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The always popular Meadowlands Championship Meet Survival Challenge powered by 123Racing is back for the 2019 Championship Meet. Cash prizes and World Harness Handicapping Championship seats are up for grabs in this online competition which begins Friday, May 3rd. Registration is now open. Trackmaster will provide Platinum Past Performances for each night of the contest. The game covers the Meadowlands' Championship Meet, featuring millions in stakes races and the best pacers and trotters in the sport. The game concludes on Hambletonian Day, Saturday, August 3, 2019. The winner is determined by the highest total bankroll at the end of the Challenge based on a $2 "across the board" wager [win, place and show] on selections for three designated races each program. However, to continue in the game, entrants have to "survive" by finishing in-the-money [first through third] with at least one of their selections each day. Failing to do so or not making selections knocks the player out of the game. To aid in the player's survival one "lucky horseshoe" is given. The lucky horseshoe is a "free pass" given to all Challenge participants that allows the player to survive if he does not make selections for a race card or all three of his selections fail to hit the board. The grand prize is $1,000 & 2020 WHHC Spot The second-place prize is $500 & 2020 WHHC Spot The third-place prize is $250 & 2020 WHHC Spot Most Winners prize is $250 The contest is open to legal residents of the United States and Canada 18 years and older, and all selections must be made through the format provided on the Survival Challenge website page. No selections will be accepted by phone, fax, e-mail or any other means. Trackmaster Platinum Past performances for the three designated races will be provided through the game board. The deadline for selections each day is 30 minutes before 7:15 p.m. post time for the first race. The only exception being Hambletonian Day, Saturday, August 3 [post time 12 noon]. After 30 minutes to post, all selections are final. To set up a username and password, and for more of the contest rules, visit   Rachel Ryan

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - On Saturday, May 4th, join Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment - for an exciting day and night of simulcast & live racing action, including the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs. Grandstand doors open at 9:00 am with free parking and free admission. With a full day of racing guests can enjoy a delicious lunch in the second floor Gallery. The $39.95 Derby themed lunch buffet begins at 11:30 am. Dishes include sides and starters like mashed sweet potatoes, home-made mac & cheese, freshly baked corn bread, and sweet & spicy chicken wings, entrees like roasted chicken, beef sliders and BBQ ribs, and assorted pastries and cookies for dessert. For reservations call 201-THE-BIG-M (201-843-2446). All day, enjoy Woodford Reserve bourbon, the "Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby," and bourbon specials including mint juleps along with Grey Goose in the K-Derby cocktail for $10. Each specialty drink is served in an official commemorative 2019 Kentucky Derby glass. Ladies are welcome to express their fashion sense and style by entering the $1,000 Derby Hat Contest with no boundaries on how over-the-top the headwear can go. The most creative hat wins the $500 grand prize. Sign up between 2:00pm to 4:45pm with the judging at 5:00pm in the Winner's Circle. Plus all guests over 18 years of age can enter the $100 Derby Win Wager contest. Ten lucky contestants will be selected to place a $100 win wager on any horse of their choice in the Kentucky Derby. Entry forms are available in the Derby program and at the Player's Club desk. After the Derby, guests are welcome to enjoy a night of live harness racing at the Meadowlands with the first post time set for 7:15pm. Pink, the tiered dining room with perfect views of the live racing action, will feature a few Southern inspired options on the $54.95 buffet created by Executive Chef Dennis Sammarone. Pink will open at 4:30 pm and reservations are strongly recommended as space is extremely limited. To reserve a table call 201-THE-BIG-M (201-843-2446). Prizes continue into the night with ten $100 win wagers on live harness racing, the ten contestants will be selected throughout the night. Entry forms are available in the live racing program and at the Player's Club desk. Fans can also participate in the Horseplayer Car Giveaway by picking up a FREE horse to toss at the Players Club desk or Horseplay table in front of the Winner's Circle. Participants attempt to throw their numbered horse into the window of a moving car. A winner, randomly chosen from all the horses that make it into the car, will receive a $100 betting voucher. Each night's winner will be entered into a grand prize drawing to win a brand new 2019 Toyota C-HR on, Friday, August 2. After the horse toss each night, children get to pick up all the horses left on the track and receive a FREE ice cream from The Cafe'. For every horse that makes it into the Horseplay car, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment donates $10 to the designated monthly charity. The 2019 May donation recipient is A Lot to Grow: The 2019 June donation recipient is Humane Society of Bergen County Lost Pet, Inc: The 2019 July/August donation recipient is Horse Rescue United -   For more information visit Reminder, you must be 18+ to enter wager on racing and enter any promotions. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.   Rachel Ryan

