by Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations
East Rutherford, NJ — It’s not clear if Andy McCarthy is a good poker player, but no one can dispute that Saturday night (Oct. 13) at the Meadowlands in the featured $20,000 Preferred Handicap for pacers that as far as his hand was concerned, he was dealt a winner.
McCarthy asked Dealt A Winner (Cam’s Card Shark-Lazan Hanover) for early speed and he provided just that, sprinting up to the top in :27.2. The chalk players were likely concerned, as 2-5 favorite Donttellmeagain – a 1:47.4 winner of the Dayton Derby two weeks ago – was reserved in the early going, sitting fifth, before moving to the outside just after the half to go after the leader.
But on a night that saw the track play to speed in a big way, that move proved to come just a tad too late.
McCarthy was able to back the half down to :55.4 while Donttellmeagain was still six lengths behind. As the cadence quickened, Dealt A Winner still had 3-1/2 lengths on the favorite at the head of the stretch, and even though Donttellmeagain closed in :25.3, he came up a half-length short. Clouseau Hanover finished third.
Dealt A Winner hit the wire in 1:49.3 for trainer Mark Silva and owner Jeff Snyder. Lifetime, he has 17 wins from 73 starts and earnings of $1.08 million. As the 6-1 third choice in the wagering, he returned $14.60 to win.
A LITTLE MORE: McCarthy was the driving star of the night, registering three wins on the program. Monticello regular Mike Merton scored twice, including a victory with the longest-priced winner of the night, 13-1 chance Stratocaster in the ninth race. … Nine of the 11 races on the program were won by horses whose odds were 3-1 or less, yet only two favorites emerged victorious. … All-source handle totaled $1,644,273. … Racing resumes Friday night at 7:15 p.m.