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Racing's 'Greatest Day' At Big M

Published: August 6, 2020 12:27 pm ET

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The stream of stakes races will overflow as a small creek would after a tropical storm, just like the money that will flood the pools at The Meadowlands on Saturday (Aug. 8), when the 95th edition of the $1 million Hambletonian takes centre stage on "Harness Racing’s Greatest Day."

Post time for the first race is 12 noon.

Sitting atop the list of betting opportunities will be the 20-cent Super High-Five. With Saturday bringing a mandatory payout, a low 15 per cent takeout and a $109,280 carryover, the sky’s the limit for the wager’s total pool, since the race will have a bulky field of 11.

“We have a unique wagering and investment opportunity for all players caused by the low takeout and big carryover,” said Big M chief operating officer and general manager Jason Settlemoir. “We have placed the wager on race 14, which will take place 30 minutes before the prestigious Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

“The opportunity for the player is superb, as the mathematics of this carryover wager have swung the advantage to the player, arguably making the mandatory payout on the High-Five the best bet offered at any race track or sports book on Hambletonian Day. There will be more money paid out Saturday than the money wagered on the High-Five if the final pool is under $800,000.”

His point is a valid one. In the event there is $190,720 in “new money” bet into the High-Five, which is a low-end guess, that would create a total payout of $271,392 (good for a surplus of $80,672), which would result in a staggering 42 per cent edge for the bettor.

If there is $290,720 in new money, that would create a total payout of $356,392 (surplus, $65,672), creating a 22 per cent advantage for the player.

But, naturally, on the 16-race program that will conclude The Big M’s "Championship Meet," that opportunity to make a score is merely one of many.

In fact, there will be five other wagers on the program which will undoubtedly take big action while offering the small 15 per cent rake:

• 20-cent Pick-6 (Race 1)
• 20-cent Pick-5 (Race 3, $75,000 guaranteed pool)
• 50-cent Pick-4 (Race 8, $100,000)
• 20-cent Pick-5 (Race 11, $50,000)
• 50-cent Pick-4 (Race 13, $50,000)

CHECK YOUR WATCH: Friday (Aug. 7) night’s races will begin at the usual 7:15 p.m., but on Saturday (August 8), Hambletonian Day, the huge 16-race program gets underway at noon.

The Hambletonian Oaks has a post time of 3:30 p.m., while the Hambletonian is slated to go at 4:35 p.m.

NATIONAL TV: The Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks will be presented on a tape delayed one-hour broadcast that will be seen on the CBS Sports Network beginning at 6 p.m.

The show will be hosted by Gary Seibel remotely, with the Big M’s TV team of Dave Brower and Dave Little serving as the primary on-site players. Gabe Prewitt, Ashley Mailloux and Jessica Otten will handle interviews during the 60-minute show. Ken Warkentin will call the race for the 21st time in his career as the voice of The Big M.

STAKES MENU: In addition to the $1,000,000 Hambo, the $600,000 Hambletonian Oaks, $273,125 Cane Pace, $90,525 Shady Daisy, $229,660 Sam McKee, $177,100 Lady Liberty, $284,200 John Cashman, $166,550 John Steele, $339,000 Peter Haughton and $350,300 Jim Doherty will also be on the Saturday card.

WANT TO BET THE HAMBO ON FRIDAY? Wagering on the entire Hambletonian Day card will be available all day long on Friday, Aug. 7. Check wherever you normally get your action as all 16 races should be available for those who want to bet 24 hours in advance.

WANT TO BET THE HAMBO “ON THE GO”? The Meadowlands will offer wagering for those who need the convenience of a walk-up window given the track’s reduced capacity.

There will be a betting window in Lot M off Berry’s Creek Road. Tellers will take action from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Programs will be available for sale for not only the Meadowlands races, but for simulcast action as well.

COMING TO THE TRACK? For those interested in coming out to the track on Hambletonian Day, they should go to this link for complete information.

FREE STUFF: For free past performances, go to, where race fans can access races 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 for Friday. For Friday’s PPs, go to this link.

Saturday’s entire 16-race program will be available free of charge. For those PPs, go to this link.

CHECK OUT THE PICKS: For those who need to get a leg up on the action, go to to see track oddsmaker and analyst Brower’s selections and commentary. Click on this link to check out Friday’s card.

Additionally, track announcer Warkentin’s blog is available on the site and offers his picks and analysis.

On race nights, access picks and plays from the Big M TV team at #playbigm or at @TheMeadowlands.

TWEET THE TEAM: Stay in touch on Twitter with the Big M’s Brower (@eedoogie), Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Prewitt (@gabe_prewitt) and Mailloux (@ashley_mailloux). Check in everyday for Meadowlands news and updates at those handles, as well as @TheMeadowlands and #playbigm.

HOW TO WATCH, HOW TO BET: For those fans who prefer to not attend the races but are still anxious to be a part of the action, they can watch the races on the Roberts Television Network ( or on the Television Games Network (TVG). To bet the races go to, or your favourite ADW (advance-deposit wagering) platform.


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