Thursday, May 19, 2022

With weather conditions predicted to provide a summer preview, this weekend The Meadowlands will be the place to come out and play.

Get back in the game and make the pandemic pivot. Warm weather and fun await. Food, drinks, sports and the world’s greatest harness racing. Indoors, outdoors, The Big M has it all.

The long list of possibilities for players to ponder playing this weekend include the 147th Preakness Stakes, the New York Rangers in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the first-place New York Yankees and New York Mets, and, for the harness aficionado, the Arthur J. Cutler for older trotters, the first of many stakes events on The Meadowlands’ 2022 calendar.

“Given the weather forecast and the many different options we are offering our fans, The Meadowlands is the place to be this weekend,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “In addition to a plethora of wagering options, we are also offering an extremely popular promotion – our annual Beer Festival – which takes place Saturday (May 21).”

The rain or shine event takes place from 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., but for those purchasing VIP tickets, they can go in one hour earlier.

For a list of confirmed breweries that will be on hand – and there are over 60 – as well as how to buy tickets, go to

THE CROWN’S SECOND JEWEL: The centerpiece of Saturday’s (May 21) simulcast action is the second leg of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, The Preakness, which takes place at Baltimore’s Pimlico Racecourse.

Epicenter, second in the Kentucky Derby, has drawn post 8 for the Preakness and is listed as the 6-5 morning-line favorite in the mile-and-three-sixteenths test for 3-year-olds.

Watch and wager on the Preakness in the comfort of the huge simulcast area at The Big M.

Doors open at 9:30 a.m. with post time at Pimlico slated for 10:30 a.m.

Post time for the Preakness is 7:01 p.m. and will take place between races two and three of The Meadowlands’ 13-race card.

The Black-Eyed Susan for fillies takes place on Friday (May 20) and has a post time of 5:44 p.m. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and the first race at Pimlico takes place at 11:30 a.m.

STARS OUT IN CUTLER: The Saturday night feature at The Meadowlands is the $170,450 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial for free-for-all trotters.

The field of nine includes three names that jump off the page.

Ecurie D Dk, the 2021 Breeders Crown champion, is the 3-1 second choice on the morning-line for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. This is a tough spot for a horse to make his seasonal debut, but Svanstedt isn’t concerned. “I’m satisfied with where he’s at,” said Svanstedt. “We’ve trained him a lot, so he’s ready.”

Bella Bellini (9-2), the 2021 Hambletonian Oaks winner, takes on older males in her third start as a 4-year-old, while the red-hot Lovedbythemasses, the 5-2 early favorite who is six-for-seven in 2022, looks to keep on rolling for trainer Jeff Cullipher.

BOZICH TO CO-HOST: On Saturday (May 21), the voice of Harrah’s Philadelphia, track announcer Mike Bozich, will sit alongside Dave Brower and serve as the co-host on The Big M’s live “Racing from The Meadowlands” pregame show.

The presentation begins at 5:47 p.m. with news, notes and a look at the night’s featured action, and during the course of the 13-race card, Brower and Bozich will offer race-by-race analysis as well as an in-depth look at both 50-cent Pick-4s.

BIG M COAST-TO-COAST: Last Saturday (May 14), a national television audience saw the second of six shows where Thoroughbred racing fans also got to see the harness action from The Meadowlands on “America’s Day at the Races” on Fox Sports 2.

The 2½-hour presentation, which was anchored by the New York Racing Association’s Acacia Courtney and Anthony Stabile, also delved deeply into the action at Churchill Downs in the double-breed telecast.

The Big M’s Jessica Otten provided the harness commentary.

The third show will be seen on June 18 from 9-11:30 p.m. and will feature the same Churchill/Meadowlands combination.

The Graduate Series for pacing and trotting mares were the featured events – as far as the Standardbreds were concerned – on the show and despite lousy weather causing an off track, there were three superior performances.

Katie’s Lucky Day rallied to take the lone event for trotters, upsetting Bella Bellini, whom she also surprised in the 2021 edition of the Kentucky Filly Futurity. Her time of 1:50 was the fastest of the season in the entire sport on the trot, regardless of age or sex.