East Rutherford, NJ - The spring of 2019 has been a good one at The Meadowlands. Handle is up as a result of greater field size and the gradual return to better quality horses, the logical explanation being increased purses made possible by the supplemental funding from the state. The horseplayers are voting with their wagering dollars and handle begets handle, that is fact. The entry box has been solid. There have been enough horses entered to card 13 races for each live racing night, most of them with full fields, which is exactly what The Meadowlands' customers desire. "We have momentum that we haven't had in a while and I want it to continue. We appreciate the support at the entry box by those trainers racing with us this spring, that's a big part of it," stated Meadowlands GM Jason Settlemoir. "I was excited watching the races this weekend. There is no question that horses closing in on the leader as they approach the wire with five or six across the track in deep stretch creates excitement. We have to demonstrate to the legislators that our product is enhanced and improved to continue the purse allocation, we're going in the right direction and it must continue." Saturday's card resulted in another night of over $3 million in all sources handle on The Meadowlands races, which were interesting and entertaining. The track is playing fair, a bit less speed favoring, with horses able to win from virtually anywhere. In every one of the races this past Saturday, the fifth place finisher was no more than 6 lengths from the winner, most were far closer, and in the 11th race the first five finishers were separated by just a head.   The competitiveness of the races, leading to fewer short priced favorites, is an important component of what drives handle. The average win payoff on Saturday was slightly over $10 and as pointed out in Dave Little's release the percentage of winning favorites over the past two weekends (9 from 52 races) is around 17 percent.   With several of the top Meadowlands/Grand Circuit drivers absent for most of the winter/spring meet it has provided an opportunity for the next generation of talent to ply their trade on the big stage. Their desire to succeed when the chance presents itself, along with less familiarity within the driver colony, has made for some exciting racing.   "I thought the racing Saturday night was fun to watch. The drivers closed the holes which makes it much more competitive and the handle reflects that. Hopefully with the championship season on the horizon and many of our regular drivers returning from Yonkers after the Levy I hope we will continue to see the same level of competitive driving with the elimination of the courtesy holes that we have seen for the last several years. There is no question that the racing on Saturday was the best I have seen in many years and reminded me of the good old days of the Meadowlands when horses either got to the top or were parked when they left from the outside. It obviously makes for a much better product," said Meadowlands CEO Jeff Gural.   Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ -- The Meadowlands and the SBOA of NJ will again cooperate to provide access to the racetrack for those horsemen wishing to train their young harness racing horses over the oval during the month of May beginning on Thursday, May 2. The track will be open each Thursday in May from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the paddock is open and available during those hours. The cost for these sessions will be covered by the SBOA of NJ. Please call the Race Office at 877.782.2537 by noon each Wednesday with an estimated number of horses so preparations may be made.   Nick Salvi

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - As the leading harness racing driver at the Meadowlands, Yannick Gingras has had his share of big nights at the mile oval, and Saturday at the Big M was just another of many for the 39-year-old, who scored four times on the 13-race program, among them the featured conditioned pace. Seeing Eye Single, a 4-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again-Shabalabadingdong, overcame post 10 and lowered his previous lifetime best by one-and-one-fifth seconds after stopping the clock in 1:49.3 in the event for non-winners of $17,500 in their last five starts. Gingras had Seeing Eye Single on the go from the start, following Captain Deo (who led at the quarter in :27) before clearing the lead just after the first split. A rated second fraction of :28.2 would follow before pressure would come from Stonedust, who was inching his way closer to the leader while first-over at three-quarters. Seeing Eye Single shrugged off that challenger to get some separation at the head of the stretch before holding sway to the wire, finishing a length in front of the pocket-sitting Captain Deo. Rough Odds was third with Penzance Hanover fourth. K Ryan Bluechip, the 4-5 favorite, was in a fourth-over flow before closing well to be a non-threatening fifth. Seeing Eye Single returned $6.00 as the second choice in the wagering, and in the process upped his resume to 11 wins from 28 lifetime starts, good for earnings of $359,926 for owners Burke Racing, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi. "He was strong and won fairly easily," said Gingras of the Ron Burke trainee who sprinted his final quarter in :26. "He loves the big track." Gingras' other wins came with McRaven (first race, $8.20, 1:52.3), All It Takes (third, $6.00, 1:52) and Always A Diamond (sixth, $8.20, 1:52.1). BETTING TOPS $3 MILLION: For the seventh time in 2019, wagering at the Meadowlands exceeded $3 million, as a total of $3,046,148 was pushed through the windows. Race eight saw $341,302 in action, and the ever-popular 50-Cent Pick-4 served as the catalyst with a pool of $116,859. A LITTLE MORE: It was huge day for Austin Siegelman. Monticello Raceway's leading driver took his act on the road Saturday and piled up the victories. After winning five times during the day at Freehold, Siegelman then won three more under the lights at the Big M. ... Players who don't like chalk are loving life of late at the Meadowlands. Over the last four programs, favorites have gone nine-for-52, good (or bad, based on your preference) for a minuscule win percentage of 17. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

