Thursday, June 22, 2023

This weekend at The Meadowlands, those with a nose for great wine – and great racing – will have an opportunity to indulge in both. Live harness will take place on Friday (June 23) and Saturday (June 24) with a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m.

Friday’s 13-race card will titillate the taste buds of those hungry for action as the featured event is a $31,500 Open Handicap for trotters. It’s Academic (9-5 on the morning-line), second in the Cutler Memorial as the 7-5 favorite in his last Big M appearance, will take on Lexus Kody (3-1), a winner of two straight races at the mile oval, and Inaminute Hanover (7-2), who’s won two of his last three at the No. 1 harness track in the world.

On Saturday, sample superb wine while you bet on a star-studded 14-race program.

The very popular “Summer Wine Fest” doors will open for VIP customers at 4 p.m. with General Admission ticket holders at 5 p.m. Wine will be poured until 9 p.m. Fest-goers will experience an evening of great wines from around the world, live harness racing, music and food.

The Wine Fest, in which over 40 wineries will be participating, will be held in the Backyard and is open to the public. The cost for a VIP ticket is $65 and includes an additional hour of sampling, exclusive VIP Tent wine samplings and food. General Admission is available in advance for $45 or at the door for $50.

To purchase tickets, go to

The race card will offer wine lovers a chance to sip vintage and win, as the third leg of the Miss Versatility series for mare trotters, third leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters and two divisions of the third leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old pacers sit atop the marquee. There is also a $31,500 Open Handicap for pacers starring Ruthless Hanover, who became the fastest horse ever over a five-eighths-mile track on May 28 when he stopped the clock at Harrah’s Philadelphia in 1:46.3.

The Championship Meet is gaining momentum, as over the next 14 programs, 65 stakes races will be contested at The Meadowlands, featuring the greatest stars in the game.

Next weekend (Friday, June 30, and Saturday, July 1), the stakes action will be led by a quartet of dashes for older horses in the “Classic Division”.  An estimated $650,000 in purse money will be up for grabs in the Dave Brower Memorial, Crawford Farms, Six Pack and Perfect Sting. In addition, the Tompkins-Geers for 2-year-olds and Reynolds for 3-year-olds will be on the menu.

The following weekend (Friday, July 7, and Saturday, July 8), will see the Graduate finals for 4-year-old trotters and pacers. Two-year-olds will also take the stage, competing in the opening leg of the Kindergarten Series.

In addition, that Saturday offers eliminations for the $700,000 (est.) Meadowlands Pace, with top finishers coming back for the final the next week to headline “Meadowlands Pace Night” on July 15th, which is the greatest night in harness racing.

For a complete list of the stakes events at The Big M, go to M1-2023-Chronological-Stakes-Purse-List-NS.pdf (

Meadowlands Pace Night dining:


  • Center of the action with front-row seats to Victory’s giant screens; 2-and 4-top tables and bar seats available at $50 per person
  • Ticket purchase acts as food and beverage credit for Victory Sports Bar menu
  • 2023 Pace Night Dining Tickets –


  • Table for 4 near the Winner’s Circle
  • $100 per table – price is a credit towards cafe food and drink purchase
  • Purchase your table –


  • Tiered dining room with great views of the live racetrack action
  • Buffet features salads, sides, main courses, carving station and delicious desserts
  • $49.95 per person plus tax and gratuity
  • Call 201-THE-BIGM to make reservations

THE PACE GOES NATIONAL: The Meadowlands will once again partner up with the TV team at The New York Racing Association (NYRA) and be part of Fox Sports’ presentation of “America’s Day at the Races” on three consecutive Saturday nights.

The first show, which will feature commentary from Big M TV’s Jessica Otten and Gabe Prewitt, will be shown on July 1. The next two broadcasts will feature The Meadowlands Pace eliminations (on July 8) and then, the final (on July 15).

WHAT A SHOW: The Linda Toscano-trained It’s My Show was the winner of the 40th edition of the $1-million North America Cup at Woodbine Mohawk Park last Saturday in a lifetime-best 1:47.4.

