BIG M STREAK OF $3 MILLION HANDLES STANDS AT 19
-- Meadowlands Media Relations
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – By industry standards, 2022 was a solid year at The Meadowlands as far as business goes. Average nightly handle was $2.75 million and betting surpassed the “magic” $3-million mark 23 times during a year that saw 85 race cards contested at the mile oval.
But 2023 – by any standard – has been a season that’s seen business boom.
Last Saturday (March 11) was just another night at the salt mine for Big M management and fans, as all-source betting totaled $3,638,285 on the 14-race card, keeping The Big M’s streak of surpassing the $3-million plateau intact.
There have been 19 Friday and Saturday night programs conducted during 2023 and every one has seen wagering exceed $3 million.
March has been especially marvelous, with the average nightly handle currently standing at $3.85 million.
“There’s no question, we are in a good groove,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “We are extremely appreciative of our fan base. They like what our racing office has done, creating the type of competitive racing with full 10-horse fields that makes for outcomes that are harder to predict, so payoffs have a great deal of appeal to our players.”
Some of the more attractive payoffs from last week include Friday’s (March 10) 20-cent Pick-6 ($9,911), 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 ($8,323) and 20-cent Pick-5 ($7,895).
Smiles on Saturday were worn by those who cashed in on the new “Prime Time” 10-cent Pentafecta ($12,955) as well as the two popular 50-cent Pick-4s, that came back $4,414 (Early P4) and $2,170 (Late P4), respectively.
The Pentafecta, or, if you prefer, Hi-5, was recently added to the betting menu in the seventh race. It is in addition to the Pentafecta that has always been offered on the 14th – and final – dash of the night.
The handle projections for 2023 are big, to say the least.
The Friday and Saturday programs have seen a total of $65,457,871 pushed through the windows, for an average nightly handle of $3,445,151. If you include the two Sunday afternoon programs that were contested in January, that number dips to $3,273,283, which is still far higher than the average handle per card during a superb 2021, when betting was at $3.0 million per program.
PICK-6 CARRYOVER: Carryovers are something Meadowlands’ fans take to like a moth to a flame, and Friday (March 17), they’ll be something extra in the 20-cent Pick-6 pot of gold on St. Patrick’s Day.
There were no winning tickets sold on the wager last Saturday, creating a carryover of $10,174. The last time there was a P6 carryover, $59,027 in “new money” was put in the hat for a pool that soared to $66,654.
It just so happens that on that March 3rd, the P6 went unhit again, which created a double carryover that attracted $118,217 in new money the next night for a grand total of $163,471. Those with winning tickets that evening cashed in for a handsome $6,411, despite a sequence that saw five of the winners go off at odds of 5-1 or less.
“Our players love the opportunity to hit big,” said Settlemoir. “So, whenever there are carryovers on our multi-leg wagers, there is always a lot of excitement in the building. The carryovers create great opportunities. Take this Friday, for instance. In the event there is $66,000 or less in new money bet in the Pick-6, those with winning tickets will cash in for more money than what was bet into the pool. That’s a negative takeout, which is something any player can get excited about.”
DO YOUR HOMEWORK EARLY: Pick-6 players can get a jump on their handicapping in two big ways.
First, free past performances for every race of every Meadowlands card are available free of charge. To access the no-cost program pages, go to playmeadowlands.com.
Second, race reviews and selections by The Meadowlands’ morning-line odds maker, program analyst and TV talent Edison Hatter are available 48 hours before a given race card. To access this valuable information from one of the brightest young minds in the sport, simply go to playmeadowlands.com, go to the “handicapping” tab, then click “race reviews”.
CAN ‘BILL’ REPEAT? Ahundreddollarbill will be looking for a second straight victory Saturday night in the featured $45,000 Open 2/Open 1 Handicap for trotters.
The son of Chapter Seven-Swinging Royalty will need to bring his “A” game to overcome post 10, and will have to take down Mississippi Storm – the horse who went off as the 8-5 favorite when the pair met last week – once again. ‘Storm’ will depart from post two in the eighth race on the card.
Racing takes place this weekend, as usual, on Friday and Saturday night, with a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m.
TWEET US: Everything Meadowlands is available by going on Twitter. You can check in with the Big M team for early changes, racing information and staff selections by going to @themeadowlands or #playbigm.
On race nights, stay in touch with Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Hatter (@Edison_1999_).
THE SENSATIONAL SEVEN: These are the seven wagers The Big M offers nightly to the bettor that offer both a low minimum wager as well as a low 15 percent takeout. In addition, the two Pick-4s offer a guaranteed pool of $50,000.
· Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5
· Race 3: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7
· Race 6: Early 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
· Race 7: Early 10-cent Hi-5
· Race 8: 20-cent Pick-6
· Race 10: Late 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guaranteed pool)
· Race 14: Late 10-cent Hi-5
ST. PATRICK’S BUFFET: Looking for an authentic St. Patrick’s Day meal while betting on the best harness racing anywhere?
Then head to The Meadowlands on Friday (March 17) and Saturday (March 18) for a St. Paddy’s Day buffet in Pink Restaurant.
The buffet will feature mini beef pot pies, corned beef and cabbage, Irish lamb stew, potato pancakes and baked flounder, before homemade whiskey cake and shamrock cookies round out the meal, which is priced at $49.95.
For reservations, call 201-THE-BIGM.
SEE AN ‘IDOL’: While watching and wagering on the best harness racing in the world, come out and see Aaron Kelly, an alum of “American Idol”, at The Big M on Saturday, March 25.
The two-hour show begins at 8 p.m., so guests can get in on the harness racing – which kicks off at 6:20 p.m. – before the singing starts. Tickets are priced at $25.
Kelly is a singer-songwriter best known for his Top-5 finish on ‘Idol’, the youngest ever to go that far in the competition. He has performed on big stages, such as “The Ellen Show”, “The Late Show with David Letterman”, “The Wendy Williams Show” and “Good Morning America”.
COLLEGE HOOPS IN “THE BOOK”: The NCAA men’s college basketball tournament continues Thursday (March 16), and discerning hoops fans know that the place to watch and wager on the action is in the FanDuel Sportsbook.
The tournament takes place through April 3.
The No. 1 facility of its type in North America, “The Book” is located inside the grandstand at The Meadowlands.
The action will be fast and furious, to say the least, with 16 games on Thursday, 16 more on Friday (March 17), before eight contests on both Saturday (March 18) and Sunday (March 19), respectively.
But basketball junkies aren’t limited to watching the games in the book.
Other options include reservations for the Grandstand Lounge on March 16, 17, 18 and 19, with a single bar seat available for $50; a two-top table for $100; and a four-top table for $200. The pricing acts as credit toward food purchases.
For complete details, go to
Whatever the sport, for the latest odds, go to
The FanDuel Sportsbook is open Monday through 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. and Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
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