There’s an old saying and we all know it: “Money talks and [you know what] walks.” Many will say that it really isn’t about the money; how many times have we heard athletes say that after they sign a very lucrative contract with their new team? We know that money — if it doesn’t rule the world, it certainly drives it — matters. I give you The Meadowlands as Exhibit A. Last April, there were talks of closure, talks of ending stakes races and talks of moving The Hambletonian. We all know why. While other tracks were using casino monies to bolster purses, The Big M had no casino monies to give. They got by during the winter when nearby tracks were closed, but once March came, off went the horses to other tracks, mainly those in Pennsylvania, which offers two facilities — Pocono and Chester — that are buoyed by the casino dollars. The politicians were thinking about helping all three New Jersey racetracks — Monmouth on the thoroughbred side and Freehold and Meadowlands on the Standardbred side. For years, they hemmed and hawed, the classic political football. Former Governor Chris Christie opposed helping and legislators had to be careful too. Any time a politician talks of using taxpayer money to support private industry, it goes over like a lead balloon. Most cringe at funding public schools, let alone an industry such as horse racing. So, for much of 2017 and 2018, New Jersey horse racing stood in limbo. Both sides had valid arguments. Those that wanted the subsidies argued that horse racing is a billion-dollar business that employs thousands and seeing it end would leave many unemployed and would deprive the state of much-needed revenues. Those against it believe that it is not the state’s responsibility to prop up private industry, even though subsidizing horse racing, because it’s heavily regulated by the state, is a little different than, say, subsidizing car dealerships. Still, it’s a valid point: if an industry can’t survive on its own, then maybe it should fold. In May 2016, Phil Murphy decided that he wanted to be the next governor of the Garden State and, while campaigning, he came out as a friend of New Jersey horse racing. He visited the Meadowlands more than once and said (if elected) that should subsidy legislation ever reach his desk, he would sign it. In 2017, he was elected and he took office in 2018. As we know, nothing moves quickly in politics. So, for much of 2018, the bill to subsidize horse racing purses crawled along. Finally, in January of this year, it became law. The state would give horse racing $100 million over five years — $20 million each year. Of that, $10 million would go to Monmouth, $6 million to the Meadowlands, $1.6 million to Freehold and $2.4 million to support New Jersey breeding. It’s amazing how the money has altered people’s moods. The Meadowlands owner is Jeff Gural. While his love for harness racing cannot be questioned, he is known as a doom-and-gloomer, a glass-half-empty type guy. But things have changed. Now flushed with $6 million, Gural feels that his track can compete with Yonkers, Harrah’s and Pocono. He is armed with cash and, as mentioned, money talks. Overnight purses have been bolstered, the preferred paces and trots are now running for $30,000 (from $18,000) and, recently, the track announced a new series of four races worth a total of $700,000. The four races will be run in the spring and early summer with the finals coming in June and July. The races are as follows: The Golden Receiver Pace: Three legs, and then a final, total $165,000. The Mr. Muscleman Trot: Four legs, and then a final, $205,000. The Rainbow Blue Mare Pace: Three legs, and then a final $165,000. The Bee A Magician Mare Trot: Three legs, and then a final, $165,000. All four finals will run for an estimated $60,000, which is far from chump change on an otherwise nondescript night of racing. As for Freehold, it has upped its purses as well. The preferreds, which ran for $8,000 are now running for $12,000. Karen Fagliarone is the racing director at the nation’s oldest harness facility and has plans for the $1.6 million. “We raised purses by 50 percent for all classes,” she said, “we’re going to use the monies on overnights.” Freehold’s season is cut in two; the first part runs from Jan. 4 to May 17, with the second half picking up on Aug. 30 and running through Dec. 28. That’s 38 weeks with racing on Friday and Saturday afternoons. I asked Fagliarone if there were plans to develop a series, à la The Meadowlands and she was noncommittal. “Right now, there are no plans,” she said, “at least not through May. We may rethink that over the break and do something the latter half of the year, but right now, we are going to use the money to boost the overnight purses and reward those who race here.” While many focus on purses, there is also $2.4 million earmarked for New Jersey breeding, something that is badly needed for a state that is suffering from a horse shortage. “Everybody followed the casino monies and left New Jersey. There weren’t many stallions and mares standing in the state,” Fagliarone said. “It will take years to build up the stock in our state. This money will help, but it’s going to take time.” Freehold has been racing since 1853 and, like Monticello, runs only in the afternoon, something Fagliarone likes. “We have an advantage with daytime racing. We have lots of farms nearby and they can drive them in, race them and be home at night with their families.” The additional purse monies have allowed Fagliarone to write some different races for the pacers and trotters as well. “We are using the Trackmaster figures for some races. Right now, we have paces and trots for horses that have TMRs (Trackmaster rating) of 68 or less. Those are racing for $4,200 purses, the lowest figure we have here.” On good days, Freehold will handle over $400,000 and, while it focuses more on overnights, there are some big days on the calendar. For most, the first Saturday in May is the Kentucky Derby, but, on that day, Freehold runs its signature race, the Dexter Cup. Sanctioned by The Hambletonian Society, this is a race for 3-year old trotters and will offer a purse of at least $130,000 in 2019. In its day, it used to serve as a prep race for The Hambletonian, but, in recent years, things have changed. The accompanying Lady Suffolk is for 3-year old fillies, which last year ran for $66,000 purse. The fall schedule culminates with New Jersey Sire Stakes action, as well as some other stakes races. The full stakes schedule can be found here. What a difference a year makes. Last year, things were looking shaky for New Jersey harness racing, but things are looking up in 2019 and, hopefully, beyond. John Furgele   As a kid growing up in the Buffalo suburbs in the 1970s and 80s, the radio was one of John Furgele’s best friends. In the evenings, he used to listen to a show on WBEN radio called “Free Form Sports,” hosted by Buffalo broadcast legend Stan Barron. The show ran weeknights from 6 to 11 pm and featured every kind of sport you could imagine. One minute, Mr. Barron was interviewing a Buffalo Sabres player; the next, he was giving high school field hockey scores. But there was always one thing that caught John’s ear. During those five hours, Barron would give the results from Western New York’s two harness racing tracks — Buffalo Raceway and Batavia Downs. This is where John learned what exactas, quinellas, trifectas and daily doubles were all about. From then on, he always paid attention to harness racing, and when Niatross (a legendary Western New York horse) hit the scene in 1979, his interest began to blossom. John believes harness racing is a sport that has the potential to grow and he will explore ways to get that done via marketing, promotion and, above all, the races themselves. When he’s not watching races, John is busy with his family and his job in sales. Like the pacers and trotters, he does a little running himself and you’ll occasionally find him “going to post” in a local 5K race. Reprinted with permission of US Racing

