Day At The Track

Big M new post time, new wagering

05:08 AM 31 Jan 2020 NZDT
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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Management at the Meadowlands is never afraid to shake things up, and starting on Friday, February 7, Big M fans will see an earlier start for the harness racing with a 6:55 p.m. post time, and once the card begins, they'll have a new array of wagers to titillate their wagering palates.

"As the popularity of multi-race wagers continues to grow," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "We at the Meadowlands have chosen to expand our wagering menu to now include two Pick-4s, a new 20-cent Pick-5 and a new straight 20-cent Pick-6.

"All four of these wagers will offer a low 15 percent takeout, which keeps more money in players' pockets. We are also going back to rolling Pick-3s, which will give bettors a vast assortment of multi-race wagers to play throughout the course of the evening. There is no doubt that this is one of our most ambitious and value-conscious wagering menus ever implemented at the Meadowlands."

These are the pertinent facts:

  • 20-cent Pick-5 (Race 1): The wager - which will continue to offer a $25,000 guaranteed pool - still begins with the first race of the night, but now has a 20-cent minimum and can be played in 20-cent denominations (such as 20 cents, 40 cents, 60 cents, etc.).
  •  20-cent Pick-6 (Race 4): A "traditional" Pick-6. Should no player select all six winners, there will be a carryover to the next racing program. The 20-cent minimum will enable bettors to "spread" further without a big investment.
  • Early 50-cent Pick-4 (Race 6): The "signature" wager at the Meadowlands now moves from the eighth race to the sixth, which immediately follows the cashing out of the Pick-5. The $50,000 guaranteed pool remains, as does the 50-cent minimum. Free program pages for this wager are available at and
  • Late 50-cent Pick-4 (Race 10): Immediately following the payoff leg of both the Pick-6 and Early Pick-4, this additional Pick-4 will give Meadowlands' fans another big multi-race pool to shoot for before the end of the program.
  • 20-cent Can-Am Pick-4: This wager - which is on Saturday nights - will see a shift once the earlier post time takes effect. The bet, which challenges players to select the winners of two races at the Meadowlands and Woodbine Mohawk Park, will still begin with WMP's 10th race, but from there the sequence will be Meadowlands 11, WMP 11 and Meadowlands 12.
  • The Pick-5, Pick-6, both Pick-4s and Can-Am Pick-4 will all offer a low 15 percent takeout.
  • Rolling Pick-3s are returning: All races that do not have a Pick-4, Pick-5 or Pick-6 will offer a $1 Pick-3. On a typical 13-race card, the Pick-3s will be available on races 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 11.
  • Daily Double players will get the same opportunities they had for many years as the traditional format of the first two and last two races will go back into effect.
  • The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 will be dropped.
  • With the new earlier post time of 6:55 p.m., simulcast fans can now look for the "Racing from the Meadowlands" live in-house pre-game show to begin nightly at 6:22 p.m.

DRIVER COLONY DEEPENS: Last weekend (Jan. 24-25), Corey Callahan (six winners), Vinny Ginsburg (five) and Tim Tetrick (five) led the driver's colony, combining to win 16 of the 26 races contested over the two race cards.

For the upcoming Friday and Saturday racing programs, things will get tougher for drivers - not to mention bettors.

Yannick Gingras and Dexter Dunn, who combined to win 18 of the 28 races Jan. 17-18, are both back on the mile oval this weekend. In addition, back from his native Australia is Andy McCarthy, making the driver colony as deep as it's been in some time.

With just one race card left in the month, Dunn leads the January driver standings with 23 victories. Rounding out the top four are Callahan (16), Gingras (12) and Ginsburg (10).

Trainer Andrew Harris' barn stayed hot last week, sending out three to victory lane.

Ron Burke is the top January trainer with 10 wins. He is followed by Harris, who has nine victories.

Racing takes place this Friday and Saturday, with post time - for the last time for the foreseeable future - slated for 7:15 p.m.

SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALL RIGHT: It was a typical Saturday (Jan. 25) business-wise at the industry's handle leader, as wagering on the Meadowlands' 13-race card totaled $2,696,394. Betting for the weekend came just $13,000 short of $5 million.

A total of $270,747 was wagered on Saturday's eighth race, which included $85,070 in 50-cent Pick-4 wagers.

TIME FOR THE BIG GAME: On Sunday (Feb. 2), professional football's championship game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. In what looks like a highly competitive matchup, the Kansas City Chiefs are a slight favorite over the San Francisco 49ers.

Why not skip your usual gathering and come out to the Meadowlands? You can watch and wager on the game in the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook, where you can sit in comfort and enjoy many food and drink options in the Victory Sports Bar & Club.


On Jan. 31, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold'em on "Free Poker Friday", hosted by World Free Poker.

On Feb. 7, come to the track and enjoy a "Brunch for Love" from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The event benefits non-profits from the Meadowlands Chamber.

On Feb. 14, bring your sweetheart to the races and enjoy a fabulous Valentine's Day dinner in the Big M's Pink Restaurant. You might be one of three couples to win a gift certificate for a bed and breakfast stay in Cape May, NJ. For reservations, call 201-THE-BIGM.

On Feb. 22, The Big M will host its February World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier. The top two finishers will qualify for the WHHC Final. It's only $200 to play ($100 to enter; $100 bankroll). For complete information, check out the brochure at

Last Saturday's annual Chili Cook Off was a huge success. A pair of chili experts took home $1,000 prizes, as Nathan Gramm won the homestyle division and Gregory Farm the chili verde division. A record-number 36 contestants entered the contest.

From the Meadowlands


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