowlands Racetrack, which gets underway on Jan. 10.
|Helios won for driver Andy Miller in 1:56.1 Jan. 4 at Meadowlands Racetrack.|
Helios’ trainer, Julie Miller, said via interview on the in-house broadcast that she was “very happy with him (Helios) tonight and getting this race over the track should set him up nicely for the Super Bowl."
That interview was courtesy of the Meadowlands new roving camera that has provided on-the-fly interviews in the back paddock and up-close shots of the horses competing.
Despite Helios’ popular win in the Pick-5 sequence, thanks to a pair of longshots, there were no winning Pick-5 tickets, resulting in a carryover of $20,240.51 into the Saturday program. Last week’s carryover of $16,769.68 resulted in a Saturday pool of $75,421, despite a nasty winter storm. With better weather forecasted, the Pick-5 pool could reach $100,000 Saturday night.
It was another huge night at the betting windows for the Meadowlands. The total handle for the 11-race program of $2,836,916 surpassed this Friday night in 2012, which handled $2,166,584, for an increase of $670,332, or 31 percent.
Racing returns Saturday with post time at 7:15 p.m. A Presidential Series preview in the first Free For All of the meet headlines a 12-race Saturday card.