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


Thursday, April 25, 2024

Meadowlands management is never afraid to make changes when they think they’re warranted. With the 20-cent Pick-8 not quite creating the level of expected excitement since its inception seven months ago, The Big M has decided to discontinue the wager while adding a second 20-cent Pick-5 to its popular low-takeout laundry list of multi-leg puzzles.

“The wagering public speaks every day and every night,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “They are the barometer for what works and what doesn’t. The Pick-8, despite seeing a total pool of $150,000 earlier this meet, did not make the cut as we head toward the Championship Meet, which begins the first weekend of May. The Late Pick-5 will be another popular low-takeout wager, making our all-star wagering lineup even stronger.”

The Meadowlands will continue to have eight nightly wagers 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. The new lineup of those wagers:

  • 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: 20-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: 20-cent Pentafecta (Hi-5)

“The Meadowlands has always known that responding to the horseplayer and providing them big pools along with value has to be part of a successful business model,” said Settlemoir. “Stating that, the evolution of The Big M wagering menu through the years is nothing short of incredible. There was a time when there was only one trifecta on a program, and the daily double was the only multi-leg wager on the card. The evolution continues this Friday, as the Meadowlands will roll out a Late Pick-5 that starts on the eighth race every night.”

The numbers say that adding a Pick-5 is a good idea, as thus far during April, the six Pick-5s – one per race card for six race cards – have taken in a total of $447,426, an average of $74,571 per card.

Placing a Pick-5 later in the action will give bettors who join in wagering at The Meadowlands during the middle portion of the program an opportunity to participate in what’s a very popular bet at the mile oval.

“Just like the Early Pick-5,” said Settlemoir. “The new Late Pick-5 will have a 20-cent minimum and a 40-percent takeout reduction from the past, down to 15 percent. To accommodate our new arrival, the wagering menu will be shuffled, with the end result being one of the most exciting and low-takeout-oriented wagering menus in all of racing.”

Live racing takes place this Friday (April 26) and Saturday (April 27) with a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m.

SURVIVE THE SUMMER: The Meadowlands Summer Survival Challenge, powered by 123Racing, kicks off 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.

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.

However, to continue in the game, entrants have to “survive” by finishing in-the-money (first through third) with at least one of their selections each day. Failing to do so or not making selections knocks the player out of the game. To aid in the player’s survival, a “lucky horseshoe” is given. The lucky horseshoe is a “free pass” given to all Challenge participants that allows the player to survive if he does not make selections for a race card or if all three of his selections fail to hit the board.

What the players are shooting for:

The grand prize is $750 plus a Breeders Crown Night at the Races package

The second-place prize is $500 plus Meadowlands swag

The third-place prize is $250 plus Meadowlands swag

Most Winners selected: $200 plus Meadowlands swag

Highest monthly bankroll (May, June, July): $100 plus Meadowlands swag

The free contest is open to legal residents of the United States and Canada who are 18 years of age or older, and all selections must be made through the format provided on the Survival Challenge website page (go here.) No selections will be accepted by phone, fax, e-mail or any other means. TrackMaster Platinum past performances for the three designated races will be provided through the game board.

The deadline for selections each day is 30 minutes before the 6:20 p.m. post time for the first race; 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3. After 30 minutes to post, all selections are final.

To login or to register as a first-time player, go here.

TRES DE MAYO: On Friday, May 3, mark the start of the track’s Championship Meet by enjoying Tres de Mayo, a themed buffet in Pink and Trotters featuring empanadas, guacamole, carne asada with chimichurri, tacos, cilantro white rice and beans, and more.

The cost of $49.95 per person excludes tax and gratuity.

To see the full menu, and to make reservations, go here.

HORSEPLAY GIVEAWAY: When you come to The Meadowlands, you could make a score at the windows. Starting on Friday, May 3, you can 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.

FUSION PAIRING DINNER: The Meadowlands is known for some exciting dining options, and another one of those takes place on Saturday (April 27), when a fusion pairing dinner will be offered.

The five-course Nikkei cuisine dinner, which consists of Peruvian ingredients prepared by chefs using Japanese techniques, will have each course paired with a carefully selected Peruvian or Japanese beer.

The cost of $69.95 per person does not include tax and gratuity, and is available to those who are 21-years-old or older.

To get a look at the menu, and to make reservations, go here.

LAUGH A LOT: The Meadowlands has plenty of great entertainment, and a great show is in store for those who come out on Saturday (April 27) for Comedy Night.

