Thursday, January 26, 2023

How many reasons are there to bet on racing at The Meadowlands?

Some might say there are three million.

Last weekend, wagering went past the $3-million mark on both Friday (Jan. 20) and Saturday (Jan. 21) nights, keeping the Big M’s streak alive of betting at least $3 million on a program.

When compared to a year ago, business is booming. During 2022, wagering did not top $3 million for the sixth time until April 2nd, the 23rd program of the year. This year, betting has topped $3 million on each of the first six night cards of the season.

“One of the reasons The Meadowlands averages over $3 million a night is simple math,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “Racing fans around the world know that The Meadowlands’ plethora of 15 percent takeout wagers puts a lot more money back in the pocket of the horseplayer. Over the course of a racing season, this could be the difference between winning and losing.”

“That was best illustrated by the (20-cent) Pick-6 carryover Saturday night. When The Meadowlands combines a wager that has a takeout reduced by 40 percent (the usual 25 vs. The Big M’s 15) with a carryover, it gives the player the perfect storm for investing, a statistical wagering advantage. Our wagering menu is built to give horseplayers bigger payouts and realistic chances to make scores, with low minimums allowing everyone – regardless of their bankroll size – the chance to play.”

Saturday’s double Pick-6 carryover was $22,246, which led players to bet $83,124 in “new money” for a grand total of $105,370.

Carryovers are never subject to the takeout, thus, after the 15 percent rake was removed from the new money, that left a grand total of $92,902 for winning players to divvy up, meaning that with a surplus of $9,778, the wager actually paid winners 111 percent, instead of the usual 85. Those who cashed walked away with $16,891.10.

When comparing Saturday’s 11 percent edge for the players against what is a normal 25 percent takeout at other venues, the payout difference is startling.

If the starting point is a $1,000 payout, at The Big M Saturday with the “negative takeout”, winning tickets would have been worth $1,111. In a circumstance where there is no carryover and a 25 percent rake, the return would be $750. That’s a 48 percent difference in return.

“The math proves it,” said Settlemoir. “It pays to play at The Big M. Competitive, full 10-horse fields that create the biggest pools in the sport, low takeouts and carryover opportunities. These considerations for the horseplayer are why all roads for the smart bettor point directly to East Rutherford, as they have since 1976. It’s the land of opportunity for the harness player.”


Last Friday, only three favorites hit victory lane, which brought smiles to the Meadowlands’ masses who love to “beat the chalk”. The result? Five of the six popular low 15 percent takeout wagers yielded big payouts.

The 20-cent Pick-5 ($2,322); Early 50-cent Pick-4 ($1,654); 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 ($3,645 for 5 out of 7); 20-cent Pick-6 ($2,092); and 10-cent Hi-5 ($1,508) all came back at least $1,500.

The Big M’s streak of $3-million nights is alive and well, but last week the track hosted the first of two consecutive Sunday afternoon programs, where $1,724,340 was bet on the 11-race card. A big number? Yes, if one takes into consideration that the least time the track raced on a non-Friday or Saturday, betting barely broke the $1-million plateau (on Thursday, Dec. 1). Thus, Sunday’s (Jan. 22) card marked an increase of 68 percent.

THE SCHEDULE: This week, live racing takes place Friday (post time, 6:20 p.m.), Saturday (post time, 6:20 p.m.) and Sunday (12:30 p.m.).

There will be a delicious brunch buffet in The Big M’s Pink Restaurant on Sunday. Pink will open at 11 a.m., and dining will start at 11:30 a.m.

Call 201-THE-BIGM for reservations.

For complete details and to get a look at the menu, go to

This week, the live “Racing from The Meadowlands” simulcast show will get underway at 5:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11:55 a.m. on Sunday.

Effective Feb. 3, racing will be conducted every Friday and Saturday through Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 5. The first race gets underway at 6:20 p.m. for every program except for Hambo Day, when post time is noon.

SAVE THE MONEY FOR WAGERING: As always, free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available by going to

This Friday night, on-track patrons can get a free Meadowlands program, beginning at 5 p.m.

WINNERS ON SET: The Big M TV team of Dave Little and Jessica Otten did some good work over the course of last weekend.

On Saturday night, Otten picked eight winners on top (for the second time in eight days), featuring the ice-cold Late Daily Double, which returned $77.80.

Little tabbed five on top on Sunday’s 11-race card, with only one of those winners going to the gate as the betting favorite.

LOW TAKEOUTS, $100K GUARANTEED: The Meadowlands offers plenty of value to the bettor with six wagers that offer low 15 percent takeouts, plus two that offer a guaranteed pool of $50,000 nightly.

They are (on a normal 14-race card):

  • Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5
  • Race 3: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7
  • Race 6: 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
  • Race 8: 20-cent Pick-6
  • Race 10: 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
  • Race 14: 10-cent Hi-5

HATTER’S RACE REVIEWS: Race reviews and selections by The Meadowlands’ morning-line odds maker and TV talent Hatter are available 48 hours before a given race card. To access this valuable information from one of the brightest young minds in the sport, simply go to, go to the “handicapping” tab, then click “race reviews”.

MADDEN AT THE BIG M: On Saturday (Jan. 28), check out “Madden at The Meadowlands”, as at 5 p.m. you’ll be able to see four top #Madden23 players compete for cash and other prizes.

Larry Ridley, the voice of Madden Football, will provide the play-by-play, and will be joined by former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker and Penn State Team Captain Brandon Bell on color commentary.

For complete information, go to

BRING YOUR SWEETHEART: Bring your significant other for a night out at the races during Valentine’s Day Weekend, Feb. 10-11.

There will be a special lavish dinner offered in Pink Restaurant, perfect for a couple’s night out, for just $49.95 per person. Diners will enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling champagne, and in addition, there will be a red rose for the ladies.

For reservations, call 201-THE-BIGM.

For complete information, go to

CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY AT FANDUEL: The NFL playoffs continue this Sunday (Jan. 29) with the final four teams competing for professional football’s championship, and there is no better place to watch and wager on the action than in the FanDuel Sportsbook, the No. 1 facility of its kind in America, which is located inside the grandstand at The Meadowlands.

Each game will be shown live in the book as well as the Lounge. There are numerous giant screen HD TVs, and there is table service available in the Lounge. During the games, enjoy $4 craft beer specials.

The Sunday action will begin at 12:30 p.m. with live harness racing, then continue with a pair of fantastic football games.

The NFC title tilt has the San Francisco 49ers traveling to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the Philadelphia Eagles in a 3 p.m. kickoff.

The Eagles are a 2½-point favorite in the game that has an under/over of 46½.

The AFC Championship has the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Cincinnati Bengals at 6:30 p.m.

The Chiefs are a 1-point favorite in the game that has an under/over of 47½.

Whatever the sport, for the latest odds, go to

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.