In the pair of paces, defending Horse of the Year Test Of Faith won a thrilling stretch battle with Oakwoodanabella in one division while Mikala stayed perfect in three seasonal starts in the other split.

SIMULCAST CENTRAL: Friday’s big event for simulcast patrons at The Big M is the Black-Eyed Susan. Saturday has Preakness 147. Sunday (May 22) will bring harness fans to the monitors watching the live feed from Flamboro Downs, when the featured event is the $273,000 Charles Juravinski Memorial Cup for 4-year-old pacers.

The race lineup includes Lou’s Pearlman, Bulldog Hanover, Charlie May, Rockyroad Hanover, Linedrive Hanover, Armor Seelster, Century Heineken, Desperate Man and Dean B Hanover.

HORSE PLAY: Patrons attending the races at The Meadowlands can participate in “Horseplay” for a chance to win a 2022 Toyota Corolla.

The contest takes place every live racing night through Friday, August 5. Participants will attempt to throw a numbered horse into the window of a moving car. Of those that land inside the vehicle, one winner will be chosen at random and will receive a $100 betting voucher.

Each night’s winner will be entered into the grand prize drawing, which will take place on August 5. Guests can pick up a free horse to toss at the Players Club Desk or the Horseplay table in front of the winner’s circle.

There is a bonus for the kids who are at the track. The youngsters who help pick up the horses left on the track will receive a free ice cream.

For every horse that makes it into the Horseplay car, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will donate $5 to a designated monthly charity. May’s charity is Act Now Foundation, June’s is Bluemont Sanctuary and the July/August recipient is Allaire Community Farm. An additional $5 for every horse that makes it into the car will also be donated to the Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Program.

THE “BOOK” WILL BE BUSY: Sports wagering enthusiasts who are Meadowlands regulars know where to get their action. Inside The Big M, at America’s No. 1 sports betting facility of its kind, the FanDuel Sportsbook.

The Mets and Yankees both sit in first place in their respective divisions and both play afternoon games on Thursday (May 17). On Friday, the Mets travel to Colorado to take on the Rockies at 8:40 p.m. while the Bronx Bombers host the Chicago White Sox at 7:05 p.m.

Of course, wagering on all of Thursday’s MLB, NBA playoffs and NHL playoffs action will be available.

New York Rangers fans will be pumped for Friday night’s second-round NHL playoff Game 2 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

For up-to-date lines anytime, go to

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.

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.

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), Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) 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

A HALF-DOZEN CHANCES: The Meadowlands offers its faithful six opportunities nightly to make a score by betting into pools with a low 15 percent takeout as well as low minimum base bets. Here is a list of those wagers, and when they are offered:

  • 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 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”.

SCORE SOME SWAG: If you love racing and sports memorabilia, The Meadowlands is the place to be on Saturday, May 28, when the track presents “Summer & Sports Swag Sweepstakes” Night.

Here is a partial list of items those who enter the drawings have a chance to win: Fire pits, seltzer coolers and pizza ovens, as well as jerseys from sports figures such as David Ortiz, Pete Alonso, Chris Kreider and Derek Jeter.

For complete information, go to

FREE WHHC “Q”: With The Meadowlands being the top Standardbred venue in the sport, it’s a natural that the World Harness Handicapping Championship Final would be held at The Big M (it takes place on Sept. 10), and those who’d like to earn a spot in the big event can do so when there is another WHHC Qualifier at the mile oval on Saturday, June 4.

The difference from most of the other prior qualifiers is that this contest is free to enter.

For complete information, go to

WIENER DOG DERBY: On Saturday, June 11, cheer on your favorite winner.

Make that wiener.

Always a hit with fans, The Big M’s fourth annual “Wiener Dog Derby” takes place on Saturday, June 11.

There will be seven wiener dog dashes (the first is at 6:45 p.m.), with the final heading to the starting box at 9:30 p.m.

The Derby is open to the first 80 entrants by June 4.

For complete information, go to