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East Rutherford, N.J. (Jan. 13, 2020) – Peter Grandich and Company (PGC) is pleased to announce that it will sponsor an Irish Heritage Driver Race on Saturday, March 14, which will be hosted at the Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Additionally, two PGC team members in New York Giants Super Bowl champion Jeff Feagles and former New York Jets quarterback Ray Lucas will be appearing for a meet and greet that night as well. “My wife and I have been sponsors of Irish Heritage Driver Races at Monticello and Freehold, and we are honored to now do so at the mecca of harness racing, the Meadowlands,” said Peter Grandich, Managing Member of Peter Grandich and Company. “Having two of our Irish heritage sports celebrities appearing as well will surely make it a great night.” Some of the leading contender to be in the race George Brennan, Irish Joe Hanney and Dublin's Jack Killeen.  This event marks the third by PGC at the Meadowlands Racetrack in recent months. The firm hosted a Hockey Night with Nick Fotiu, Bruce Driver and Brian Propp in November before holding a Football Night with Joe Klecko and Dan Klecko in December. “We are grateful to Peter Grandich and Company for sponsoring our 2020 Irish Heritage Driver Race,” said Jason Settlemoir, COO & GM of Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. “We are also excited to host Super Bowl Champ Jeff Feagles and New York Jets fan favorite Ray Lucas. This event showcases how intertwined racing & sports really are!” Punter Jeff Feagles played 22 seasons in the NFL, appearing in 352 games overall. He holds the NFL record for most consecutive games played in a career and ranks third in the NFL for most games played overall. The two-time Pro Bowler spent the final seven years of his career with the New York Giants, where he was a member of the 2007 Super Bowl champions who defeated the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. Feagles retired from the NFL after the 2009 season and now works as a successful real estate professional. Quarterback Ray Lucas played in the NFL from 1996 to 2002, spending time with the New England Patriots, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens. Since retiring from the NFL, the New Jersey native now works as a studio analyst on a variety of Jets shows for SNY, and he also works as a radio broadcaster for his alma mater, Rutgers University. To learn more about Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, and to view their upcoming schedule, make sure to visit their official website: From Peter Grandich and Company

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (January 7, 2020) - The battle is on Saturday, January 25th in the Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment's 5th annual Chili Cook Off! This year the Meadowlands has added a new category, Chili Verde, in addition to Home-style Chili. Registration for the cook off runs through January 24th. Those interested in participating can visit for rules and information. As of January 7th, 20 contestants are already registered to compete for the $1,000 grand prize plus a spot in the 2020 International Chili Society World Championship Cook Off. Home-style chili is defined by the International Chili Society as any kind of meat/combination of meats and/or vegetables cooked with beans, chili peppers, chili powders, various spices and other ingredients. Beans are required. Contestants must cook their chili on site between 4p.m. and 7p.m. with judging promptly after. Chili Verde is any kind of meat/combination of meats cooked with chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients. Non-vegetable fillers such as rice and pasta are not allowed. Preference is not given to either cut meat, ground meat, shredded meat or cubed meat. Contestants must cook their chili on site between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. with judging promptly after. With the expanded cook-off format there are also additional cash prizes: Home-style Chili: * $1,000 Grand Prize plus a spot in the ICS's World Championship Home-style Chili Cook-off * $500 - 2nd * $250 - 3rd Chili Verde: * $1,000 Grand Prize plus a spot in the ICS's World Championship Chili Verde Cook-off * $500 - 2nd * $250 - 3rd "We are excited for this year's expanded chili cook-off," said Meadowlands General Manager and COO Jason M. Settlemoir. "This event continues to get bigger and bigger each year. It has become an event our fans look forward to each January." Racetrack guests are also welcome to sample the chili and vote for their favorite. The fan favorite cook will walk away with the $250 prize. Fan favorite voting begins 8 pm; voting ballots are available at the Players Club Desk and in the live racing program. In addition to the chili competition, a separate side contest for homemade salsa will also be conducted offering the winner a $500 first prize. As an added bonus, fans can enjoy live harness racing with first race post time at 7:15 pm. For complete chili event details visit by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The Meadowlands' Pick-4 pools raised to high levels last weekend, just in time for what is in all probability to be a record three days in terms of average harness racing field size at the mile oval. Last Friday (Dec. 13) and Saturday (Dec. 14) saw the second- and third-highest 50-cent Pick-4 