Thursday, June 16, 2022

The Meadowlands makes it return to live television this Saturday (June 18) night, when Fox Sports 2 shows its third installment of “America’s Day at the Races” in which the TV departments at the New York Racing Association and The Big M will pool their resources to bring racing fans the action from Churchill Downs and The Meadowlands.

The telecast takes place from 9-11:30 p.m.

“All of us at The Meadowlands are excited to have our product shown to what is normally a Thoroughbred audience,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “And, hopefully, after seeing our product, some fans will be interested in giving our game a chance. We appreciate the opportunity to have our races on FS2 and are grateful to be working with such a top-flight TV outfit, like the one at the NYRA.”

The Meadowlands races shown will be the eighth (at 9:16 p.m.), ninth (9:44 p.m.), 10th (10:06 p.m.), 11th (10:33 p.m.), 12th (11:00 p.m.) and 13th (11:18 p.m.).

Saturday’s live presentation merely marks the halfway point for The Meadowlands’ TV exposure. The following two shows will be on July 9 (from 8-11 p.m.), which will feature eliminations for The Meadowlands Pace, and July 16 (8-11 p.m.), when the $700,000 (est.) Pace Final will be in the spotlight.

The sixth and final show will be on Aug. 6 (from 6-7 p.m.) when The Meadowlands’ Championship Meeting concludes with the 97th edition of the $1 million Hambletonian. That show will be telecast as part of NYRA’s “Saratoga Live”.

IT’S JUST SO GRAND: With July 4 just a little over two weeks away, Grand Circuit harness racing is now starting to ramp up.

This Saturday, simulcast patrons will be watching the Woodbine Mohawk Park races with great interest, as the $1-million North America Cup is the marquee event on a gigantic night of racing when the first of 13 races kick off at 6:30 p.m. The North America Cup has a post time of 10:48 p.m.

Also on the card is the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup, $251,000 Goodtimes, $401,000 Fan Hanover, $211,000 Armbro Flight and $315,000 Roses Are Red.

In addition, WMP will offer a wager with a potential monster final pool, as the High-5 will have a mandatory payout after starting out with a carryover of $548,692. The estimated final pool is $2 million, and patrons can watch and wager on the race shortly after the last Meadowlands race of the night.

The Meadowlands will take a lap around the Grand Circuit on Friday (June 17) when 2-year-old pacing fillies go at it in the Tompkins-Geers for a purse of $47,975. Stop The Show is the likely favorite from the Ron Burke barn.

Also on Friday, The Big M’s sister track, Vernon Downs, will host a pair of $187,500 divisions of the Empire Breeders Classic for 3-year-olds on the trot, one for colts and geldings and the other for fillies.

The EBC dashes will go as races five and seven, respectively, on a nine-race card that begins at 12:15 p.m.

Seasoned racing fans know that if it’s North America Cup time, it’s getting close to some of the biggest race cards in the sport, when The Big M steps into the spotlight.

The first of two huge programs take place on July 16 when the $700,000 (est.) Meadowlands Pace tops the “Biggest Night in Harness Racing.”

Then, two weeks later, the lone day card of the 90-program calendar year kicks off at noon when the $1 million Hambletonian serves as the feature on August 6.

PICK-6 CARRYOVER: There were no winning tickets sold in the 20-cent Pick-6 last Saturday, setting up a carryover of $5,731.20 for Friday’s card. For free past performances of every race of every Big M program, go to The Pick-6 is offered on races eight through 13 nightly.

LAST SATURDAY: Racing fans packed the house at The Big M last Saturday (June 11) for some great racing, simulcasting and promotions.

Thoroughbred fans were treated to the 154th edition of The Belmont Stakes, which was taken by Mo Donegal after a thrilling stretch run. Then, alongside a competitive live program at night was one of the track’s most popular promotions, the Wiener Dog Derby.

THIS WEEKEND: On Friday, The Meadowlands will host the third edition of the “Sportscasters Charity Derby”.

There will be two charity races with four sportscasters participating in each race in a one-mile race driving in a jog cart. All eight of the sportscasters will have a $1,000 donation made to their selected charity wherever they finish, and, in addition, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will donate $5,000 to each of the two winning sportscasters selected charities.

“We are very excited to be hosting the Sportscasters’ Charity Derby,” said Big M Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gural. “We are equally excited that so many of the top sportscasters who live in the New York-New Jersey Metro area will be participating in this fun and exciting event.”

For a list of the sportscasters who will be participating and complete information, go to

On Saturday, a total of $3,000 in prize money is up for grabs in The Big M’s popular “Burger Battle”. The event is from 5-11 p.m. in The Backyard.

