The Meadowlands Racetrack will undergo some changes for the upcoming standardbred meet. Post time will move to 7:15 p.m. each racing night with the exception of Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 3, which will begin at 12 noon.
The most significant changes are to the Meadowlands wagering platform. The Meadowlands Pick 4 has long been the most popular bet in harness racing. Now, bettors will have the opportunity to wager on two versions of that popular bet. Beginning on opening night, the Meadowlands will institute an Early Pick 4, beginning in race 3 each racing night. The pool will be guaranteed at $25,000 each night. As a result, the late pick 4 will slide back a spot in the program and begin in race 7. The guaranteed pool for the Late Pick 4 will be $50,000 on Thursday and Friday and $75,000 on Saturday. The Early Pick 4 will replace the Pick 6 wager.
Director of racing operations Darin Zoccali feels this is a move the bettors will appreciate.
"The Meadowlands Pick 4 has a proven track record and it is clearly the favorite bet for the Meadowlands player. So, in an effort to give our bettors more of what they want, we have added a second pick 4 wager to our program. While the Pick 6 pool does bring buzz and excitement whenever there is a substantial carryover, on a nightly basis the bettors don't seem interested in that wager, unless there is a large carryover. For the few, if any times that happens, we would rather give the bettors a wager they will look forward to playing every night.”
The 50-cent Meadowlands Pick 5 has been a popular wager since it debuted and will maintain its placement in the first race of the program. It will be given a $15,000 guaranteed pool.
This forthcoming meet, the Meadowlands is pleased to be offering free admission and a free live program every Thursday and Friday night. Saturday evenings, guests will be asked to pay a $2 admission. Simulcast bettors will notice a difference in the simulcast programs as the Meadowlands has made the change to the Daily Racing Program (Thoroughbreds) and the Daily Harness Racing Program (Standardbreds). Additionally, simulcast programs will be available free of charge for the entire month of December, beginning Monday, Dec. 3.
Meadowlands Racetrack general manager and CEO Jason Settlemoir believes these changes are not only positive, but will be well-received by our customers.
"One of the major goals of the New Meadowlands Racetrack has always been to give our bettors and patrons what they want. Going forward into a new era at the Meadowlands, with a new facility on the horizon, giving our customers more of what they want is of the utmost importance to us. We feel these changes do just that and we look forward to our customers' feedback on these changes.” All changes are pending regulatory approval by the New Jersey Racing Commission.
Opening night for the Meadowlands meet is Friday, Dec. 28. The track will race Thursday, Friday and Saturday through March 16th. Racing will then revert to a Friday-through-Saturday schedule for the duration of the winter meet and the championship meet, which concludes on Hambletonian Day, Saturday, Aug. 3. In 2013, the Meadowlands will offer a fall meet that begins on Saturday, Nov. 23 and will race on Friday and Saturday through Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013. (Meadowlands)