01/06/2013 12:51AM

Meadowlands handles $3.5 million on Saturday night; Golden Receiver romps

Lisa Photo
Golden Receiver is scheduled to start next in the Presidential Series.

While Golden Receiver was the star on the track, a historic night at the windows for the Meadowlands was the real story on Saturday (January 5).

With $3,501,091 sent through the windows during the 12-race program, the Meadowlands posted one of the highest non-Hambletonian Day totals in recent years. To put it in perspective, the track handled $3,479,591 on Meadowlands Pace night in 2012 while carding 13 races.

The Meadowlands has shown drastic gains in wagering since opening for racing on December 28 and is becoming a must bet for all track-goers.

Golden Receiver did what he does best at the Meadowlands. The 8-year-old gelding blasted to the front for driver Tim Tetrick and posted comfortable fractions of 26 4/5, 54 4/5 and 1:23 before sprinting home in a sizzling 25 4/5 to light up the tele-timer in 1:48 4/5.

Golden Receiver, who is the fastest pacer ever in January (1:48), is coming off a career year in which he won 13 races in 25 starts. The Mark Harder trainee won $941,025 in 2012 and was prepping for the Presidential Series which gets underway next Saturday.

River Shark joined Golden Receiver on the millionaires list when he captured the A-1 pace. The 7-year-old gelding won for the 33rd time in his career. Mark MacDonald did the driving for trainer Mark Ford.

Stakes action begins at the Meadowlands on Thursday when four divisions of the Super Bowl series for 4-year-olds will be contested.