To participate or to just taste some great burgers, get complete information by going to

GET UP EARLY: Week two of “Breakfast with the Babies” takes place Saturday morning. Post time for the first of 20 races is 9 a.m.

Mike Bozich, the voice of Harrah’s Philadelphia, will serve as the announcer for the races on the morning card, then, that evening, will sit alongside Dave Brower on the Sam McKee Memorial Broadcast Set and serve as the co-host on the track’s live simulcast presentation.

For those who would like to watch the baby races live, they are available on (Racetrack Television Network) or on The Big M’s web page at

WINE IS FINE: On Saturday, June 25, come out to The Meadowlands for the “Summer Wine Festival”.

The event is rain or shine. General admission tickets get you four hours of tasting (from 5:30-9:30 p.m.). Those with VIP tickets get to go in one hour earlier.

For complete information and ticket pricing, go to

THE BIG M APPRECIATES YOU: On Saturday, July 2, on-track patrons will be treated to special pricing on concessions on “Fan Appreciation Night”.

After enjoying the lower-priced food and beer, fans are then invited to stay after the races to enjoy a fabulous fireworks display.

WHHC QUALIFIER: There will be $2,500 in prize money as well as a seat in the World Harness Handicapping Championship Final at The Meadowlands on Sept. 10 at stake in a WHHC Qualifier that takes place at The Big M on Thursday, July 7, when there will be a live racing program.

The entry fee is only $100, and for all the information you need to get involved, go to

A HALF-DOZEN CHANCES: The Meadowlands offers its faithful six opportunities nightly to make a score by betting into pools with a low 15 percent takeout as well as low minimum base bets. Here is a list of those wagers, and when they are offered:

  • Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5
  • Race 3:20-cent Survivor Pick-7
  • Race 6: 50-cent Early Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
  • Race 8:20-cent Pick-6
  • Race 10: 50-cent Late Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
  • Race 13:10-cent Pentafecta/Hi-5

GET ON TWITTER: 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 Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Edison Hatter (@Edison_1999_).

BROWER, OTTEN ARE MASTERFUL: Brower and Otten were the winners last Friday and Saturday, respectively, of The Big M’s “Battle of the Masterminds” handicapping contest, where some lucky fan can walk away with $10,000.

On-track patrons can enter every racing night, selecting the handicapper they think will win that night’s edition of the tournament. If that handicapper wins and that patron’s name is drawn from the entry box, they win a $200 betting voucher plus a $50 gas gift card.

That patron is then also entered into the grand prize drawing, which takes place on Hambletonian Day, August 6.

HORSE PLAY: Patrons attending the races at The Meadowlands can participate in “Horseplay” for a chance to win a 2022 Toyota Corolla.

The contest takes place every live racing night through Friday, August 5. Participants will attempt to throw a numbered horse into the window of a moving car. Of those that land inside the vehicle, one winner will be chosen at random and will receive a $100 betting voucher.

Each night’s winner will be entered into the grand prize drawing, which will take place on August 5. Guests can pick up a free horse to toss at the Players Club Desk or the Horseplay table in front of the winner’s circle.

There is a bonus for the kids who are at the track. The youngsters who help pick up the horses left on the track will receive a free ice cream.

For every horse that makes it into the Horseplay car, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will donate $5 to a designated monthly charity. May’s charity was Act Now Foundation, June’s is Bluemont Sanctuary and the July/August recipient is Allaire Community Farm. An additional $5 for every horse that makes it into the car will also be donated to the Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Program.

LIVE RACING SCHEDULE: Racing at The Big M is conducted on a Friday-Saturday basis and has a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m. In addition, there is live racing on Thursday, June 30, and Thursday, July 7.

The track’s live “Racing from The Meadowlands” pregame show kicks off nightly at 5:47 p.m.

WARRIORS, COME OUT AND PLAY: Game 6 of the NBA Finals takes place Thursday (June 16) night, and the best place to watch and wager on the hoops action is inside The Meadowlands at the No. 1 facility of its type, the FanDuel Sportsbook.

Tipoff is at 9 p.m. and the Boston Celtics are a 3½-point home-court favorite who are -166 on the money line. The under/over is 210.

The Golden State Warriors have a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series and can take home the championship with a victory.

In Major League Baseball on Thursday, the New York Mets host the Milwaukee Brewers in a 7:10 p.m. start. The Mets are -130 to win the game. The under/over is 8.

The New York Yankees take their six-game winning streak and major league-best 46-16 record into a 7:05 p.m. game with the visiting Tampa Bay Rays. The Bronx Bombers are -250 to up their streak to seven while the game has an under/over of 7½.

For up-to-date lines on any sporting event go to

The sportsbook is open for business Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Friday 10 a.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday 7 a.m.-2 a.m. and Sunday 8 a.m.-12 a.m.