The son of Sweet Lou-Put On A Show is ineligible to The Meadowlands Pace, but could still supplement to the event. Were he to not participate, the role of early favorite would go to the Brett Pelling-student Confederate, who rallied like a flash to miss by a head as the 7-5 public choice in The Cup.

Pace eligibles Fulton (third in The Cup), Voukefalas (fourth), Save America (fifth), Christchurch (sixth), Lyons Surfing (seventh) and Ammo (ninth) also participated in Canada’s premier harness race and have their sights set on the third Saturday in July at The Big M.

PICK-6 CARRYOVER: There were no winning tickets sold on the 20-cent Pick-6 on Saturday, setting up a carryover of $2,211 when racing resumes Friday. Free past performances for the wager, which spans races eight through 13, are available by going to

THE KID’S ALRIGHT: Nights 5 (Friday, June 16) and 6 (Saturday, June 17) of the track’s “Battle of The Meadowlands Masterminds” handicapping contest belonged to Edison Hatter.

Friday, the 23-year-old race caller, interviewer, morning-line odds maker and program analyst, eked out a victory with a bankroll of $360 (after starting out with $500) on a night when not much went right for any of the competitors.

He then followed that up on Saturday with a giant bankroll of over $1,200, hitting a $100 Pick-3 that created a payoff of $860. The hard-luck loser was Dave Little, who saw both of his horses win but finished the night with a bankroll just shy of $1,000. Little is the overall leader in the competition with $3,522, which is $30 more than Hatter.

The “Masterminds” competition will take place for the next 13 live race nights, and on-track patrons who select the winning handicapper on a given card will have a chance to win a grand prize of $10,000. The drawing will take place on Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 5.

The competitors are competing for a top prize of $1,000 that will be donated on their behalf to charity. Gabe Prewitt is playing for CBH Care, the charity that the late Dave Brower played for last year. Jessica Otten is playing for New Vocations, Little for the Standardbred Retirement Foundation, Ken Warkentin the Harness Horse Youth Foundation) and Hatter the Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Program.

HORSEPLAY GIVEAWAY: Would you like to win a car?

Then come to The Meadowlands every live racing night for the “Horseplay Car Giveaway”, where the grand prize is a 2023 Toyota Camry.

Patrons will toss small rubber horses into a moving car along the fence at the track after the replay of race six, and those whose horses make it into the vehicle have a chance to drive it home. The winner will be announced on Friday, Aug. 4.

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

The May recipient was Helping Horseshoe, June’s is Spectrum 360 while the July/August donation will go to HOPES. An additional $5 for every horse that makes it into the car will also be donated to the Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Program by The Meadowlands.

For complete information and giveaway rules, go to

BRING YOUR DANCING SHOES: On Friday nights, check out the rooftop terrace at The Meadowlands and enjoy “Latin Fridays”.

There will be food and drink specials, dancing and a live DJ. That’s every Friday night from 6-11 p.m.

BREAKFAST AT THE TRACK: Every Saturday morning, head out to the Big M and check out the stars of the future, as 2-year-olds of each sex and gait take to the track during “Breakfast with the Babies.”

The races begin at 9 a.m., and if you can’t make it to the mile oval, check out the action live on (Racetrack Television Network).

THE RACES KEEP ON COMING: Live racing at The Meadowlands will take place every Friday and Saturday for the next seven 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.

The live “Racing from The Meadowlands” pregame show begins every night at 5:45 p.m.

DON’T PAY: Free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands 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 13 or 14: Late 10-cent Hi-5

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 Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Hatter (@Edison_1999_) and Prewitt (@gabe_prewitt).

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”.

COME TO FABULOUS FANDUEL: If you like betting professional sports 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.

On Thursday (June 22), the New York Yankees welcome the Seattle Mariners to the Bronx for a 7:05 p.m. game at The Stadium.

The Yankees are a slight -106 underdog in the game that has an under/over of 7½ runs.

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. The Lounge opens at noon on Sundays.