pools of the Fall Meeting, as $95,479 was wagered Friday before $97,773 was bet Saturday. The top Pick-4 pool came on TVG/Fall Final Four night (Nov. 23) when $110,502 was poured into the pot. Couple those numbers with the average field size of the three race cards that will be offered this Thursday-Saturday, and you get ideal conditions for big Pick-4 play. This Thursday's (Dec. 19) card gets a "perfect" score, as all 11 races have full 10-horse fields. The Friday (Dec. 20) and Saturday (Dec. 21) programs each have 14 races, with 13 full fields and one that has nine horses. In total, the Big M will offer 39 races over the three-day race week, with 37 offering 10-horse fields. The average field size - assuming no scratches - will be 9.95 horses per race. It's hard to imagine a higher number than that over a span of three programs ever, even though records do not exist. "We are so pleased at the response we've received at the entry box," said Meadowlands' Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "Big fields are what our customers want, and over the next three race cards, we will deliver." Last Friday's Pick-4 featured a 75-1 winner in leg one, leading to a handsome payoff of $3,528 despite no horse longer than odds of 5-2 winning any of the final three legs. Saturday night's 50-cent Pick-5 featured a 26-1 shot and a 36-1 shot, resulting in a single-ticket-winner payoff of $33,873. Twenty-cent Jackpot Super High-Five players are no doubt chomping at the bit to get their action Thursday. The carryover for Race 5 is at $12,866, while Race 11 will start out with $54,275 in the hat. Free program pages for the 50-cent Pick-4, the Big M's signature wager that has a $50,000 guaranteed pool on Fridays and Saturdays as well as a low 15 percent takeout, are available at and CARTER'S UP NEXT: The USTA's Michael Carter is next in the 'batting order' to "Borrow Ken's Binoculars", as guest announcers give Big M voice Ken Warkentin a breather on Thursdays during December. Carter will call the races Thursday (Dec. 19) with Big M TV personality Dave Little scheduled to call on Dec. 26. DON'T PANIC! IT'S DEXTER AND YANNICK: Last weekend was another good one for the Big M's dynamic driving duo of Dexter Dunn and Yannick Gingras. Dunn won nine of his 26 drives, good for a win percentage of 35. The track's leading driver upped his Fall Meet win total to 41 while compiling a positive return on investment of 34 percent over the three racing programs. Gingras had six winners (and nine seconds) in 34 attempts (18 percent) and is second to Dunn in the overall standings with 27 victories. QUINCY'S COOL: New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa held court on Saturday (Dec. 14) night at the track, signing autographs and taking selfies with fans as the U.S. Marine Corps collected hundreds of gifts for the annual "Toys for Tots" drive. FOX5 sportscaster Tina Cervasio was on hand to serve as master of ceremonies at the event. She also helped out when driver Pat Berry won the 4,000th race of his career, taking part in the winner's circle presentation. All toys collected were donated to Harlem Grown, helping to brighten the season for children in need. DECEMBER SCHEDULE: During the month of December, live racing at the Meadowlands will be conducted on a three day a week basis, Thursday-Saturday. Post time is 7:15 p.m. THANKING THE FANS: Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will be showing appreciation for their fans with some concession specials on Friday (Dec. 20). Hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn and soda will be available for $1, while Bud and Bud Light will cost only $2. The discount prices are available from 7-10 p.m. PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT: On Dec. 20, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold'em on "Free Poker Friday", hosted by World Free Poker. PLAY THE WHHC FOR FREE: The Big M will host a World Harness Handicapping Championship contest this Saturday (Dec. 21), and it is free to play. Players must check-in at the Players Club Desk by 7:15 p.m. and complete the official contest form prior to Race 2. Each participant will make mythical $2 across-the-board wagers on one horse for Meadowlands Races 2-10. All selections must be made prior to Race 2 on the official contest entry form, and if a selection scratches, contestants then get the post-time favorite. The winner receives $1,300 and a spot in the WHHC Final on April 18, 2020. For complete information, go to MEADOWLANDS HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: Here is the holiday operating schedule for simulcasting at the Big M:  December 22: Closed  Christmas Eve: Closed  Christmas Day: Closed  December 29: Closed New Year's Eve: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. For more information, go to FANDUEL HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: Here is the holiday operating schedule for the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook:  Christmas Eve: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.  Christmas Day: Closed  New Year's Eve: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.  New Year's Day: 10 a.m. - 1 a.m. For more information, go to From the Meadowlands Media Department  