East Rutherford, NJ - Foul weather caused the postponement of today's Meadowlands qualifiers until 3:00 pm. By then, despite overcast skies and a slight helping breeze in the stretch, the harness racing track was fast and dry with a temperature of 64f at post time. The session quickly turned into Nancy Johansson day as she brought big power to the table and got the results she and driver Scott Zeron were hoping for from several potential stars of the 2019 Grand Circuit season. Nancy unveiled the sophomore edition of her Dan Patch award and Breeders Crown winning freshman pacing sensation Captain Crunch (Zeron) and he was absolutely fabulous. Moving comfortably on the lead through a 56.1 half and 1:24.4 three quarters, "Crunch" sprinted home in a sizzling 25.2 under his own power to win by 4 or 5 lengths over Major March (Tim Tetrick) in 1:50.1 with Zeron motionless in the sulky. The Captaintreacherous colt won more than $600,000 at two for owners 3 Brothers Stable, Christina Takter, Rojan Stable and Caviart Farms who plucked him from the Standardbred Horse Sales (SHS) for the bargain price of $85,000. Walnridge Farm and Sherri Meirs are the breeders. The 2018 Doherty Memorial winner The Ice Dutchess (Yannick Gingras) returned to the racing wars today for Johansson and looked fantastic in her debut. Gingras sat in third with the filly as stable mate Can't Touch It (Zeron) rated even fractions while Speed Titan (Mattias Melander) ground up uncovered. As they trotted home, the rail opened and The Ice Dutchess bolted through to score an four length win moving away from her rivals unasked in a 26.1 close to the 1:54.4 mile. Speed Titan was second while Can't Touch This stayed on for third. The Muscle Hill lass was a $320,000 Standardbred Horse Sales (SHS) purchase by Canyon Wind Farm from breeders Stephen Dye and David Reid. She paid for herself as a 2-year-old and appears ready to add to that booty at age three. Six Pack is back! The Dan Patch award winner and fastest 3-year-old trotter in history by virtue of his KY Futurity win was awesome in his returning qualifier for Ake Svanstedt. The pair sat a pocket to an old rival in Fashionwoodchopper (Gingras) past the 1:28.3 six panels and roared by that rival when tipped out at that station to a 1:55.2 mile easily. The Muscle Mass 4-year-old is owned by Svanstedt in partnership with Little E; LLC, Knutsson Trotting, Stall Kalmer and I. Berg this season. Svanstedt also won with Galixton in 1:59 for himself, Little E and Joe Sbrocco. Kissin In The Sand may have looked better this week than last, if that's even possible. Zeron sat behind the early pace of Izzy Hanover through a 56.1 half, passed that rival and the three quarters in 1:24.3 with top pacing mare Caviart Ally (Andy McCarthy) following up and dropping in behind as they sprinted home in 25.3 for a 1:50.1 mile. Both mare had plenty left and were well ahead of the others. Marvin Katz and Bud Hatfield own the exciting Somebeachsomewhere 4-year-old returning divisional award winner and Nancy Johansson trains. Blood Money (Zeron) closed in 25.2 to run down Buddy Hill (Brian Sears) the mile in 1:52.2. Johansson trains last year's Matron Stakes winning homebred for Diamond Creek Racing. Johansson and Zeron capped their memorable afternoon with Thinkbig Dreambig zipping around the oval in 1:52.2, holding American History (McCarthy) at bay with a 26 flat final stanza while both were in hand. This imposing Bettor's Delight 4-year-old was a winner of multiple Grand Circuit stakes in 2018 including a division of the Tattersalls Pace in 1:48.2 for Brixton Medical, Fielding, Anderberg and Falk. Sharp Action Money (Gingras) won the last of the day's races, ending a 1:52.4 mile with a 25.3 final quarter for the Burke barn. Charted results may be found on the Meadowlands website. Nick Salvi

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Considering the talent level of the field he was facing, even harness racing driver Andy Miller must have been surprised at how easily his Sutton won his second straight Friday night feature at the Meadowlands, the $30,000 Preferred Handicap for trotters. After all, Sutton was taking on arch-rival Trolley, the only horse to defeat him (twice) this year. In addition, there was $2.7-million lifetime earner Pinkman to contend with, as well as Dover Downs shipper All Champy, who was looking for his third straight win, not to mention Sutton's stablemate, Top Flight Angel, who was second in last year's Breeders Crown. But there was Sutton, leaving the gate alertly before yielding the top to Pinkman at the quarter, and even though the track was unforgiving to speed all night long, Miller put the 6-year-old son of Donato Hanover-I Wanted Wings right back on the point at the three-eighths. After a sleepy :29.4 second quarter, Sutton was in full control as Trolley was the first to pull off the rail - from sixth - after the half. His attempt to beat Sutton - as well as everyone else's - would prove futile. Sutton raced on a clear lead around the far turn as Trolley picked up cover from longshot Sortie, but no one ever got close. Sutton trotted his final quarter in :26.3 and hit the wire in 1:53. It was 2¼ lengths back to Pinkman. Sortie was third while Trolley finished fourth. The winner, trained by Julie Miller, paid $4.20 to win as the even-money favorite and now has 13 wins from 40 lifetime starts and earnings of $557,288 for owners Andy Miller Stable and Jason and Douglas Allen. CAP4 REACHES NEW HEIGHTS: The fifth edition of the Can-Am Pick-4, which requires a bettor to select two winners at the Meadowlands and two more at Woodbine Mohawk Park, provided the wager's biggest pool yet, as a total of $65,333 was put in play. After a sequence that saw winner's odds of even-money, 8-1, 8-5 and 2-1, the return for the bet with the 20-Cent base was $87.17. The Meadowlands' Dave Brower and Woodbine's Jason Portuondo gave out winning selections to their followers. BIG HIT IN JSH5: One lucky patron wagering on the Meadowlands' signal into the Oregon hub went home with a huge smile on his or her face Friday night. In the 13th race 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five, 10-1 shot Knightofvictory held off 5-2 favorite Prince Of Minto after a stirring stretch duel and that player holding the only ticket with the winning combination of 6-8-1-10-3 cashed in for $68,059. A LITTLE MORE: Five drivers won two races on the program: Yannick Gingras, Dexter Dunn, Corey Callahan, Dave Miller and Andy Miller. ... Ron Burke had a training triple while Mark Harder scored twice. ... Tyler Buter found a late seam to win the ninth race with Parkin In Heaven, giving him 2,999 driving wins for his career. ... All-source handle totaled $2,717,504. