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New bets with low takeout at the Meadowlands

February 06, 2020
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The opportunities will be plentiful for Meadowlands players interested in low takeout multi-race wagers effective with the race card of Friday, February 7, when, in addition to an extra Pick-4 and a brand new Pick-6, a new post time of 6:55 p.m. promises to get players home a little earlier after the last race hits the finish line.
 
“All of us at the Meadowlands understand that lower takeouts attract horseplayers,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “That’s why the Pick-4, Pick-5 and Pick-6 now have takeouts of 15 percent, which is a 40 percent reduction from the original takeout of 25 percent.”
 
How does that impact the bettor? For every $100 wagered, he or she gets back $113. That extra 13 percent in the players’ pockets keeps them playing. Straight wagers are priced at 17 percent, exactas and doubles at 19 percent and the new rolling Pick-3s at 20 percent. The 10-cent superfecta is at 20 percent – which is a reduction of 20 percent – making the Big M’s superfecta takeout one of the lowest in harness, or, for that matter, thoroughbred racing.
 
“We understand that horseplayers are a major part of the racing industry,” said Settlemoir. “They deserve our respect. One year ago, the State of New Jersey stepped up for the racing industry in the form of an appropriation that raised our purses significantly. The Meadowlands in turn has stepped up for our fans with lower takeouts, full fields and great racing, three major reasons that we had our second $3-million night of the year last Saturday (Feb. 1).”
 
With regard to the new betting bonanza that goes into effect Friday, Settlemoir said: “There is no doubt that this is one of our most ambitious and value-conscious wagering menus ever implemented at the Meadowlands.”
 
These are the pertinent facts:
  • 20-cent Pick-5 (Race 1): The wager – which will continue to offer a $25,000 guaranteed pool – still begins with the first race of the night, but now has a 20-cent minimum and can be played in 20-cent denominations (such as 20 cents, 40 cents, 60 cents, etc.).
  • 20-cent Pick-6 (Race 4): A “traditional” Pick-6. Should no player select all six winners, there will be a carryover to the next racing program. The 20-cent minimum will enable bettors to “spread” further without a big investment.
  • Early 50-cent Pick-4 (Race 6): The “signature” wager at the Meadowlands now moves from the eighth race to the sixth, which immediately follows the cashing out of the Pick-5. The $50,000 guaranteed pool remains, as does the 50-cent minimum. Free program pages for this wager are available at ustrotting.com and playmeadowlands.com.
  • Late 50-cent Pick-4 (Race 10): Immediately following the payoff leg of both the Pick-6 and Early Pick-4, this additional Pick-4 will give Meadowlands’ fans another big multi-race pool to shoot for before the end of the program.
  • 20-cent Can-Am Pick-4: This wager – which is on Saturday nights – will see a shift once the earlier post time takes effect. The bet, which challenges players to select the winners of two races at both the Meadowlands and Woodbine Mohawk Park, will still begin with WMP’s 10th race, but from there the sequence will be Meadowlands 11, WMP 11 and Meadowlands 12.
  • The Pick-5, Pick-6, both Pick-4s and Can-Am Pick-4 will all offer a low 15 percent takeout.
  • Rolling Pick-3s are returning: All races that do not have a Pick-4, Pick-5 or Pick-6 will offer a $1 Pick-3. On a typical 13-race card, the Pick-3s will be available on races 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 11.
  • Daily Double players will get the same opportunities they had for many years as the traditional format of the first two and last two races will go back into effect.
  • The 20-cent Survivor Pick-10 will be dropped.
  • With the new earlier post time of 6:55 p.m., simulcast fans can now look for the “Racing from the Meadowlands” live in-house pre-game show to begin nightly at 6:22 p.m. The TV team of Dave Brower and Dave Little will add a segment to the pre-game show that takes an in-depth look at the 20-cent Pick-5.
SERIOUS SATURDAY STATS: Saturday (Feb. 1) night’s all-source total handle of $3,026,740 was highlighted by winter-meet-best pools in both the 50-cent Pick-5 ($71,830) and 50-cent Pick-4 ($117,502). Race eight – which marks the start of the Pick-4 – took in a total $306,163 while over the course of the 13-race program, 11 races saw total pools of $200,000 or more.
GINGRAS’ BIG WEEKEND: Yannick Gingras paced the driver’s colony over the course of last weekend’s racing, winning eight races. It will come as no shock to Big M regulars that trainer Ron Burke was far and away the top trainer, with seven wins (from just 18 starts, 39 percent), all piloted by his go-to driver Gingras.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR….
  • On Feb. 7, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold’em on “Free Poker Friday”, hosted by World Free Poker.
  • On Feb. 7, come to the track and enjoy a “Brunch for Love” from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The event benefits non-profits from the Meadowlands Chamber.
  • On Feb. 14, bring your sweetheart to the races and enjoy a fabulous Valentine’s Day dinner in the Big M’s Pink Restaurant. You might be one of three couples to win a gift certificate for a bed and breakfast stay in Cape May, NJ. For reservations, call 201-THE-BIGM.
  • On Feb. 22, The Big M will host its February World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier. The top two finishers will qualify for the WHHC Final. It’s only $200 to play ($100 to enter; $100 bankroll). For complete information, check out the brochure at http://playmeadowlands.com/uploadedFiles/2020%20February%20WHHC%20qualifier.pdf.
(Meadowlands)
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