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands has a few changes to announce on the harness racing broadcast horizon as the calendar turns to 2020.   The value of continuing to fund the SNY replay show has been reviewed and the decision has been made to redirect the considerable amount of revenue spent there toward potentially broadcasting select Meadowlands race cards live. As a result, the SNY replay show will cease on January 1, 2020.   The recap shows seen previously on SNY will be posted to The Meadowlands YouTube Page.   With race replays being streamed on ADW platforms and on RTN's comprehensive racing package, those interested overwhelmingly choose those on demand resources to see race replays at their convenience, rendering the SNY show broadcast in the wee hours increasingly less relevant.   "Technology provides options that simply weren't available to us just a few years ago. With all of the platforms that now stream replays, the audience for the SNY replay show no longer justifies the cost", said Meadowlands Chief Operations Officer and General Manager, Jason Settlemoir.   "Last year, NYRA began broadcasting all their races from Saratoga and Belmont live on Fox Sports. The possibility of following that lead with night harness racing from The Meadowlands at a affordable cost has become a possibility. We are talking with some of the same people who help NYRA launch to see if it's viable for Meadowlands night racing. We hope to have more to report on this soon."   From the Meadowlands Media Department      

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - This holiday season will be a little brighter for hundreds of area children thanks to a massive Marine Corps Toys for Tots collection drive at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. Hundreds of toys were collected from November 1st through Saturday, December 14th and nearly $2,000 in cash was donated. For the second year in a row the Meadowlands Racetrack teamed up with NY Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa to donate all the collected toys to Harlem Grown. Tina Cervasio emceed the event and special guest, 2020 Miss New Jersey USA, Gina Mellish helped with the night's prize drawings. "It was great partnering with Quincy Enunwa and Harlem Grown again this year," said Jason M. Settlemoir, GM/COO of Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment. "This cause is near and dear to my heart and our toy drive exceeded my expectations. This charity event will be a mainstay on our December events calendar for years to come." Harlem Grown is a charitable organization in Harlem whose mission is to inspire youth to lead healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition. For additional information, please visit From the Meadowlands Media Department

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Race caller Larry Lederman and professional football player Quincy Enunwa will be visiting the Meadowlands this weekend. Lederman will be doing what he does best, while Enunwa will be spreading Christmas cheer to children who could really use some. Lederman is second in the 'batting order' tonight (Dec. 12) as the second season of "Borrow Ken's Binoculars" - which brings in guest announcers to call the Thursday night race cards during December while regular voice Ken Warkentin steps aside - continues. A week ago, Pete Kleinhans was on the microphone, while the last two weeks of the month will feature the USTA's Michael Carter (on Dec. 19) and the Big M's own Dave Little (Dec. 26). "So many of our regular customers are Larry Lederman fans," said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "And so are all of us at the Meadowlands. Larry has always been one of the best announcers around and it's great to hear his unique calls at the Big M." Enunwa, the New York Jets wide receiver, will be at the track on Saturday (Dec. 14) night and visitors are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Big M's annual toy drive. Enunwa and the U.S. Marine Corps will be collecting for the annual 'Toys for Tots' drive from 6:30-8:30 p.m. All collected toys will be donated to Harlem Grown, helping make the holiday season brighter for area children. FOX5 sportscaster Tina Cervasio will serve as master of ceremonies for the event and fans who bring a toy for the drive will be able to take a selfie with Enunwa. "This is my favorite time of the year," said Settlemoir. "The toy drive is near and dear to my heart. It feels great to be able to give back to those in need, especially during the holiday season." HOT STARTS: Last weekend (Dec. 5-7) saw a handful of drivers get off to a quick start for the final month of 2019, during which there will be 12 race cards. Through the first three cards of December, Dave Miller and Tim Tetrick top the driver colony with six wins apiece, with Dexter Dunn and Yannick Gingras in hot pursuit with five victories each. Richard Johnson has three wins to lead all trainers in December, while Trish Adams, Jeff Cullipher, Harry Landy and Nick Surick all have two apiece. DECEMBER SCHEDULE CONTINUES: During the month of December, live racing at the Meadowlands will be conducted on a three day a week basis, Thursday-Saturday. Post time is 7:15 p.m. HIT BIG WITH FREE PPs: The 50-cent Pick-4 is one of the more popular wagers at the Big M, and players can get the past performances for free. Program pages are available for the bet - which sports a $50,000 guaranteed pool on Fridays and Saturdays and a low 15 percent takeout always - at and Last