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands will offer the first of a harness racing series of Open races for all gaits and sexes of older horses for a purse of $30,000 on Saturday, April 27.   These opens have been spaced throughout the Meadowlands season to provide a race when there is a gap in the stakes schedule. All four groups will have three or four legs with the purse increasing for each, to $35,000 for the second and $40,000 for the third of the races with the top performers eligible to a $60,000 final.   There is no nomination needed and there will be NO FEE for these races. The complete conditions are available on the next condition sheet. Questions should be directed to Scott Warren, Racing Secretary at (201) 842-5130.   Here is the schedule:   Open Pace (Golden Receiver) Saturday (April 27)-Purse $30,000 Saturday (May 11)-Purse $35,000 Friday (June 14)-Purse $40,000 Saturday (July 27)-Final-$60,000 (est.)   Open Trot (Mr. Muscleman) Saturday (April 27)-Purse $30,000 Saturday (May 18)-Purse $35,000 Friday (June 14)-Purse $40,000 Saturday (July 6)-Purse $40,000 Saturday (July 20)-Final-$60,000 (est.)   Open Mare Pace (Rainbow Blue) Saturday (April 27)-Purse $30,000 Saturday (May 18)-Purse $35,000 Friday (June 21)-Purse $40,000 Friday (June 28)-Final-$60,000 (est.)   Open Mare Trot (Bee A Magician) Saturday (April 27)-Purse $30,000 Friday (May 31)-Purse $35,000 Friday (June 28)-Purse $40,000 Saturday (July 27)-Final-$60,000 (est.)   Nick Salvi      

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Meadowlands has always been known as a place where bettors can play against harness racing favorites with confidence and those who are anti-chalk must have loved wagering at the Big M last weekend (April 12-13), as 23-of-26 post-time choices went down to defeat during the course of the two-card race week. After the odds-on favorite won the first race, the remainder of Saturday's card went chalk-free as race after race saw horses and drivers mixing it up through contentious first halves that were reached in an average time of :55.2, leading to anything but wire-to-wire winners. Shrewd handicappers who came up with one extraordinary winner - a 16-1 chance - in the 50-Cent Pick-5 cashed in for $1,048 on Saturday night, while 50-Cent Pick-4 players needed a 24-1 outsider in the leadoff spot followed by three straight 3-1 shots to hit for $1,328. At evening's end, total wagering stood at $3,025,740, the sixth time this year that betting at the industry's handle leader had exceeded the magic $3-million mark. Several wagers with average payouts that pleased their backers to no end last weekend included the Exacta ($88.57), Double ($127.04) and Pick-3 ($944.50). Friday night's special wager - the Can-Am Pick-4 - was again popular with players, who poured better than $55,00 into the pot. After a formful sequence saw three 5-2s and one 4-1 shot win, those who cashed put $158.76 in their pockets for the 20-Cent base bet that requires one to pick a pair of winners at the Big M and two more at Toronto's Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Can-Am Pick-4 is offered every Friday evening, and free program pages for the CAP4 - as well as the Big M's Pick-4 - are available at and It's been quite some time since there's been a single-ticket winner in either of the Big M's 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Fives, so when racing resumes Friday, the fifth race will offer a carryover of $79,350, while Race 13 will begin with $59,504 up for grabs. Yannick Gingras led the driver's colony with six weekend wins while Dave Miller was next with five. Ron Burke was the top trainer with three victories. Live racing will take place this Friday and Saturday. Post time is 7:15 p.m. SLADER LOVES CAMWISER: Russell Slader of Nutley, NJ wagered $50 to win and place on 10-1 shot Camwiser in Saturday night's 13th race to catapult him to victory in the World Harness Handicapping Championship, presented by His final bankroll of $2,518 was best of 108 entries in the contest as Slader took home the top prize of $43,200. The total prize pool of $108,000 was the largest ever offered in the WHHC. The Meadowlands Racetrack would like to thank all WHHC sponsors, partner outlets and contest participants for a successful 2019 World Harness Handicapping Championship. 1 MILLION PENNY GIVEAWAY: On all live racing nights during April, make sure to try and win one or more of many prizes totaling $10,000 in the Big M's "1 Million Penny Giveaway". Guests may enter once per live race day. The month-long contest concludes Saturday (April 27). For complete information and a list of prizes, go to COUNTDOWN TO THE DERBY: The 145th running of the Kentucky Derby is two weeks from Saturday on May 4. Come on out to the Meadowlands and bet the entire Churchill Downs card, which gets underway at 10:30 a.m. (Big M gates open at 9:30 a.m.) Post time for the Kentucky Derby is 6:46 p.m. In the Gallery, there will be a special Derby Day lunch buffet for $39.95. Food service begins at 11:30 a.m. That evening in Pink restaurant, there will be a southern inspired buffet for $54.95 that begins at 5 p.m. Call 201-THE-BIGM for reservations. There will be a $100 Derby win wager contest with entries available at the Players Club Desk. Contestants must enter by 5 p.m. There will also be a $100 live win wager contest beginning at 6 p.m. with those entries available in the live harness program. It wouldn't be Derby Day without a hat contest for the ladies who come out to the Big M. Contestants can register from 2-4:45 p.m. at the Clubhouse Main Entrance. Judging will take place in front of the winner's circle at 5 p.m. There are five cash prizes up for grabs, ranging from $50 up to $500. Meadowlands Media Relations  

