Thursday, July 4, 2024

It’s fitting that Saturday (July 6) is Fan Appreciation Night at The Meadowlands, because the track will have a special 11-race program on an evening when the patron is King.

And for those who can’t make it out to the mile oval, they can watch all of the action – and more – on FOX Sports 2 (FS2), beginning at 8 p.m.

Not only will there be a pair of $50,000 eliminations for the track’s signature event, the $650,000 Meadowlands Pace, but the card will also feature two $230,000 Graduate Series finals, one on the pace and the other on the trot.

The program will be three races shorter than usual so that The Big M can give back to its faithful fans in the form of a spectacular fireworks show that will begin at 11 p.m.

In addition, Fan Appreciation Night will feature discount concessions for those who come out on what is forecast to be a steamy summer evening.

The Cafe, Rooftop Terrace and Backyard will offer hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn and soda (limit five of each item per transaction) for $1. Available for $2 will be Bud and Bud Light drafts (for those 21 years of age and older).

The discount prices are available from 6-11 p.m.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer all that we offer on Fan Appreciation Night,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “The Meadowlands Pace shapes up as one of the more competitive we’ve had in years. Both Graduates look wide open as well, and after enjoying some discount concessions all night long, everybody can then enjoy a spectacular fireworks show and not have to worry about getting home too late.”

INCREASING VISIBILITY: There was a time when Standardbred racing was virtually invisible on television.

My how times have changed.

This Saturday will mark the first of two back-to-back weeks that FOX Sports will present live broadcasts of championship harness racing. A total of 12 races will be telecast from The Big M and Ohio’s Scioto Downs as part of another edition of America’s Day at the Races.

The three-hour show kicks off Saturday at 8 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports 2 (FS2) and during the evening, the best that Standardbred racing has to offer will be on display.

Headlining the Meadowlands program will be eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace. Along with the North America Cup, Little Brown Jug and Breeders Crown, the Pace is among the most prestigious races in the world for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

Here are the fields:


ELIMINATION ONE (Race 7) – PURSE $50,000


1 – Mirage Hanover – Tim Tetrick – Jake Leamon – 7-2

2 – Gem Quality – Dexter Dunn – Chris Ryder – 6-1

3 – Legendary Hanover – James MacDonald – Anthony Beaton – 3-1

4 – Captain’s Quarters – Jody Jamieson – Herbert Holland – 5-2

5 – Number Cruncher – Scott Zeron – Erv Miller – 12-1

6 – Ivy Park – Yannick Gingras – Nancy Takter – 15-1

7 – Better Is Nice – Andrew McCarthy – Tony Alagna – 8-1

8 – Miki Ray – Louis Roy – Andrew Harris – 20-1

9 – Remember The Alamo – Todd McCarthy – Tony Alagna – 10-1

ELIMINATION TWO (Race 8) – PURSE $50,000


1 – Nuclear – Andy Miller – Joe Holloway – 10-1

2 – McCrunch – Yannick Gingras – Nancy Takter – 8-1

3 – Its Saturday Night – Andrew McCarthy – Nifty Norman – 12-1

4 – Captain Albano – Todd McCarthy – Noel Daley – 7-2

5 – Nijinsky – Louis Roy – Anthony Beaton – 5-2

6 – Funtime Bayama – Dexter Dunn – Andrew Harris – 3-1

7 – Huntingforchrome – Matt Kakaley – Travis Alexander – 15-1

8 – Captain Luke – Scott Zeron – Tony Alagna – 6-1

The Graduate finals will also be contested this Saturday as part of the FOX Sports broadcast. The series, which is restricted to 4-year-olds, plays a major role in keeping our equine stars on the racetrack.

Here are the fields:


TROTTERS (Race 9) – PURSE $230,000


1 – Kierkegaard K – Ake Svanstedt – Ake Svanstedt – 12-1

2 – Chapercraz – Yannick Gingras – Ron Burke – 10-1

3 – Hasty Bid – James MacDonald – Nancy Takter – 3-1

4 – Ghostly Caper – Louis Roy – Benoit Baillargeon – 12-1

5 – Winner’s Bet – Dexter Dunn – Nancy Takter – 2-1

6 – Black Magic – Scott Zeron – Linda Toscano – 15-1

7 – Khaosan Road – Jason Bartlett – Ake Svanstedt – 20-1

8 – Oh Well – Todd McCarthy – Marcus Melander – 8-1

9 – Special Way – Tim Tetrick – Ake Svanstedt – 9-2

10 – Ponda Jet – David Miller – Jay Hochstetler – 6-1

PACERS (Race 10) – PURSE $230,000


1 – Huntinthelastdolar – Yannick Gingras – Per Engblom – 3-1

2 – Redwood Hanover – Andrew McCarthy – Anthony Beaton – 10-1

3 – Seven Colors – Dexter Dunn – Andrew Harris – 8-1

4 – Seafire – Scott Zeron – Brian Brown – 12-1

5 – Coach Stefanos – James MacDonald – Erv Miller – 7-2

6 – Voukefalas – Jordan Stratton – Michael Russo – 9-2

7 – No Control – Jody Jamieson – Tan Micallef – 10-1

8 – Act Fast – Todd McCarthy – Ron Burke – 15-1

9 – Ken Hanover – David Miller – Roland Mallar – 5-2

10 – Christchurch – Jason Bartlett – Todd Luther – 15-1

Speaking of FOX Sports, their continued excellence has elevated our sport. This is only the beginning of showing the best of the best to a national audience.

