Handicappers to go for pot of gold at Big MMay 25, 2023,
East Rutherford, NJ – There’s one surefire way to lure more people to the track: offer a big cash prize for something everybody thinks they’re good at.
A total of $10,000 will be up for grabs on Saturday (June 10), when The Meadowlands offers a free-to-enter handicapping contest for those 18 years of age and older.
The contest details:
• Limit one entry per person
• On the day of the contest, players must check in and register at the Players Club Desk by 6:30 p.m. and complete the “official contest” form prior to race two
• No live money will be wagered into the pari-mutuel pools
• Each contestant will receive a $10 betting voucher and a free live racing program
• Each participant will make a mythical $2 across-the-board wager on Big M races two through 11
• Contestants must make their selections for races two through 10 prior to the second race on the official contest entry form and then turn them in to contest officials
• If a horse is scratched, contestant receives the post-time favorite
• If the track cancels the race card, the contest is canceled
• The winner will be determined by the highest total mythical bankroll at the conclusion of the 11th race at The Meadowlands
• In the event of a tie, payouts for the placings will be combined and divided
• The payouts: 1st-$2,500; 2nd-$2,000; 3rd-$1,250; 4th-$1,000; 5th-$750; 6th through 10th-$500
“With The Belmont Stakes taking place that day,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “We are expecting a big crowd in our simulcast area, so we should be able to create some buzz for the contest since the race at Belmont is slated to go at 6:50 p.m., which is 20 minutes after the deadline for entries for the handicapping contest. Hopefully, for us, that creates customers who spend both day and night with us.”
TRIPLE THE FUN: Business at The Meadowlands tends to boom in the evenings after a Triple Crown race.
Earlier this month, betting was brisk on Kentucky Derby Day, as that evening’s live harness card saw $3.6 million bet on the races. Preakness Day last week saw vigorous wagering as well, as $3.5 million was put in play.
Whether there’s a Triple Crown race or not, Saturdays have seen big action all season long. In fact, this year there have been 19 cards contested at The Big M on Saturday nights (excluding the one card that was not raced to completion due to bad weather), and each one has seen betting top the $3-million mark.
A MEMORIAL WEEKEND: This Memorial Day Weekend, live racing will be conducted on the normal Friday and Saturday schedule. The first of 13 races both nights will get underway at 6:20 p.m.
Saturday’s card sports co-features that have a Garden State flavor, as there will be a pair of $240,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes finals for 3-year-old pacers.
In the filly split, Two Pistol Annie, victorious in both leg one and leg two of the series, is the one to beat.
Voukefalas, an easy winner of both preliminary legs, will look for the sweep in the division for colts and geldings as he continues his season, which has a handful of Grand Circuit stops on the schedule, including the $700,000 (est.) Meadowlands Pace on July 15.
MORE NATIONAL EXPOSURE: Last weekend, The Big M joined forces with the TV team at the New York Racing Association (NYRA) to present live harness racing to a national television audience on both Friday and Saturday on the networks of Fox Sports.
This week, it was determined that the two TV entities would add a show to the current lineup. On Saturday, June 17, live racing from both Churchill Downs and The Meadowlands will be seen on either Fox Sports 1 (FS1) or Fox Sports 2 (FS2) from 6-9:15 p.m.
Big M TV’s Jessica Otten will provide the harness commentary.
The remaining schedule for when Meadowlands’ races will be shown on either FS1 or FS2 is as follows (with highlighted races, when applicable):
• Saturday, June 17 (6-9:15 p.m.)
• Saturday, July 1 (9-11 p.m.; Crawford Farms and Six Pack FFA Trots, Dave Brower Memorial and Perfect Sting FFA Paces)
• Saturday, July 8 (9-11 p.m.; Meadowlands Pace eliminations, Graduate finals)
• Saturday, July 15 (10 p.m.-midnight; Meadowlands Pace, William Haughton Memorial, Hambletonian Maturity plus other stakes for total purses of $2.5 million)
• Saturday, Aug. 5 (1-5 p.m. and 6-7 p.m.; Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks plus other stakes for total purses of $3.5 million)
• Friday, Sept. 8 (9-11 p.m.; New Jersey Classic Series finals)
“Our partnership with the New York Racing Association continues to be one that all of us at The Meadowlands appreciate,” said Settlemoir. “Bringing the live action from historic Churchill Downs to harness fans and Meadowlands races to those who like Thoroughbred racing is the way to create customers who will go on to be fans of both sports. The Fox Sports shows are a great way to accomplish that goal.”
VENERATE VICTORIOUS IN CUTLER: Venerate made his first start of the season a winning one, as the 5-year-old son of Love You-Peaceful Kemp, pulled off a minor surprise in the $155,200 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for free for all trotters last Saturday.
The winner’s new connections plunked down $410,000 last fall to purchase the Marcus Melander trainee, who became harness racing’s newest millionaire after stopping the clock in a lifetime-best 1:50.1. For winning driver Brian Sears, it was his seventh Cutler victory.
As the 7-2 third choice in the betting, Venerate paid $9.60 to win as 7-5 favorite It’s Academic was second. 2022 Trotter of the Year Bella Bellini – the 5-2 second choice – was fifth.
DON’T PAY: Free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available by going to playmeadowlands.com.
TWEET US: Everything Meadowlands is available by going on Twitter. You can check in with the Big M team for early changes, racing information and staff selections by going to @themeadowlands or #playbigm.
On race nights, stay in touch with The Big M team of Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Edison Hatter (@Edison_1999_) and Gabe Prewitt (@gabe_prewitt).
THE SENSATIONAL SEVEN: These are the seven wagers The Big M offers nightly to the bettor that offer both a low minimum wager as well as a low 15 percent takeout. In addition, the two Pick-4s offer a guaranteed pool of $50,000.
• Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5
• Race 3: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7
• Race 6: Early 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
• Race 7: Early 10-cent Hi-5
• Race 8: 20-cent Pick-6
• Race 10: Late 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
• Race 13: Late 10-cent Hi-5
PICK-4 BOMB DROPS: On Saturday’s card, thanks to a 43-1 shot and a 14-1 chance in the middle of the segment, the Early 50-cent Pick-4 returned a robust $40,394.30.
WIENER TAKES ALL: Come on out to the track on Saturday, June 3, and cheer on your favorite pooch in the 5th annual running of The Big M’s Wiener Dog Derby.
The event is free to attend but the fun is priceless.
The wiener dog races begin at 6:45 p.m.
For those interested in registering for the event, go to 2023 Meadowlands Racetrack Weiner Dog Derby Registration (cognitoforms.com), or, for more information, email Rachel Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GET YOUR SPORTS ACTION: The No. 1 harness track in North America is also home to the No. 1 sports betting facility of its type as well, as located inside the grandstand at The Big M is the FanDuel Sportsbook.
On Thursday (May 25) in Major League Baseball, both local teams will be in action.
The Baltimore Orioles head to the Bronx for a 7:05 p.m. game with the Yankees.
The Yanks are -132 on the money line in the game that has an under/over of 9 runs.
The Mets travel to the Windy City for a 7:40 p.m. start with the Chicago Cubs. The Amazin’s are +100 on the money line while the under/over is 8.
Whatever the sport, for the latest odds, go to https://www.fanduel.com/sportsbook-meadowlands.
The FanDuel Sportsbook is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-1 a.m.; and Sunday 8 a.m.-midnight. For cash-at-counter customers, the hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-11 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-11 p.m. The Lounge opens at noon on Sundays.