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is seeking local New Jersey charities interested in having a night at harness racing for a good cause in the first annual Charity Handicapping Contest, scheduled for Saturday, May 25, 2019. The Charity Handicapping Contest is a free handicapping contest open to 501C3 organizations. The Contest offers a $15,000 total donation/prize pool, with all ten charities receiving a donation. Prizes will be awarded as follows: 1st Place: $5,000, 2nd Place: $3,000, 3rd Place: $2,000, 4th Place: $1,500, 5th Place: $1,000, 6th-10th: $500. For the Charity Handicapping Contest, organizations will select one (1) horse in each of the 10 designated Meadowlands live races. The organizations will amass a mythical bankroll if their selection officially finishes first, second or third in the designated race. Official $2 WPS (Win, Place, Show) payoffs will be added to the mythical bankroll. Official race results will serve as the order of finish. The organization that accumulates the highest mythical bankroll is the winner. "We wanted to do something to give back to our community, and recognize these organizations that work tirelessly to help those in need," said Jason Settlemoir, COO and GM of Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. "We have seen the positive impact Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack has had with their Charity Cup and wanted to have a similar impact in our area." Participating organizations will also have the opportunity to make winner's circle presentations and be featured on the track's jumbotron. Interested not-for-profit organizations must apply to participate by emailing Rachel Ryan at by Friday, May 10th. The email must include: 1. Charity/Non-Profit Name 2. 501C3 letter 3. Charity/Non-Profit Mission 4. Website URL & Social Links 5. Charity Representative/s that will be onsite for the contest on May 25, 2019 If more than ten organizations apply, ten will be selected via a random drawing. Selected organizations will be notified by Tuesday, May 14th. For more details email Rachel Ryan at Rachel Ryan

Russell Slader of Nutley, NJ captured the $43,200 grand prize in the 2019 World Harness Handicapping Championship presented by on Saturday, April 13 at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. Slader finished the tournament with a $2,518 bankroll to top the field of 108 players from across North America who competed for $108,000 in prize money. Slader won his seat via the April 11th qualifier. This was the largest prize pool ever offered for the WHHC. The WHHC contest format required contestants to bet 10 races: eight Meadowlands races of their choice, plus one mandatory race each from Buffalo Raceway and the Meadowlands. Bets had to meet a $30 minimum, $100 maximum per race. Contestants could only bet one horse per race and wagers could either be win, place, show or a combination of the three. Slader cashed on five of his ten bets and steadily moved up the leader board through the night. He cashed on the mandatory sixth race from Buffalo for $96 with a $30 Win wager on #2 (Harry Hoo N) and again on the fifth race at the Meadowlands for $264 with $60 to Win on #8 (JK Parlay). His biggest score came from a $40 Win & Place wager on #3 (Sweet Rock) in the Meadowlands eighth race which put him in third place. Russell cashed on a $50 Win & Place wager on #9 (Prophet Blue Chip) in the Meadowlands twelfth race for $495 putting him in first place with a $1,763 bankroll with one race remaining. He solidified his win with a $855 score in race 13 with a $50 Win & Place wager on #10 (Camwiser). Slader finished with a final bankroll of $2,518, taking home the $43,200 grand prize. Jim Videtic, the 2018 WHHC champion, was leading for the majority of the contest and held both second and third place (he bought in for 2 spots) with two races remaining. Videtic cashed for $1,150 in race 13 on a $100 to Win on Camwiser to finish in second place. His second entry held on for seventh place with $1,270 in bankroll. The 2018 champ walked away with $23,760 in total prize money. sponsored the 2019 World Harness Handicapping Championship and held weekly online qualifiers throughout 2019. In addition to and the Meadowlands, the following partner outlets sent players to compete in the 2019 WHHC: Buffalo Raceway, Vernon Downs, Tioga Downs, Standardbred Canada, Hawthorne, Rosecroft and TVG/Betfair. The Meadowlands Racetrack would like to thank all WHHC sponsors, partner outlets and contest participants for a successful 2019 World Harness Handicapping Championship. Top Ten Finishers: Finish Prize $ Bankroll First Last City State Qualifier/Buy 1 $43,200 $2,518 Russell Slader Nutley NJ DerbyWars 2 $21,600 $2,420 Jim Videtic Willowick OH Buy-In 3 $16,200 $1,735.15 Arch Glenn Columbus OH Buy-In 4 $10,800 $1,619.50 Rocco DiBello Richmond, Ontario Canada DerbyWars 5 $5,400 $1,496 Tim Platt Little Falls NJ Meadowlands 6 $2,160 $1,302 Scott Hall Herkimer NY Buy-In 7 $2,160 $1,270 Jim Videtic Willowick OH Buy-In 8 $2,160 $1,232 Matt Minger New Lenox IL DerbyWars 9 $2,160 $1,191 Nick Montemurro Bogota NJ DerbyWars 10 $2,160 $1,030.20 Todd Cross Seaman OH Rosecroft   Rachel Ryan Marketing Manager, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment P: 201.842.5015 |  M: 201.218.9061 | 1 Racetrack Drive, East Rutherford, NJ 07073

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Dover Downs shipper Highalator rose to the top of the horse colony at the Meadowlands by putting together a pair of dominant wins, but his quest for a third straight score was thwarted by another Dover invader in the Big M's Saturday night harness racing  feature, the $30,000 Preferred for pacers. Sweet Rock, a Wayne Givens trainee who shipped in from Delaware off a pair of hard-fought wins, got a perfect ground-saving trip and pulled off a 24-1 upset, and in the process, became the fastest performer in the sport this year when he stopped the clock in 1:48.1. The script played out differently than expected as a group of leavers left 4-5 favorite Highalator four-wide into the first turn. Driver Richard Still opted to take back and sit a three-hole to the quarter as Sunfire Blue Chip hit the first split in :26. Another Dover invader, Bags To Riches, had designs on the lead, but Sunfire Blue Chip was not in a yielding frame of mind and parked that foe to the