weekend's pools were solid, as $75,915 and $86,478 were wagered on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Twenty-cent Jackpot Super High-Five players are no doubt looking forward to Thursday's 10th race, which will offer a $47,222 carryover on the bet that requires one to have the only winning ticket to rake the pot. BET WITH BROWER: For help with every race on all Big M cards, be sure to check out Big M morning-line oddsmaker Dave Brower's analysis on the Meadowlands website ( Click on the 'handicapping' tab, then 'race reviews'. FUN ON FRIDAY: On Dec. 13, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold'em on "Free Poker Friday", hosted by World Free Poker. ... Holiday shoppers can give their bankrolls a boost by entering the Big M's "Holiday Gift Card Sweepstakes", where $1,500 in major department store gift cards will be given away. Entry forms are available in the live racing program. MEADOWLANDS HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: Here is the holiday operating schedule for simulcasting at the Big M: December 15: Closed December 22: Closed Christmas Eve: Closed Christmas Day: Closed December 29: Closed New Year's Eve: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. For more information, go to FANDUEL HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: Here is the holiday operating schedule for the Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook: Christmas Eve: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Christmas Day: Closed New Year's Eve: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. New Year's Day: 10 a.m. - 1 a.m. For more information, go to From the Meadowlands Media Department    

Harness racing's biggest stars will battle it out on the track on Saturday, November 23rd in the TVG & Fall Final Four Finals at the Meadowlands Racetrack. This year will be extra special with two of the sport's biggest names - Hannelore Hanover and Six Pack retiring following their starts in their TVG Finals. The great Hannelore Hanover's retirement ceremony will be held following the final start of her career - the TVG Mares Final on Saturday, November 23. The 2017 Horse of the Year has amassed over $3 million in earnings including wins in the Hambletonian Maturity, TVG (2 times), Armbro Flight (three times), Breeders Crown (two times), Maple Leaf Trot (two times) and the Cutler Memorial. A commemorative video will be shown during the ceremony and the first 500 fans will receive a movie-style Hannelore Hanover poster that details her major victories. Her shoes will also be pulled in the winner's circle with one of them being given to the Meadowlands Racetrack for the new "Walk of Fame" that will be unveiled during the 2020 Championship Meet. "Hannelore Hanover is one of the greatest race horses of all time," stated Jason Settlemoir, COO and GM of the Meadowlands Racetrack. "She had so many major victories here - the 2016 Hambletonian Maturity and TVG Final and the 2018 Cutler just to name a few. She created so many great racing memories here and we are honored Ron Burke and her ownership agreed to retire her in our winner's circle." 2018 3-year-old trotting Colt of the Year Six Pack will also retire following his TVG Final on November 23rd. This outstanding trotter had three world record performances including the 1:50 in the 2018 Stanley Dancer, 1:49.1 in the Kentucky Futurity and 1:49.2 in the Allerage Farms Open Trot. He also posted wins in the Yonkers Trot, Empire Breeders Classic and The Matron to earn close to $2 million. Six Packs shoes will also be pulled in the winner's circle with one of them begin added to the Meadowlands Racetrack Walk of Fame. "Six Pack gave us a 1:50 world record performance in the 2018 Stanley Dancer," said Settlemoir. "It's only fitting that he is added to our Walk of Fame." Details about the new conceived Meadowlands Racetrack Walk of Fame will be announced in the coming months. Management will be asking the winning connections of some the track's biggest races including the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, TVG Finals to contribute a shoe to the display. "I would like to thank Dean Hoffman for reaching out to me with an idea about the Walk of Fame," said Settlemoir. "I thought it was a great way to honor the champions that race on our track." TVG night details can be found at From the Meadowlands Media Department

As live racing comes to a close for the 2019 season at Vernon Downs on Saturday (November 2), Samantha Winiavski will have completed her first year as Regional Marketing Manager of Racing for both Vernon and Tioga Downs. The 24 year-old graduate of Mansfield University first started as a promotions attendant at Tioga Downs in the spring of 2018. "When I started out as a promotions attendant I knew nothing about harness racing but I was willing to take on this learning curve," said Winiavski. "When this opportunity came up last November I just couldn't pass it up." Winiavski reports directly to Jason Settlemoir, who sits on the American Racing and Entertainment (Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs) Board of Directors and has overseen racing at the New York properties since January of 2006 as the Regional Vice President of Racing and COO and General Manager of the New Meadowlands Racetrack. " I am so proud of Sam, she has handled everything I have thrown at her and ran with it," Settlemoir said. "She continues to impress with her professionalism and her ability to learn quickly." Winiavski is in charge of marketing and live race promotions. She would like to thank Settlemoir, Jeff Gural, chairman of American Racing and Entertainment and former Director of Racing, Jason Bluhm. "I was fresh out of college when I first started working for this company," she said. "For them to have faith in me at such a young age really means the world to me." Winiavski is originally from Lindenhurst, Long Island but now resides in Troy, PA. She spends most of her days at Tioga Downs but does frequent Vernon Downs as well by John Horne, for Tioga and Vernon Downs              

