Thursday, October 26, 2023

It’s unlikely the horsemen will be headless, so be not afraid to make your way to The Meadowlands this Halloween weekend and check out some frighteningly good stakes racing, sports action and entertainment, with the Kindergarten Series on track, the Breeders Crown simulcast, the World Series and the Jets-Giants game in the FanDuel Sportsbook, plus a promotion that will leave you asking: Is this the real thing?

“With spectacular weather being forecast for this weekend,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir, “we are expecting big business at The Meadowlands, where fans of live racing, simulcast racing, sports betting, or a great night of exceptional entertainment can find exactly what they are looking for.”

Friday night’s live Big M card features seven $20,000 leg-five divisions of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of each sex and gait. The dashes are the last chance for horses to earn enough points to be eligible for the Kindergarten’s big-money finals and consolations on Saturday, Nov. 4, which have estimated total purses of $1 million.

The mile oval’s simulcast area will be howling with excitement this weekend, as the $7-million Breeders Crown, which takes place at Indiana’s Hoosier Park, will be watched and wagered on by Meadowlands’ patrons who are screaming to see the very best in the sport go head-to-head.

On Friday (Oct. 27), the four 2-year-old divisional finals will each have purses of $700,000. The lineup has the Filly Trot (post time, 9:28 p.m.), Colt Pace (9:55 p.m.), Filly Pace (10:21 p.m.) and Colt Trot (10:50 p.m.).

Saturday (Oct. 28) will have eight championship finals, with the $400,000 Open Mare Trot (8:41 p.m.), $600,000 3-Year-Old Filly Trot (9:02 p.m.), $600,000 3-Year-Old Filly Pace (9:28 p.m.), $672,000 3-Year-Old Colt Trot (9:55 p.m.), $400,000 Open Mare Pace (10:21 p.m.), $600,000 3-Year-Old Colt Pace (10:50 p.m.), $600,000 Open Trot (11:14 p.m.) and $600,000 Open Pace (11:36 p.m.) to be contested.

If you can’t get out of the house when the finals take place, Fox Sports 2 (FS2) will present a live broadcast from 9-11 p.m. on the 27th and 9 p.m.-midnight on the 28th. Eleven of the 12 Crown events will be shown live. Meadowlands TV’s Jessica Otten and the Red Mile’s Gabe Prewitt will provide the commentary.

Like to mix in a little sports action while betting the horses? The Meadowlands has you covered.

Inside the grandstand at the track is the No. 1 sports betting facility of its type in North America, the FanDuel Sportsbook, where patrons can bet on the first game of the World Series, which will take place on Friday when the American League Champion Texas Rangers host the National League pennant-winning Arizona Diamondbacks at 8 p.m.

The Rangers are a -168 favorite in the game that has an under/over of 8½.

On Sunday (Oct. 29), local football bragging rights will be on the line as the New York Jets and New York Giants go at it in a 1 p.m. kickoff at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets are a 3-point favorite and -146 on the money line in the game that has an under/over of 36½.

The Meadowlands is the place to be if you like to play the ponies or bet on sports, but it is also a destination for a great night of entertainment.

On Saturday, take a cruise down the “River of Dreams”, the Billy Joel/American Elton seven-piece tribute show.

The evening will provide an exciting and engaging live musical tour through the piano legends’ greatest hits and more.

And just in time for Halloween, the show is a true tribute in both sound and appearance. It will be hard to tell them apart from the real thing.

Admission to the event is just $35, go here for tickets and complete information.

SET YOUR ALARM CLOCK: On Sunday, get ready for the Jets-Giants game by getting up early and heading to The Meadowlands for ESPN New York’s “The Battle for New York” New York Game Day live remote from 7-11 a.m.

Amani Toomer, Anita Marks and Mike Tannenbaum will be onsite hosting in the second-floor Lounge near the windows with ESPN sponsor Wendy’s on hand doling out treats in the form of swag in both the Clubhouse Lobby and Lounge.

THE SKED: The Meadowlands will race every Friday and Saturday through the end of the year, with two exceptions.

There will be no live racing on Friday, Nov. 24, while there will be live action on Thursday, Dec. 7.

Post time for every program is 6:20 p.m.

