Day At The Track

Meadowlands continues handle hot streak

03:48 AM 09 Apr 2021 NZST
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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Business at The Meadowlands continued its remarkable early stages of 2021 run, as after a highly-successful first quarter, action at the mile oval stayed vigorous as the second quarter kicked off last weekend with a pair of $3-million handles, upping the total number of harness racing cards that have surpassed that magic number to 18 on the year.

During all of 2020, the $3-million barrier was broken a total of 11 times.

Much of the success The Big M has experienced can be attributed to the half-dozen popular wagers offered nightly that offer a low takeout of 15 per cent. A prime example is last weekend's action in the extremely popular Pick-4, when the bet - which is offered four times every weekend - took in a total of $367,866 of action, an average per pool of $91,966.

Meadowlands management is convinced that when you return more to the bettors, the more bettors will bet.

"All of us at The Meadowlands feel that low takeout is a key component in bringing horseplayers of all breeds to wager on our track," said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "The Big M offers six chances a night to play into low 15 percent takeout pools. Another significant reason to the play The Meadowlands is that we offer only one wager (the trifecta, 25 percent) that has a takeout higher than 20 percent. Judging by our rapidly growing business this year, players around the world seem very appreciative for the built-in value created by our price-conscious wagering menu."

Here is the takeout breakdown at the Big M:

15%: 50-cent Pick-4, 20-cent Pick-5, 20-cent Pick-6, 20-cent Survivor Pick-7, 10-cent Pentafecta/Hi-5

17%: Win, Place and Show

19%: Exacta, Daily Double

20%: Pick-3, 10-cent Superfecta

25%: Trifecta

Saturday night saw betting total $3,444,133, with two popular multi-leg bets showing big returns, with the Pick-4 averaging $101,770 per pool while the first race Pick-5 saw action of $82,960. The ever-reliable exacta, which is available on every race, averaged $72,997, accounting for almost $950,000 of action on the night, more than one quarter of the total handle.

Some potent payoffs from last weekend included Friday's Early Pick-4 ($3,556), Survivor ($15,231) and Pentafecta/Hi-5 ($1,224). Saturday's big payouts came in the Pick-5 ($1,632), Survivor ($6,506) and Pick-6 ($12,209).

FINAL DERBY PREP: The last prep for the May 1 Kentucky Derby is on Saturday (April 10) as the $1-million Arkansas Derby takes place at Arkansas' Oaklawn Park. The card will be offered as part of an extensive simulcasting menu at The Meadowlands.

The Oaklawn card has a post time of 1 p.m. with the Arkansas Derby slated to go as race 12 at 7:41 p.m. The horse to beat is the Joel Rosario-ridden, Bob Baffert-trained Concert Tour, who is the even-money morning-line favorite. There are four stakes events on the 13-race program that feature purses of at least $250,000.

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), Andrew 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 guaranteed pool of $50,000. The wagers span races 6-9 and 10-13.

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

THE SCHEDULE: Live racing continues every Friday and Saturday with a first-race post time of 6:20 p.m.

Big M TV's live "Racing from The Meadowlands" pre-game show, which provides news and notes, features, a look at that evening's featured action and staff selections, gets underway at 5:47 p.m.

BET THE MASTERS: Golf's biggest event of the year, The Masters, tees off Thursday (April 8) morning and the place to watch and wager on all the action is at The Meadowlands' FanDuel Sportsbook.

Some of the bets that will be available include Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson, who are both +950 to wear the Green Jacket Sunday evening. Next up at +1100 are Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

How about making the cut? DeChambeau leads the way at -1150, followed by Johnson, Thomas and Jon Rahm, all of whom are -1100.

How about the top finishing former winner? Johnson is at +175, followed by Spieth (+250), Patrick Reed (+550) and Sergio Garcia (+900). All odds shown were as of Wednesday evening.

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.

by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

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