Brett Risi has been named the Regional Operations Manager at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. The announcement was made on Wednesday by Jason Settlemoir, the Regional Vice President for Racing at Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, and The Meadowlands. Risi, 26, is originally from Ilion, NY, and has been the track handicapper at Tioga and Vernon since 2017. "You could see his enthusiasm since day one," said Settlemoir. "He has flourished in that position and is ready to step up and tackle his new endeavor." Risi, who will report directly to Settlemoir, will have new duties that include the overseeing of racing and simulcasts. Risi began attending races at Vernon Downs at the age of eight. By the age of 15, he was attending races weekly with his father, Vincent, and his brother, Ryan. He became a devoted fan of harness racing and wanted to learn more about the sport. At the announcement, Risi thanked Jeff Gural, chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, and Settlemoir for the opportunity. "I want to thank Jason Settlemoir for being my mentor and being somebody I look up to in the industry, [someone] who has led me in growing into a role like this," said Risi. "He is not only my friend but a teacher and coach who I could never thank enough for the opportunity of a lifetime." Risi also made mention of his family. "My brother and father would pick me up when I was down. They told me to keep my head up and my time would come." Additionally, Risi thanked his girlfriend, Jaci, and his stepson, Lucas. "Jaci always told me to never give up my dream." Risi will begin his new job immediately and will spend time at both Tioga Dows and Vernon Downs. by John Horne, for Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs                

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The curtain came down on the Meadowlands' 2019 harness racing meet on Hambletonian Day (Aug. 3), ending a seven-month run that would be the envy of any track operator. Total handle on Hambo Day was up nearly 15 percent over the year before as $6.5 million was pushed through the windows, approximately $800,000 more than the year before. The $6.5 million was by far the best single-day handle in the entire sport in 2019. Next up was the $4.4 million bet by players at Woodbine at Mohawk Park on March 30 when the track had a huge Super High-Five carryover on a mandatory payout night. The only other $4 million-plus handle this year was at the Big M on Meadowlands Pace Night ($4,044,303). The wagering trend was a positive one for the 62 Big M programs presented from the first of the year through the first Saturday in August, as a total of $174.2 million was put in play, good for an average of $2,811,179 per card. Over the same 2018 span, 58 race cards saw total wagering of $137.3 million, an average of $2,367,260. Thus, total wagering was up 27 percent at the industry's handle leader, while per-card betting increased 18 percent. One of the keys to increased handle is to card more races, and that was clearly the case this year as compared to last. During 2018, a total of 671 races were contested at the Meadowlands, an average per night of 11.56. This year, 790 races took place, good for an average of 12.74, an increase of 10.2 percent. With the additional races, there were 1,515 more starters in 2019 Big M races than there were in 2018. The track averaged 8.92 starters per race in 2019. The Meadowlands' faithful fan base bet with both hands on a consistent basis. Total handle reached $2.5 million 47 times over the 62-card span. On 12 occasions, the magic $3 million mark was achieved, while the Meadowlands Pace and Hambo accounted for the two $4 million-plus cards. "All of us at the Meadowlands are appreciative of the purse appropriation earmarked for the horse racing industry that was approved by New Jersey legislators, Gov. Phil Murphy, President of the New Jersey Senate Stephen Sweeney and Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly Craig Coughlin," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "With that money in our purse account, it created more of a level playing field in the competition for horses from nearby states. "We appreciate how our horsemen have supported our entry box - we couldn't do it without them - and how our fans played our races all meeting long. We've seen consistently bigger fields at the Meadowlands, and big fields are what our fans like most when betting on our product. Competitive racing with large fields and less winning favorites at the sport's top facility is a recipe for wagering success." On the track, new fastest-ever Big M marks were established for horses of both gaits on July 6. Atlanta, the 2018 