Thursday, February 10, 2022

Meadowlands fans are in store for a special weekend, in fact, you could say after two days of the best harness racing anywhere, they will then go “Big Game Hunting”.

The mile oval will have live harness racing on Friday (Feb. 11) and Saturday (Feb. 12) before the track’s FanDuel Sportsbook will be the hottest spot in town on Sunday (Feb. 13), the day of the National Football League’s championship game.

Friday night’s 13-race card will get underway at 6:20 p.m. with temperatures during the night expected to be 30 degrees warmer than a week ago. The man with the hottest hands in harness racing, driver Yannick Gingras, will look to stay on a roll in the early stages of the Winter Meeting. The 42-year-old Hall of Fame bound pilot, who’s won at least three races during seven of the eight race cards contested at The Meadowlands thus far this year, had five victories last Saturday to up his driver-colony-leading total to 31.

They’ll be a carryover of $8,572 offered Friday on the 20-cent Pick-6 after no winning tickets were sold last Saturday. Like last week, the final pool is likely to offer a “negative takeout”, when more money is returned to the bettors who go six-for-six than what is wagered in “new money”.

Saturday will bring another 6:20 p.m. post time for the first of 13 dashes, with one of the races standing above the rest.

Race eight is the $40,000 Sweetheart Pace, an event for Preferred mares, where seven of the nine horses in the field have lifetime earnings of over $300,000. Machnhope, Racine Bell and Alexa Skye are among the entrants who will be familiar to Big M regulars.

On Sunday, the joint will be jumping, with simulcasting all day and football all night.

In the NFL’s title tilt, the game between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals kicks off at 6:30 p.m. The Rams are a 4-point favorite who are -198 on the money line. The under/over is 48½.

If prop bets are your thing, you can try total passing yards for the two starting quarterbacks. Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow’s number is 276½, and you can get -110 if you think he will have less or more. The number for the Rams’ Matthew Stafford is 281½ and both the over and under also are -110.

How about something a little different? If you want to wager that the game will go into overtime, you can get +1040. Game ends in regulation? That’s -2000. If you think the Rams’ Aaron Donald will record a sack, your odds are -192. If you think he won’t do it, you can get +150.

Come on out to the sportsbook, located in the grandstand at The Meadowlands, to watch and wager on the action. 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.

According to survey results released Tuesday by the American Gaming Association (AGA), the game is setting up to be the most heavily bet ever with an estimated $7.61 billion potentially on the line. Another estimation projects that 31.4 million American adults plan on betting the game.

“The results are clear,” said Bill Miller, President of the AGA. “Americans have never been more interested in legal sports wagering.”

WATCH THE BIG GAME: The Meadowlands is offering football fans several options to watch the game on Sunday. There will be seating in the Victory Outdoor Heated Pavilion, seating at tables in the Grandstand Lounge and couch seating in the Grandstand Lounge. All areas will offer great dining options as well.

For more information, go to

BRING YOUR SWEETHEART: Would you and your significant other like to do some fine dining while you watch the races? Head to The Big M this Friday and Saturday.

While taking in the harness action, couples can feast in The Big M’s Pink Restaurant. Friday night’s buffet is priced at $49.95 per person, while Saturday’s – which features prime rib – is $69.95.

Both nights, diners will enjoy a complimentary glass of champagne and all the ladies will get a red rose.

For a look at the complete menus, go to

For reservations, call 201-THE-BIGM.

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 YOUR FREE PROGRAMS: The Meadowlands offers free programs for every race of every Big M program. To access the no-cost past performances, go to

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

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_).

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”.