Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Meadowlands is known as the top harness racing facility in the world, but visitors to the mile oval have a variety of choices in addition to watching and wagering on the best pacers and trotters, with the next few weeks seeing a wine festival, fine dining, action on pro sports and live professional wrestling among what will be offered at the track.

“We have a whole lot of entertainment going on here at The Meadowlands,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “The temperatures are heading toward 90 degrees this weekend, and The Meadowlands is becoming the hotbed of entertainment and racing in the metropolitan area.

“We offer a safe, beautiful place where patrons can gather inside or out, with the world’s greatest harness racing and the No. 1 sportsbook in North America. That combination turns The Meadowlands into such a unique venue, one that appeals to a remarkably diverse demographic.”

IT’S GRADUATION SEASON: The second leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-olds of each gait will be contested Friday (June 14) night, and despite the lack of a fireworks show (that comes on July 6) there will be plenty of firepower getting behind the starter car.

Four $50,000 leg two dashes will be contested on the program, with two on the trot and two on the pace.

Special Way (2-1 on the morning-line), the super mare from Ake Svanstedt who has lifetime earnings of over $1.1 million, will take on the boys in the first trotting division. She’ll face Banjamin Hanover (5-2), who took down Lexus Kody at The Big M on May 17.

The second trot pits Breeders Crown second-place finisher from a year ago, Up Your Deo (3-1), against Oh Well (8-1), who earned over a half-million dollars at both 2 and 3. Winner’s Bet, off three winning qualifiers for Nancy Takter, is the early choice at 2-1.

The first of two paces has a pair of $600,000 earners – Huntinthelastdolar (3-1) and Ken Hanover (5-2) – going toe-to-toe while the second dash features 2023 North America Cup and Little Brown Jug winner It’s My Show (6-1) taking on local favorite Voukefalas (8-1), who won The Big M’s Saturday night feature last week in a lifetime-best 1:48.4. The early 5-2 favorite is Seven Colors, who was victorious in leg one of the Graduate up at Woodbine Mohawk Park last week in 1:48.2.

BBQ EXTRAVAGANZA: On Saturday (June 15), come out for some great barbecue food at The Big M.

Chow down on some delicious barbecue from the best food trucks and restaurants in the area. The event takes place from 5-11 p.m.

Vendors can compete for $2,500 in prize money (details below):

  • Four prize categories – chicken, pulled pork, brisket, ribs and people’s choice ($500 top prize in each category)
  • Open to area food trucks and restaurants
  • To register: email
  • A $100 entry fee must be paid before June 15th
  • Entrants must be ready to sell by 4 p.m. and can sell any food items in addition to barbecue
  • Entrants must prepare six plates for judging. Turn-in times:Chicken at 7 p.m., pulled pork at 7:30 p.m., brisket at 8 p.m. and ribs at 8:30 p.m. Winners will be announced at 9 p.m.
  • For more information, email

CARIBBEAN FEAST: There is a five-course Caribbean cocktail pairing, featuring a menu crafted by Executive Chef Chris Burnett and cocktails created by Food and Beverage Manager Luis Zuniga, taking place on Saturday (June 15).

The cost is $69.95 per person (plus tax and gratuity) and each reservation includes a live racing program plus a $10 betting voucher.

For more information, go here.

STOP THAT WHINING: Next week, on Saturday, June 22, come out to The Meadowlands for Winefest, with over 30 participating producers and dozens of varietals.

Festival highlights include wines from around the globe and DJ ALX.

For more information, go here.

BYRNE BRAWL: Join The Meadowlands and ISPW on Saturday, June 29, for the first-ever Brendan Byrne Brawl.

This live pro wrestling event features seven action-packed matches.

The family friendly outing begins at 7 p.m., and matches will include Crowbar vs. ISPW Champion Rey Calitri as well as Big Vito vs. Rick Recon.

Matches will take place between the live harness races, with general admission tickets priced at $20 and VIP tickets to be sold for $100. VIP tickets include admission for four with seats at a picnic table next to the ring.