Hambletonian champion, exploded home in :26.3 in the Graduate Final for trotters on the way to stopping the clock in 1:49.1 while Lather Up set a new mark of 1:46 in the Graduate Final for pacers, and in the process, equaled Always B Miki's fastest mile ever in the history of the sport. Grabbing headlines - as usual - was the superstar mare Shartin N, who became the fastest female in harness racing history after taking the Lady Liberty on Hambo Day in 1:46.4. It was another great year for conditioner Ron Burke, as well as his go-to driver, Yannick Gingras. Burke took his eighth straight Big M training title with 73 victories and earnings of $1.85 million while Marcus Melander had the second-highest bank account at $1.29 million. Burke, 49, also reached a remarkable milestone, becoming the first trainer in history to record 10,000 lifetime wins after his student Crucial won a Jim Doherty Memorial elimination on July 26 at the mile oval. Gingras, 40, killed it all meeting long and used a fabulous February as the catalyst for his fifth Meadowlands driving title. During those 28 days, Gingras established meet highs for wins on a single program (seven, on the 1st) and in a month (33) on the way to visiting the winner's circle a total of 127 times. He was also tops in earnings with $2.25 million. Dexter Dunn was nothing short of superb in his first full season of racing in the U.S., as the New Zealand native opened many eyes with his 86 wins, which was easily second best in the standings. Tim Tetrick's earnings of $2.18 million nosed out Dunn's ($2.14 million) in the race for second-highest driver bankroll. THE SKED: Simulcasting from Saratoga and a host of other tracks will continue every day, but there will be no live racing at the Meadowlands for eight straight weekends, beginning Aug. 9-10. Monmouth Park will conduct thoroughbred racing over the Big M's turf course on Oct. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 25 and 26. The Meadowlands will be back with live harness action on Oct. 11, and then conduct racing on Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 30 before adding Thursdays in December. There will be both thoroughbred and harness racing on the same day on Oct. 11, 12, 18, 25 and 26. Post time for harness racing is 7:15 p.m. Post time for thoroughbred racing will be announced at a later date. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Expectations are normally low at the Meadowlands during the month of June with other harness racing tracks' major events historically drawing some interest - and handle - away from the mile oval, but this year was different, as June saw a huge increase in play over the previous year. With a nightly average all-source handle of $2,623,848, June of 2019 saw an increase of more than $750,000 a night over June of 2018. The average per race action last month was $222,779, which was $43,000 more than the June from the year before. Even on big nights for out-of-town tracks, the Big M still did vigorous 2019 business. On North America Cup Night, handle ($2.6 million) was up $850,725 over the year before, an increase of 48 percent. On Sun Stakes Night, betting at the Big M was $2.599 million, an increase of $623,421 (32 percent) from 12 months prior. The biggest reason for the increases are higher purses, which lead to fuller fields, which drive the handle machine at the Meadowlands. "You can really see how the new purse structure - created with the help of our governor and legislators - have brought the wagering dollars back to the Meadowlands," said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "June is historically our slowest month of the year. It is incredibly encouraging to see that even though the top drivers and trainers leave in June to race in Canada and the Poconos, we have been able to put out a wagering product that resulted in the highest nightly June average in over a decade." With just over a month left in the Big M's 2018-19 meeting, the numbers figure to get even bigger from here. "Heading into the final five weeks of the meet with our two premier events - the Meadowlands Pace and Hambletonian - coming up, all economic indicators at the Big M suggest that New Jersey racing is back in a big way," said Settlemoir. There will be plenty of opportunities for Big M fans to dive into some big pools this weekend, as Friday (July 5) night's 14-race program features nine 10-horse fields and one with 11 starters. The first race gets underway at 7:15 p.m. Saturday (July 6) is a huge night, featuring a pair of $250,000 Graduate Series Finals as well as two eliminations for the track's signature event, the $700,000 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. The first of 11 races goes to the gate at a special early post time of 6:35 p.m. and the program will end sometime before 11 p.m. so that the track can showcase a brilliant fireworks show. There will also be reduced-priced concessions as the Big M salutes its faithful following on "Fan Appreciation Night". PACE NIGHT: The Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace Final is the centerpiece for "The Greatest Night in Harness Racing" and takes places on Saturday, July 13. Post time is 7:15 p.m. In addition to the Pace, there are a handful of other major events, including the Mistletoe Shalee, Stanley Dancer, Del Miller, William Haughton, Golden Girls and Hambletonian Maturity. Pace Night is a good night to be a barbecue lover, as that evening from 6-10 p.m. in The Backyard, patrons can come and sample some serious eats from some of the best local food trucks and restaurants in the area at the track's "BBQ Battle". Meadowlands Media Relations  

