East Rutherford, NJ — While handle throughout all of 2021 has been on the fast track at The Meadowlands, it reached warp speed again last weekend, as a total of $7 million was bet over the course of last Friday (April 9) and Saturday’s (April 10) race cards, the fourth time this year betting has busted that lofty barrier.
All-source wagering totaled $3,237,137 on Friday — the biggest Friday business this year — followed by a Saturday that saw $3,782,327 of action, for a total of $7,019,464.
There have been 29 programs conducted in 2021, and 20 of them have seen betting of at least $3 million. During all of 2020, the $3 million plateau was reached a total of 11 times.
Whether the winners paid big or small, the betting remained prolific. On Friday, there were but two winning favorites, while the next night saw a half-dozen public choices visit the winner’s circle. The Saturday night chalks did not make the average payouts of some of the more popular bets unappealing, however. The average win payout was $17.73 while the exactas averaged $114, trifectas $829 and Pick-3s $804. The biggest scores were to be made by hitting the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 ($7,625) and 20-cent Pick-5 ($3,083).
Not surprisingly, much of the action on Saturday’s card was over the top. Average play in the two 50-cent Pick-4s — the track’s signature bet — was $120,192. That number in the exacta, AKA Old Reliable, was $77,340.
Two wagers sporting carryovers took big play as well, as a $9,000 carryover led to a total pool of $73,124 in the 20-cent Pick-6 and a $32,000 carryover served as the catalyst for a total pool in the 10-cent Hi-5/Pentafecta of $116,192.
“The Big M has been on a great roll in 2021,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “The horseplayers have compelling races and an excellent wagering menu with huge pools to bet into. Those with the lower takeouts have been especially popular. The lower minimums and free programs have allowed more and more people to stay in the action all night long. Last weekend, The Meadowlands provided horseplayers around the world with many opportunities to make some nice scores.”
Countdown To Derby Day: The May 1 Kentucky Derby is just over two weeks 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 Kentucky 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 playmeadowlands.com.
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 playmeadowlands.com to get your no-cost past performances.
A Half-dozen Chances: The Big M offers players six chances every night to make a score, betting on the track’s popular wagers that offer a low 15 percent takeout. They are:
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
$100,000 Guaranteed: Every night, The Meadowlands guarantees big green on both editions of its signature wager, as each 50-cent Pick-4 sports a guaranteed pool of $50,000.
Check Out The Picks: For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to playmeadowlands.com 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, a look at that evening’s featured action and staff selections, gets underway at 5:47 p.m.
The Mad Hatter: Edison Hatter, the 21-year-old track announcer at Freehold Raceway, will be joining The Meadowlands TV team Friday night when he will be serving as analyst and handicapper on TVG for The Big M’s races.
On Saturday, Mike Bozich, the track announcer at Harrah’s Philadelphia who did a great job on the microphone last week filling in for Warkentin at The Big M, will be downstairs on set sitting alongside Brower as the co-host for the pre-game show and between-race segments during the card.