half in :53. At three-quarters, Bags To Riches started to back out of it as the pocket-sitting New Talent took second. Highalator was now second-over and swung three wide around a struggling Bags To Riches while Sweet Rock and driver Dexter Dunn sat in the three-hole. After hitting three-quarters in 1:21.1, Sunfire Blue Chip was done for the night. Highalator was in full flight on the outside while Sweet Rock was closing along the pylons after New Talent had angled off the rail. In deep stretch, it would be Sweet Rock, the eighth choice in the nine-horse field, grabbing the lead and holding off Highalator - who went a huge mile - by a half-length. New Talent held third. Sweet Rock, an 8-year-old gelded son of Rocknroll Hanover-Penny For Nickel, returned $51.00 to his appreciative backers while lowering his previous lifetime-best by one-and-one-fifth seconds. For his career, he now has 31 wins from 169 starts and earnings of $719,106 for owners Legacy Racing of Delaware, Reginald Hazzard II and Gary Calloway. BETTING REACHES $3 MILLION: Players who don't care for favorites bet with both hands all night long, as no post-time choices hit the winner's circle after 3-5 chance Abigail Dawn took the first race. All-source wagering exceeded the magic $3-million mark for the sixth time this year, as $3,025,740 was pushed through the windows during the 13-race card. A LITTLE MORE: Dunn, Yannick Gingras and Dave Miller all drove three winners on the program while Chris Ryder had a training double. ... Blood Line made his seasonal debut a winning one, gunning down 2-5 shot Wheels On Fire in the second race high-range conditioned pace. Wheels On Fire had won two weeks ago in 1:49.1, at the time the fastest Big M mile of the year. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. as the fifth edition of the Can-Am Pick-4 will take center stage.   By Dave Little Meadowlands Media Relations

East Rutherford, NJ – Many of the sport’s stars assembled at The Meadowlands for qualifiers on an overcast, windless Saturday morning over a track that may have been slightly dulled by overnight rains with the temperature at 10am in the mid 60’s. The card began with the Grand Circuit stakes winning Father Patrick filly Special Honor (Andy Miller) closing through the stretch to edge mile cutter Fate Smiled (Matt Kakaley) in 1:54.4 / 27.2. Can’t Touch It (Scott Zeron) held safe for third and Goldsmith Maid winner Sonnet Grace (Yannick Gingras) fourth in a conservative effort. Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld bred and own the winner, trained by Julie Miller. Hall of Fame trainer Linda Toscano has a sharp looking prospect in the 3-year-old Muscle Hill colt Guaranteed (Tim Tetrick) who won his second qualifier in as many tries this morning by closing furiously under no urging into a 27.2 end of a 1:54.4 mile to nip Halliama (Trond Smedshammer) and Summit In Sight (A. Miller). The winner, unraced at two, was a $125,000 Lexington Select Yearling Sale (LSYS) purchase by Michael and William Pozefsky and Myron Eckstein from breeders Tommy B. Andersson and Courant AB. Matter Of Fact (Marcus Melander) who led throughout and the closing French Café (A. Miller) went under the wire together in 1:55.4 / 28.1 in race three with the latter prevailing by a nose. Golden Tricks (Ake Svanstedt) was third. French Café is another daughter of Father Patrick, a Katz & Libfeld homebred again stabled in the Julie Miller barn. Miss Trixton scored for Melander from just off the pace in 1:55.3 / 27.4 over Trix Are For Kids (Corey Callahan). The winner is a Trixton filly from million dollar winner Possess The Magic, a $105,000 LSYS purchase for the Order By Stable from breeder Hanover Shoe Farm. Last year’s International Trot winner Cruzado Dela Noche (Mattias Melander) was sharp in his 2019 bow leading all the way and trotting a 26.3 final quarter to hold off Top Flight Angel (A. Miller) in 1:53.3. Yes Mickey completed the three horse field. All three of these top trotters are eligible to the May 4 Cutler Memorial, the first major stake of the 2019 Meadowlands season. World record holder Ice Attraction (Andy McCarthy) is back for another season versus the top mare trotters and got her year underway with a front stepping 1:55.4 / 27.4 effort under her own power. Muscle M Up (Sarah Svanstedt) outmuscled EL Platinum and her husband Ake for the place with a nice stretch move. All three are trained in the Svanstedt barn and Ake owns the winner with Sipple, Burroughs and Little E. Dan Patch award winning 2-year-old pacing filly Warrawee Ubeaut (Gingras) got her sophomore season off to a great start as the fastest freshman in harness racing history by virtue of her 1:48.3 Red Mile win last fall scored from second over in 1:53.2 with her final quarter in the 26 second range. Stonebridge Soul (Dexter Dunn) went well to be second with She’s Allright (Kakaley) third. Warrawee Ubeaut is from the first crop of Sweet Lou and was a $70,000 LSYS buy Burke, Collura, Silva, Purnell & Libby and Weaver & Bruscemi from breeder Warrawee Farm. Yannick and Burke came right back with the good American Ideal soph filly pacer St Somewhere for a 1:53.4 / 27.2 decision over stablemate Sylph Hanover (Kakaley) and Fool Me Again (Dave Miller) who closed with good pace for third. St Somehwere shares her ownership group with Warrawee Ubeaut who bought her from breeder Crawford Farms in Lexington for $55,000. Kissin In The Sand was absolutely vicious in her return this morning, loping along through even fractions before dragging Scott Zeron home in 26.3 for a 1:51.2 mile. The Dan Patch 3-year-old filly pace champ won by open lengths over her nemesis from last season Youaremycandygirl (Gingras) who was reserved early and not asked by the driver. Kissin In The Sand is trained by Nancy Johansson for Marvin Katz and Bud Hatfield. Captain Victorious (A. Miller) closed to a 1:52.1 / 26 win for the Millers, besting Caviart Rockland (Zeron) and Sugar Factory (D. Miller) in a race where all six looked good. The $40,000 (LSYS) White Birch Farm product races for Andy Miller Stable, Goehlen and Huffman. Love Me Some Lou (D. Miller) was a 1:52.2 / 26.4 winner for the Cancelliere brothers Tom (trainer) and John (owner). The Sweet Lou $95,000 LSYS buy sat just off the pace and roared by when asked. Blood Money (Zeron) and De Los Cielos Deo (Gingras) were next across the line. Spring Haven Farm bred the winner. The twelfth and final qualifier was easily the best race of the Meadowlands season to date, pari-mutuel or not and Filibuster Hanover (Gingras) emerged from the packet to go by the front running Delta Winner (D. Miller) in a 26.2 end to a 1:51.1 mile. The winner races out of the Ron Burke barn. Results and eventually race replays are available on The Meadowlands website. Live racing tonight at 7:15 with the World Harness Handicapping Championship taking place in the building. Walk-up registrations will be available until 7 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 201.842.5015 or go to this link.   Nick Salvi

