Sensational Saturday stakes card awaits at Big M

East Rutherford, NJ — The Meadowlands has a gigantic weekend of racing in store for harness racing aficionados with a pair of 14-race extravaganzas that get underway at 6:20 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Saturday’s card has seven stakes events, a $35,000 Preferred for pacers and two overnight events in which a total of seven Meadowlands Pace-eligible horses will compete, including winter-book Pace favorite Perfect Sting. Total purses distributed on the night total more than $550,000.

The most interesting action at the windows could prove to be the Saturday night 20-cent Pick-5 — which kicks off in the first race — where every leg is a stakes event.

The first four legs of the wager will feature 2-year-olds, so shrewd handicappers who have been watching recently conducted 2-year-old races figure to have an edge. There will be a pair of Geers Stakes divisions on the pace for colts and geldings and two splits of the Arthur Tompkins Memorial for trotters, one for males and one for females.

The Pick-5’s “payoff” leg is a $50,000 Graduate Series dash for 4-year-old Open trotters (leg three) featuring Hypnotic AM, who is off a 1:50.3 score, and It’s Academic, who will look to stay perfect in three Graduate starts.

The Meadowlands’ signature wager, the $50,000 guaranteed Early Pick-4, is next up after the Pick-5 concludes, and will include the $50,000 Kissin In The Sand Final (filly and mare Open pace), a $30,000 overnight (for 3-year-old male pacers) that will see a half-dozen Meadowlands Pace-eligible horses go to the gate, a $50,000 Open for 3-year-old fillies on the pace (where Test Of Faith will take on Blue Diamond Eyes) and a $75,000 division of the Graduate Series for pacers (leg four) with an overflow field of 12 certain to interest Pick-4 players seeking a big score, regardless of their bankroll size.

The Late Pick-4 begins in race 10 with a $50,000 Graduate dash for 4-year-old Open trotters (leg three) where Beads, the fastest trotting performer in harness racing this year by virtue of his 1:50.2 clocking on May 22 at The Big M (he also qualified in 1:50.2 eight days before that at the mile oval) takes on 2020 Hambletonian winner Ramona Hill, who will be making her seasonal debut.

Perfect Sting will take on older foes in his second start of the season in race 11 as he preps for The Pace while Backstreet Shadow, off a superb 1:48 score a week ago, will look for a repeat in the Preferred Handicap in race 12.

The Pick-4 action has been on a roll for some time now, as the last 18 times the bet has been offered, the pool has exceeded $100,000.

“This is a wonderful Championship Meet card that showcases The Meadowlands Racetrack. You will be seeing many of the stars on Saturday night that will be prominent in major stakes races throughout the summer,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “These are many of the equine stars that will headline our two biggest programs of the summer meet, Meadowlands Pace Night (on July 17) and Hambletonian Day (Aug. 7).”

Free! Free! Free! Free programs for every race of every Meadowlands card are available to the public, and all one has to do to access them is go to

Get Tweeting: 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).

Six Chances To Hit Big: Here are the six popular Meadowlands’ wagers that offer a low 15 percent takeout on a nightly basis:

Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5
Race 3: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7
Race 6: 50-cent Pick-4
Race 8: 20-cent Pick-6
Race 10: 50-cent Pick-4
Race 13: 10-cent Hi-5/Pentafecta

Brower’s Best Bets: 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.

Check Out Dave And Dave: Big M TV’s live “Racing from The Meadowlands” pre-game show, which provides news, notes, features, staff selections and a look at that evening’s marquee races, gets underway at 5:47 p.m.

The team of Brower and Little will be on set for both programs this weekend.

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

Friday Fabulous At Vernon: Vernon Downs will host three divisions of the Empire Breeders Classic Friday night with purses totaling more than $400,000. On hand to drive the 3-year-old trotters will be some of the better-known pilots from The Meadowlands, including Andy McCarthy, Brian Sears, Andy Miller, Scott Zeron, David Miller, Mark MacDonald, Corey Callahan, Yannick Gingras and Ake Svanstedt. Post time at Vernon is 6:10 p.m. and players can watch and wager at The Big M, which has one of the best simulcast facilities anywhere.

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