National star Karl in NJSS spotlight at Big M

East Rutherford, NJ — Two weeks ago, a national television audience was introduced to Karl, the current early favorite to capture the 99th edition of the $1 million Hambletonian on Saturday (Aug. 3) at The Meadowlands.

On Friday (May 31), Big M fans will be able to head to the track and see the colt trotting sensation look for his third victory in as many seasonal tries as he goes for a three-race sweep of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 3-year-old males in the event’s $240,000 final.

There is also a $240,000 final for sophomore filly trotters on the card.

Karl has had no problems while beating his foes by a cumulative 10-3/4 lengths in his first two outings of the year. USTA/Ken Weingartner photo.

Karl has had no problems while beating his foes by a cumulative 10-3/4 lengths in his first two outings of the year. In both starts, he paid $2.10 to win after trotting his miles in 1:53.2 and 1:52.2, respectively.

“He’s doing great,” said Karl’s trainer, Nancy Takter, the unanimous choice for Dan Patch Trainer of the Year in 2020. “I trained him (Tuesday) and he was super. He’s a very happy horse.

“He’s got a little bit of a break until late June (after the Sire Stakes). We will only race at The Meadowlands until the Hambletonian. I may have to qualify him, but we’ll play that by ear.”

The son of Tactical Landing-Avalicious will be going after his 12th win from 13 lifetime starts Friday night. A victory would lift his lifetime earnings to $1,191,977.

The fields for the two $240,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes finals for 3-year-olds at The Meadowlands Friday night, along with the entire undercard, can be found at this link.

“Karl certainly is the one to beat this weekend when The Meadowlands presents the New Jersey Sire Stakes,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “The entire nation got to meet the leggy sophomore two weeks ago when he dominated his division rivals on America’s Day at The Races, which was shown on FOX Sports 2. And all of harness racing will be watching him as Hambletonian Day draws ever closer.”

Speaking of America’s Day at The Races, which is produced by the TV crew at the New York Racing Association (NYRA), a coast-to-coast television audience will watch Standardbred racing’s greatest stars compete throughout the Championship Meet at The Meadowlands on the networks of FOX Sports.

Here is the schedule for the remaining eight Big M FOX Sports broadcasts with the marquee event that will be shown.

Where not listed, specific networks — Fox, FS1 or FS2 — will be determined:

July 6: Graduate finals/Meadowlands Pace eliminations, 8-11 p.m. (FS2)
July 13: Meadowlands Pace final, 8-11 p.m. (TBD)
Aug. 3: Hambletonian, 1-7 p.m. (TBD)
Oct. 18: Breeders Crown eliminations, 1-6 p.m. (TBD)
Oct. 19: Breeders Crown eliminations, 8-11 p.m. (TBD)
Oct. 25: Breeders Crown finals, 8-11 p.m. (TBD)
Oct. 26: Breeders Crown finals, 8-11 p.m. (TBD)
Nov. 30: Fall Final Four, 8-11 p.m. (TBD)

The Sked: Live racing takes place every Friday and Saturday at The Meadowlands with a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m.

The Big M’s live “Racing from The Meadowlands” pregame show begins every live racing night at 5:45 p.m. with The Big M TV “A”-team of Dave Little and Jessica Otten providing news, notes and selections from the Sam McKee Memorial Broadcast Set.

Who’s Calling The Races? With Ken Warkentin away on holiday, Gabe Prewitt of The Red Mile will be calling the races on both Friday and Saturday night.

Talking Heads To Tangle: The Meadowlands’ fifth annual Sportscasters Charity Derby takes place on Friday (May 31) and features two harness races to benefit charitable organizations selected by area sportscasters.

Each sportscaster will be teamed up with a Meadowlands driver in a jog cart and will compete against other sportscasters in a field of four in a one-mile race.

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will donate $5,000 to each of the two winning sportscasters’ selected charities, and, in addition, will also make a $1,000 donation to each charity selected by each sportscaster.

More information is available here.

Pick A Wiener: The sixth annual running of the Meadowlands Racetrack Wiener Dog Derby takes place on Saturday (June 1).

This event is free to attend.

More information is available here.

Would You Like To Win A Car? When you come to The Meadowlands, you can make a score at the windows. But now, you could also walk away with a brand new 2024 Toyota Camry LE AWD by participating in the track’s HorsePlay Giveaway, which takes place every race day until Friday (Aug. 2).

The HorsePlay Giveaway is sponsored by Purple Haze Stables.

For complete information, and to enter this extremely popular promotion, go here.

“The Meadowlands is a great summer place, a beautiful safe and secure venue where you can relax, have fun and be entertained while enjoying live racing every Friday and Saturday,” said Settlemoir.

Survival Update: The Meadowlands Summer Survival Challenge, powered by 123Racing, kicked off on Friday (May 3). Cash prizes and Meadowlands swag are up for grabs in this free online contest.

The game covers the Meadowlands Championship Meet and will conclude on Saturday (Aug. 3).

Currently, Ryebread64 leads the way in the Challenge with $273.00, followed by Boonners Stable ($264.50) and ishman17 ($260.80).

As for most winners, there is a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard, as Ryebread64, yankee22 and Boonners Stable have 12 apiece.

The winner is determined by the highest total bankroll at the end of the Challenge based on a $2 “across-the-board” wager (win, place and show) on selections for three designated races on each program.

For further information, go here.

A Great Cause: Ten local New Jersey charitable organizations were selected to compete in the Meadowlands Charity Handicapping Contest last Saturday (May 25).

The contest offered a $15,000 total donation/prize pool, with every charity receiving a donation. Prizes were awarded as follows: 1st Place: $5,000, 2nd Place: $3,000, 3rd Place: $2,000, 4th Place: $1,500, 5th Place: $1,000, 6th-10th: $500.

The top five finishers were Pacing for the Cure ($78.80), ACT Now Foundation ($54.50), North Jersey Friendship House ($50.10), Special Strides ($49.60) and Fighting H.A.R.D. Foundation ($46.30).

All who attended the races on behalf of the charities had a night of fun, and all 10 charities had their checks given to them while getting their pictures taken in the winner’s circle.

Free Programs Every Night: Past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available free of charge. All one has to do is go to to access the information.

“X” Marks The Spot: Everything Meadowlands is available by going on X (formerly known as Twitter). You can check in with the Big M team for early changes, racing information and staff selections by going to @themeadowlands or #playbigm.

Stay in touch with The Big M team of Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Little (@DaveLittleBigM) and Warkentin (@kenvoiceover).

Rallis’ Race Reviews: For some help with your handicapping, check out the race reviews of The Big M’s morning-line oddsmaker and program analyst John Rallis.

Rallis’ reviews are available 48 hours before a given card, and all one has to do to access the information is go to, go to the “handicapping” tab, then click “race reviews.”

The Great Eight: The Meadowlands’ appetizing betting menu got a little tastier several weeks ago with the addition of a second 20-cent Pick-5, to join the pair of 50-cent Pick-4s already on the bill of fare.

There are eight wagers nightly that offer a chance for players to make a big hit while betting into big pools that offer a low takeout of just 15 percent. Here is the lineup:

Races 1-5: Early 20-cent Pick-5
Races 2-8: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 (mandatory payout nightly)
Races 4-9: 20-cent Pick-6
Races 6-9: Early 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
Race 7: 10-cent Pentafecta (Hi-5)
Races 8-12: Late 20-cent Pick-5
Races 10-13: Late 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
Race 11: 10-cent Pentafecta (Hi-5)

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