Thursday, September 1, 2022

Still basking in the afterglow of a Hambletonian Day card that saw the fourth-highest single-card total handle (combining North American and international outlets) in the history of the track, The Meadowlands returns with live racing tonight (Thursday, Sept. 1) when an eight-day fall “mini meet” kicks off. Post time is 6:20 p.m.

Betting on the 16-race, Aug. 6 Hambo Day card totaled $8,555,851. Only 2002 ($8,819,235), 2005 ($9,015,019) and 2014 ($8,739,953) saw more money pushed through the windows on the “Greatest Day in Harness Racing”.

There will be eight live programs at The Big M over the next three weeks before harness racing goes on hiatus for six weeks. Thoroughbred action will take place from Sept. 23 through Oct. 22. Live harness will then return on Nov. 4.

Harness racing at The Meadowlands will take place on two Thursdays (Sept. 1 and 8) and three Fridays and Saturdays (Sept. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17) during September.

This weekend’s action will feature the Kindergarten and NJ Classic Series. In mid-November, the Kindergarten will have four finals that will go for estimated purses totaling $1 million. The brand-new NJ Classic Series for horses bred in the Garden State will no doubt help to keep the breeding industry rolling. The series will have six finals on Sept. 16 for horses of high – and moderate – calibers vying for total purses estimated at $1.25 million.

The harness racing spotlight will shift to out-of-town Grand Circuit events when Big M harness is down. Some of the bigger races that Meadowlands’ simulcast patrons can look forward to are the Little Brown Jug at the Delaware (OH) Fairgrounds on Sept. 22, the Kentucky Futurity at Lexington’s (KY) Red Mile on Oct. 9 and the 12-race, $6.7-million Breeders Crown at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 28-29.

Once the Crown trophies have been doled out, live harness racing will then return to The Meadowlands on Nov. 4 for the “Fall Championship Meet”.

The Kindergarten finals will take place Nov. 12. Two weeks later, the Big M will host its third biggest card of the year – after Meadowlands Pace Night and Hambletonian Day – when “Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night” takes center stage on Nov. 26. That evening, divisional titles, and, quite possibly, Horse of the Year honors will be determined on a card where estimated total purses are $2.6 million.

SPECTACULAR SIMULCASTS: On Saturday (Sept. 3), Flightline is out to remain unbeaten when he heads the field for the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar Racetrack.

The top-rated dirt horse in the world, Flightline, perfect in four starts, is the 1-5 morning-line favorite in the mile-and-a-quarter event. The Classic will be the first time the John Sadler trainee will go longer than one mile. Post time for the race is 8:35 p.m. EDT.

At Saratoga, seven horses – four from Todd Pletcher’s barn – will get in the gate for the $1-million Jockey Club Gold Cup at a mile-and-a-quarter. Untreated, Americanrevolution, Keepmeinmind and Dynamic One makeup Pletcher’s “Fab Four”. Post time is 5:45 p.m.

Harness enthusiasts will be checking out the action at Woodbine Mohawk Park, where huge stars will be on the track in a pair of big-money events.

Bulldog Hanover, whose 1:45.4 win in the William Haughton Memorial at The Meadowlands last month was the fastest mile in the history of the sport, will try and up his win streak to nine in the $650,000 Canadian Pacing Derby (post time, 10:20 p.m.), while Alrajah One IT, who is unbeaten in three starts since coming to North America, tops the $610,000 Maple Leaf Trot (post time, 9:30 p.m.).

Three-time defending Dan Patch award-winning Driver of the Year Dexter Dunn will pilot both horses, who figure to go off as heavy favorites at post time.

WHHC CHAMPIONSHIP: The World Harness Handicapping Championship takes place at The Meadowlands on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Players who did not earn a seat through qualifying events can directly buy in for $1,000. The fee includes a $300 bankroll with the remaining $700 going into the prize pool.

Entry includes a live racing program and a dinner buffet.

The top 10 finishers will earn cash prizes.

For complete information, go to

CHECK OUT THE PAST MASTERS: On Saturday, Sept. 10, enjoy live harness racing and live music as The Past Masters will be playing on Victory Terrace up on the roof at The Big M. The music begins at 5:30 p.m., approximately one hour before racing kicks off.

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

CHECK OUT THE SHOW: On live racing nights, tune in to the track’s live “Racing from The Meadowlands” pregame show, which kicks off at 5:47 p.m.

IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON! It’s the best time of the year for sports bettors, as the National Football League season begins on Thursday, Sept. 8, when the Buffalo Bills travel to Los Angeles to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Rams at 8:20 p.m.

Players know that one of the best places to get their action is the FanDuel Sportsbook, which is located inside the grandstand at The Big M.

The Bills, who are the +600 favorites to win the upcoming Super Bowl, are a 2½-point favorite. The Rams, +1100 to repeat as champions, are +114 on the money line in the game that has an over/under of 52½.

On the local front, those who like betting under/overs for wins can get in the game.

The New York Giants are +125 to win more than 7½ games and -145 to win less than 7½.

The New York Jets are -145 to win more than 5½ times and +125 to win less than 5½.

Before you get your bets down, go to for up-to-dates lines on any sporting event the book offers.

The sportsbook is open for business 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.