Business booming during Big M stakes season
July 6, 2023, from Meadowlands Media Relations
East Rutherford, NJ — After starting the year with 34 consecutive Friday and Saturday night programs that saw wagering exceed $3 million, things have slowed a bit recently at the windows at The Meadowlands, by far the handle leader in the sport of harness racing.
With other tracks in the region opening up in the warmer weather, it’s been more difficult to card 14 races with full fields, but last weekend, things picked up sharply as the track’s Championship Meet put the spotlight on four stakes events on Saturday (July 1), motivating the Big M faithful to wager $3,806,648 after betting $3,192,296 on Friday (June 30). The weekend total of $6,998,944 fell about $1,000 short of giving the track a fourth $7 million weekend during 2023.
“Our business has been surging,” said Meadowlands’ Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “For 52 programs this year, we’ve bet $161,396,568, so we are averaging $3.1 million per card. We just missed the $7 million mark for two nights of racing last week, averaging $3,499,472 a night. This is the first time the average handle has been over $3 million per card for the first half of the season in decades. When you consider how successful our Fox Sports national television broadcasts have been, it’s hard not to be optimistic about the remainder of our Championship Meet.”
Speaking of national television coverage, The Big M’s races will be front and center both this Saturday (July 8) and next (July 15) on Fox Sports 2 (FS2) and Fox Sports 1 (FS1), respectively. The July 8 program will feature a pair of Graduate finals and both eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace while the July 15 card features the $668,000 Pace final plus a big handful of other major events.
The remaining schedule for when Meadowlands’ races will be shown on either FS1 or FS2 is as follows (with highlighted races): Continue on USTA