FORE! GOLF ACTION IN FANDUEL: The FanDuel Sportsbook, the No. 1 facility of its type in North America, is something Meadowlands fans are well aware of. After all, it’s located inside the grandstand at the mile oval.

With numerous huge-screen TVs, plenty of comfortable seating and food and drink options, serious sports bettors know that the book at the track is the place to be.

Golf fans are fired up for the U.S. Open, which gets underway on Thursday (June 13). Not surprisingly, the No. 1 player in the world, Scottie Scheffler, is the favorite to win the tournament at odds of +300. Next in line are Brooks Koepka (+600), Ludvig Aberg (+700), Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy (+1200), and Collin Morikawa (+1800).

The NBA Finals resume Friday (June 14) with Game 4 of the best-of-seven series slated for 8:30 p.m. in Dallas.

The Mavericks have a tough task ahead, as they will attempt to climb out of a three games to none hole in the best-of-seven series against the Boston Celtics. On Friday, Dallas is a 1-point favorite (-112 on the money line) in the game that has an under/over of 211½ points.

Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final is Thursday (June 13) in Edmonton. The Oilers, currently trailing the Florida Panthers two games to none in the best-of-seven series, are the -138 favorite (+184 minus a puck-and-a-half) in the 8 p.m. game that has an under/over of 5½ goals.

Thursday’s Major League Baseball action finds the New York Yankees playing a day game, but the New York Mets will be in action at 7:10 p.m. taking on the Miami Marlins.

The Mets are a -200 favorite in the game that has an under/over of 8½ runs.

Whatever the sport, for the latest odds, go here.

The FanDuel Sportsbook is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-1 a.m.; and Sunday 8 a.m.-midnight. For cash-at-counter customers, the hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-11 p.m.

BIG NIGHT AT MOHAWK: Simulcast patrons will be in their glory Saturday (June 15) night, when Woodbine Mohawk Park will host its biggest program of the year, with the marquee event the $1-million North America Cup for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the pace.

The Mohawk program will feature many equine stars that will be racing at The Meadowlands during 2024.

Harness racing fans will not miss any of the action from Canada Saturday night, as The Meadowlands will showcase the North America Cup and other stakes between the races at The Big M. The N.A. Cup is race 11 on the program and has a scheduled post time of 10:40 p.m.

Here is the field for the $1-million North America Cup:
Post – Horse – Driver – Trainer – Morning-Line Odds
1. Storm Shadow – Bob McClure – Dr. Ian Moore – 15-1
2. Captain Albano – Todd McCarthy – Noel Daley – 4-1
3. Captain Luke – Scott Zeron – Tony Alagna – 15-1
4. Nijinsky – Louis-Philippe Roy – Tony Beaton – 9-2
5. Captain’s Quarters – Jody Jamieson – Herb Holland – 5-2
6. Funtime Bayama – Sylvain Filion – Richard Moreau – 3-1
7. Ivy Park – Yannick Gingras – Nancy Takter – 15-1
8. Legendary Hanover – James MacDonald – Tony Beaton – 6-1
9. Total Stranger – Tim Tetrick – Nancy Takter – 20-1
10. Janelle Granny – Brett MacDonald – Ron MacDonald – 20-1
AE. Mirage Hanover – Tim Tetrick – Jake Leamon

CIRCLE THE DATES: The biggest nights of the calendar year at The Big M are the ones harness fans do not want to miss, and it all begins on July 13 with Meadowlands Pace Night.

Hambletonian Day (post time, noon) is next on the hit parade on August 3, followed by the Breeders Crown finals on October 25 and 26.

BREAKFAST WITH THE BABIES: The second week of “Breakfast with the Babies”, a showcase mainly consisting of 2-year-olds who are learning their trade, takes place Saturday (June 15) at 9 a.m.

Sponsored by Jules Siegel’s Fashion Farms, fans, horsemen and owners are invited to come out and enjoy a continental breakfast and beverages. In addition, programs will be provided to all those watching the races. The action will be live streamed via The Meadowlands website, and Northfield Park’s Michael Carter will be on the microphone from the announcer’s booth calling the action.

It’s all free and fun and everyone is invited to attend.

