Thursday, March 17, 2022

There are many answers to the question that’s asked several times every Friday night at The Meadowlands:


The Gural Settlemoir Yarock Amateur Driving Club has been a Friday night staple of late at The Big M. Having the GSY races on the card – there are three this week and have been three for the last several weeks – provides a different look for racing fans. The GSY participants bring an energy that is not seen on a day-in, day-out basis by the “regular” driving colony.

“All of the GSY contestants think every Friday at The Meadowlands is their Grand Circuit,” said Meadowlands’ Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “The GSY races have been averaging better than $231,000 [in handle] per race thus far in March. The racing is hotly contested – usually with a 10-horse field – and the results are anything but chalky.

“When you see the connections celebrating in the winner’s circle like they had just won a Grand Circuit event, you understand how much everyone wants to win these races. Full fields and great payouts are a big reason why the GSY events are so well-supported by the wagering public.”

So why is interest in the GSY so high?

The answer is the same as other questions when it comes to racing at The Meadowlands: Big pools and big fields.

It may come as a surprise to some racing fans when they find out how well GSY races are received, with handle that exceeds many races at any harness venue anywhere.

Bettors want big pools and big fields, and the GSY delivers. On Friday, March 4, the three GSY races – all of which saw 10 behind the starting gate – took in a total of 651,641, an average per race of just over $217,000. Despite two winning favorites, those cashing in had big smiles on their faces when they collected $406.40, $137.40 and $724.20 for winning Trifecta tickets.

One week later, on March 11, it was more of the same, as three 10-horse fields saw $737,604 put in play, good for an average of more than $245,000 per dash. The winning Trifectas – which saw just one lukewarm winning chalk – came back $1,084.40, $5,921.20 and $432.40.

For some perspective, when the average per race is $245,000 for a 13-race card, total handle is $3.1 million.

For the six March GSY races, the average Exacta payout is $151.40, while the Trifecta is at $829.20.

Does the GSY give back to the harness racing community?

“Our charitable pursuit started out as a scholarship fund for people in the harness industry,” said GSY President David Yarock. “But over the last two years – because of COVID-19 – I’ve turned the charity over to equine outreach. We have a farm in the Catskill Mountains near Monticello Raceway where we have horses that we’ve rescued. People who could benefit from being around these horses, such as veterans with PTSD, can benefit from that type of interaction, and we are happy to provide a place for both the horses and the people who would like to be with them.”

For anybody interested, they can get more information by going to

Immediately after the GSY races are over, of course!

PICK-6 CARRYOVER: There were no winning tickets sold in the 20-cent Pick-6 Saturday (March 12) night, creating a carryover of $10,303 when racing resumes Friday.

The Pick-6 begins with race eight on the card. The last Pick-6 carryover was on March 5, when a modest $7,215 led to a total pool of over $58,000.

POWERFUL PICK-5 POOL: Starting out with a carryover of $43,342 helped the 20-cent Pick-5 blossom into a giant total pool of $312,283 on Saturday (March 12), but after the second choice took the first race, four favorites followed, meaning that many race fans cashed in for the payoff of $44.32.

POWERHOUSE PICK-4s: The Big M’s most popular wager in terms of average per pool, the 50-cent Pick-4, has been on a roll of late. On the first Saturday of March (the 5th), a total of over $220,000 was bet on the wager (there are two Pick-4s offered nightly) that requires a player to have the winners of four consecutive races on their tickets. For the month, the average Pick-4 pool has been over $100,000.

WHAT’S YOUR HANDLE? Betting fell just short of reaching the $3-million mark for a fourth time in five cards Saturday (March 12) night when $2,954,026 was put in play on the 13 races on a nasty night weather-wise, but wagering did exceed $6 million for a second consecutive weekend.

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.

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

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

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 Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Shades (@ShadesOnRacing) and Edison Hatter (@Edison_1999_).

LOW TAKEOUTS, HIGH EXPECTATIONS: The Meadowlands offers its faithful six opportunities nightly to make a score by betting into pools with a low 15 percent takeout as well as low minimum base bets. Here is a list of those wagers, and when they are offered:

  • Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5
  • Race 3:20-cent Survivor Pick-7
  • Race 6: 50-cent Early Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
  • Race 8:20-cent Pick-6
  • Race 10: 50-cent Late Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
  • Race 13:10-cent Pentafecta/Hi-5

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, then click on the “handicapping” tab and go to “race reviews”.

MAYHEM IS HERE: When the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament begins on Thursday (March 17), hoops fans can come to the FanDuel Sportsbook and watch and wager on the games.

The championship game will take place on April 4.

Bettors can catch all the games at “The Book”, which is located inside the grandstand at The Meadowlands. There are massive HDTVs, dining options with table service and plenty of self-service – and, of course, full service – wagering machines ready to take your action.

For more information about how to watch and wager while you eat some great food, go to

Thursday’s action includes the top-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs (-22½) taking on Georgia State in a 4:15 p.m. tipoff. For those thinking upset, Georgia State is +2000 on the money line. The under/over is 148½.

With Major League Baseball now on track to start in early April, those that want some future action can get it.

The favorites to win the World Series are the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are +550. The second choice are the Houston Astros, who are +1000, followed by three teams, all of whom are at +1100 (the Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets). The New York Yankees are next in line at +1200.

Hours for the book are 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.

CHECK YOUR TEMPERATURE: Everybody at The Meadowlands has Spring Fever!

On Saturday (March 19), patrons can enter a contest to win a $50 gas gift card, a $500 airline voucher, or the biggest prize of all, a trip to Hawaii.

On-track customers can complete the entry form and deposit it into the drawing bin before the ninth race, and they must be present to win. Drawings will be conducted after races two, four, six, eight and 10.

For all the details, go to