Big M goes back-to-back 18-race cards this weekend
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Horsemen sent up a signal. They needed some help. And management at the Meadowlands answered the call.
After last week’s overloaded entry box saw 777 horses hoping to get raced, many had to continue to wait on the sidelines in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown. Two days ago, the box had over 600 horses drop in, hoping for a chance. What was different this time around, was that instead of the usual 26 races on the condition sheet, the Big M race office – at the urging of track chief executive officer and chairman Jeff Gural – will have 36 this weekend, with gigantic 18-race programs this Friday and Saturday that have a special first-race post time of 6 p.m.
“We made a concerted effort to get as many horses raced as possible, which will get much-needed purse money to as many connections as possible,” said Big M chief operating officer and general manager Jason Settlemoir. “Horsemen need racetracks and racetracks need horsemen, so with neighboring states still not racing, we felt it was the right thing to do to increase the number of races by 39 percent over the upcoming weekend.
“Of course, we are happy to give our fans as many opportunities to play the races as possible, but this move is more with horsemen in mind. They have been waiting so patiently to get back to work and we wanted to give them as much opportunity as we possibly could.”
There will be an expanded wagering menu offering an increased number of the more popular Big M puzzles this Friday and Saturday.
The Meadowlands’ “Big Four” bets will increase to a “Big Six” this weekend, as there will be an additional 50-cent Pick-4 and 20-cent Pick-5. Here is when the track’s most popular multi-leg wagers will be offered. All will have a low 15 percent takeout:
· Pick-4s will be offered on races 6-9, 10-13 and 15-18
· Pick-5s will be offered on races 1-5 and 14-18
· The 20-cent Pick-6 will be offered on races 4-9
The remainder of the menu will look like this:
· Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta will be available on every race
· Pick-Threes will begin in races 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 16
· Daily Doubles will be offered on races 1-2 and 17-18
Regular players of the 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five will no doubt get involved in chasing a pair of big carryovers. In the fifth race, the pool will have a $50,358 head start, while in the 18th, the carryover stands at $59,763.
For those anxious to be a part of the Big M action, they can watch the races on the Roberts Television Network (rtn.tv) or on the Television Games Network (TVG). To bet the races in New Jersey, go to 4njbets.com, and if out of state, go to tvg.com or your favorite ADW (advance-deposit wagering) platform.
Betting remained steady last weekend at the industry’s handle leader as a total of $2,650,358 was wagered Friday (June 12) before $2,868,359 was put in play Saturday (June 13), marking the 11th straight program where wagering exceeded the $2.5-million mark. Saturday’s per race average was $220,643.
Last weekend’s leading Big M driver was Dexter Dunn, who won five of the 26 races, including a victory in the Preferred for pacers with Dancin Lou. Next in line was Tim Tetrick with four scores.
On the training side, Chris Ryder and Andrew Harris both had three winners.
For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to playmeadowlands.com to see track oddsmaker and analyst Dave Brower’s selections and commentary. Go to the “handicapping” drop down and then go to “race reviews”.
Additionally, track announcer Ken Warkentin’s blog is available on the site and offers his picks and analysis.
Last week, the Big M TV team did well, as all four members – Brower, Dave Little, Warkentin and Jessica Otten – saw their best bets win on Saturday.
Meadowlands fans love the Pick-4, and the mile oval’s “on set” team of Brower and Little shined a week ago. Brower picked both Pick-4s on Friday while Little added one. Then, for good measure, on Saturday, Little gave out the Early Pick-4, which paid a healthy $543 for a $32 wager.
When this weekend’s pre-game shows get underway at 5:30 p.m., check out the team’s best bets and value plays. Little and Brower will do some news and notes and will also look at each evening’s feature races. They will give out Pick-4 selections during the evening before saying good night after the 16th-race replay with the segment “Little’s Late Double”, where the former Daily News handicapper tries to send everybody home a winner.
Stay in touch on Twitter with the Big M’s Brower (@eedoogie), Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Warkentin (@kenvoiceover) and Otten (@JessicaOtten1) anytime, but especially on race night. Check in everyday for Meadowlands news and updates at those handles, as well as at @TheMeadowlands. (Meadowlands)