THE SHOW: Every live racing night, tune in at 5:45 p.m. for the track’s live simulcast “Racing from The Meadowlands” pregame show, with 30 minutes of harness news, analysis and staff selections to get you ready for the night.

This weekend, with Otten at the Breeders Crown, Peter Kleinhans (Friday) and Mike Bozich (Saturday) will sit alongside host Dave Little on the Sam McKee Memorial Broadcast Set.

DID YOU SAY FREE? Free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available by going to

“X” MARKS THE SPOT: 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), Little (@DaveLittleBigM) and Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover).

THE GREAT EIGHT: The Meadowlands provides eight opportunities for the player to make a score trying their luck betting in pools with a low 15 percent takeout. The lineup of The Big M’s “Great Eight” is as follows (all wagers – with the exception of the Pick-7 – are carryover eligible):

  • Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5
  • Race 2: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7
  • Race 4: 20-cent Pick-8
  • Race 6: 50-cent Pick-4
  • Race 7: 20-cent High-5
  • Race 8: 20-cent Pick-6
  • Race 10: 50-cent Pick-4
  • Race 11: 20-cent High-5

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”.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: In November, The Big M stakes schedule hits the gas pedal.

The pistons start pumping on Saturday, Nov. 4 when an estimated $1 million will be up for grabs in the Kindergarten finals and consolations.

Next up, on Saturday, Nov. 11, a total of $240,000 (est.) will be offered on the NJ Home Grown and NJ Garden State.

After eliminations (if necessary) are contested on Saturday, Nov. 18, the “Fall Final Four” and FanDuel Championships will make up a can’t-miss, date-circling-worthy night of competition on Saturday, Nov. 25 when an estimated $2.65 million comprise what is the third-biggest night of the Big M calendar year after Hambletonian Day and Meadowlands Pace Night.

The Fall Final Four is made up of the Governor’s Cup (2-year-old colt and gelding pace), Three Diamonds (2FP), Valley Victory (2CGT) and Goldsmith Maid (2FT). The FanDuel four pack is comprised of the Open Pace, Open Trot, Open Mare Pace and Open Mare Trot. All eight events figure to have great impact when ballots are cast at year’s end for both divisional honors and Horse of the Year.

THE CUP IS COMING: Thoroughbred fans love coming to The Big M and watching and wagering on the Triple Crown races, and fans of the “runners” can come on out and catch the year-end industry spectacle in the simulcast area when the 40th edition of the Breeders’ Cup takes place at California’s picturesque Santa Anita Park.

There will be five events on Friday, Nov. 3, and nine more on Saturday, Nov. 4.

The Friday lineup features 2-year-olds in the Juvenile Turf Sprint (post time, 5 p.m. EDT), Juvenile Fillies (5:40 p.m.), Juvenile Fillies Turf (6:20 p.m.), Juvenile (7 p.m.) and Juvenile Turf (7:40 p.m.).

The Saturday events are the Dirt Mile (2:30 p.m.), Filly and Mare Turf (3:10 p.m.), Filly and Mare Sprint (3:50 p.m.), Mile (4:30 p.m.), Distaff (5:10 p.m.), Turf (5:50 p.m.), Classic (6:40 p.m.), Turf Sprint (7:25 p.m.) and Sprint (8 p.m.)

If you’d like to catch all of the action of the Breeders’ Cup in the simulcast areas, great, but if you’d like to have an exceptional dining experience as you watch and wager, check out the special Southern-themed buffet that will be offered.

For complete information, go here

Call 201-THE-BIGM for reservations. Dining begins at 4:30 p.m. with salads and appetizers before main dishes and sides are offered at 5:30 p.m.

TIME FOR CHILI: It’s time once again for one of the most popular promotions The Meadowlands offers, as on Saturday, Nov. 4, all chili and salsa chefs who think they have the right stuff can enter the track’s “Chili and Salsa Cook-off”.

So, you’re not a chef? No problem. Free samples will be given for the People’s Choice vote following the 8 p.m. turn-in. The event takes place in the Food Court and outdoor East Apron.

For complete information, and to enter, go here

FACTS ABOUT FANDUEL: Whatever the sport, for the latest odds, go here

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.; Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-11 p.m. The Lounge opens at noon on Sundays.