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$7 MILLION WEEKEND CAPPED BIG JANUARY AT BIG M

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Given how well things are going from a business standpoint at The Meadowlands these days, it raises the question: Has The Big M been able to get sports bettors and Thoroughbred racing players to start wagering on New Jersey Standardbred racing at the mile oval in 2021? 

Based on the returns from a strong January, one could make a good case. 

Betting during the first month of the year totaled $30,583,128 for nine race cards, an average per program of $3,398,125. The 127 races contested yielded an average total pool per race of $240,812. 

The five programs that took place during January saw over $19 million in total wagering, good for an average per night of $3,831,107 and a per-race average of $262,404. 

Need more proof that wagering is off to a flying start? Each of the five Saturday programs this year have seen betting of at least $3.4 million. During all of 2020, wagering bested the $3.4-million mark on six occasions. 

When compared to January of 2020, action is way up. A year ago, the per card average was $2.5 million, with the per race at $189,538. Thus, during 2021, total wagering – with one less race card – was up $5.3 million total, average per night was up $877,265 and wagering per race increased $51,274. 

Saturday night’s (Jan. 30) last of 14 races took in over $300,000 of action – rare for a final race – which pushed the total handle past the $4-million mark for a second time during January. 

During all of 2020, the $4-million barrier was busted three times. 

Last weekend saw the biggest combined Friday-Saturday (excluding Meadowlands Pace and Hambletonian weekends) numbers since June 19-20 of last year, but that weekend, a total of 36 races were offered to bet $7.5 million, an average of $210,616 per race. 

Last week, it only took 29 races to rake in a total of $7,021,707, which comes out to $242,127 per dash. 

The $4,083,026 wagered last Saturday averaged out to $291,644 per race over 14 races. Both numbers marked January second-bests. On Jan. 2, a total of $4,562,477 was bet over 15 races, an average of $304,165. 

BIG PLAY, BIG PAYOFFS: Last Saturday’s Early 50-cent Pick-4 saw big action, as a 2020-best $135,815 was put in play. The Late Pick-4 took in $107,428, so combined P4 play totaled $243,243, another yearly single-card high. 

Four other pools topped the $90,000 mark on Saturday: the 20-cent Pick-5 ($105,890 in race one), the sixth ($98,499) and 14th ($95,122) race exactas and sixth-race trifecta ($90,197). 

Handsome payouts popped up all weekend long as 14 times bettors walked away from the windows having cashed in for four figures, topped by Friday night’s 20-cent Pick-6, which returned $10,352. 

For players who need to “get out” in the final race of the night, the 10-cent Hi-5 is just what the doctor – make that mutuel teller – ordered. Saturday’s pool totaled $43,285, while the night before, players who “got out” did so and much more, by walking away with a payoff of $4,459. 

GET SOCIAL: You can always check in with the team at The Meadowlands on Twitter. 

For early changes, racing information and staff selections, go to @themeadowlands or #playbigm. 

On race nights, stay in touch on Twitter with the Big M’s Dave Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Shades Demsky (@shadesonracing) and Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1). 

CHECK OUT THE PICKS: For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to playmeadowlands.com to see track oddsmaker and analyst Brower’s selections and commentary. Click on the “handicapping” tab and go to “race reviews”. 

Additionally, track announcer Warkentin’s blog is available on the site and offers his picks and analysis. 

THE SCHEDULE: Live racing at The Meadowlands takes place every Friday and Saturday evening. Post time is 6 p.m. 

The track’s live “Racing from the Meadowlands” pre-game show begins at 5:27 p.m. 

CAN’T MAKE IT TO THE TRACK? There are several options for those who would rather catch the action from The Big M at home. 

Racing fans can watch all the races live on the Roberts Television Network (rtn.tv). In addition, they can watch and wager by going to the Television Games Network (tvg.com) or their favorite Advance-deposit Wagering site (ADW). 

FREE FOR ALL: Thanks to an agreement between The Meadowlands and TrackMaster, past performances for every race of every Big M program are now available at no cost. 

To access the free PPs, go to playmeadowlands.com. 

$100,000 GUARANTEED: As any seasoned horse player knows, there are no guarantees at the racetrack. But at The Meadowlands, there are. 

Each 50-cent Pick-4 (one gets underway in race six, the other in race 10) sports a $50,000 guaranteed pool. Last Saturday, the guarantees were both more than doubled, as both pools exceeded the $100,000 level. 

GET YOUR FOOTBALL ACTION: The National Football League’s championship game will take place on Sunday (Feb. 7) at 6:30 p.m., and The Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook is the place to get all your action. 

As of Thursday morning, the Kansas City Chiefs were a 3-point favorite over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but that is not the only way to play, as there will be plenty of propositions in addition to the traditional offerings. 

Do you like betting on the coin toss? Head and tails are both -103, meaning you would have to wager $103 to win $100. What if you like the Chiefs to win by 1 to 6 points? If that comes in, the payoff would be +320. What about if the Bucs win by 7 to 12? That payoff would be +700. 

Betting on the big game is available right up until kickoff. 

Hours for the track’s FanDuel Sportsbook are from 10 a.m. – midnight Sunday through Friday and from 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. on Saturday. 


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