Day At The Track

Presents come early for Big M faithful

06:00 AM 11 Dec 2020 NZDT
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Meadowlands, harness racing
Meadowlands action

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Temperatures may be falling, but many popular harness racing wagers at The Meadowlands have seen payoffs on the rise of late, much to the delight of those playing at the mile oval.

The 20-cent Pick-5 did not pay anything special - $141.10 - on Nov. 27, when the first three winners in the sequence went off at odds of 3-5, 8-5 and 5-2, but since then, it has been a big-payoff bonanza in the multi-leg wager that begins the card on a nightly basis.

On Saturday, Nov. 28, one sharp player raked the pot (being the only winner), cashing in for $55,157. That bettor may have been helped by the "all" button in the fourth race when a 75-1 shot scored, but the other four legs - despite none being won by the favorite - did not have any winner score at odds in excess of 9-2.

Last weekend (Dec. 4-5), the Pick-5s came back $1,444 and $5,886 on Friday and Saturday, respectively, but P5 players were not the only ones able to check everything off their respective Christmas gift lists after making some big scores at The Big M.

Recent action - and returns - on the track's "signature" Pick-4 wagers have been strong as well. Over the last four race cards, nightly handle on the bets that begin in races six and 10, respectively, has been at least $132,000, with a high of $170,822 put in play last Saturday.

The Early Pick-4 on Nov. 27 paid a handsome $5,960 despite two 3-1 shots and an 8-5 favorite scoring. An 80-1 chance proved to be the key for those cashing tickets.

The Late P4 came back $3,558 on Dec. 4 when a pair of 4-1 chances and a 1-2 chalk were joined in the sequence by a 39-1 bomb. Clearly, there are Big M bets where windfalls can result if players can find that one race that drives the big return.

"We are extremely pleased at how the wagering public has responded to the low [15 percent] takeout wagers," said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "The Meadowlands has always tried to have the most exciting and price-conscious wagering menu in the sport, and the current betting lineup has made all kinds of big scores possible for Big M players around the world."

Some other recent noteworthy payouts include the $15,163 on Nov. 21 and $7,930 on Nov. 28 that 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 players enjoyed.

The 20-cent Pick-6 has been creating a stir for about a month with carryovers on the last four Saturday programs. Two recent payouts stand far above the rest, as on Nov. 14, the return was $5,642, while on Nov. 28 - when the final two legs were won by favorites - two winners walked away with $14,143.

"The growing interest in our wagering product resulted in the biggest handle of the Fall Meeting on Saturday [Dec. 5]," said Settlemoir.

Indeed, the $2,894,040 pushed through the windows was a meet best and pushed the streak of Saturdays with at least $2.5 million in handle to five. In addition, The Big M has seen wagering exceed the $5-million level for four consecutive weekends.

Historically, Meadowlands' bettors love the track for its vulnerable favorites, but a look at recent returns reveal total handle is brisk whether there's chalk or not.

Over the last four race cards, 17 public choices have scored from 52 races for a win percentage of just 32. The four programs prior to that saw 25 chalks take 52 dashes for a cool 48 percent, yet all eight programs were part of the current $5-million weekend streak.

CHECK OUT THE SHOW: Look for the "Racing from The Meadowlands" live in-house simulcast show every Friday and Saturday night. The pre-game presentation begins at 6:42 p.m. First race is at 7:15 p.m.

If you can't make it out to the track, you can watch and wager on all the action at home. Go to or your favorite ADW platform to catch every race live.

The Television Games Network ( shows all Meadowlands action live and offers opportunities for those who want to bet on Big M races as well.

TWEET THE TEAM: Stay in touch on Twitter with the Big M's Dave Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Andrew Demsky (@shadesonracing) and Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1). Check in everyday for Meadowlands news and updates at those handles, as well as @TheMeadowlands and #playbigm.

FREE PPs: For free past performances of Meadowlands races, courtesy of the United States Trotting Association and TrackMaster, go to

Races one through five - the entire 20-cent Pick-5 - will be available for both the Friday and Saturday cards.

CHECK OUT THE PICKS: For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to to see track oddsmaker and analyst Brower's selections and commentary. Click on the "handicapping" tab and go to "race reviews".

Additionally, track announcer Warkentin's blog is available on the site and offers his picks and analysis.

On race nights, access picks and plays from the Big M TV team at #playbigm or at @TheMeadowlands.

THE SCHEDULE: Live racing will continue every Friday and Saturday night through the end of 2020. The one exception is Christmas Day. Post time every night is 7:15 p.m. except for December 26, when the first race will go at 6 p.m.

PROLIFIC PIGSKIN PARLAY: Fans of local National Football League teams had a winning Sunday (Dec. 6) last week.

For those sharp enough to play the point spreads and use the Giants and Jets on a two-team parlay walked away winners.

Can they do it again? The answer will come on Sunday (Dec. 13) when the Giants (+2½) host the Arizona Cardinals at 1 p.m. and the Jets (+13½) travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks at 4 p.m.

The week will kick off Thursday (Dec. 10) when the New England Patriots (+5) visit the Los Angeles Rams at 8:20 p.m.

You can wager on all the action in the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook.

One can wager on a full slate of college football games as well. There are also other sports available to bet on in the book from 10 a.m. - midnight Sunday through Friday and from 10 a.m. - 2 a.m. on Saturday.


Dave Little
Meadowlands Media Relations

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