Thursday, May 5, 2022

By definition, an epicenter is something negative, but bettors can turn another Epicenter – a 3-year-old Thoroughbred – into a big-money positive should he win the biggest race of the year on the horse racing calendar, as the 148th running of The Kentucky Derby highlights a gigantic Saturday of wagering at The Meadowlands.

Epicenter, the Louisiana Derby winner who is trained by Steve Asmussen, is the morning-line 7-2 second choice in the “Run for the Roses” in the normally bulky 20-horse field.

The Chad Brown-trained Zandon – the Blue Grass winner – is the 3-1 favorite from post 10.

The Derby has a post time of 6:57 p.m.

Long-time Meadowlands regulars know the best way to watch and wager on The Derby is inside The Big M in one of the country’s most expansive simulcast venues.

Doors at The Meadowlands open at 9 a.m., with the first race at Churchill heading to the gate at 10:30 a.m.

There are numerous dining options for Derby Day at The Big M. For complete information, go to

Of course, in addition to the best in simulcasting, The Meadowlands will – as always – offer the best live harness racing in the world.

It begins when the live “Racing from the Meadowlands” pregame show, which will have the broadcast team of Dave Brower and Dave Little in their usual places on-set, kicks off at 5:47 p.m.

Once the pregame show concludes, they’ll be one live race conducted at The Big M, then the live action will take a break for The Derby, followed by races two through 13.

WALK UP AND WAGER: For added convenience, there will be a live betting window available for those to walk up and wager on The Derby in Lot M at The Meadowlands.

The walk-up teller will be open on Friday (May 6) and Saturday (May 7) from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

STARS WILL BE OUT: The Miss Versatility Series, an Open event for mare trotters, kicks off Friday (May 6), with some big names on the entry list.

Bella Bellini, the 2021 Hambletonian Oaks champion, returns to the races for her seasonal debut in the sixth race, while Atlanta, the 2018 Hambletonian winner who has a lifetime bankroll of over $3.1 million, headlines the 10th.


On Saturday (May 7), the Graduate Series for 4-year-olds begins, with Charlie May, off a sensational 1:48.3 score at The Meadowlands, the most notable of the pacers, and Ahundreddollarbill, an earner of $633,853 at 3 a year ago, headlining the trotters.

(Charlie May)

A PLETHORA OF POSSIBLE PLAYS: Simulcast harness and Thoroughbred racing all day long and live harness at night merely scratches the surface of what bettors can binge on Saturday at The Big M.

Not only does The Meadowlands offer the best in horse racing wagering, but sports betting as well, as inside The Big M is the top facility of its type in the world, The FanDuel Sportsbook.

The expansive betting menu includes the NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs and Major League Baseball. In addition, fight fans can watch and wager on UFC 274 in comfort.

On the local NHL scene, the New York Rangers travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins in Game 3 of their playoff series at 7 p.m. Baseball fans will have plenty to cheer about as well, as the New York Yankees host the Texas Rangers in a 1:10 p.m. game while the New York Mets travel to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies in a 4:05 p.m. start.

In the UFC, Rose Namajunas (-220) takes on Carla Esparza (+176) in a Women’s Strawweight title bout, while Charles Oliveira (-188) faces Justin Gaethje in a Men’s Lightweight title tilt.

For up-to-date lines on those events – and many, many others – 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.

BIG M THE MOST COAST-TO-COAST: Last Saturday (April 30) marked the first of six live broadcasts that the New York Racing Association’s TV department teamed up with The Big M’s to show Thoroughbred racing to what is normally a Standardbred audience and vice-versa as Opening Night at Churchill Downs was paired up with The Meadowlands on what was a highly successful presentation.

“The Meadowlands was proud to show harness racing to a national television audience,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “And we look forward to continuing to do just that for another five shows.”

The second and third shows will be telecast on May 14 (9-11:30 p.m.) and June 18 (9-11:30 p.m.) as part of NYRA’s “America’s Day at the Races” presentation and will feature the same Churchill Downs/Meadowlands pairing.

The following two telecasts 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”.

DOUBLE CARRYOVER: The Saturday (April 30) night 20-cent Pick-6 had a double carryover, leading to $100,000 in “new money” poured into the pool, for a grand total of $127,024. After Scott Zeron guided 29-1 shot No Stone Unturned to victory lane in the 13th and final, those with winning tickets walked away with $12,443.96.

WHHC RESULTS: Todd Slembarski won the World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier at The Meadowlands Saturday (April 30) night, assuring him a seat in the WHHC Final on Sept. 10 at The Big M.

Greg Lipinski, Patrick O’Malley and Russ Slader finished second through fourth, respectively, to also earn berths in the final.

FREE PROGRAMS: Free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands program are available 48 hours before a given card. To access the no-cost official program pages, go to

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_).

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

WHO DOES BROWER LIKE? For expert selections and analysis of every Big M card, check out track oddsmaker 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”.

SURVIVE THE SUMMER: On Friday, May 6, The Meadowlands’ Summer Meet Survival Challenge, sponsored by 123Racing, begins with some great things on the table for bettors.

Cash prizes and World Harness Handicapping Championship seats are up for grabs in the competition, which is an online contest that is free to enter.

The game runs throughout the track’s Championship Meeting and concludes on Hambletonian Day.

For complete information, go to

HORSE PLAY: Beginning on Friday (May 6), patrons attending the races at The Meadowlands can participate in “Horseplay” for a chance to win a 2022 Toyota Corolla.

Every live racing night through Friday, August 5, participants will attempt to throw their 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 Horseplay Toyota at the Players Club Desk or the Horseplay table in front of the winner’s circle.

There is an added bonus for the kids who are at the track, as they will receive a free ice cream for helping pick up the horses left on the track.

For every horse that makes it into the Horseplay car, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will donate $5 to a designated monthly charity. May’s charity is 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.