'We Are In A Good Groove': Meadowlands' Streak Of $3 Million Nightly Handles Stands At 19 - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

‘We Are In A Good Groove’: Meadowlands’ Streak Of $3 Million Nightly Handles Stands At 19

The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.

By industry standards, 2022 was a solid year at The Meadowlands as far as business goes. Average nightly handle was $2.75 million and betting surpassed the “magic” $3-million mark 23 times during a year that saw 85 race cards contested at the mile oval.

But 2023 – by any standard – has been a season that's seen business boom.

Last Saturday (March 11) was just another night at the salt mine for Big M management and fans, as all-source betting totaled $3,638,285 on the 14-race card, keeping The Big M's streak of surpassing the $3-million plateau intact.

There have been 19 Friday and Saturday night programs conducted during 2023 and every one has seen wagering exceed $3 million.

March has been especially marvelous, with the average nightly handle currently standing at $3.85 million.

“There's no question, we are in a good groove,” said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “We are extremely appreciative of our fan base. They like what our racing office has done, creating the type of competitive racing with full 10-horse fields that makes for outcomes that are harder to predict, so payoffs have a great deal of appeal to our players.”

Some of the more attractive payoffs from last week include Friday's (March 10) 20-cent Pick-6 ($9,911), 20-cent Survivor Pick-7 ($8,323) and 20-cent Pick-5 ($7,895).

Smiles on Saturday were worn by those who cashed in on the new “Prime Time” 10-cent Pentafecta ($12,955) as well as the two popular 50-cent Pick-4s, that came back $4,414 (Early P4) and $2,170 (Late P4), respectively.

The Pentafecta, or, if you prefer, Hi-5, was recently added to the betting menu in the seventh race. It is in addition to the Pentafecta that has always been offered on the 14th – and final – dash of the night.

The handle projections for 2023 are big, to say the least.

The Friday and Saturday programs have seen a total of $65,457,871 pushed through the windows, for an average nightly handle of $3,445,151. If you include the two Sunday afternoon programs that were contested in January, that number dips to $3,273,283, which is still far higher than the average handle per card during a superb 2021, when betting was at $3.0 million per program.

PICK-6 CARRYOVER: Carryovers are something Meadowlands' fans take to like a moth to a flame, and Friday (March 17), they'll be something extra in the 20-cent Pick-6 pot of gold on St. Patrick's Day.

There were no winning tickets sold on the wager last Saturday, creating a carryover of $10,174. The last time there was a P6 carryover, $59,027 in “new money” was put in the hat for a pool that soared to $66,654.

It just so happens that on that March 3rd, the P6 went unhit again, which created a double carryover that attracted $118,217 in new money the next night for a grand total of $163,471. Those with winning tickets that evening cashed in for a handsome $6,411, despite a sequence that saw five of the winners go off at odds of 5-1 or less.

“Our players love the opportunity to hit big,” said Settlemoir. “So, whenever there are carryovers on our multi-leg wagers, there is always a lot of excitement in the building. The carryovers create great opportunities. Take this Friday, for instance. In the event there is $66,000 or less in new money bet in the Pick-6, those with winning tickets will cash in for more money than what was bet into the pool. That's a negative takeout, which is something any player can get excited about.”

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