Qualifier and baby race proofs are available at

THE SKED: Live racing takes place every Friday and Saturday at The Meadowlands with a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m.

The Big M’s live “Racing from The Meadowlands” pregame show begins every racing night at 5:45 p.m.

FREE PROGRAMS EVERY NIGHT: Past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available free of charge. All one has to do is go to to access the information.

THE GREAT EIGHT: The Meadowlands’ appetizing betting menu is now a little tastier with the addition of a second 20-cent Pick-5, joining the pair of 50-cent Pick-4s already on the bill of fare.

There are eight wagers nightly that offer a chance for players to make a big hit while betting into big pools that offer a low takeout of just 15 percent. Here is the lineup:

  • Races 1-5: Early 20-cent Pick-5
  • Races 2-8: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 (mandatory payout nightly)
  • Races 4-9: 20-cent Pick-6
  • Races 6-9: Early 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
  • Race 7: 10-cent Pentafecta (Hi-5)
  • Races 8-12: Late 20-cent Pick-5
  • Races 10-13: Late 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
  • Races 11: 10-cent Pentafecta (Hi-5)

DIVE IN: Last week (Saturday, June 8), it was 20-cent Pick-6 players who got to swim in the deep end of the pool, as a $21,360 carryover led to almost $66,000 in “new money” being poured into the pot for a grand total of $87,176. Those with winning tickets after a sequence that saw winner’s odds of 1-9, 6-1, 3-5, 46-1, 5-2 and 2-1 cashed in for $3,865.14.

TOURNAMENT RECAP: Nick Montemurro took home $2,000 as the winner of The Big M’s handicapping contest that offered a prize pool of $5,000. All one had to do to enter was buy a $100 betting card, off which they could keep the profits if they won for the night.

Montemurro totaled $245.50, while second-place finisher K. Fossli totaled $228.00 to cash in for $1,250. Finishing third through fifth were J. Gioberti ($149.00, $1,000), Jim Bohnarczyk ($142.00, $500) and Bill Finnigan ($141.50, $250), respectively.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO WIN A CAR? When you come to The Meadowlands, you can make a score at the windows. But now, you could also walk away with a brand new 2024 Toyota Camry LE AWD by participating in the track’s HorsePlay Giveaway, which takes place every race day until Friday, Aug. 2.

The HorsePlay Giveaway is sponsored by Purple Haze Stables.

For complete information, and to enter this extremely popular promotion, go here.

SURVIVAL UPDATE: The Meadowlands Summer Survival Challenge, powered by 123Racing, kicked off on Friday, May 3. Cash prizes and Meadowlands swag are up for grabs in this free online contest.

The game covers the Meadowlands Championship Meet and will conclude on Saturday, Aug. 3

Currently, Ryebread64 leads the way in the Challenge with $368.00, followed by Bangtailbetter ($363.00) and Armada Moe ($360.20).

As for most winners, there is a tie at the top of the leaderboard, as Ryebread64 and Boonners Stable have 17 apiece. Yankee22 is third with 16.

What the players are shooting for:

The grand prize is $750 plus a Breeders Crown Night at the Races package

The second-place prize is $500 plus Meadowlands swag

The third-place prize is $250 plus Meadowlands swag

Most Winners selected: $200 plus Meadowlands swag

Highest monthly bankroll (May, June, July): $100 plus Meadowlands swag

The deadline for selections each day is 30 minutes before the 6:20 p.m. post time for the first race; 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3. After 30 minutes to post, all selections are final.

For further information, go here.

“X” MARKS THE SPOT: Everything Meadowlands is available by going on X (formerly known as Twitter). You can check in with the Big M team for early changes, racing information and staff selections by going to @themeadowlands or #playbigm.

Stay in touch with The Big M team of Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM) and Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover).

RALLIS’ RACE REVIEWS: For some help with your handicapping, check out the race reviews of The Big M’s morning-line odds maker and program analyst, John Rallis.

Rallis’ reviews are available 48 hours before a given card, and all one has to do to access the information is go to, go to the “handicapping” tab, then click “race reviews.”

ALL ACCESS: For everything Meadowlands, go to