Thursday, April 28, 2022

If you are a racetrack regular, you hear it all the time from other racetrack regulars: “I will not bet the favorite. All I want to do is beat the favorite.”

If that is indeed the case, then the racetrack regular’s best friend is the GSY (Gural Settlemoir Yarock) Series, which is featured on Friday nights at The Meadowlands. The GSY is an amateur driving club which always provides full fields and ultra-competitive racing.

The GSY, much to the delight of the racetrack regular, hasn’t seen a race where the favorite has won since March 11, when Always A Force and the GSY’s leading driver, Tony Verruso, scored as the post-time choice and paid a very non-chalky $9.00 to win.

Since then, it’s been an almost inconceivable 25 consecutive races without a single favorite visiting the winner’s circle.

“The GSY races remind me of the races at The Big M in the 1970s and 80s,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “Full fields, constant pressure on the horses going to the lead, which leads to exciting finishes making it possible for horses to close from far off the pace. That type of racing typically leads to larger than average payoffs, which leads to larger than average pools. In fact, last Friday (April 22), the average GSY pool was well over $200,000.”

Getting back to the racetrack regular, the average GSY payoffs are sure to make him or her smile.

Over the last 26 GSY races since March 11, not one horse has gone off at odds of less than even-money. Fifteen of the 26 races have seen the post-time choice go off at 2-1 or more with 5-2 or more being the price on the chalk on eight occasions.

These average payoffs are outstanding to say the least, with win ($21.09), exacta ($189.84), trifecta ($1,389.61) and superfecta ($7,798.50) returns that are well above the norm.

“The GSY races are more unpredictable, which make the wagering on them appealing to an increasing number of horseplayers,” said Settlemoir. “Last Friday, the first GSY event handled $266,757. That’s an eye-popping number for any race.”

The GSY will have four races at The Meadowlands – for a sixth consecutive week – when racing resumes Friday (April 29) at 6:20 p.m.

THE BIG M GOES NATIONWIDE: For a second consecutive year, the biggest stakes events on the Meadowlands calendar will be made available to a national television audience as the New York Racing Association’s TV department will team up with The Big M’s for six live telecasts on Fox Sports 2.

The first show will feature Thoroughbred racing from Churchill Downs as well as harness action from The Meadowlands, and is set to air on Saturday (April 30) from 7-11 p.m.

“The Meadowlands is proud to shine a bright Standardbred racing spotlight on the FS2 national telecast Saturday night,” said Settlemoir. “It’s an honor to be part of the Opening Night festivities at Churchill Downs, which begins the countdown to the greatest two minutes in sports, The (May 7) Kentucky Derby.”

The second and third shows will be telecast on May 14 (9-11:30 p.m.) and June 18 (9-11:30 p.m.) as part of NYRA’s “America’s Day at the Races” presentation and will feature the same Churchill Downs/Meadowlands pairing.

The following two shows will be on July 9 (from 8-11 p.m.), which will feature eliminations for The Meadowlands Pace, and July 16 (8-11 p.m.), when the $700,000 (est.) Pace Final will be in the spotlight.

The sixth and final show will be on Aug. 6 (from 6-7 p.m.) when The Meadowlands’ Championship Meeting concludes with the 97th edition of the $1 million Hambletonian. That show will be telecast as part of NYRA’s “Saratoga Live”.

DEEP PICK-4 POOLS: Last Saturday (April 23), handle at The Big M topped the $3-million mark for seventh time during 2022, with the two Pick-4 races serving as the catalyst on a night that saw action total $3,164,022 on the 13-race card.

Betting on the sixth race was $285,431 as the Early 50-cent Pick-4 took in $103,089 while a total of $299,884 was put in play in the 10th, with $103,988 of that on the Late P4.

WHHC ON SATURDAY: With The Meadowlands being the top Standardbred venue in the sport, it’s a natural that the World Harness Handicapping Championship Final would be held at The Big M (it takes place on Sept. 10), and those who’d like to earn a spot in the big event can do so when there is another WHHC Qualifier at the mile oval on Saturday (April 30).

The contest has a $400 buy-in – $200 is a non-refundable entry fee and a $200 “betting card” must also be purchased. Entrants keep all pari-mutuel winnings, and there are a maximum of four entries per person.

What could work out to be even bigger than players keeping their winnings? The top four finishers will win a spot in the WHHC Final.

For complete information, go to

SURVIVE THE SUMMER: On Friday, May 6, The Meadowlands’ Summer Meet Survival Challenge, sponsored by 123Racing, begins with some great things on the table for bettors.

Cash prizes and World Harness Handicapping Championship seats are up for grabs in the competition, which is an online contest that is free to enter.

The game runs throughout the track’s Championship Meeting and concludes on Hambletonian Day.

For complete information, go to

DERBY DAY COUNTDOWN: One of the biggest days of the year on the horse racing – and all of sports – calendar is the first Saturday in May, when the Kentucky Derby takes place at Churchill Downs.

Meadowlands’ regulars know that watching and wagering on the “Run for the Roses” in The Big M’s expansive simulcast area is the way to go.

The 148th running of The Derby takes place on May 7. Doors at The Meadowlands open at 9 a.m., with the first race at Churchill heading to the gate at 10:30 a.m. Live harness racing begins at 6:20 p.m., with the Kentucky Derby scheduled for 6:57 p.m.

There are numerous dining options for Derby Day at The Big M. For complete information, go to

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) and Edison Hatter (@Edison_1999_).

A HALF-DOZEN CHANCES: 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”.

NBA ACTION IN “THE BOOK”: The FanDuel Sportsbook is the top facility of its type in the world, but Meadowlands fans already knew that, because “The Book” is located inside the grandstand at The Big M.

The NBA playoffs roll on Thursday (April 28) with a super tripleheader.

In the first game (7 p.m.), the visiting Philadelphia 76ers are a 1½-point favorite over the Toronto Raptors. The Sixers are -122 on the money line and the under/over is 210½.

Game two tips just 30 minutes later, where the Phoenix Suns (-2) travel to New Orleans to take on the Pelicans. The Suns are -134 on the money line and the under/over is 214½.

In the nightcap (10 p.m.), the Dallas Mavericks are another road favorite (-1) as they take on the Utah Jazz. The Mavs are -116 on the money line and the under/over is 210½.

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.