News & Stats



Thursday, February 18, 2021

Last weekend (Feb. 12-13) was the third straight that saw total handle exceed the $7-million plateau at The Meadowlands – a lofty level reached three times during all of 2020 – and much of the recent wild wagering at the mile oval is due to the popularity of the track’s low 15 percent takeout bets. 

The Big M has seen great results since changing the Hi-5/Pentafecta format. Formerly, it was a 20-cent base with a ‘jackpot’, meaning it paid out only when there was one winning ticket. The response has been vigorous since management changed it to a 10-cent base that pays out on all winning tickets. 

Through Feb. 12, the updated Hi-5 was averaging $31,794 per pool, compared to $8,807 over the same period a year ago. Much like the superfecta more than a decade ago, lowering the minimum to 10 cents has given the bet a new lease on life, as the average payoff during 2021 is $1,535. On Feb. 6, a rare Hi-5 carryover resulted in a total pool of $79,254, which led to a payout of $10,094. 

Another wager that has been performing at a high level is the 20-cent Pick-5 – the track’s most popular puzzle in terms of average pool – which is currently seeing $105,977 a night, almost double what the action was a year ago ($56,331). Thus far in 2021, the P5 average payout has been $2,989. The bet serves as a catalyst for the first race, which saw $367,134 of wagering Saturday, and has been averaging over $300,000 a night thus far this year. 

The Big M’s signature wager – the 50-cent Pick-4 – gives bettors two chances to make a score every live racing night. The Early P4 has averaged $94,294 per pool and the Late P4 has seen $90,586 a throw. Players of all kinds got to cash in last Saturday. The Early Pick returned $17,959.80 after 20-1 shots served as winning bookends, while the Late Pick came back $78.55 after two favorites, one 5-2 and one 3-1 scored during that extremely formful sequence. 

The Pick-5 is not the only wager that has come up roses with a new twist. The Pick-6 is not a jackpot bet, so the low 20-cent minimum has made the P6 playable even when there is no carryover. During 2021, the average pool has been $14,581, leading to a payoff of $3,831. 

The last of The Big M’s ‘Super Six’ wagers that offer the low 15 per cent takeout is the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7, which has a mandatory payout every night. It is another bet that generates some big payouts, as the average return of $3,846 proves. 

The lineup of The Meadowlands' 15 percent takeout wagers: 

·         Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5 

·         Race 3: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 

·         Race 6: 50-cent Early Pick-4 

·         Race 8: 20-cent Pick-6 

·         Race 10: 50-cent Late Pick-4 

·         Race 15 (or final race): 10-cent Hi-5/Pentafecta 

“Wagering last week was over $7 million,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “Which was up $2.36 million from the same two nights last year. What we are seeing is that low take outs and low minimums help to keep The Meadowlands horseplayer in action longer. 

“If the player can stay in action, they are capable of making a score on any number of our wagers that are generating big payoffs. In any successful gambling business, customer satisfaction is the name of the game. Judging by our 2021 results, where we have seen handle exceed $3 million on five consecutive programs, we can reasonably assume that the customer thinks The Meadowlands is providing an excellent and improved product.” 

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. 

FREE PPs 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 

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 with the Big M’s Dave Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Shades Demsky (@shadesonracing) and Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1). 

$100,000 GUARANTEED: Every night, The Meadowlands guarantees big green on both editions of its signature wager, as each 50-cent Pick-4 sports a $50,000 guaranteed pool. 

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”. 

Brower’s input is generally available 48 hours before every card. 

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

GET YOUR SPORTS ACTION: Pro and college sports betting is available at The Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook every day. 

Bets can be placed on the NBA, NHL, college basketball and many other sports any time the wagering windows are open. 

The sportsbook is open Sunday-Friday from 10 a.m.-midnight and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 a.m. The cash counter is open from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. 

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