EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – For a guy whose first-ever career harness racing drive in a parimutuel race came in January of this year, things are moving along quite nicely for Brett Beckwith.
The 18-year-old, who currently drives consistently at Saratoga, Plainridge and Freehold, scored his first-ever Meadowland’s victory Thursday night after guiding Meadowbranch Ricky to victory lane in the first race.
“That win was all about the horse,” said Beckwith shortly after his winner’s circle visit. “It’s one of those things. It hasn’t quite kicked in yet and I have to still pay attention to the rest of the horses I’m driving tonight. Hitting the wire, it was a release, you know you’re never going to feel that way again. It was really surreal.”
Beckwith put the 6-year-old gelded son of Muscle Massive-Meadowbranch Jill on the lead at the quarter and never looked back, hitting the wire 2¼ lengths to the good in 1:56 as the 7-2 fourth choice in the seven-horse field.
MEADOWBRANCH RICKY REPLAY
The son of longtime driver Mark Beckwith and trainer Melissa Beckwith had 102 career wins entering the card, and thought he had a chance at winning after checking the past performances.
“When I looked over the program,” said Beckwith. “It showed that every time he’s been at the Meadowlands, he’s always done well. I’m just really grateful to get the opportunities that I’ve gotten. I told [trainer] Jenny Melander’s husband [Marty Noonan] that I appreciate getting a shot to drive.”
BIG PICK-6 ACTION: A $20,000 double carryover was more than enough to create a big final pool in the 20-cent Pick-6, as the bet with the low 15 percent takeout attracted over $80,000 in “new money” for a total pool of $103,514.
Those who had all six winners on their tickets collected $454.96. The winning odds for the horses in the sequence were 1-2, 9-5, 2-1, 9-2, 1-1 and 4-1.
If you followed Meadowlands TV’s Shades Demsky, you made a nice score, as he gave out a $64 wager that resulted in a Pick-6 hit.
A LITTLE MORE: Andy McCarthy, Steve Smith and Andy Miller each recorded driving doubles on the card. … Despite five of the seven horses paying off at odds of 2-1 or less, the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 returned $3,446. … All-source handle totaled $1,202,340. … Racing resumes Friday at 6:20 p.m.
For full race results, click here.
by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands