Friday, February 10, 2023

New Zealand-bred Chris Ryder-trainee Burnham Boy N hit the winner’s circle at The Meadowlands on Saturday, Jan. 28 before a close-up second-place finish one week later in the weekly feature while Great Britain’s On The Money GB has won both of her starts since coming to North America for trainer Ron Burke.

Another Burke student, Ladyford Dollar GB, one of several horses brought over from the Weaver Bruscemi ownership group, missed a neck in his last Big M start, coming up just short in a bid to also stay perfect in two American outings.

The Nik Drennan-schooled Crunch Time A (Australia) arrived from Down Under in early November and reeled off four wins in a row, the last two in overnight features. Belmont Royale N (NZ) has won three-of-five starts since coming to town from the land of kangaroos, wallabies and the All-Blacks Rugby Club.

Horses from far-away lands have been making a lot of noise at The Big M of late, and figure to continue to do so for a long time to come.

Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Ireland, France. These countries – in addition to the U.S., Canada and Sweden – have seen horses owned and bred from these destinations compete this winter at the No. 1 harness venue in the world in recent weeks. All over the globe, people are turning in to see and wager on the most popular nighttime horse racing venue in North America, The Meadowlands.

It’s no surprise that two of the most well-known trainers in the game have dipped their toes into the international waters, but with varying expectations.

“I have lots of connections in New Zealand and Australia who are looking for horses for me,” said New Zealand-native Nifty Norman, who trains Belmont Royale N. “If it’s the right kind of horse and if the deal is right, I go for it. I wait for them to find me. I think there are more horses for sale in Australia, but I prefer the New Zealand horses because they haven’t done as much racing. You go and try to buy the better ones. You want an open horse or better because it costs $25,000 to get them here.”

Burke keeps his expectations lower than Norman’s when it comes to his British-bred horses, but it’s easier to do since the plane flight for the horse is $15,000 lower.

“We had five horses before come over from Great Britain a couple of years ago and they did some winning on the middle coast,” said Burke. “On The Money GB is a good horse. We need them just to be good horses. We’re shooting for $40,000 claimers. Anything above that is a bonus. We have brought over another five. I really have faith in the guy we have. He and (my owner) Mark Weaver pick horses who they feel can transfer well to here.”

DON’T MISS THE DOUBLE: When you are in America on the east coast, post time at The Meadowlands is 6:20 p.m. But what about when you are out of town?

Here is when The Big M heads to the gate for the first race when you are out of town: Chicago, 5:20 p.m.; Las Vegas, 3:20 p.m.; California, 3:20 p.m.

If you are traveling internationally: Vancouver, 3:20 p.m.; Toronto, 6:20 p.m.; Montreal, 6:20 p.m.; United Kingdom, 11:20 p.m.; Paris, 12:20 a.m.; Stockholm, 12:20 a.m.; Rome, 12:20 a.m.; Melbourne, 9:20 a.m.; Auckland, 11:20 a.m.

“It’s gratifying to see The Meadowlands receive such incredible support from horseplayers, horse owners and racing fans, watching and wagering on the Big M all over the world,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir.

BIG BETS, BIG HITS: The Meadowlands’ streak of betting over $3 million on every Friday and Saturday night is alive and well, as $3,354,157 was pushed through the windows on the 14-race card on Feb. 4.

There have been nine programs during 2023 contested on Friday and Saturday, and each one has seen betting bust the $3-million barrier.

Fifty-cent Pick-4 players bet with both hands on the Saturday card, pumping $119,725 into the Early P4 pot and $102,353 on the Late P4. Twenty-cent Pick-5 action was also vigorous, with $78,534 put in play.

Saturday’s highlights included some hefty payouts, such as the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 ($7,421), 20-cent Pick-5 ($5,351), Late Pick-4 ($5,506) and the 11th race 10-cent Superfecta ($1,375).

CHECK OUT THE SHOW: The live “Racing from The Meadowlands” simulcast show takes place every racing night. Join Dave Little and Jessica Otten as they will provide news, notes, selections and commentary on the night’s featured races beginning at 5:45 p.m.

THE LONG ROAD AHEAD: Live racing at The Meadowlands will take place every Friday and Saturday for the next 26 consecutive weeks. Post time is 6:20 p.m., except for the last day of the meeting, Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 5, when the first race heads to the gate at noon.

SAVE THE MONEY FOR WAGERING: As always, free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available by going to

GET TWEETING: 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 Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Edison Hatter (@Edison_1999_).

LOW TAKEOUTS, $100K GUARANTEED: The Meadowlands offers plenty of value to the bettor with six wagers that offer low 15 per cent takeouts, 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

HATTER’S RACE REVIEWS: Race reviews and selections by The Meadowlands’ morning-line odds maker and TV talent Hatter are available 48 hours before a given race card. To access this valuable information from one of the brightest young minds in the sport, simply go to, go to the “handicapping” tab, then click “race reviews”.

BRING YOUR SWEETHEART: Bring your significant other for a night out at the races during Valentine’s Day Weekend, this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 10-11).

There will be a special lavish dinner offered in Pink Restaurant, perfect for a couple’s night out, for just $49.95 per person. Diners will enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling champagne, and in addition, there will be a red rose for the ladies.

For reservations, call 201-THE-BIGM.

For complete information, go to

WIN A NEW TV FOR THE GAME: On Saturday (Feb. 11), come out to The Meadowlands and win one of five high-definition TVs just in time to watch professional football’s championship game.

What will be up for grabs are two 55-inch TVS, two 60-inch TVs and one 70-inch TV.

The winners will be drawn after races 2, 4, 6 and 9.

Fans must complete an online registration form to be eligible to win. To enter, go to

PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS: An intriguing email invitation went out to horseplayers on Saturday, Jan. 28.

“Join tournaments today – harness racing comes to HorseTourneys,” the release read. “After a successful trial period, we’re officially expanding the HorseTourneys tournament schedule to include Standardbred harness racing programs at Woodbine (Mohawk) and The Meadowlands. Keep an eye out for the ‘harness’ tag on select $12 and $55 tourneys running Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at HorseTourneys.”

HorseTourneys is currently gauging players’ interest in paid harness racing contests to help determine future offerings.

Curious? Go to and check it out.

SEE THE BIG GAME IN “THE BOOK”: The National Football League’s championship game takes place Sunday (Feb. 12), and the best place to watch and wager on the event is the FanDuel Sportsbook, which is located inside the grandstand at The Meadowlands.

The game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. and the Philadelphia Eagles are a 1½-point favorite over the Kansas City Chiefs. The game has an under/over of 50½, and for those who prefer the money line, the Eagles are -122 while the Chiefs are +104.

There are several attractive options for patrons who’d like to spend the day at The Big M betting and watching the game, beginning with Option 1, which, for $60, is a view party from The Gallery with former New York Giants standout Amani Toomer and PIX-11 sportscaster Marc Malusis.

The $60 – which includes tax and tip – offers a game-day buffet of wings, hot dogs, burgers, fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks and chicken fingers.

Toomer and Malusis will conduct a Q&A 30 minutes before the start of the game. There will also be Giants swag giveaways.

Option 2, which costs $50, gets you a good seat for the game, and your pricing acts as credit towards food purchases.

For complete information, go to