Day At The Track

Big M awesome in April

02:21 AM 23 Apr 2021 NZST
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Courtesy Of The Meadowlands Media Relations Department

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - While last weekend's (April 16-17) total wagering at The Meadowlands fell short of reaching the magic $7-million level that has already been surpassed four times this year, betting was still vigorous at $6.8 million, thanks in large part to The Big M's six nightly harness racing wagers that offer both big pools and a low 15 percent takeout.

"The 15 percent wagering menu has created more winners," said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "And horseplayers are certainly appreciative of our efforts at The Meadowlands to make the gambling part of the game better for the bettor."

The 20-cent Pick-5 - which gets underway each night in the opener - got last weekend off to a good start. Friday saw $100,831 in action - only the second time this year the pool reached six figures on a non-carryover or non-seed night - before Saturday's total of $97,013 completed the biggest weekend of Pick-5 action this year at $197,844. The pools might have been similar, but the payouts were far different. Friday's payoff was $33 while Saturday's return was a hefty $1,840.

The Big M's signature wager - the 50-cent Pick-4 - has been on a six-figure streak of late. Over the last five race cards, seven of the 10 times the Pick-4 has been offered $100,000 or more was in the pool at post time. Saturday's Late P4 saw the biggest pool of the year at $136,807 and shrewd players have cashed in for an average payoff of a solid $242 over the last two weeks despite winning horses going off at 3-1 or less 72 percent of the time.

The 20-cent Pick-6 has been a steady performer, as every pool during April - with one exception - has been no less than $13,061 and no more than $18,651. On April 10, a total of $73,124 was poured into the pot after a carryover of $9,019 drew players to the bet. The P6 payout on April 3 was $12,209 with only one double-digit winner (14-1) scoring during the sequence that included an even-money favorite and a 3-5 shot.

Like the Pick-6, another wager with a steady following is the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7, where action has ranged from $12,820 up to $17,346 during April. But unlike the Pick-6, the Pick-7 has delivered a big payoff every time thus far in April, with a high of $11,569 on the 9th and a low of $2,428 on the 17th. The payout on the 17th was especially appealing when you consider four post-time choices and a pair of 3-1 shots won the half-dozen dashes.

The last race of the night always offers an opportunity to "get out" with the 10-cent Hi-5/Pentafecta. A rare carryover led to a total pool of $116,745 on April 10, while the payout exceeded $1,200 on both April 2 and 16.

The number of nights where total handle has exceeded the $3-million mark continues to pile up. Out of 31 race cards this year, the $3-million plateau has been reached 22 times, including the last six cards in a row. Average handle during April is $3,393,875, good for a per race norm of $261,067.

COUNTDOWN TO DERBY DAY: The May 1 Kentucky Derby is just over one week away, and the place to watch and wager on the "Run for the Roses" is The Meadowlands, which has one of the best simulcast facilities anywhere.

Doors will open at 9 a.m. with the first race at Churchill Downs slated for 10:30 a.m. Post time for The Derby is 6:57 p.m.

There are many admission and dining options available at The Big M on Derby Day. For all the details, go to

GET SOCIAL: You can always check in with the team at The Meadowlands on Twitter.

For early changes, racing information and staff selections, go to @themeadowlands or #playbigm.

On race nights, stay in touch with the Big M's Dave Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1).

GET YOUR FREE PROGRAM: Need a program but don't want to spend any green?

The Big M has you covered, with free programs on every race of every race card. Just go to to get your no-cost past performances.

$100,000 GUARANTEED: Every night, The Meadowlands guarantees big green on both editions of its signature wager, as each 50-cent Pick-4 - which span races six through nine and 10 through 13 - sports a guaranteed pool of $50,000.

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

Brower's input is generally available 48 hours before every card.

THE SCHEDULE: Live racing continues every Friday and Saturday with a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m.

Big M TV's live "Racing from The Meadowlands" pre-game show, which provides news and notes, features, a look at that evening's featured action and staff selections, gets underway at 5:47 p.m.

THE MAD HATTER RETURNS: Edison Hatter, the 21-year-old track announcer at Freehold Raceway, will be back in the press box Friday night, serving as analyst and handicapper on TVG for The Big M's races for a second straight week.

On Saturday, Mike Bozich, the track announcer at Harrah's Philadelphia who did a great job on the microphone two weeks ago filling in for Warkentin at The Big M, will handle TVG duty. You can see Edison's and Mike's picks on the nights they work at

GET YOUR SPORTS ACTION: The Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook, the leading facility of its kind in the entire country, offers fans a chance to bet on MLB, the NBA, NHL, professional soccer and golf and much more.

For those who like to bet baseball and are New York Yankees fans whose favorite player is Aaron Judge, here are some of the betting opportunities they can take advantage of for Thursday's (April 22) game against the Cleveland Indians:

Yankees to win (-1½ runs, +168)

Yankees to win (money line, -106)

Judge to hit a HR (+350)

Judge to record one hit (-230)

Judge to record two hits (+270)

Judge to record three hits (+1400)

The sportsbook is open Sunday-Friday from 10 a.m.-midnight and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 a.m. The cash counter is open from 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

From The Meadowlands


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