Thursday, March 30, 2023

Give the people what they want.

At The Meadowlands, that’s big action, and last week brought the mile-oval faithful a bonus: Not one, but two carryovers on the Saturday (March 25) card that led to another big night at the windows.

For the first time in 2023, there were no winning tickets sold on the 20-cent Pick-5 (on March 24), setting up a carryover of $47,294, which led to a gigantic final pool.

On Saturday, the Pick-5 proved extremely popular, as $223,252 in “new money” was poured into the pot, for a grand total of $270,547.

The mathematics proved this was a great opportunity for the players. When you subtract the low 15 percent takeout from the new money bet (the carryover is exempt from the takeout), you were left with $189,764. After you add in the carryover, you get a total of $237,058 that was dispersed to players with winning tickets, a surplus of $13,806 (6 percent).

Those who cashed walked away with $1,924, which was approximately four times what the parlay would have paid. The winning horse’s odds during the sequence were a far-from-outrageous 10-1, 6-5, 5-2, 4-1 and 4-1.

“It’s important that The Meadowlands give our horseplayers a great wagering product every night,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “Low takeouts return more money back to our players, and big pools offer chances for big scores.

“Lower minimums allow all our customers to stay in action all night. This has been a winning formula not only for The Big M, but for horseplayers looking for our exotic horizontal and vertical wagers with big pools that are offered with a low takeout of 15 percent.”

The 20-cent Pick-6’s wagering may have been modest when compared to the Pick-5, but the payoff made a far bigger ripple in the water.

A carryover of $6,136 led to $57,686 in new money for a pool that totaled $63,822. Remove 15 percent from the new money, add in the carryover, and you then get a grand total of $55,169, which was dispersed to the winners.

Make that winner.

When the sequence that saw winner’s odds of 8-5, 1-1, 22-1, 7-5, 12-1 and 5-1 was complete, one sharp player betting into the Oregon Express hub walked away with the entire pool of $55,165 for his or her 20-cent base bet. With the carryover soaking up most of the rake, the return to the player was 96 percent, instead of the usual 85.

“When you combine both wagers, it illustrates the extraordinary investment opportunity when you combine a low takeout with a carryover,” said Settlemoir. “The Pick-5 and Pick-6 saw a total of $280,932 in new money bet Saturday night, and the amount that was paid out to bettors was $282,227. This is what can happen when you have carryovers.

“Another big score came in the Late Pick-4 Saturday (which were the final four races of the Pick-6), when a non-carryover pool of over $107,000 ended up in a payout of $14,731 for a 50-cent bet. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to horseplayers around the world for your loyal support of these wagers at The Meadowlands.”

STILL PERFECT: The Meadowlands heads into April on an historic roll. All 23 night programs during 2023 have seen wagering exceed the $3-million mark. The significance of that number is striking as it took 85 programs – the entire calendar year – for betting to bust the $3-million barrier 23 times during 2022.

What are some of the factors that have led to The Big M’s resurgent play?

  • A player-friendly track and wagering menu
  • A mile-track configuration featuring full fields
  • A low percentage of winning favorites (35)
  • The sport’s biggest pools
  • Seven popular wagers that feature 15 percent takeouts
  • Free programs (by going to
  • Guaranteed $50,000 pools in both 50-cent Pick-4s
  • No jackpot wagers
  • Only one wager that has a takeout higher than 20 percent

ANOTHER BIG SATURDAY ON TAP: For those who will heading to The Meadowlands this Saturday, they will find not only the best harness racing anywhere (14 races with a post time of 6:20 p.m.), but also many other things to titillate both their appetite for action as well as great food and drink.

The next three Saturdays will offer a look at some of the major Kentucky Derby contenders, and all the races will be offered at The Big M in one of the most expansive simulcast areas at any facility.

The Derby preps are the Florida Derby and Arkansas Derby on April 1; Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Derby and Bluegrass on April 8 before the Lexington on April 15.

Is college hoops your thing? Then, the FanDuel Sportsbook – the No. 1 facility of its type in North America – is the place for you, as the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament’s semifinals will hit the hardwood on Saturday.

In the first game, San Diego State is a 1½-point favorite over Florida Atlantic in a game that tips off at 6:09 p.m. The under/over is 131½.

At 8:49 p.m., the second game has UConn, a 5½-point favorite, taking on Miami (Florida), in a game that has an under/over of 149½.

The championship game takes place Monday night, shortly after 9 p.m., and you can watch and wager on all the action in “The Book”, which is located inside The Big M’s grandstand.

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.-11 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-11 p.m.

EAT, DRINK, BE MERRY: In the event you’re the kind of customer who’d rather go out for a nice meal and a glass of wine, The Meadowlands has something for you, too.

On Saturday, The Big M will be offering a six-course cocktail pairing event in The Lounge at 6 p.m. Persons who wish to attend must be 21 or older. The cost of $69.95 includes tax and gratuity, a live racing program and a $10 betting voucher. Six courses of delicious food with a cocktail that compliments it perfectly.

Call 201-THE-BIGM for reservations.

For complete information, including the complete menu, go to

TWEET US: 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 The Big M team of Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Edison Hatter (@Edison_1999_).

DON’T PAY: Free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available by going to

CHECK OUT THE SHOW: The live “Racing from The Meadowlands” simulcast show takes place every racing night, live from the Sam McKee Memorial Broadcast Set, with news, notes, selections and commentary on the night’s featured races.

Join The Big M’s team of Little and Otten beginning at 5:45 p.m. immediately after track announcer Warkentin gives out program changes. During the night, Hatter will have interviews from the back paddock as well as providing commentary for FanDuel TV’s coverage of the races.

This weekend, live action will take place on the usual Friday and Saturday night schedule with a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m.

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

HATTER’S RACE REVIEWS: Race reviews and selections by The Meadowlands’ morning-line odds maker, program analyst 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”.

THE RACES KEEP ON COMING: Live racing at The Meadowlands will take place every Friday and Saturday for the next 19 consecutive weeks. Post time is 6:20 p.m., except for the last day of the meeting, Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 5, when the first race heads to the gate at noon.