Thursday, December 29, 2022

A pair of fabulous 14-race programs and an explosive fireworks show on Fan Appreciation Night Saturday (Dec. 31) will allow Meadowlands’ regulars to ring in 2023 with a bang.

Racing will be conducted on Friday (Dec. 30) and Saturday night. Post time is 6:20 p.m.

“The wagering public wants 10-horse fields,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir, “and The Meadowlands delivers.”

The weekend will consist of 28 races, 24 of which will have 10-horse fields. The average field size for the two race cards is 9.79.

But super betting opportunities merely scratch the service of what’s being offered.

Fan Appreciation Night has much for fans to get excited about, beginning with free live racing programs, which will be available starting at 5 p.m. Then, from 6-11 p.m., head over to the Café, Rooftop Terrace or Backyard for concession items that will be available for just $1. The items that will be offered at the low price are hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn and soda. There is a limit of five of each item per transaction.

For just $2, fans can enjoy Bud/Bud Light drafts at the Café.

And for those who want some fine dining, there will be a buffet available for just $64.95, and that includes a complimentary champagne toast.

For a look at the full menu, go to https://playmeadowlands.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/new-years-eve-menu.pdf

For reservations, call 201-THE-BIG-M.

Then, to ring in the New Year, approximately 10 minutes after the conclusion of the races, there will be a fantastic fireworks show for patrons to enjoy.

THE LONG MARCH BEGINS: Last weekend (Dec. 23-24) marked the last time racing at The Meadowlands will be dark for a long time to come, and given the frigid temperatures, horsemen were no doubt appreciative of the chance to take a week off and miss racing in the bitter cold.

Effective immediately, live action is scheduled to be conducted every Friday and Saturday night – post time 6:20 p.m. – through Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023. In addition, there are a pair of Sundays on the calendar – Jan. 22 and 29 – that have a post time of 12:30 p.m. Post time on Hambo Day is noon.

This weekend, temperatures are expected to reach 55 degrees on Friday and 52 on Saturday, which are well above seasonal norms.

While many still find that chilly, the action will be hot whatever temps you prefer, with large fields and large pools leading to many chances to make a score.

The Big M remains the place where players can bet small and hit big.

On Friday (Dec. 16), betting was sizzling from the start, as a total of $585,154 was wagered on the first race, with a 20-cent Pick-5 carryover serving as the accelerant. Those with winning tickets walked away with a payout of $21,196 after $383,942 in “new money” was poured into the P5 pot. When all the returns were counted at the end of the night, a total of $3.1 million was wagered on the card, the first time in nearly six months betting went past the $3-million mark on a Friday.

Other big payouts during the course of the last weekend of racing – which saw a two-day total handle of $6 million – include the Friday 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 ($7,303) and Saturday’s third- ($1,783) and ninth-race ($4,119) Superfectas, Pick-7 ($9,868) and 20-cent Pick-6 ($2,953).

CAN YOU SURVIVE THE WINTER? The Meadowlands’ Winter Meet Survival Challenge, powered by 123Racing, begins Friday, Jan. 6, 2023.

The online contest will be conducted during the Winter Meeting and will conclude on March 31, 2023. Platinum past performances will be provided by TrackMaster each night of the competition.

The grand prize is $750, with second-prize $500 and third-place good for $250. All winners will also receive a Big M swag package.

For more information, go to https://playmeadowlands.com/event/winter-survival-challenge/

FREE PROGRAMS: Free past performances for every race for every Meadowlands program are available 48 hours before a given card. To access the no-cost official program pages, go to playmeadowlands.com.

LOW TAKEOUTS, BIG GUARANTEES: The Meadowlands offers plenty of value to the bettor with six wagers that offer low 15 percent take outs, plus two that offer a guaranteed pool of $50,000 nightly.

They are:

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

GET ON TWITTER: 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 Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Edison Hatter (@Edison_1999_).

CHECK OUT THE SHOW: Every live racing night, the “Racing from The Meadowlands” pregame show begins at 5:45 p.m. Join The Big M on-set TV team of Little and Otten, as they will have news notes and previews of the upcoming card.

FANDUEL’S FOOTBALL FRENZY: For the best in sports-betting action, all Meadowlands regulars have to do is roam the first floor at The Big M to visit the No. 1 facility of its type in North America, the FanDuel Sportsbook.

The College Football Playoff will take center stage on Saturday (Dec. 31), as there will be two games, with the winners advancing to the national championship game on Monday, Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

In the first game on Saturday, Michigan is a 7½-point favorite over Texas Christian University in a 4 p.m. kickoff. The game has an under/over of 58½.

The nightcap has the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs as a 6½-point favorite over Ohio State in a game that has an under/over of 62½. The game is slated to begin at 8 p.m.

Football Sundays in “The Book” have a $12 Wing Bar, so enjoy some great food while betting on the NFL.

The action starts Thursday (Dec. 29) night, when the Dallas Cowboys, a 13½-point favorite, travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans at 8:15 p.m. The under/over is 39½.

On Sunday (Jan. 1), the New York Giants are a 5½-point favorite as they host the Indianapolis Colts in a 1 p.m. kickoff in a game where the under/over is 38½.

At 4 p.m., the New York Jets are a 1½-point favorite as they travel to Seattle to play the Seahawks in a game that has an under/over of 41½.

Whatever the sport, for the latest odds, go to https://www.fanduel.com/sportsbook-meadowlands

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.