Thursday, November 3, 2022

– Live harness racing returns to The Meadowlands Friday (Nov. 4) after a six-week hiatus, and for Big M fans craving action, things will go full-bore from the start of the “Fall Championship Meet” both on the track and in the best simulcast venue anywhere.

Post time for the first race this Friday and Saturday (Nov. 5) is 6:20 p.m.

During the weekend, the fourth and final leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of each sex and gait will take place over the mile oval, while in Kentucky, the best thoroughbreds in training will go at it in the Breeders’ Cup, with the action available for Meadowlands’ patrons in the track’s expansive simulcast area.

On Opening Night Friday, the GSY (Gural Settlemoir Yarock) Racing Club will pay tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, who was a great lover of horses.

There will be a video tribute to The Queen shown during the night, and then later in the evening on the track, the GSY drivers that Big M fans are familiar with will take on five pilots from Britain in what promise to be races with full fields, big wagering pools and unpredictable outcomes. A bagpiper will be on hand to add to the festivities.

Thoroughbred fans will get to watch and wager on the Breeders’ Cup – which will have five events – earlier in the day. They are:

  • $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint (3 p.m.)
  • $2 million Juvenile Fillies (3:40 p.m.)
  • $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf (4:20 p.m.)
  • $2 million Juvenile (5 p.m.)
  • $1 million Juvenile Turf (5:40 p.m.)

Saturday’s live racing will feature the Kindergarten and those dashes will serve as the last chance for horses to earn their way into the following week’s four big-money finals, with estimated total purses exceeding $1 million.

Day two of the Breeders’ Cup has a gigantic marquee attraction, with Breeders’ Cup Classic favorite, the unbeaten Flightline, serving as the headliner.

Get ready for a long day at the races. Doors at The Big M open at 9:30 a.m. with the first race at Keeneland slated for 10:30 a.m. The nine Cup events are:

  • $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint (11:50 a.m.)
  • $1 million Turf Sprint (12:29 p.m.)
  • $2 million Sprint (1:10 p.m.)
  • $2 million Filly & Mare Turf (1:50 p.m.)
  • $1 million Dirt Mile (2:30 p.m.)
  • $2 million Mile (3:10 p.m.)
  • $2 million Distaff (3:55 p.m.)
  • $4 million Turf (4:40 p.m.)
  • $6 million Classic (5:40 p.m.)

Ala carte dining for Big M fans taking in the Breeders’ Cup is available in the Lounge on both Friday and Saturday. Reservations can be made by emailing

CIRCLE THE DATE: After Hambletonian Day and Meadowlands Pace Night, the next biggest race card of the year at The Meadowlands is Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night, which takes place on Saturday, Nov. 26.

That evening, eight events make up the last major night of the harness racing year. Two-year-olds will be in the spotlight in four $400,000 (est.) dashes: the Governor’s Cup (male pace), Three Diamonds (filly pace), Valley Victory (male trot) and Goldsmith Maid (filly trot).

In addition, there will be four TVG Finals: the $350,000 (est.) 3&up Pace, $350,000 (est.) 3&up Trot, $175,000 (est.) 3&up F&M Pace and $175,000 (est.) 3&up F&M Trot. Estimated purses for the stakes events total $2.65 million.

There have been times in the past when Horse of the Year honors have been clinched on this autumn evening, but that’s not the case this year with Bulldog Hanover having already locked up that award with his long list of accomplishments this season, which include a 1:45.4 clocking at The Meadowlands, the fastest mile ever in the history of the sport.

To make this night even more memorable, Bulldog’s connections are tentatively going to put the Breeders Crown champion in the entry box for what could be the final start of his career. This is a race not to be missed.

THE SCHEDULE: Racing at The Big M will be conducted on a Friday-Saturday basis through the end of the year, with a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m. There is one exception on the schedule, as there will be no live racing on Dec. 23-24.

REMEMBERING BROWER: There will be a Celebration of Life for Dave Brower on Saturday, Nov. 12. The ceremony has a special early start time of 5:30 p.m.

The longtime lead TV host, oddsmaker and program analyst at the track, Brower passed away on Oct. 7 at age 53 while on assignment at The Red Mile, sending shock waves throughout the industry.

Brower will be remembered in the winner’s circle before the races, and then during the card, there will be interviews conducted by Brower’s longtime broadcast partner, Dave Little, on set with people who will share stories about the popular personality, who spent two decades working at The Big M.

WHAT’S AHEAD? The track’s extremely popular Fall edition of the Chili Cook-Off takes place on Saturday (Nov. 5).

Do you have a recipe that proves you have what it takes to win one of the cash prizes – totaling $4,500 – being offered? The three categories for contestants to consider are homestyle, chili verde and salsa. Don’t want to enter, but want to get a taste? Free samples will be available.

For those interested in entering, go to

On Saturday, Nov. 12, come to the track for the races and a great show when you experience the ultimate Elton and Elvis Tribute Show. Ralph Carey performs the songs of Elvis Presley while Russ Davis does Elton John.

Each performer will do one set solo, and the duo will come back and play a set together. All the music will be backed by a live band.

For tickets, go to

CHECK OUT THE SHOW: Every live racing night, don’t forget to check out the live “Racing from The Meadowlands” pregame show. It begins at 5:45 p.m.

The on-set team of Dave Little and Jessica Otten will give updates on what’s happening in the sport and talk at length about that evening’s featured races.

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 Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Edison Hatter (@Edison_1999_).

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

WHERE TO BET: It’s always best to experience Meadowlands races live at the track, but if you can’t make it out to the mile oval, you’d be hard-pressed to find a simulcast parlor in a racetrack or an off-track wagering facility that did not offer the No. 1 harness product in the world.

Another way to watch and wager on the action is through (the Television Games Network), where one can place a wager on Big M action and watch the races in the same place.

VISIT THE BOOK: If you bet the horses, you probably like wagering on professional football, too. Not to mention the World Series.

For Meadowlands fans, access to all this action and more is right inside the grandstand at the No. 1 facility of its type in the country, the FanDuel Sportsbook.

On Thursday (Nov. 3), the high-flying Philadelphia Eagles head to Houston for an 8:15 p.m. game with the Texans. Despite being the road team, the unbeaten birds are a 14-point favorite. The under/over is 45½.

The New York Jets are having a season that has provided a pleasant surprise for their fans, and they’ll be in action on Sunday (Nov. 6).

The Jets will host the powerhouse Buffalo Bills in a 1 p.m. kickoff and are getting 12½ points in the game that has an under/over of 46½.

The Giants have their bye week.

For baseball fans, Game 5 of the World Series has a first pitch of 8 p.m. on Thursday (Nov. 3). The home-team Philadelphia Phillies and Series’ favorite Houston Astros are tied at two wins apiece in the best-of-seven event.

The Astros are a -156 favorite to take a three to two lead in the series. The under/over is 7½ runs.

Hours for the book are Monday through Thursday 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.-midnight.