Thursday, June 30, 2022

For three straight days at The Meadowlands, there will be plenty of fireworks both on and off the track during the July 4th holiday weekend.

Tonight (June 30) will mark the first of two straight Thursday night live racing programs. Post time is the usual 6:20 p.m. for the nine-race card that features five $30,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes divisions for 2-year-old trotters.

The Friday (July 1) night 14-race program (post time, 6:20 p.m.) features four divisions of the Mary Reynolds for 3-year-olds on the trot, with purses totaling just over $140,000. New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Fashion Schooner is the star filly while Goodtimes winner Fast As The Wind is the marquee colt.

After all that top-notch racing, then comes even more on Saturday (July 2).

After last Saturday’s (June 25) action-packed presentation that featured one marvelous performance after another as the Graduate Series continued its run, this Saturday there will be four stakes events on which fans can feast.

The $131,250 Six Pack for open mare trotters will renew the rivalry between Atlanta and Bella Bellini, who finished 1-2 in the Armbro Flight two weeks ago.

Ecurie D DK, who stopped the clock in an incredible 1:49.1 on May 21 (his only start of the year thus far) in the Cutler, heads the field in the $147,000 Crawford Farms for open trotters.

In the first of two divisions of the Roll With Joe (each goes for just under $100,000) for open pacers, Charlie May, who won his Graduate division in 1:47.1 last week, takes on Nicholas Beach, whose 1:47 clocking on May 21 is the co-fastest of the year in the sport.

Speaking of 1:47 milers, Bulldog Hanover is the other to go that fast after taking his Graduate split last week. He’ll take on 2021’s top older pacer of the year, Allywag Hanover, in the other Roll With Joe division.

Finally, 2021 Horse of the Year Test of Faith, who paced her final quarter in a Big M record-fastest-equaling :24.3 but still came up short in last week’s Graduate, looks to get back on the winning track facing last year’s top older female pacer, Lyons Sentinel.

Saturday’s live program kicks off at 6:20 p.m.

While the 13-race card takes place, patrons can take advantage of “Fan Appreciation Night”. Avoid the traffic and stay local with the best discounted $1-$2 prices on food and beverages available from 6-11 p.m. The lower-cost concessions will be available at the Café, Rooftop Terrace and Backyard.

Then, after all that racing and great discounted food, stay after the races for a fantastic fireworks display that will begin 10 minutes after the last race.

For complete details, go to https://playmeadowlands.com/event/2022-fan-appreciation-fireworks-night/

JULY 7-9: July 7th marks the second consecutive Thursday with live racing. Post time is 6:20 p.m.

To spice up the Thursday night festivities, there will be $2,500 in prize money as well as a seat in the World Harness Handicapping Championship Final at The Meadowlands on Sept. 10 at stake in a WHHC Qualifier.

The entry fee is only $100, and for all the information you need to get involved, go to https://playmeadowlands.com/event/2022-july-100-whhc-qualifier/

Saturday, July 9, there will be a huge race card, highlighted by eliminations for the $700,000 (est.) Meadowlands Pace.

In addition, there are four Graduate Finals – with purses estimated at $750,000 – on tap, making for a card no harness fan will want to miss. The program will be shown live to a national television audience, as Fox Sports 2 (FS2) will have a three-hour live presentation beginning at 8 p.m.

Plus, if you like food off the grill, this is the night for you, as The Big M presents its “BBQ Extravaganza”.

Some of the best food trucks and restaurants in the area will be on hand from 5-11 p.m. for patrons to enjoy some great food while they enjoy some great racing as vendors compete for $2,500 in prize money.

For complete details, go to https://playmeadowlands.com/event/2022-meadowlands-racetrack-bbq-extravaganza/ or email Rachel Ryan at raryan@playmeadowlands.com

JULY 16: The “Biggest Party in Harness Racing” features a true Big M original, the $700,000 (est.) Meadowlands Pace Final.

The Pace Night list of stakes races includes the $450,000 (est.) William Haughton Memorial, $285,000 (est.) Stanley Dancer Memorial, $250,000 (est.) Del Miller Memorial, $200,000 (est.) Mistletoe Shalee, $175,000 (est.) Dorothy Haughton Memorial and $400,000 Hambletonian Maturity.

If you can’t make it out the track, no worries. Catch all the action live, along with the rest of the nation, when FS2 once again shows The Big M races from 8-11 p.m.

Festivities will include a t-shirt giveaway (to the first 5,000 guests), food trucks, a DJ in the Backyard, a handicapping contest for those 30 years of age and younger for $5,000 in prize money, carnival rides and games plus $500 win bets (five winners will have a chance to place a $500 wager on a designated race).

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 playmeadowlands.com.

LIVE RACING SCHEDULE: Racing at The Big M is conducted on a Friday-Saturday basis and has a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m. In addition, there is live racing on Thursday, June 30, and Thursday, July 7.

The track’s live “Racing from The Meadowlands” pregame show kicks off nightly at 5:47 p.m.

WARKENTIN, OTTEN ARE MASTERFUL: Ken Warkentin and Jessica Otten were the winners last Friday and Saturday, respectively, of The Big M’s “Battle of the Masterminds” handicapping contest, where one lucky fan can walk away with $10,000.

On-track patrons can enter every racing night, selecting the handicapper they think will win that night’s edition of the tournament. If that handicapper wins and that patron’s name is drawn from the entry box, they win a $200 betting voucher plus a $50 gas gift card.

That patron is then also entered into the grand prize drawing, which takes place on Hambletonian Day, August 6, one day after the conclusion of the competition.

INSIDEHARNESS.COM: Marty Marsh’s insideharness.com 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 Brower’s race reviews.

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

GET YOUR ACTION IN “THE BOOK”: Local baseball fans have a lot to be excited about as both New York teams are currently in first place in their respective divisions.

The Yankees travel to Houston to play the Astros Thursday night at 6 p.m. The Bronx Bombers, whose 56-20 record is the best in Major League Baseball, are a -130 favorite. The under/over is 7½ runs.

The Mets don’t play on Thursday. On Friday, the Texas Rangers come to CitiField to begin a three-game series in a 7 p.m. start.

For tennis fans, the action continues at Wimbledon from the All England Club.

To bet on baseball and tennis and anything else that strikes your fancy, all you have to do is go to The Meadowlands and head directly to the FanDuel Sportsbook, which is located inside the grandstand at the mile oval.

For up-to-date lines on any sporting event go to https://www.fanduel.com/sportsbook-meadowlands

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.