News & Stats



Thursday, March 4, 2021

Despite a month of crippling winter weather and the re-opening of racing in Ontario two weeks ago, betting at The Meadowlands has stayed on a roll. In fact, on Friday (March 5) night, management is hoping to up the track’s streak of wagering at least $3 million to an impressive 10th consecutive program. 

“We say it often,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “But horseplayers have really responded in a big way to our low takeout wagering menu. With six of our popular 15 percent takeout wagers being offered every night, it has given players a more realistic chance to turn a profit, making The Big M the best place to play.” 

The streak backs up Settlemoir’s words. After wagering on Friday, Jan. 29 was a rock-solid $2.93 million, every card since has seen betting of over $3 million. 

Saturday nights in February were especially vigorous, with the four programs taking in a total of just over $15 million, an average of $3.75 million a night. 

During February of 2020, betting was superb on Saturdays at $2.79 million per card, but still approximately $1 million short of this year’s returns. 

Fridays during February were also fabulous, taking in an average of $3.1 million a card, which was a half-million more than was pushed through the windows a year ago, which saw just under $2.6 million. 

The last eight Big M programs have seen average nightly wagering of $3.437 million and a per race of $249,987. A year ago, over the same span, betting was $2.695 million and $207,354. 

“Low takeout is a horseplayers best avenue to being a winner,” said Settlemoir. “Take our 50-cent Pick-4, which has a 15 percent takeout. If you are playing the Pick-4 at another track that has a 25 percent takeout, you ask yourself: ‘All things being equal, if I switch to The Big M’s Pick-4, my winnings increase at least 10 per cent from the track with the 25 per cent rake. What reason is there to bet a Pick-4 with that takeout if I am serious about being a winning player?’” 

WEATHERING THE WEATHER: “We have to acknowledge our track crew here at The Meadowlands,” said Settlemoir. “February was a terrible month weather-wise. Standardbred racing had an enormous amount of weather and track-related cancellations all over the Northeast during the month and we never missed a day of racing. Our horsemen had tough journeys on the road and always managed to brave the elements to put on the show for horseplayers around the world. We are proud of the work our track crew did and appreciate all that the horsemen do, which the entire sport appreciates very much.” 

GIRLS NIGHT OUT: It will be Ladies’ Night at The Big M this Saturday, as the track will highlight women in harness racing as part of “Women’s History Month”, and, specifically, “International Women’s Day”, which is Monday, March 8. 

Jessica Otten, the track’s Marketing Coordinator/TV Talent, will be interviewing the trainer of winter book Hambletonian favorite Venerate, Julie Miller, during the pre-game show on an “In The Sulky” segment. In addition, she will have back paddock interviews during the night with other prominent women who race at The Meadowlands.   

LITTLE TO ANNOUNCE: Big M TV’s Dave Little will take a turn in the booth up on the roof, and “Borrow Ken Warkentin’s Binoculars” by providing the race calls Friday night. Warkentin will be back on Saturday. 

RISI’S IN TOWN: Brett Risi, the Regional Racing Operations Manager at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs, will be on set at The Big M this weekend and serve as co-host of the live presentation on both Friday and Saturday night. 

FREE PPs: “Speaking of horse players,” said Settlemoir. “The Big M has stepped up and comped everyone a program every night through the Hambletonian Day card. The free program is available if players go to our website, We at The Meadowlands are grateful to all of our fans for their support.” 

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. 

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), Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Shades Demsky (@shadesonracing) and Otten (@JessicaOtten1). 

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). 

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. 

$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. 

GET YOUR HOOPS ACTION: Mayhem is getting close. 

In 10 days, the 68 teams that will participate in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will be chosen on “Selection Sunday”, and bettors can watch and wager on all the tourney action in The Big M’s FanDuel Sportsbook. 

For those who have an opinion right now as to which team will lift the championship trophy at tourney’s end, they can back that opinion up and possibly make a score. The No. 1-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs are the current favorites at +250, followed by the third-ranked Baylor Bears at +330. The third choice, at odds of +420, are the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines. 

But that doesn’t mean the action stops in the meantime. 

There is plenty of regular season and conference tournament college basketball action to bet on until then, as well as a plethora of other sports, including the NBA, NHL, Premier and Champions League soccer, professional tennis and more. 

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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