Thursday, September 8, 2022

The Meadowlands’ September ‘mini meet’ is now a tad smaller as tonight’s (Thursday, Sept. 8) race card was canceled late last week, but that will only serve to strengthen the programs that will take place this Friday (Sept. 9) and Saturday (Sept. 10). Post time is 6:20 p.m.

The New Jersey Classic Series, the brainchild of Big M President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gural, will be on display Friday. The “A” level final for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings sports a purse of $275,000 and stars Beal winner – and Hambletonian third-place finisher – Temporal Hanover, a Marcus Melander trainee who has hit the board in all eight of his 2022 starts, winning half.

In addition, the $275,000 NJCS “A” final for 3-year-old trotting fillies is on the card, and that race features Hambletonian Oaks champion Fashion Schooner, who’s won six-of-nine this season, including the $240,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes final.

Horses of a somewhat lower caliber still get to go for good green in the NJCS “B” level 3-year-old trotting events. The division for fillies and for colts and geldings will both go for a pot of $100,000.

Betting figures to be big at The Big M this weekend, with plenty of full competitive fields and 14 races both nights.

When this weekend’s action has concluded, racing at The Meadowlands will have one more week of live action (Sept. 16-17) before taking a six-week break. That’s when Monmouth will conduct thoroughbred turf racing over the Big M’s seven-eighths-mile grass course.

SIMULCAST HEAVEN: Last Saturday (Sept. 3), simulcast patrons were treated to the top two horses in training – one in harness racing and the other in the thoroughbred game – adding to resumes that were already out of this world.

Bulldog Hanover upped his winning streak to nine at Woodbine Mohawk Park after taking the Canadian Pacing Derby in 1:46.4, a time that equaled the track and Canadian record.

During his win streak, the 4-year-old son of Shadow Play-B J’s Squall, has taken the Roll With Joe, Graduate, William Haughton Memorial, Dan Patch and CPD. Of those five big wins, the slowest mile he paced was a lightning-quick 1:48.1. His 1:45.4 clocking in the Haughton – as every harness fan knows – is the fastest mile ever in the history of harness racing.

Trained by Jack Darling and driven by Dexter Dunn, ‘Bulldog’ has become the sport’s biggest attraction. To prove that point, all one needs to do is follow the money.

In six of his last seven starts, wagering on the race he was in was at least $356,204. The high-water mark was at The Big M on Meadowlands Pace Night, when $465,667 was pushed through the windows on the Haughton.

“Bulldog Hanover has become a standardbred superstar and has elevated the attention and focus of Grand Circuit races,” said John Campbell, the president and chief executive officer of the Hambletonian Society. “His legion of fans is growing with every race. The people are tuning in to not only watch his races, but they are wagering as well.”

Bulldog Hanover’s schedule for the remainder of the year includes the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby (Sept. 23), Dayton Pacing Derby (Oct. 1) and the Allerage at the Red Mile (Oct. 9) before the Breeders Crown at WMP (Oct. 29) and then, possibly, the TVG Open Pace at The Big M (Nov. 26).

While the Bulldog remains the biggest attraction in the sulky sport, Flightline is the headliner of the thoroughbred game.

In Saturday’s (Sept. 3) $1-million Pacific Classic at Del Mar Racetrack, the best dirt horse in the world did nothing to weaken that statement, winning by a remarkable 19¼ lengths while putting up a Beyer Speed Index of 126. The win earned him a spot in the starting gate for the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November.

How extraordinary is a 126 Beyer speed fig, you ask?

It was the highest number assigned in 18 years, according to Bill Center’s San Diego Union Tribune story that was published Sunday. Only Ghostzapper’s 128 was higher than Flightline and Formal Gold’s 126 in the past 31 years.

Flightline has made five starts in his career and has never been beaten.

PICK 6 CARRYOVER: Twenty-cent Pick-6 bettors will be looking forward to when racing resumes, as there were no winning tickets sold on the bet last Saturday, creating a carryover of $4,091.80.

The Pick-6 will be offered beginning in race eight Friday night. Keep in mind that free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available by going to

There will also be the usual two 50-cent Pick-4s that will sport guaranteed pools of $50,000. Those bets will begin in races six and 10, respectively.

INSIDEHARNESS.COM: Marty Marsh’s provides bettors with insights from trainers and drivers on many Meadowlands races every night.

All one has to do is go to the website and sign up to access the inside dope.

WHO DOES BROWER LIKE? For expert selections and analysis of every Big M card, check out track oddsmaker Dave Brower’s race reviews.

For Brower’s input, which is generally available 48 hours before every card, go to, then click on the “handicapping” tab and go to “race reviews”.

CHECK OUT THE SHOW: Every racing night, the track’s live “Racing from The Meadowlands” pregame show kicks off at 5:45 p.m.

Join Brower and Dave Little for harness racing news, a look at that evening’s featured events, best bets, value plays and more to get you ready for a night at the races.

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), Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Edison Hatter (@Edison_1999_).

WHHC CHAMPIONSHIP: The World Harness Handicapping Championship takes place at The Meadowlands on Saturday (Sept. 10).

Players who did not earn a seat through qualifying events can directly buy in for $1,000. The fee includes a $300 bankroll with the remaining $700 going into the prize pool.

Entry includes a live racing program and a dinner buffet.

The top 10 finishers will earn cash prizes.

For complete information, go to

CHECK OUT THE PAST MASTERS: On Saturday (Sept. 10), enjoy live harness racing and live music as The Past Masters will be playing on Victory Terrace up on the roof at The Big M. The music begins at 5:30 p.m., approximately one hour before racing kicks off.

IT’S FOOTBALL TIME! It’s the best time of the year for sports bettors, as the National Football League season begins tonight (Thursday, Sept. 8) when the Buffalo Bills travel to Los Angeles to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Rams at 8:20 p.m.

Players know that the best place to get their action is the FanDuel Sportsbook, which is located inside the grandstand at The Big M.

The Bills are a 2½-point favorite and -134 on the money line while the Rams are +114 on the money line in the game that has an over/under of 51½.

Before you get your bets down, go to for up-to-dates lines on any sporting event the book offers.

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.