Thursday, September 7, 2023

When it comes to national television exposure, The Meadowlands has had plenty during 2023, and this Friday (Sept. 8) night, the TV departments at the New York Racing Association (NYRA) and The Big M will combine forces to show five of the six finals for the New Jersey Classic Series for 2- and 3-year-olds of each sex and gait live during a two-hour live presentation on Fox Sports 2 (FS2) beginning at 9 p.m.

Big M TV’s Jessica Otten will provide the harness racing analysis on the broadcast, which will also feature Thoroughbred action from Charles Town Races.

During the Friday card, all but the 2-year-old colt and gelding pace will be seen on FS2. The six events have purses totaling $1.4 million. Then, on Saturday (Sept. 9), the final two NJC finals will be contested, with a total of $300,000 up for grabs, bringing the total purses for the eight NJC finals to $1.7 million.

If business from a week ago is an indicator of things to come, Friday should be a big night.

“One week ago, despite racing having been on a three-week hiatus after Hambletonian Day, total handle was just shy of $3 million,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir, “which represented a 71 percent increase over the corresponding Friday from the year prior. Everything is trending in the right direction for the NJCS on Friday.

“We want to thank NYRA and Fox for their extraordinary efforts and talent, allowing The Meadowlands to show our sports’ greatest events on “America’s Day at the Races”. It’s an honor to be a part of such a first-class broadcast.”

This weekend marks the end of the Big M’s four-card “Mini Meet”. Racing will take place Friday and Saturday with a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m.

Then, harness racing at The Meadowlands will take a five-week break before returning on Friday, Oct. 20. In addition to The Big M being back, the first two weekends will feature the Breeders Crown championships, which will be contested at Indiana’s Hoosier Park. Eliminations will be conducted on Oct. 20-21 with the finals on Oct. 27-28.

Beyond that, November will feature great championship racing at The Meadowlands with many divisional honors on the line.

The Kindergarten Series finals will be conducted on Nov. 4, with the New Jersey Home Grown series being conducted one week later.

Shortly thereafter, the “Fall Final Four” championships – featuring the Goldsmith Maid, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Governor’s Cup for 2-year-olds (with estimated purses of $850,000) – will take place on Nov. 25.

The very same night, 3-year-olds and older horses will go at it for divisional honors – and maybe Horse of the Year – in four FanDuel championship events for estimated total purses of $1 million.

MICHAEL KAY IN THE HOUSE: Be at The Big M on Monday (Sept. 11) for a live broadcast of “The Michael Kay Show” from 3 p.m.-6:30 p.m. in the Grandstand Lounge on the second floor. Kay and his crew can usually be heard on ESPN radio.

There will be football-themed prizes and live guests onsite to preview the Jets-Bills Monday Night Football matchup.

The broadcast is free to attend, with food and beverage available for purchase.

Always remember, one must be 21-years-of-age or older to wager on sports. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

IT’S FREE: Free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands harness card are available by going to

THE SENSATIONAL SEVEN: These are the seven wagers The Big M offers nightly to the bettor that offer both a low minimum wager as well as a low 15 percent takeout. In addition, the two Pick-4s offer a guaranteed pool of $50,000.

The list:

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

GET “X”-ING: 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 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”.

STEAKS AND STAKES: On Saturday (Sept. 9), the question is a simple one: Can you make a great steak?

If the answer is “Yes”, come on out to the track for The Meadowlands’ “Steaks and Stakes” competition, presented by the Steak Cookoff Association. You could win $1,000!

For complete information, go to Meadowlands Racetrack Steaks & Stakes Night – Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment :: Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment (

IT’S ALMOST TURF TIME: Once harness racing concludes after the action on Sept. 9, the trotters and pacers will be away from The Big M for five weeks.

But for those of you who crave live action, fear not.

That’s because for the five weeks harness is absent, the Thoroughbreds will be at The Big M racing on the turf. Beginning Sept. 15, they will race every Friday and Saturday with a post time of 7 p.m. until Oct. 14.

Then, harness racing will return on Oct. 20 for the long run to Hambletonian Day.

‘MASTERS’ OF CLASSIC ROCK: The Past Masters will be at The Meadowlands, playing a live show on the rooftop on Saturday, Sept. 16.

Live music, live Thoroughbred racing, food and drink specials, it will all be all part of a special night in the shadow of the New York City skyline.

The show, which gets underway at 5:30 p.m., is free to attend.

TIME FOR FOOTBALL: Football season is upon us, and if you like betting the NFL – or any other professional sports event – and would like to get your money down in the No. 1 facility of its type in North America, then head inside the grandstand at The Meadowlands and get your action in the FanDuel Sportsbook.

The NFL season kicks off Thursday (Sept. 7) at 8:20 p.m. as the Kansas City Chiefs begin the defense of their Super Bowl win at home when they take on the Detroit Lions.

The Chiefs are a 4½-point favorite and are -225 on the money line. How about a prop bet featuring the quarterbacks? Patrick Mahomes is -186 to have more passing yards than Jared Goff, who is +144 to be the more prolific passer.

Sunday (Sept. 10) night, the Dallas Cowboys travel to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Giants in a game that gets underway at 8:20 p.m. The Cowboys are a 3½-point favorite and -184 on the money line.

Finally, on Monday (Sept. 11) Night Football, Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets will host the Buffalo Bills in an 8:15 p.m. start. The Bills are -2½ and -136.

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. For cash-at-counter customers, the hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-midnight; Saturday 8 a.m.-midnight; and Sunday 8 a.m.-11 p.m.