HARNESS RACES IN THOROUGHBRED PLACES A WIN FOR BIG M
Thursday, April 27, 2023
Hoping to continue the momentum that was put in motion two years ago, The Meadowlands is once again partnering with the TV team at the New York Racing Association (NYRA) to show some of the biggest harness stakes there are to a nationwide Thoroughbred-centric audience on the networks of Fox Sports.
On Saturday (April 29), “America’s Day at the Races” will feature the Opening Night program at Churchill Downs, and, as the Churchill races are shown, so too will the card from The Big M, on the show which will be telecast from 6-11 p.m. (The show will be on FS1 until 9 p.m., then switch to FS2 after that)
The Meadowlands’ Jessica Otten will once again be the on-camera talent for the broadcasts. She will be joined by Gabe Prewitt for several shows beginning in July.
There will be a total of eight Fox shows featuring Big M harness races. The first two will show both the evening program from Churchill Downs in addition to the trotters and pacers from the New Jersey mile oval.
Historically, presentations such as these never showed harness races, opting to just show Thoroughbred action, but management at The Big M thought that was something that needed to change.
“We wanted to have a vehicle where people who would normally just be exposed to Thoroughbred races would have a chance to see our races as well,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “Teaming up with the TV crew at the NYRA has provided us a chance to show our races to an audience that we hope will take to our product. We feel that last year’s exposure on these Fox Network shows has helped us, at least in small part, to have what has so far been a tremendous year of business at The Meadowlands.”
The schedule for when Meadowlands’ races will be shown on either FS1 or FS2 is as follows:
• Saturday, April 29 (6-11 p.m.)
• Friday, May 19 (9-11:30 p.m.)
• Saturday, May 20 (8-11 p.m.; featuring the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial FFA Trot)
• Saturday, July 1 (9-11 p.m.; Crawford Farms and Six Pack FFA Trots, Dave Brower Memorial and Perfect Sting FFA Paces)
• Saturday, July 8 (9-11 p.m.; Meadowlands Pace eliminations, Graduate finals)
• Saturday, July 15 (10 p.m.-midnight; Meadowlands Pace, William Haughton Memorial, Hambletonian Maturity plus other stakes for total purses of $2.5 million)
• Saturday, Aug. 5 (1-5 p.m. and 6-7 p.m.; Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks plus other stakes for total purses of $3.5 million)
• Friday, Sept. 8 (9-11 p.m.; New Jersey Classic Series finals)
“(Meadowlands’ President and Chief Executive Officer) Jeff (Gural) and I have always thought that showing our product to a national television audience would go a long way toward expanding our fan base,” said Settlemoir, “and these shows on Fox Sports are a great way for us to accomplish this.
“For those who might not be aware, The Meadowlands is not your normal chalky harness venue. The Big M offers some of the most ultra-competitive races in the industry, be it Thoroughbred or Standardbred. Hopefully, we can get some lifelong Thoroughbred bettors to give us a try after seeing what we have to offer.”
With many dashes offering full 10-horse fields and winning favorites that score at a value-to-the-player friendly 35 percent, The Big M is at the top of heap in the nighttime market handle race – regardless of breed – with an average well in excess of $3-million per card.
DON’T PAY: Free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available by going to playmeadowlands.com.
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.
• 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 14: Late 10-cent Hi-5
KENTUCKY DERBY DAY: “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” is the Kentucky Derby, so come on out to The Meadowlands on Saturday, May 6, and catch the “Run for the Roses” in one of the best simulcast facilities you’ll find anywhere.
The race is slated to go to the gate at 6:57 p.m.
Want to relax and have a nice meal? Well, The Big M can take care of that, too.
There are a handful of ways to go, including a $100 option, which is a table for four with the cost going towards food in the Café.
There will also be availability in the Lounge, which has $50 seats in the bar, as well as 2- and 4-person tables at $50 per person.
For some fine dining, check out the big Derby Day buffet in Pink Restaurant for $64.95.
For complete information, or to buy tickets, go to https://playmeadowlands.com/event/2022-kentucky-derby-simulcast-day/
There is also a Derby Day Hat Contest, where those with chapeaus that make an impression will vie for $1,000 in total prize money.
To be eligible, one must register between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the Clubhouse Lobby. Judging will take place in the winner’s circle at approximately 5 p.m., with first place worth $500.
BEER FEST: Also part of the Derby Day festivities is The Big M’s seventh annual Beer Festival.
The event, which is rain or shine, will offer a VIP package for $65 – where samplers can taste from 4 p.m.-9 p.m. – as well as general admission for $45 ($50 at the door), where sampling will take place from 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Over 60 breweries will be participating, with music provided by DJ ALX.
For more information, and to purchase tickets, go to https://meadowlandsracetrack.ticketleap.com/2023-meadowlands-racetrack-beer-fest/
WIN SOME WIN BETS: How about making a $100 win bet without reaching into your pocket?
You can do that on Derby Day at The Big M. What can you win? There will be a total of 20 wagers given out, all worth $100. Ten will be drawn at 6 p.m. and those bets are to be made on the Kentucky Derby. The other 10 will be drawn at 7 p.m. and those wagers are to be made on the live harness card.
Fans must complete a registration form online to be eligible, must be 18 or older to win and can only win one time per night.
To register, go to https://playmeadowlands.com/event/2022-kentucky-derby-simulcast-day/
CLEAN UP THE YARD: It’s that time of year to get your lawn and garden in shape, and The Meadowlands can provide the tool to get the job done.
On Saturday (April 29), two winners of a Snapper XD blower with an 82V max lithium battery will be announced.
You must be present in order to win and entries will be accepted online only.
To fill out an entry form, go to https://playmeadowlands.com/event/2023-spring-clean-up-sweeps/
BRING YOUR DANCING SHOES: On Friday nights, beginning on May 5, 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.
CAN YOU SURVIVE? On Friday, May 5, The Big M’s “Summer Meet Survival Challenge”, powered by 123Racing, will begin with cash prizes and seats in the World Harness Handicapping Championship up for grabs in the competition that is online only but free to participate in.
The game covers the entirety of the “Championship Meet”, which concludes on Saturday, August 5.
For complete details, and to enter, go to https://www.survival-challenge.com/
HORSEPLAY GIVEAWAY: Would you like to win a car?
Well, then come to The Meadowlands starting on Friday, May 5, for the “Horseplay Car Giveaway”, where the grand prize is a 2023 Toyota Camry.
Every live racing night, patrons will toss small rubber horses into a moving car along the fence at the track, and those whose horses make it into the vehicle have a chance to win it. 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 is 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.
For complete information and giveaway rules, go to https://playmeadowlands.com/event/2023-horseplay-toyota-giveaway/2023-05-05/