Concert @ MetLife Stadium 5/17 & 5/18. Please allow for extra travel time.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

The Meadowlands’ biggest stakes races of 2024 will again be televised live on the networks of FOX Sports thanks to a partnership with the television department at The New York Racing Association (NYRA) as part of its “America’s Day at the Races” broadcasts.

“Working with a first-class TV team like the one at the NYRA has been something beneficial to The Meadowlands and all of harness racing,” said Meadowlands’ Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “We feel that showing our biggest races to a national audience is something we are convinced is making Thoroughbred fans into harness fans, and that’s something that’s good for both industries.”

There will be nine shows from The Meadowlands during the course of the year, and only two of them (as of now) will include coverage of Thoroughbred racing (Aug. 3 and Oct. 18). Jessica Otten of Big M TV and Gabe Prewitt of the Red Mile will be back as the on-camera talent onsite, joining Acacia Clement and Paul Verderosa of the NYRA, who will be in the studio. Additional broadcasts from harness venues other than The Meadowlands will be added in the coming weeks.

Here is the tentative schedule for The Big M broadcasts with the marquee event that will be shown. Where not listed, specific networks – Fox, FS1 or FS2 – will be determined:

  • May 18: Cutler, 9-11 p.m. (FS2)
  • July 6: Graduate finals/Meadowlands Pace eliminations, 8-11 p.m. (FS2)
  • July 13: Meadowlands Pace final, 8-11 p.m. (TBD)
  • August 3: Hambletonian, 1-7 p.m. (TBD)
  • October 18: Breeders Crown eliminations, 1-6 p.m. (TBD)
  • October 19: Breeders Crown eliminations, 8-11 p.m. (TBD)
  • October 25: Breeders Crown finals, 8-11 p.m. (TBD)
  • October 26: Breeders Crown finals, 8-11 p.m. (TBD)
  • November 30: Fall Final Four, 8-11 p.m. (TBD)

“As America’s Day at the Races continues to grow and evolve, FOX Sports and NYRA are thrilled to continue our partnership with The Meadowlands in 2024,” said NYRA Sr. Director of TV Broadcast Operations Eric Donovan. “Jeff Gural and Jason Settlemoir have been instrumental in recognizing the importance of live national television coverage for harness racing and we look forward to presenting marquee events from The Meadowlands, including the 2024 Breeders Crown.”

NYRA and FOX Sports were honored by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) with the President’s Award as well as the Sam McKee Award for excellence in broadcasting. Both awards recognized overall commitment to the sport of harness racing in 2023, when America’s Day at the Races aired more than 70 hours of live coverage and analysis, including the Breeders Crown and Hambletonian.

A FLURRY OF ACTIVITY: The Meadowlands will be offering its usual array of possibilities for punters this weekend, which, of course, starts with live harness racing on Friday (April 5) and Saturday (April 6). Post time is 6:20 p.m. for both 14-race programs.

Extremely appealing to the bettor are the size of the betting pools at The Big M, which are the biggest in harness racing.

Last week, all-source handle totaled $3,520,145 on the Saturday (March 30) card. One night earlier, wagering was $3,445,558, meaning that during the 28-dash race week, $6,965,703 was pushed through the windows, leaving total action less than $35,000 short of $7 million.

EVERYBODY IN THE (PICK-4) POOL: Last Saturday, action on the track’s two 50-cent Pick-4s was vigorous as both pools exceeded $100,000. A total of $213,600 was put in play on the Big M’s most popular multi-leg bet, which begin on a nightly basis in races six and 10, respectively.

BETTING LIKE PROS: The evidence that the betting public likes wagering on Meadowlands Amateur Driving Club events was strong once again last weekend, as average action on the four events was in excess of $300,000.

Friday’s three races saw wagering of $308,865 (race one), $300,627 (race four) and $254,169 (race eight) before Saturday’s lone dash took in $344,073 (race one).

POWERHOUSE PAYOUTS: The Big M has a handful of multi-leg bets that are popular with players. One of the reasons they are is the possibility of making a score, as evidenced by last Friday’s $7,182 payout in the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 and Saturday’s $8,223 return in the 20-cent Pick-8 and $3,821 cash-in for the 20-cent Pick-6.

ROCKING THE CLOCK: On a windy night with temperatures in the mid-50s, the track was lightning-fast last Saturday. Need proof?