Here is the tentative schedule for The Big M broadcasts with the marquee event(s) that will be shown. Where not listed, specific networks – FOX, FS1 or FS2 – will be determined:

  • July 6: Graduate finals/Meadowlands Pace eliminations, 8-11 p.m. (FS2)
  • July 13: Meadowlands Pace final, 8-11 p.m. (FS2)
  • August 3: Hambletonian, 4:30-5 p.m. (FOX)
  • October 18: Breeders Crown eliminations, 1-6 p.m. (TBD)
  • October 19: Breeders Crown eliminations, 8-11 p.m. (TBD)
  • October 25: Breeders Crown finals, 8-11 p.m. (TBD)
  • October 26: Breeders Crown finals, 8-11 p.m. (TBD)

RIVALRY HEATS UP: Looking back at last Saturday (June 29), the two early Hambletonian favorites remained undefeated as Karl and T C I won their respective divisions of the W.N. Reynolds at The Big M.

T C I is scheduled to compete in the Dr. Harry Zweig Memorial today (Thursday, July 4) at Vernon Downs, and a victory would make the drama build even more for what the harness world is waiting for: a Karl vs. T C I showdown in the Aug. 3, $1-million Hambletonian, which will be broadcast coast-to-coast on FOX (Ch. 5 in New York and New Jersey) at 4:30 p.m.

Of course, The Big M will also have a Friday (July 5) race card this week, and that 15-dash program features seven divisions of the second leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of each sex and gait. Many of the newcomers you will see have been showing off on Saturday mornings at Breakfast with the Babies at The Meadowlands, where players who want to get a leg up can view the action live 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.

Racing will take place every Friday and Saturday through Aug. 3. Post time is always 6:20 p.m. with the exception of Aug. 3, Hambletonian Day, when post time is noon.

THIS SATURDAY’S SKED: Post time for the 11th and final race this Saturday (July 6) is 10:45 p.m. so that the fireworks show can begin promptly at 11 p.m.

COME LAUGH A LOT: Comedy Night returns to The Meadowlands on Friday, July 12, and due to repeated sold out shows in the past, there will now be two shows offered, one at 7 p.m., and the other at 9:30 p.m.

Each show features different comics so guests have the option to purchase tickets for both. You will be able to keep the same seats for both shows.

For more information, a talent list, and to purchase tickets, go here.

MEADOWLANDS PACE NIGHT: The Pace Night card – which can be seen live on FS2 – has a laundry list of stakes events on one of the biggest nights of the year in the sport.

They are:

  • $650,000 Meadowlands Pace (3YO OPEN PACE)
  • $450,000 (est.) William R. Haughton Open Pace (OLDER PACE)
  • $400,000 (est.) Hambletonian Maturity (4YO OPEN TROT)
  • $250,000 (est.) Stanley Dancer (3YOC&G TROT)
  • $225,000 (est.) Del Miller Memorial (3YOF TROT)
  • $175,000 (est.) Mistletoe Shalee (3YOF PACE)
  • $175,000 (est.) Dorothy Haughton (OPEN MARE PACE)
  • $40,000 (est.) Miss Versatility (OPEN MARE TROT – LEG 4)

GET READY TO PARTY: Come and be a part of the “Biggest Party in Harness Racing” on Meadowlands Pace Night, Saturday, July 13.

The track’s signature event features the following festivities:

  • “Pace Be With You” T-Shirt Giveaway –Begins 5 p.m. for the first 5,000 guests
  • DJ in the Backyard –DJ ALX
  • Carnival rides and games – Including mechanical shark, toxic moonwalk, 3-in-1 sports game, toxic obstacle course, axe throwing and two carnival games
  • Win free $500 Win Bets –Five winners will have a chance to place a $500 win bet on a designated race. Entry in the live racing program
  • Meadowlands Burger Battle
  • Food Trucks
  • Dining
  • You can guarantee a spot to dine and watch all of the races in The Lounge, which is the center of the action with front-row seats to Victory’s giant screens. There are two- and four-top tables and bar seats available. Ticket purchase acts as food and beverage credit for Victory Sports Bar menu

For complete information, and to make reservations, go here

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.

“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 oddsmaker 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.”

BRING THE KIDS, 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.

The contest has patrons throwing little plastic horses into the car that will be given away for a chance to win it. Of those horses that end up on the track, the kids can get involved. Children who help out picking up the plastic horses off the track will receive a free ice cream at the Café.

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

FANDUEL IS FANTASTIC: 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.

With the New York Yankees and New York Mets playing day games, a matchup worth considering on Thursday (July 4) has the San Francisco Giants traveling to Atlanta to take on the Braves in a 7:20 p.m. start.

The Braves, with veteran Charlie Morton making the start, are a -116 favorite in the game that has an under/over of 8 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.