A new face will be seen on the award-winning Meadowlands Racetrack television broadcast on Friday, November 2. Michigan native Jessica Otten will join the Meadowlands as promotions/contest host and paddock interviewer. Otten was born into the harness business and has assisted her father, Peter Otten, run his stable. In 2016 she joined Post Time with Mike and Mike for their first live remote at the Meadowlands for Breeders Crown weekend. Over the last two years, Otten has become a valued member of the Mike & Mike team, co-hosting live remotes and interviewing some of the industry's biggest stars. "As someone who was born and raised in the business, I am extremely excited for the opportunity to be working at the Meadowlands, said Otten. "This is something I love doing and I look forward to pursing my career here." Otten will also assist with the track's social media platforms with a special focus on Snap Chat and race-night Twitter. "Ms Otten will bring a fresh perspective to the Meadowlands broadcast," said Meadowlands COO/GM Jason M. Settlemoir. "Jessica has grown up in the busin Ryess and knows harness racing inside and out. She will also infuse our contests and promotions with some additional excitement." bv Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --- The harness racing tradition continues on Hambletonian Eve. For the fourth consecutive year, renowned equine artist Ann Lufkin has done a portrait of the past year's Hambletonian champion to present to the connections on the eve of the Meadowlands Racetrack CEO Jason Settlemoir and Hambletonian Society president John Campbell will present the portrait of Perfect Spirit to owner Lennart Agren of SRF Stable and driver-trainer Ake Svanstedt on Friday, Aug. 3 at The Meadowlands. In a memorable and chaotic finish, Perfect Spirit was the winner by disqualification, after What The Hill squeezed off the pylons in deep stretch to hit the finish line first. Judges declared there was contact between What The Hill and Guardian Angel AS, marking the first time in Hambletonian history that a horse had his number taken down in 92 editions of the $1 million trotting classic for 3-year-olds. Perfect Spirit was the winner of the 2017 Hambletonian. The portrait will be presented prior to the races on Friday, Aug., 3, in Trotters, during the owners and Hambletonian Society Directors cocktail party at 6:30 pm. For more on Lufkin's work, visit The stakes-filled Hambletonian Day card begins at 12 noon. The Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks will be featured on a live 90-minute broadcast on CBS Sports Network from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT). From the Meadowlands Media Department

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It was a big night on many fronts last Saturday (July 14) at the Meadowlands, as the $4 million plateau was reached in total handle, the track's sparkling new Fanduel Sports Book @ Victory Sports Bar was opened for wagering on professional sports and Hall of Fame driver David Miller won the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace for the first time in his 19th try. Total handle on the program was a meet-high $4,083,401 (an increase of approximately $250,000 over last year's Pace Night) as six stakes races on the program saw pools in excess of $300,000, with the Pace leading that parade, with $536,305 being put in play. "All of us at the Meadowlands are so pleased that our fans supported the Pace card like they did," said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "It just goes to show you with quality purses we attract quality horses and the public responds by betting with both fists." On the morning of Pace Night, the sports book opened to a big crowd anxious to place wagers on Major League Baseball, the World Cup Final and many other future bets. The hours of the sports book are as follows: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Friday 10 a.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-2 a.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Finally, the 53-year-old Miller broke his Pace maiden by guiding 6-5 favorite Courtly Choice to a 1¼-length win over 57-1 shot Dorsoduro Hanover in 1:47.1. Horses driven by Miller have earned at least $10 million 15 times over the last 17 years and "The Buckeye" sports lifetime earnings of nearly $226 million. Miller will be the guest Friday night on "In the Sulky", the Big M's interview segment on its live simulcast presentation. It will be seen at approximately 7:35 p.m. POST TIME CHANGE: This Friday and Saturday, post time for the first live race at the Meadowlands will be 8 p.m. JUMP INTO THE POOL: After failing to reach six figures for two months, Saturday night marked the fourth consecutive race card where the 50-Cent Pick-4 pool reached $100,000, as a meet-high $142,198 was pushed through the windows. ... On Friday night, the Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five had a mandatory payout, and after "new" money pushed the total pool well past the $500,000 mark, those holding winning tickets cashed in for $76,472. HAMBO COUNTDOWN: It's just three Saturdays until this year's edition of the Hambletonian. Here is the track's schedule for its stretch run: July 20 and 21, post time 8 p.m.; July 27, 28 and Aug. 3, 7:15 p.m. On Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 4, post time is noon. On the card, more than $3 million in purse money will be up for grabs. HAVE A SPA DAY: Thoroughbred racing's most popular meeting starts on Friday as the Big M will feature racing from Saratoga on its daily simulcast menu. Every Saturday, there will be at least one $500,000 event on the Spa card, with the marquee event, the $1.25 Travers Stakes, slated for Saturday, August 25. Saratoga races every day except Tuesday through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3. Post time is 1 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands  