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Rollwithpapajoe rebounded in a big way from a sub-par seasonal debut a week ago to win a division of the Wiggle It Jiggleit Series for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the pace at the Meadowlands Friday night. The Jenn Bongiorno trainee, a tough-trip fifth-place finisher on April 5, came back with a strong mile as Dave Miller moved the son of Roll With Joe-Crazy On You off the rail from fifth at the three-eighths and made steady progress past the half and onto the far turn, trailing leader - and 6-5 favorite - Actor Hanover by just a head at three-quarters. Through the stretch, Rollwithpapajoe drew clear over a sloppy track as heavy rains fell. Rollwithpapajoe, who paid $6.80 as the second choice in the wagering, hit the wire 1¾ lengths in front of Prince Of Tides in 1:51.3. Sugartown was third. "That's the performance from Papajoe that I was waiting for him to show everyone," said Bongiorno. "This horse has serious speed and ability. Last week, the problem was they walked to the half. Tonight, he showed that he loves his job and wants to win." The first of three Wiggle It Jiggleit divisions went to 6-1 chance Rockme Rollme ($14.00) for driver Marcus Miller and trainer Nik Drennan. Miller dove to the inside in deep stretch to nip even-money favorite Dealer's Table at the wire by the smallest of noses in 1:50.4 as Dealer's Table saw his four-race win streak come to an end. Stone Hanover was third. The third and final Wiggle It Jiggleit division went to JK Captain Jack for driver Josert Fonseca and trainer Nancy Johansson. The winner went first over for a little more than the final half-mile to score by a half-length over Bring The Thunder. Goldberg, the 3-5 favorite, settled for third. JK Captain Jack paid $13.20 as the second choice in the wagering after completing the mile in 1:52. The third and final leg of the Wiggle It Jiggleit takes place April 19. The April 26 final will offer a purse of $58,500. A LITTLE MORE: The fourth edition of the Can-Am Pick-4 saw a total pool of $55,610, and after a sequence saw winner's odds of 5-2, 5-2, 4-1 and 5-2, the return for the wager with the 20-Cent base bet was $158.76. ... The Meadowlands' 50-Cent Pick-4 took in $95,127 in wagers and those who had horses that went off at 2-1, 4-5, 5-2 and 5-2 walked away with $107.50. ... Yannick Gingras drove three winners to up his meet-leading total to 78. ... The fifth race 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, upping the carryover to $78,108. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,400,551. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little Meadowlands Media Relations

Dinner and a show takes on a musical note with two tribute nights at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment’s Pink Restaurant.  The tribute nights kick off on Friday, May 10 with Blues Brothers & Neil Diamond.  A night of great songs, awesome dance moves and high energy is what makes “HATS AND SHADES” the most exciting Blues Brothers tribute in the USA. And as a special bonus, Bob McArthur, well known as a Neil Diamond impersonator, will kick things off rockin’ crowd favorites that are sure to leave you singing and dancing all night.   Then on Friday, July 19th impersonator, Jesse Posa takes the stage as Mr. Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra.  Jesse Posa is one of the leading Frank Sinatra impersonators in the country and has appeared at numerous corporate events and private affairs. He has performed as “Frank Sinatra” on stage at Radio City Music Hall, in the Off-Broadway production of “Sinatra & Friends” and at BB King’s in Times Square NYC in “Party with the Rat Pack”. Each tribute night buffet is $39.95 excluding tax & gratuity.  The buffet begins at 5:30pm with the musical entertainment taking the stage at 8:30pm.  “After the success of our Elvis Night in Pink Restaurant, we knew we had to add more dinner and show nights,” said Jason Settlemoir, COO & GM of Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment.  “We are always looking to give our fans some additional entertainment while here and these tribute bands are a perfect complement to our races.” The always popular themed night buffets return to Pink Restaurant on May 3 and are $29.95, excluding tax & gratuity.  Every buffet features appetizers, soup, main courses, side dishes and dessert.  The themed buffet schedule is as follows: Friday, May 3: Southern-Inspired Buffet: Comforting Southern favorites just in time for Kentucky Derby Day Friday, May 31: BBQ & Grill Favorites – Enjoy great grill favorites including pulled pork sliders, grilled Cajun cod, hangar steak and more Friday, June 14: All American Night – Enjoy some American classics including hamburgers and hot dogs, baked beans, mac & cheese June 28: Holy Guacamole Mexican Night: Enjoy our make your own taco bar, chili con queso, chicken & beef chimichangas, freshly made pico de gallo and home-made tres leche cake July 12: A Taste of Italy: Enjoy a tour of Italy featuring assorted antipasti, fried calamari, home-made manicotti, pork chop Murphy, chicken cacciatore & parmigiana and plenty of Italian desserts July 26: Seafood D’light: Kick off Seafood Fest with some summer seafood favorites including steamed clams & mussels, seafood salad and fresh shrimp Don’t forget about the “Eat & Earn” VIP card promotion for Friday night diners.  Guests that dine in Pink Friday nights five times will get 50% off their 6th buffet.  Guests that have dined at 11 Friday buffets will get their 12th buffet for free.  Diners will receive a rewards card on their first visit to a Friday night buffet.   On non-themed or music nights, the Pink Friday buffet remains $29.95 and $39.95 on Saturdays. Live harness racing post time is 7:15 p.m. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling (201) THE-BIGM.   Rachel Ryan

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