Thursday, January 27, 2022

Fans of the 20-cent Pick-6 at The Meadowlands will be out in force Friday (Jan. 28) night hoping to turn a negative into a positive when The Big M kicks off its 26-race weekend of live action at 6:20 p.m.

Last Saturday (Jan. 22), for a second straight race card, the Pick-6 failed to yield a winning ticket, so when racing resumes, there will be a carryover of $14,033 up for grabs. Those who had five correct were paid $672.72.

Pick-6 carryovers can create pools where the bettor gets incredible value. Take what would transpire this Friday, for instance. If $80,000 in “new money” is poured into the pool, there will be a “negative takeout”, meaning bettors with all six winners on their tickets will get back more than what’s wagered that night.

That $80,000 is subject to the low 15 percent takeout, which means $12,000 goes back to the operator, leaving $68,000. The carryover is not subject to the “rake”, so the total pool would be $82,033, which creates a “negative takeout”, where the return to players is more than what is bet live. In addition, the 20-cent minimum bet allows players to “spread” their tickets with multiple combinations, increasing their chances of hitting big.

The Pick-6 takes place on races eight through 13 and free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands race card are available by going to

GINGRAS THE GREAT: Harness racing’s hottest hands belong to Yannick Gingras, as the 42-year-old has left a path of destruction through The Meadowlands’ driver colony in the early stages of 2022.

The Hall of Fame bound pilot won six times on the Saturday night card at The Big M – including a victory in the feature with Covered Bridge – to up his driver-colony leading win total to 24. Joe Bongiorno is a distant second with 13.

Gingras has been remarkably consistent, winning at least three races on each of the six race cards conducted this year.

“It’s been horsepower,” said Gingras of his wicked winter. “Ronnie [Burke] is racing a little more this [winter] than last year and the horses are in the right spot. I don’t feel any sharper, honestly. I don’t get too up or down. I feel good right now. It’s just the way the cards are rolling.”

Remarkably, only one of “The Green Hornet’s” Saturday winners went off as the favorite.

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.

OTTEN TO HOST: Big M TV’s Jessica Otten will take a turn in the host’s chair this Friday, and on the pregame show, she’ll interview Lauren Harmon during the track’s popular “In the Sulky” segment, which begins at approximately 5:50 p.m.

Harmon is a native of Michigan who grew up in a racing family – her dad Don Harmon and stepmother Krista Williams Harmon have a stable in the Midwest. Lauren, the niece of longtime Big M horseman Rob Harmon, is second trainer at in Ohio and drives in amateur events there.

WEATHER ALERT: With the possibility of bad weather hitting the area, those who want to make sure that there is live racing or simulcasting at The Meadowlands should check out the track’s website ( or call 201-THE-BIGM before heading to the track.

BIG POOLS, SMALL TAKEOUTS: The Meadowlands is the industry’s handle leader, and much of the reason why is many of the bets the mile oval offers feature a low takeout of 15 percent.

Here is a rundown of those wagers for the upcoming weekend:

  • 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 Dave 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”.

DRINK FROM THE CUP: The $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational takes place Saturday at Gulfstream Park, and if you aren’t planning to hop on a plane and head to Florida in time for the race, the place to watch and wager is The Meadowlands in one of the leading simulcast facilities in the country.

Defending champion Knicks Go (6-5 on the morning line) and primary foe Life Is Good (7-5) have drawn post positions one and four, respectively, in the nine-horse field.

The program also features the $1 million Pegasus World Turf Cup and $500,000 Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Saturday’s program at Gulfstream starts at 11:30 a.m. Post time for the World Cup – the last of 12 races on the card – is 5:34 p.m.

WARM UP WHEN IT’S CHILI: One of the more popular promotions at the track is the “Chili Cook-Off”, which has been rescheduled from its original Jan. 29 and will now take place on Feb. 5. Patrons can walk around and taste samples, or, if you have a chili recipe, come on out and participate. You might walk away with the $1,000 grand prize.

For more information, 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 Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Shades (@ShadesOnRacing) and Edison Hatter (@Edison_1999_).

CONFERENCE TITLE TIME: The National Football League playoffs are down to the final four teams, and those who want to watch and wager on the action can do so inside the FanDuel Sportsbook, located inside the grandstand at The Meadowlands.

Both semifinal games take place Sunday (Jan. 30), and at 3 p.m., the Cincinnati Bengals (+275 on the money line) travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs (-350), who are a 7-point favorite in the AFC matchup. The under/over is 54½.

The late game – which kicks off at 6:40 p.m. – has the Los Angeles Rams (-176), a 3½-point favorite, taking on the visiting San Francisco 49ers (+148) in the NFC tilt. The under/over is 45½.

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.