Late last night, the Meadowlands management sent a response to pertaining to the situation with Brian Sears being barred from competing Saturday night in the Meadowlands Pace. At the end of last year (track owner) Jeff Gural and (COO) Jason Settlemoir met with all of the drivers that compete regularly at The Meadowlands, including Brian Sears. It was explained to them that if they wanted to drive at Yonkers from Jan through June don’t expect to show up in July to drive horses in our major stakes. Everyone understood and we made it clear that this rule did not apply to the Levy or Matchmaker or any other stakes races, only to overnights. Brett Miller, Yannick Gingras and Corey Callahan drove at The Meadowlands over the winter, though not every night, but they did not drive at Yonkers. Dave Miller and Brian Sears spent the winter in Florida and David began driving at the Meadowlands when he came back. Tim Tetrick took the winter off and came back after the Levy. Sears asked if he could come back after Yonkers closed for 10 days at the end of May and he did come back for that weekend’s racing. He then called Jeff and told him he had decided he did not want to be driving on the Grand Circuit and endure all the travel and inconvenience. Jeff said that was his decision and he understood; assuming this issue would not arise since most trainers of Grand Circuit horses expect their driver to travel around to Canada, Indiana, PA, Ohio and Lexington. And not just show up at the Meadowlands. Truthfully, we are surprised this became an issue since Jeff likes Brian, thinks he is a great driver and respects his desire to slow down as evidenced by his decision to take the winter off. Brian Sears is not a victim here; he advised that as a lifestyle matter he wasn’t looking for what a racing on the Grand Circuit requires and we respect that. We appreciated the commitment and rigorous schedule maintained by our drives who are Grand Circuit drivers. Up to now the only reason there is racing at the Meadowlands is because Jeff has subsidized the operating losses and overpaid the purse account by millions of dollars. With the help of many sponsors the lights have remained on and the lucrative stakes program intact. Seeing the hand writing on the wall with the dramatic decline in entries as evidenced by the fewer races, short field and lower handle has compelled Jeff along with Mike Gulotta, the SBOANJ and Dennis Drazin at Monmouth Park to work tirelessly these last few months to convince the state of the importance of horse racing in the state. Together they have requested that the state restore the $30 million-dollar purse subsidy that Gov. Christie redirected to AC advising politicians that without that money it would be impossible for The Meadowlands to continue to race when the PA tracks are open and also impossible to maintain the existing stakes schedule, which is what makes Meadowlands the leading harness track in the country, if not the world. Unfortunately, the subsidy was not included in the budget passed last week; however Jeff and the others have not given up and hope to have that added to a supplement budget which hopefully will happen in the fall. In the meantime, everyone should enjoy the next five weeks of major stakes and the 2-year-olds racing on Saturday’s Breakfast With The Babies culminating with the richest race of the year, the Hambletonian. From the management at the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — The Meadowlands Racetrack has announced that it will open its legalized sports betting service on July 14, one day sooner than previously scheduled according to the  The racetrack's operator, Jeff Gural, told reporters last month that July 15 would be the first day of legal sports betting at the Meadowlands. But on Monday, the track's General Manager Jason Settlemoir, told that the new service will begin on July 14. "The timing is much better and in correlation with one of our biggest race days, the Meadowlands Pace," Settlemoir stated. The Victory Sports Bar and Club, where patrons will place their bets, is set to open to "dignitaries" at 9:30 a.m. After a series of speeches, those special guests will have the honor of placing the first legal sports wagers at the Meadowlands track. At 11 a.m., the club will open to the general public, allowing wagers on professional and college sports, said Keith Wall, an international representative of the online gambling company Betfair. Betfair has partnered with the Meadowlands track, offering their own in-house odds and other services.

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