The evening will be headlined by Bonnie McFarlane of Comedy Central, HBO, The Tonight Show, and Last Comic Standing.

For a complete listing of comedians who will be appearing, and to buy tickets, go here.

DERBY DAY JUST ONE WEEK AWAY: One of the biggest days – if not the biggest – in the horse racing industry during any calendar year is fast approaching.

The Kentucky Derby is known as “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports,” and if you would like to be a part of horse racing’s biggest event, head to The Meadowlands on Saturday, May 4, and spend the day at the best place to watch and wager on the 150th “Run for the Roses.”

On Derby Day, doors open at 9 a.m. with the first race at Churchill Downs slated to go at 10:30 a.m. Post time for The Derby is scheduled for 6:57 p.m. and will be shown to a national television audience on NBC Sports.

Guaranteed Derby Day dining includes the Café and second-floor Lounge.

Café reservations (must be prepaid):

  • $100 per four-person table
  • Waiter service
  • Guarantees track admittance and seating

Ticket-purchase price is also a food credit that can be used at the Café on Derby Day towards racetrack staples like chicken wings, french fries, cheesesteaks, burgers, pretzels, popcorn, ice cream and more. The credit is valid on Derby Day only.

Lounge reservations (must be prepaid):

  • $50 bar seat
  • $100 two-person table
  • $200 four-person table
  • $150 three-person couch
  • $500 four-person couch
  • Waiter service
  • Guarantees track admittance and seating

Ticket-purchase price is also a beverage and food credit to be used at the Victory Bar and kitchen on Derby Day towards delicious fare, including burgers, nachos, salads, sandwiches and more. The credit is valid on Derby Day only.

Derby Day Pink Buffet Menu – $64.95 per person (plus tax and tip)

  • Doors open at 4 p.m.; buffet begins at 4:30 p.m.

Derby Day Hat Contest:

  • $1,000 in total prize money
  • Register between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the Clubhouse Lobby
  • Judging will take place in the winner’s circle at approximately 5 p.m.

Prize breakdown: 1st place: $500; 2nd place: $250; 3rd place: $100; 4th place: $50; Fanciest: $100.

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

HAVE A BEER ON DERBY DAY: On Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 4, The Meadowlands will host its annual Beer Fest.

Though over sixty breweries and cideries are participating, the fifteen participating New Jersey breweries are a true festival highlight.

The event will be held in the Backyard and on the East Apron and will open to the public at 4 p.m. for VIP admission. General admission begins at 5 p.m. and is available in advance for $45 or at the door for $50. The VIP ticket is $65 and includes an additional hour of sampling, exclusive VIP Tent beer samplings, and food.

For complete information, and to purchase tickets, go here.

UFC 301 ON DERBY DAY: On Saturday, May 4, The Big M’s FanDuel Sportsbook – as well as The Gallery – will now doubt be buzzing when UFC 301 is presented live from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. There are five bouts on the main card, which get underway at 10 p.m.

The main event pits Steve Erceg against Alexandre Pantoja for Pantoja’s flyweight championship belt.

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).

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, the No. 1 facility of its type in North America, is something Meadowlands fans are well aware of. After all, it’s located inside the grandstand at the mile oval.

With numerous huge-screen TVs, plenty of comfortable seating and food and drink options, serious sports bettors know that the book at the track is the place to be.

Local fans are fired up watching and wagering on the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League playoffs.

In the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals, the New York Knicks travel down the N.J. Turnpike to take on their arch rivals, the Philadelphia 76ers, on Thursday (April 25) at 7:30 p.m.

The Sixers, trailing two games to none in the best-of-seven series, are a 5-point favorite who are -225 on the money line in the game that has an under/over of 204 points.

The New York Rangers lead the Washington Capitals in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal best of seven two games to none, with Game 3 slated for Friday (April 26) at 7 p.m. in our nation’s capital.

The Rangers are a -178 favorite (+146 laying a goal-and-a-half) in the game that has an under/over of 5½ goals.

Looking to dig out of an 0-2 hole in their series, the New York Islanders will host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday at 7:40 p.m. on Long Island. The Hurricanes, the +490 favorite to win The Stanley Cup, are a -170 favorite (+158 laying a goal-and-a-half) in the game that has an under/over of 5½.

In Major League Baseball, the New York Mets have Thursday off, but the New York Yankees will be in action at Yankee Stadium, taking on the Oakland A’s at 7:06 p.m. The Bronx Bombers are a -255 favorite in the game that has an under/over of 8 runs.

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.