Big M business off to strong start in 2017
January 18, 2017
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Business at the Meadowlands is off to a strong start through the first four cards of 2017 with per race handle averaging a robust $221,793 or less than one percent ahead of last year's pace at this time.
The first two Friday night cards of 2017 have produced total handle in excess of $3 million while average nightly handle is $2.88 million.
As usual, horseplayers have found the winter cards at the Meadowlands to be a challenge with betting favorites winning at just 28 percent. New faces in the driver's room have helped create a new kind of exciting racing. Youngsters such as Drew Monti and Joe Bongiorno have earned the wagering public's attention while veterans Brett Miller, Corey Callahan and Jim Marohn Jr. continue to be a factor on a nightly basis.
"While some of the usual Meadowlands faces are not here this winter, this new, fresh set of drivers has helped create a new kind of excitement every night," said Meadowlands COO/GM Jason Settlemoir. "The younger guys are so hungry to prove themselves and I think it has been a lot of fun to see them get better each weekend."
The multi-race wagers have offered some of the largest payoffs in all of harness racing. The Late Pick Four, covering Races 7-10, has averaged a pool size of $82,749 with an average return of $8,162 including a massive $30,318 on Jan. 6.
The average pool in the Early Pick Four (Races 3-6) is $62,945 with an average 50-cent payoff of just under $2,000 led by a season-high $7,781 on Jan. 7.
Meanwhile, the Pick Five (Races 1-5) is averaging a pool size of $60,778 with an average payoff of $1,361 with a high of $3,300 on Jan. 7.
Both Pick Fours and the Pick Five are 50-cent base wagers with a low 15 percent takeout rate. (Meadowlands)