Friday night marked the fourth $3 million handle of the young meet. In 2012 that plateau was only reached on three occasions, the third of which did not occur until Hambletonian Day. The total handle of $3,102,714 was an increase of 28 percent over the $2,422,625 wagered on this same Friday in 2012.
On the racetrack, it was “Miller Time” once again. David Miller won three races on the card, extending his lead in the driver standings early in the year.
One of his wins came with Real Babe who was often referred to as the “other 3-year-old filly” in Ray Schnittker’s stable, playing second fiddle to the brilliant Check Me Out. Now in the barn of Mark Harder, Real Babe seems to be thriving as a 5-year-old, earning back to back wins and consecutive lifetime marks.
Harder’s hot start to the meet continued with a training double as he scored earlier in the card with Southwind Jazmin. Harder already has nine wins this year at The Meadowlands, four of which have come with his newly named January Horse of the Month, Golden Receiver.
Racing will continue on Saturday at the Meadowlands with a big, 13-race program, kicking off at 7:15 p.m., eastern. Saturday’s card will feature the best bet in harness racing, the $75,000 (guar.) Late Pick-4.