The 1:50 barrier was busted three times during the course of the card, with Red Right Hand’s 1:49.1 clocking representing the fastest mile of 2024 on the pace at The Big M.

Lexus Kody scored in 1:50 on the trot, to establish a track record for older trotting geldings. His effort was also the fastest trotting mile of the year not only at The Meadowlands, but the entire sport.

FINAL MAJOR PREPS: As the day draws closer to the Kentucky Derby, there are three major prep races remaining for horses to earn berths in the “Run for the Roses”, which, this year, has a record purse of $5 million. The 150th edition of The Kentucky Derby takes place at historic Churchill Downs on May 4.

Thoroughbred followers will be packed inside The Big M’s huge simulcast area on Saturday and will be watching and wagering on the $750,000 Wood Memorial (at Aqueduct, post time 4:07 p.m.), $1-million Bluegrass Stakes (Keeneland, 5:52 p.m.) and $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (Santa Anita, 7:30 p.m.).

MAKE A SCORE ON THE FOUR: This weekend marks the semifinals of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament, and hoops fans can watch and wager on the action in the FanDuel Sportsbook, which is located inside the grandstand at The Meadowlands.

The games take place on Saturday, with the opener tipping off at 6:09 p.m., when Purdue (-9½, -450 on the money line, under/over 146½) takes on North Carolina State.

In the late game, tournament favorite UConn (-11½, -780, 160½) takes on Alabama at 8:49 p.m.

The winners will play for the championship Monday (April 8) at 9:20 p.m.

DON’T FORGET THE LADIES: With Caitlyn Clark now a household name, women’s college basketball has seen a precipitous rise in popularity this season, especially in the aftermath of Clark’s 41-point performance that led her Iowa Hawkeyes to a win over arch-rival LSU Monday night.

The ladies’ NCAA semifinals take place Friday, with undefeated tournament favorite South Carolina (-11½, -1200, 139½) facing off with North Carolina State at 7 p.m. before Clark and Iowa (-2½, -154, 162½) take on UConn at 9:30 p.m.

The championship game is Sunday (April 7) at 3 p.m.

DINNER IN THE DARK: Would you like a unique dining experience?

Then head to The Meadowlands Saturday (April 6) night. If you forget your glasses, don’t fear, because if you go to the track’s Skyboxes, you’ll be treated to “Dinner in the Dark”, a dining experience where each course is first served blindfolded to completely surprise you and your tastebuds.

The cost is $69.95 per person (not including tax and gratuity) and includes a live racing program and $10 betting voucher.

Dinner consists of three courses (appetizer, main course and dessert), which are each paired with a glass of wine. Diners may select their choice of meat, vegan or seafood as their main course.

For complete information, and to make reservations, go here.

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 Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM) and Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover).

THE GREAT EIGHT: The Meadowlands provides eight opportunities for the player to make a score trying their luck betting in pools with a low 15 percent takeout. The lineup of The Big M’s “Great Eight” is as follows (all wagers – with the exception of the Pick-7 – are carryover eligible):

  • Race 1:20-cent Pick-5
  • Race 2:20-cent Survivor Pick-7
  • Race 4:20-cent Pick-8
  • Race 6:50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guarantee)
  • Race 7:20-cent High-5
  • Race 8:20-cent Pick-6
  • Race 10:50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guarantee)
  • Race 11:20-cent High-5

WITHERITE’S RACE REVIEWS: Race reviews and selections by The Meadowlands’ morning-line odds maker and program analyst James Witherite are available 48 hours before a given race card. To access, simply go to, go to the “handicapping” tab, then click “race reviews”.

FABULOUS FANDUEL: The FanDuel Sportsbook is the No. 1 facility of its type in North America, with big screen TVs, live and automated tellers, comfortable seating and many great food and drink options.

In addition to college basketball, watch and wager on games from the NBA, NHL and MLB.

Next week, golf watchers – and wagerers – will be in their glory as The Masters will take place starting Thursday, April 11.

UFC 300 is slated for Saturday, April 13, with the main event pitting Alex Pereira against Jamahal Hill in a light heavyweight title bout.

Whatever the sport, for the latest odds, go here.

The FanDuel Sportsbook is open Monday-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.; Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-11 p.m.