GINGRAS NEARING 7,000 WINS AFTER BIG M FOUR-BAGGER
-- Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- January 4, 2019 -- So much for drawn-out suspense.
Driver Yannick Gingras is not inching but streaking his way toward the 7,000-win plateau for his career, as after scoring four times on the Friday Meadowlands card, the 39-year-old Quebec native now has 6,996 lifetime victories.
Right after being named the track’s Driver of the Week for winning a half-dozen times last weekend (Dec. 27-29), Gingras was off and running in the first race after a late driver change, picking up 2-1 public choice Tech Titan and scoring in 1:55 on the front end in a low-range conditioned trot.
Pappy Go Go would come next in 1:52.4 in a high-class conditioned trot, although things didn’t look all that good down the backside.
The Andrew Harris-trainee lost ground after vacating the rail before the half in race seven and did not look like he would come close to delivering on his 6-5 promise.
But Gingras knew what he had, tweeting: “He runs in pretty good, so they have him rigged for that. But once he hit the backstretch he was then pretty rough and running out. Once we hit the last turn, he straightened up and was fine.”
Texican gave Gingras his third of the night as the 3-5 favorite in the ninth race mid-range conditioned trot after following perfect second-over cover, just getting past a stubborn Possessed Fashion as they hit the wire in 1:54.
Bizet scored for the fourth time in his last six starts in the 12th race trot for non-winners of three races as Gingras racked up win No. 4. The result was a never-in-doubt rated speed score in 1:54.3 as the 4-5 public choice.
THE ‘PLAINRIDGE PHENOM’ DOUBLES: Mitch Cushing had quite a year in 2018, and so far in 2019, things are continuing to click for the 20-year-old driver.
Cushing, who finished second in the dash-win standings and first in win percentage (among those with at least 15 victories) at Plainridge Park last year, had a big impact on the Big M Friday program, winning twice on the card, helping to key a big payout in the track’s 50-Cent Pick-5 wager.
Blitz Victory was the first winner of the night for Cushing in the third race low-range conditioned trot in 1:55.4, making his fans smile at odds of 12-1 after following live cover. The winning Trifecta combination of 1-9-5 – with the second- and third-place finishers each going off at odds of 50-1 – came back $17,370.80.
The young pilot came back in the next race to score at 6-1 with Western Redhot in 1:54.2 in a $7,500 claiming pace. The Cushing effect on the Pick-5 was profound. The popular wager, which has been relocated to races one through five, returned $3,258.30 after $64,727 in action was taken. The other three legs of the bet were won by ‘havable’ horses who went off at 2-1, 6-1 and 5-2, respectively.
A LITTLE MORE: There were four winning favorites on the card and Gingras drove them all. … The 50-Cent Pick-4 was its usual popular self, as a meet-high $106,836 was pushed through the windows. There were plenty who cashed in, as the winning combination of 8-6,7,8-9-9 returned $95.20 despite only one winning favorite during the sequence. … All-source handle on the 13-race card totaled $2,830,776, good for second best at the meeting. The per race average of $217,752 was a meet high. … Racing resumes Saturday night at 7:15 p.m.
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