East Rutherford, NJ — On Dec. 27 of last year, one sharp Meadowlands player held the only ticket with the winning combination of 10-6-5-3-9 in the Early 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five and walked away with $23,262.20. Were someone to hit the Late JSH5 this Friday (Jan. 17) night, that payoff would look small by comparison.
The carryover for the wager that requires one to be the lone holder of a ticket with the top five in official order of finish now stands at $105,787.13. Thus, for a wager of two thin dimes, a player could cash in for more than $100,000 at the conclusion of Friday night’s 14th race.
For those looking for a 20-cent base bet that’s a tad easier to hit, the 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 is sure to please. Over the last four race cards at the Big M, the SP10 has returned no less than $3,526.86. The $5,022.74 payout on Jan. 10 was interesting because one only had to last five legs to collect. While a 21-1 shot did start the sequence, two of the other four winners went to the gate at 3-1 or less. The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 begins nightly in the third race.
Dexter’s Big Saturday: Dexter Dunn became the first driver since Yannick Gingras (Feb. 1, 2019) to win seven times on a Meadowlands program Saturday night. For the weekend (Jan. 10-11), the United States Harness Writers Association’s Driver of the Year won eight races in 27 starts, good for a win percentage of 29.6.
Corey Callahan and Marcus Miller also did well over the two days, scoring four times apiece.
The Big M’s big fields and competitive racing led to 26 different trainers winning last weekend, with only Trish Adams and Darren Cassar winning twice.
Cassar’s Effronte A — with Dunn driving — took advantage of unseasonably warm conditions, fast fractions and a perfect trip to post the fastest mile of the year in the sport when he stopped the clock in 1:48.3 Saturday night. In fact, that program saw the only four sub-1:50 North American miles of 2020.
Pick-4 Report: The Meadowlands’ signature wager — the 50-cent Pick-4 — did big business as usual last weekend, with total pools of $85,813 (Friday) and $82,539 (Saturday). Friday’s payoff of $226.75 was significant when you consider the last two legs of the wager were taken by 4-5 shots. Saturday’s return of $970.05 started with a 7-5 chalk and ended with the most challenging of the sequence at 12-1.
The wager has a low 15 percent takeout and a guaranteed pool of $50,000 and is featured nightly on the eighth race.
Friday night’s 50-cent Pick-5 returned a whopping $32,166.95 to one superb handicapper even though favorites won twice. The wager is offered every night on race one.
This Saturday will mark the second week of the Meadowlands and Woodbine Mohawk Park offering the popular Can-Am Pick-4, where players have to select two winners at each venue to cash. Those who hit a week ago cheered long and loud, as the bet with the 20-cent base returned $1,413.40.
Last weekend was the third straight where betting exceeded $5 million at the industry’s handle leader, as $2,773,142 was bet Friday and $2,594,301 on Saturday.
Free PPs: When it comes to the 50-cent Pick-4, the Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five and the 20-cent Can-Am Pick-4, if you want to play, but prefer not to pay for past performances, all you have to do is go to playmeadowlands.com or ustrotting.com where you can access them for free.
O’Malley Wins WHHC: Patrick O’Malley hit big in the 14th and final race to the tune of $2,120 after betting $50 across-the-board on Duckies Dynasty at 27-1 to take the 11th World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier, presented by DerbyWars.com, at the Big M Saturday night.
Completing the top four finishers — and also earning spots in the WHHC final on April 18 — were Bob DiPalma, George Wagner and Paul Weber.
Play Your Cards Right: On Jan. 17, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold’em on “Free Poker Friday,” hosted by World Free Poker.
The Forecast Is Chili: On Saturday (Jan. 25), the Big M hosts its annual “Chili Cook Off.”
The contest will offer its usual “Homestyle Chili” division, and this year, a “Chili Verde” contest has been added to the festivities. Both divisions offer a $1,000 Grand Prize plus a spot in the ICS World Championship.
In addition, there will also be a competition for the best salsa, which has a $500 prize.
For complete information and registration, go to https://chilicookoff.com/cookoffs/list.
Championship Sunday: The AFC and NFC Championship games take place this Sunday (Jan. 19), and football fans can watch and wager on the action at the Big M’s FanDuel Sportsbook.
The first game kicks off at 3:05 p.m. when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans in the AFC title tilt. At 6:40 p.m., the Green Bay Packers travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers to see who takes NFC honors.