Thursday, January 20, 2022

For those craving action this weekend, The Meadowlands will be the center of the universe in the greater metropolitan area with a plethora of options for players, with live harness action on Friday and Saturday at 6:20 p.m., the first World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier and betting that will be at a fever pitch in the track’s FanDuel Sportsbook.

Friday (Jan. 21) night will serve as the appetizer to Saturday’s (Jan. 22) symphony of wagering opportunities as the NFL Playoffs hit high gear while the WHHC qualifier will offer a $10,000 total prize pool (based on 50 entrants) with four seats in the Sept. 10 WHHC Final up for grabs.

The Big M will be the place many of the top players on the east coast will head as they try to qualify for the final and make some big green in the tournament that offers a live wagering format.

For complete WHHC information, go to https://playmeadowlands.com/event/2022-january-400-whhc-qualifier/

This weekend, the live harness action will feature a pair of 15-race programs.

The Friday night Preferred for trotters features a pair of Dover Downs shippers who get to renew their rivalry about 140 miles north of that five-eighths-mile track as Warrior One takes on Crystal Fashion.

The last time the pair hooked up, Warrior One held on by a nose in 1:53, holding off the pocket-sitting Crystal Fashion, who, unlike his main foe, has a Meadowlands tightener under his belt since, a fifth-place finish to repeat winner Get Legs last week.

Saturday night’s Preferred for pacers features Backstreet Shadow, who seeks a second straight score in the weekly feature, after a 1:50.2 wire-to-wire win on a night where the real feel temperature was 2 degrees.

Round two of the NFL Playoffs begin on Saturday when the Tennessee Titans – a 3½-point favorite – host the Cincinnati Bengals at 4:30 p.m. The Titans are -180 on the money line and the under/over is 47.

In the late game, the San Francisco 49ers travel to Green Bay where the Packers are a 5½-point favorite in a game that kicks off at 8:15 p.m. Green Bay is -245 on the money line and the under/over is 47.

The FanDuel Sportsbook is one of the best in the country and is located inside the grandstand at The Big M. 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.

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” pre-game show kicks off nightly at 5:47 p.m.

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), Shades (@ShadesOnRacing) and Edison Hatter (@Edison_1999_).

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 playmeadowlands.com.

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 15: 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 playmeadowlands.com, then click on the “handicapping” tab and go to “race reviews”.

WARM UP WHEN IT’S CHILI: One of the more popular promotions at the track is the “Chili Cook-Off”, which takes place on Saturday, Jan. 29. 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 https://playmeadowlands.com/event/2022-meadowlands-winter-chili-cook-off/