Day At The Track

Big M windows getting plenty of action

03:00 AM 25 Sep 2020 NZST
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The Meadowlands, harness racing
Lisa Photo

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Historically, wagering at The Meadowlands has been less than spectacular in September. In fact, the last time there was harness racing at the mile oval in the ninth month of the year, the average handle was a mere $1.6 million on the four cards conducted in 2017.

But since then, a cavalry has appeared to save the day.

Garden State Gov. Phil Murphy - along with the members of the New Jersey Legislature - approved an appropriation earmarked for the horse racing industry in the winter of 2019, which increased purses at the track, which created the positive cycle of bigger fields, better horses and bigger handle.

Over the last four race cards of September 2020, the average handle stands at $2.5 million.

"The appropriation has made quite a difference," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "We are very appreciative of the work Gov. Murphy and members of the Legislature did. New Jersey has experienced a resurgence as the leader in the harness industry, with a revitalized breeding industry. It's also allowed The Meadowlands to offer lower takeouts to bring bettors everywhere in the world back to New Jersey."

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: The Big M's betting menu offers seven wagers nightly that offer low 15 percent takeouts. There have been several adjustments to the lineup, as "jackpot" wagers have been eliminated to further lower takeout to horseplayers.

The bets:

Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5

Race 3: 20-cent Pick-6

Race 5: 10-cent Pentafecta

Race 6: 50-cent Pick-4

Race 9: 20-cent Pick-5

Race 10: 50-cent Pick-4

Race 13: 10-cent Pentafecta

FREE STUFF: For free past performances, go to playmeadowlands.com, where one can access races nine through 13 for both the Friday and Saturday programs. Those races include the 20-cent Late Pick-5, 50-cent Late Pick-4 and 10-cent Late Pentafecta, not to mention the Late Daily Double.

HOT TO TROT: Last weekend (Sept. 18-19), three drivers - Dexter Dunn, Tim Tetrick and Todd McCarthy - registered five winners.

McCarthy, 27, a newcomer to the Big M driver colony, has nine victories over the last three programs at the track, the first nine wins of his career at the mile oval since his arrival from Australia.

On the training side, Marcus Melander, Nancy Takter and Tony Alagna had three trips to the winner's circle apiece.

COME OUT, TUNE IN: Simulcast fans will have plenty of options at The Big M over the next few days.

On Thursday (Sept. 24), the 75th edition of The Little Brown Jug takes center stage at the Delaware (Ohio) Fairgrounds. The top four finishers from races 15 and 16 return for the 20th race final, which offers a purse of $335,400. Post time for the first race is noon. Race 20 is scheduled for 7:36 p.m.

Seven races with a purse of at least $100,000 are on Friday's (Sept. 25) card at Indiana's Hoosier Park while Woodbine Mohawk Park offers another in what has been a string of super Saturday (Sept. 26) programs of late, with the $455,000 She's A Great Lady, $215,000 Milton, $720,000 Metro and $1.3 million Mohawk Million the featured events on a night when over $2.8 million in purses will be doled out.

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

CHECK OUT THE PICKS: For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to playmeadowlands.com to check out selections and commentary. For Friday's card, click on this link: http://www.thebigm.com/RaceReviews.aspx?racedt=9/25/2020.

ALL THIS....AND SPORTS BETTING, TOO: The Big M's FanDuel Sportsbook is the place to get all of your MLB, NBA, NHL, WNBA, PGA and NFL action, every day from 10 a.m.-midnight.

From The Meadowlands

 

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