Thursday, November 16, 2023

Fresh off a second consecutive $3-million Saturday, wagering at The Meadowlands is starting to gather momentum, just in time for this Friday’s (Nov. 17) program, which will offer not one, but two carryovers certain to tempt and titillate punters with all-sized bankrolls. Post time for the first race is 6:20 p.m.

“The small base bet that these wagers have,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir, “create an environment where players – whether they are small bettors or someone who bets thousands on a card – all have a shot at making a big score.”

The first carryover that patrons will be shooting for will be in the fourth race when $3,432 will be the starting point in the 20-cent Pick-8. Four races later are when the fireworks figure to explode, when $18,334 will be the starting point for the 20-cent Pick-6.

The mathematics show why these types of circumstances are extremely appealing to players. Take the Pick-6, for example. In the event there is $100,000 in “new money” wagered on Friday, $15,000 would go back to the track in the form of the low 15 percent takeout, leaving $85,000. Then, when the $18,334 carryover is added – that money is not subject to the takeout – the pool would be in excess of $103,000, meaning players would be participating in a wager with a “negative takeout”, which, simply put, means the total paid to winning tickets will be more than what is wagered.

“Carryovers are what many of our players look forward to,” said Settlemoir. “They appreciate the chance to go for a windfall and we appreciate them for the support they give us at the windows. Our horsemen provide enough horses to create the big fields that players crave, and our racing office does a great job of putting together ultra-competitive programs.”

Last weekend backs that up. Over the course of the 28 races conducted Nov. 10-11, only six favorites visited the winner’s circle (21 percent). There were nine races where the favorite was odds-on (less than even-money). Four of those were winners (44 percent), leaving just two winning favorites over the other 19 dashes (10.5 percent).

After what figures to be a fabulous Friday at the windows, Meadowlands’ management will be hoping for more 24 hours later, on what they hope will be a third straight Saturday to see betting better the $3-million barrier.

The card has much appeal.

Of the 14 races, six are eliminations for the “Fall Final Four” for 2-year-olds: Two for the Goldsmith Maid (filly trot), two for the Governor’s Cup (colt and gelding pace), and one each for the Three Diamonds (filly pace) and Valley Victory (colt and gelding trot).

Those eliminations will finalize which horses get behind the gate for those four finals as well as the four FanDuel Championship events on what will be one of the biggest nights of the harness racing calendar year on Saturday, Nov. 25, when The Big M’s stakes season closes out with a big bang.

In total, the eight races that night will go for estimated purses of $2.5 million.

One of the one-mile contests will be of extra-special interest to harness fans when the fastest 3-year-old in history will presumably take on the top two 4-year-olds in training in the FanDuel Pace.

Confederate, the Meadowlands Pace champion whose 1:46.1 clocking at the Red Mile made him the fastest sophomore pacer ever could take on Breeders Crown winner Bythemissal (a winner of four straight) and Tattoo Artist (a winner of seven straight until Bythemissal beat hm in the Crown).

Confederate seeks to become the first 3-year-old pacer to ever win the FanDuel Pace.

In addition to the four Fall Final Four events and the FanDuel Pace, are the FanDuel Trot, FanDuel Mare Pace and FanDuel Mare Trot.

PROLIFIC PICK-5 PAYOFFS: Last week, the two 20-cent Pick-5s that were offered didn’t even need carryovers to be a hit with bettors, not to mention those had winning tickets.

Last Friday and Saturday, a total of just over $108,000 was poured into the two Pick-5 pots, and the healthy returns were $3,519 and $5,711, respectively.

DID YOU SAY FREE? Free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available by going to

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

“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”.

THE SKED: The Meadowlands will race every Friday and Saturday through the end of the year, with two exceptions.

There will be no live racing on Friday, Nov. 24, while there will be live action on Thursday, Dec. 7.

Post time for every program is 6:20 p.m.

CALLING ALL GIANTS FANS: Longtime New York Daily News football columnist Gary Myers will be at The Meadowlands on Sunday (Nov. 19) signing copies of his book in the second floor Gallery from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Myers, the author of “Once a Giant: A Story of Victory, Tragedy and Life After Football” will be in the house signing books and talking football. Fans can ask questions, get autographs and purchase the book. There will also be drawings for Giants swag.

Joining Myers will be Lee Rouson, Leonard Marshall, Sean Landeta and Ottis Anderson, all of whom won Super Bowl titles as members of the Giants.

For complete information, go Here

A TRIBUTE TO THE BOSS: On Saturday, Dec. 2, come out to The Big M and check out the The BStreet Band.

Trackside doors open at 6 p.m. and the band plays from 7-9 p.m.

The BStreetBand puts on a fantastic tribute to the one and only Bruce Springsteen and this show is not to be missed.

For complete information, go here

KEEP LAUGHING: Chase away the winter blues with a night of laughter on “Winter Comedy Night” on Friday, Dec. 8.

Head to the newly designed Gallery for two hours of hilarious standup. There will be table service – with a full bar – available.

The event will be hosted by Rory Lutz of Last Stop Comedy, and Travis Przybylski, who has appeared on AppleTV+, Netflix and Hulu.

For complete information go here

TIOGA RELIEF: The terrible fire that took the lives of so many horses at Tioga Downs also took the livelihoods of horsemen who compete at the five-eighths-mile oval.

“In the aftermath of what happened, all of us at The Meadowlands and Tioga want to thank all of the good people for their extraordinary response in this time of need,” said Settlemoir. “The response to the Gofundme page has been extraordinary and I ask everyone in the harness game to donate what they can to this effort. There is no donation too small as we try to help these horsemen rebuild their lives.”

If you’d like to donate, go here

FOOTBALL IN FANDUEL: The FanDuel Sportsbook is the No. 1 sports wagering facility of its type in North America, and it’s located inside the grandstand at The Meadowlands.

Week 11 of the NFL season finds both the New York Jets and New York Giants in action on Sunday (Oct. 19).

The Giants travel to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Commanders in a 1 p.m. kickoff. The Giants are a 9½-point underdog who are +340 on the money line in the game that has an under/over of 36½ points.

The Jets are in Buffalo for a 4:25 p.m. tilt with the Bills. New York is a 7-point underdog who are +260 on the money line in the game that has an under/over of 40.

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

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. 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. The Lounge opens at noon on Sundays.