'Borrow Ken's binoculars' at Big M
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Live racing at the Meadowlands expands to three race cards a week with the edition of Thursdays during the month of December, and the Big M will have some new blood providing the play-by-play.
Let’s be clear, the voice of the Meadowlands, Ken Warkentin, isn’t going anywhere, but four different voices will be heard on each of the Thursday programs during December when those race callers will ‘Borrow Ken’s Binoculars’ as Warkentin takes his act downstairs to work on the ‘Racing from the Meadowlands’ live and recap productions before returning to his regular gig as track announcer on Fridays and Saturdays.
First up on Thursday, Dec. 6, will be a fan favorite, Larry Lederman. The former long-time voice of Freehold Raceway, Lederman has also called the action at Garden State Park and Atlantic City Race Course as well as other tracks during his career.
On Dec. 13, Jason Settlemoir will be in the booth. The Big M’s chief operating officer and general manager, who, when 12-years-old called his first race in his native Ohio, is Roger Huston’s assistant announcer at the Little Brown Jug and serves as the Big M emergency caller anytime Warkentin hits Turnpike traffic when making his way North from Freehold.
Peter Kleinhans will be next on Dec. 20. He is a horse owner, trainer, amateur driver and occasional television personality. His resume includes stints as the race caller at the now-defunct Lakeshore Meadows, as well as Hoosier Park, Chester Downs (now Harrah’s Philadelphia) and The Red Mile.
‘Racing from the Meadowlands’ primary co-host Dave Little, who is the Grand Circuit Week announcer at Goshen Historic Track and calls the action at the Orleans County Fair (Barton, Vt.), will complete the four-Thursday guest announcer run on Dec. 27.
During December, racing will be conducted on a Thursday through Saturday basis with the usual 7:15 p.m. first-race post time. Big M fans need to be aware that there will be no live racing on Saturday, Dec. 15, when the New York Jets host the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. (Meadowlands)