News & Stats



Thursday, December 31, 2020

After last Saturday’s (Dec. 26) sensational sendoff to 2020 saw huge handle lead to a deep guaranteed Pick-5 pool, The Meadowlands looks poised to begin 2021 with another big Saturday (Jan. 2) night at the races. Post time is 6 p.m. 


“Happy New Year from The Meadowlands,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “We are thrilled to kick off the 2021 season Saturday night with a $46,731 carryover on the extremely popular 20-cent Pick-5. The low minimum allows more combinations and added coverage, which will undoubtedly put us on the wagering radar of more horseplayers, especially with the bet’s low 15 percent takeout.” 


Three consecutive longshots led to the P5 carryover, which prompted Big M management – in conjunction with the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering initiative – to guarantee Saturday night’s pool at $150,000. Social media posts have opined the final pool will be double that or more. 


Based on last Saturday’s wagering, they just might be right. 


Handle for the night totaled $3,718,250, an average per race of $247,883. The last time – other than Hambletonian Day and Meadowlands Pace Night – that business was as brisk on a per-race basis was on July 11 (Meadowlands Pace Eliminations Night) when a total of $3,440,248 was bet over 13 races, an average of $264,634 per dash. 

“The Meadowlands would like to thank our loyal fans for one of our best nights of the year,” said Settlemoir. “It was very encouraging to see the horseplayers around the world respond to our product in such a big way. In fact, our total handle was up $800,000 over the corresponding card from the year before.” 

The Pick-5 spans races one through five and free past performances for the wager will be available at 


The Big M’s signature 50-cent Pick-4 wagers were predictably popular last Saturday, as more than $180,000 was put in play on the well-liked puzzles, an average pool of better than $90,000. The Pick-5 total pool of $73,305 nosed out the average exacta pool of $73,013 for second-most prolific betting proposition of the night. 


A statistically typical six favorites emerged victorious on the 15-race card, but the bombs that capped the Pick-5 managed to edge the evening’s average win price past the $20 mark. 


In addition to the 20-cent Pick-5 (which begins in race one) and the two $50,000 guaranteed 50-cent Pick-4s (which kick off in the sixth and 10th races), the other low 15 percent takeout wagers that will be in play Saturday are the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 (race three), 20-cent Pick-6 (race eight) and 10-cent Superfecta (race 15). 


RIDE, RIDE, RIDE: With four wins in as many starts since arriving from Australia, the Nifty Norman-trained Let It Ride N is the headliner in the featured $28,000 Preferred Handicap Saturday night. 


The 8-year-old gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven-Love A Gamble, who will be driven by Dexter Dunn, is the 3-1 morning-line favorite and was assigned post position nine in the nine-horse field. The primary contenders are Harambe Deo (7-2), who won The Meadowlands feature a week ago in 1:49.3, and fan-favorite Highalator (4-1), a winner of six-of-nine Big M outings this year. 


SHOW ME TICKETS: Be sure to watch the live “Racing from The Meadowlands” pre-game show, which now begins at 5:27 p.m. 

On Saturday night, The Big M team of Dave Brower and Dave Little will take a long look at the Preferred Handicap and provide extended analysis and tickets for the Pick-5. Shades Demsky will be the featured handicapper on the live presentation on the Television Games Network ( all night long. 

THE SCHEDULE: Effective Saturday night, live racing at The Meadowlands will be conducted every Friday and Saturday night. First-race post time is 6 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 ( In addition, they can watch and wager by going to the Television Games Network ( or their favorite Advance-deposit Wagering site (ADW). 

TWEET THE TEAM: Stay in touch on Twitter with the Big M’s Brower (@eedoogie), Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Demsky (@shadesonracing) and Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1). Check in everyday for Meadowlands news and updates at those handles, as well as @TheMeadowlands and #playbigm. 

FREE PPs: Some good news came for Meadowlands players Thursday morning, when it was announced that the track and TrackMaster had entered into an agreement that will provide free past performances for every race of every race card through Hambletonian Day, Aug. 7, 2021. 

To access the free past performances, go to 

CHECK OUT THE PICKS: For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to 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. 

On race nights, access picks and plays from the Big M TV team at #playbigm or at @TheMeadowlands. 

FOOTBALL AT FANDUEL: The National Football League’s final day of regular season play is this Sunday (Jan. 3), and fans can bet on all the action at the FanDuel Sportsbook, located just inside the main entrance at The Meadowlands. 

Local football fans will be hoping the New York Giants (+2½) can – with a little help – win the NFC East by defeating the visiting Dallas Cowboys in a 1 p.m. start. Also at 1 p.m., the New York Jets (+3) will be in search of a third straight win – after losing their first 13 games on the season – when they visit the New England Patriots. 

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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