by Frank Carulli
March 19, 2019
Together, the Meadowlands and Woodbine Mohawk-Park handled more than $4.3 million in bets last Friday. The two harness tracks will join forces this Friday, March 22, to launch an exciting new wager.
The “Can-Am Pick 4” will require bettors to pick the winners of four races – two from the one-mile Meadowlands oval in New Jersey and two from 7/8-mile Woodbine-Mohawk Park in Ontario, Canada. The 20-cent minimum wager will feature a 15-percent takeout. The Can-Am Pick 4 will begin with the second-to-last race at Woodbine-Mohawk Park and alternate tracks until the bet concludes at the Meadowlands.
“We are extremely pleased to be working with everybody at Woodbine Entertainment,” Meadowlands General Manager Jason Settlemoir said in a press release. “They have a great racing product and so do we, and to combine those products to make one wager that’s sure to create increased interest for both tracks is great for business as well as the sport.”
Fans should note that the Can-Am Pick-4 pool will be separate at both tracks, though the Meadowlands and Woodbine-Mohawk Park will share equally in the revenues.
"The biggest thing I’m happy about is that we have seen a proliferation of Pick-4 wagers utilizing multiple tracks on the thoroughbred side," said Klaus Ebner, Senior Manager of Simulcast Services for Woodbine. "Both teams have worked hard to make this happen and it will be great to see the harness side get some exposure on bets like this.”
GRAND CIRCUIT BEGINS ITS 2019 ROUNDS
Harness racing’s 2019 Grand Circuit stakes season began with the opening legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Memorial pacing series’ at Yonkers Raceway last weekend.
The Grand Circuit spans North America through November and features more than 100 stakes worth $200,000 or more on its lucrative schedule.
Western Fame got the ball rolling in grand style in the first division of the Levy, running the fastest mile at Yonkers this year (1:51.1) and giving driver Daniel Dube his 9,000th career victory. Joe Bongiorno drove two Levy division winners, including longshot The Wall ($41.60).
Favorites won 4 of the five divisions in the Matchmaker, highlighted by Shartin N, the 2018 Older Female Pacer of the Year, who ran the final quarter mile in :27.4 to win in 1:52.2. Seaswift Joy N came home in :27.3 to pace a series-best 1:52.1.
The finals for both the Levy and Matchmaker are schedule April 20 at Yonkers.