The Meadowlands Racetrack, also known as the Big M and officially called Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, opened on September 1, 1976 and almost instantly gained status among the top race tracks in the USA. Part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, NJ, the Meadowlands is the only track in New Jersey that offers both thoroughbred and standardbred racing. Thoroughbred cards take over in the fall, with harness racing holding forth the remainder of the year. The Meadowlands is open for live racing 12 months a year.
There is a one-mile harness racing track with wide-sweeping turns that lends itself to competitive racing and fast times. The fastest mile ever paced in a race of 1:46 ⅕ was recorded at the Meadowlands. The thoroughbred track is a seven furlong turf course.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority privatized the racetrack in December of 2011, selling the Meadowlands to Jeffrey Gural. The new owner initiated $110 million of improvements, consisting of a new 2,250-seat grandstand built on the site of the former backstretch.
The track features three indoor dining facilities – Pink, Trotters and The Lounge – as well as the outdoor Backyard Grill.
The Meadowlands is open daily at 11 a.m. for simulcasting racing from around the world, with 20-25 tracks available for wagering on a daily basis.
In June of 2018, the Meadowlands announced a partnership with Paddy Power Betfair to open a brick and mortar sportsbook inside the facility. The FanDuel Sportsbook opened on July 14, 2018.
There are regular festivals held throughout the season at the track, as well as fireworks nights handicapping contests.
The New Jersey Racing Commission has jurisdiction over New Jersey’s thoroughbred and standardbred permit holders and the authority to regulate racing at the state’s four racetracks.
Major Horse Betting Events at the Venue
The Hambletonian for three year olds, the first leg of the trotting Triple Crown, is held annually on the first Saturday in August at the Meadowlands. Past winners include Speed Somoli, Malabar Man and Mack Lobell.
The Cane Pace for three year olds, the first leg in the pacing Triple Crown, has been held at the Meadowlands since 2015.
The signature event at the track is the annual Meadowlands Pace with a purse of $700,000. Past winners have included Presidential Ball, Niatross, Nihilator and Gallo Blue Chip.
Held in July, the Meadowlands Pace headlines a card of stakes races that also includes the $450,000 WR Haughton Open Pace, the $400,000 Hambletonian Maturity, the $285,000 Stanley Dancer, the $250,000 Del Miller Memorial, the $200,000 Mistletoe Shalee, the $175,000 Dorothy Haughton Memorial Open Mare Pace and Leg 4 of the $40,000 Miss Versatility Mare Trot.
The Breeders Crown world championship events are frequently held at the Meadowlands.
Other key stakes races at the Meadowlands include the Shady Daisy, the Tompkins-Geers Stakes, the WN Reynolds Memorial, the Hambletonian Oaks, the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial, the Artiscape, the Crawford Farms, the Dr. John Steele Memorial, the Goldsmith Maid, the Governor’s Cup, the Graduate Series for pacers and trotters, the Jim Doherty Memorial, the John Cashman Memorial, the Joie De Vie, the Kindergarten Classic for colt and filly pacers and colt and filly trotters, the Lady Liberty, the Peter Haughton Memorial, the Roll With Joe, the Sam McKee Memorial, the Three Diamonds, the TVG Championships for mare pacers, mare trotters, open trotters and open pacers and the Valley Victory.
Total purse money for stakes races at the Meadowlands is in excess of $20 million.
Bet Types Allowed
Straight wagering options include win, place, show and across the board (win-place-show). Exotic wagering choices featured are daily double, exacta, trifecta, superfecta and a variety of pick wagers including pick-3, pick-4, pick-5 and pick-6. Boxing of exacta and trifecta wagering is also available.
FanDuel Sports Book
Located in the Victory Sports Bar, the FanDuel Sportsbook enables players to watch the action of 50+ HD TVs so they don’t miss a single play.
The sportsbook is open seven days a week. Hours are Sunday-Friday 10-12 a.m. and Saturdays 10-2 a.m. The cash counter is open daily from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Dining is available next door at The Lounge, with full viewing access to the FanDuel sportsbook’s 20-foot TV screens.
Sports offered for wagering include the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA (other than New Jersey schools and games played in New Jersey), soccer, golf, tennis, UFC/MMA, boxing, auto sports, Australian rules, cricket, cycling, darts, rugby and table tennis.
Straight bets such as moneylines, spreads and totals are available, as are props, parlays, futures, teasers and round robins. FanDuel provides extensive access to live betting and boosted odds.
Under New Jersey sports betting laws, the Meadowlands is also able to offer an online and mobile sports betting skin to PointsBet.
Mobile Racebook Apps
Horse racing fans can sign up at TVG’s 4NJBets and gain access to watch and bet on live horse racing from over 150 tracks worldwide on their mobile device.
Sports bettors can download the FanDuel sportsbook app and be able to wager on sports from anywhere within the boundaries of the state of New Jersey. It’s compatible with both iOS and Android devices.
Horse Racing Online Promotions
Through the FanDuel sportsbook, players who sign up for their online or mobile services can access a risk-free first bet.
Players who sign up for 4NJBets are able to access their new player signup bonus of a maximum of 50 percent of a player’s first deposit worth up to a maximum of $250.
They also offer a refer-a-friend bonus. For every friend a player gets to join 4NJBets, they’ll be rewarded with a $25 bonus in site credit.
The Meadowlands also provides ongoing promotions that often run in connection with the track’s major stakes events. For example, they offer a draw for five free win bets during the Meadowlands Pace card.