Kindergarten Leads Big M Action

Published: October 22, 2020 12:23 pm EDT

The Kindergarten Classic for two-year-olds and a veteran standout looking to get back on track are the top storylines this weekend at The Meadowlands.

On Friday (Oct. 23), eight divisions of the Kindergarten’s third leg for two-year-olds will hit the track. There will be two divisions each for horses of both sexes and gaits.

Next week, the Kindergarten will have its fourth and final leg (Oct. 30) before the series concludes on Nov. 7 with four finals with purses totalling $800,000.

After a rare poor performance last week, Highalator, who saw his three-race Big M win streak come to an end at the hands of Harambe Deo, seeks to find his way back to the winner’s circle in the Saturday (Oct. 24) night feature, a high-end conditioned pace.

LAST WEEK: Dexter Dunn, who finished one winner behind Yannick Gingras during the Championship Meeting that concluded in August, had the hot hands last Friday night, winning five times on the evening to be the leading driver for the weekend (Oct. 16-17). Gingras had four winners, all on Saturday night.

Jeff Cullipher, after winning three times on Oct. 10, followed that up with training doubles on both last Friday and Saturday. His four winners led all trainers.

Despite 16 winning favourites from 26 races, many Big M players still made some big scores last weekend.

Among the wagers with notable payouts were the 10-cent pentafecta ($1,113 on Friday, $2,072 on Saturday), 20-cent Pick-5 ($5,431 and $7,747), 50-cent Pick-4 ($5,910 and $1,129) and Trifecta ($2,510, $1,649 and $4,595 on Friday; $2,664 and $2,290 on Saturday).

IT ALL COMES DOWN: The Breeders Crown will be offered at The Meadowlands on its simulcast network when the year-end event sees eliminations take place this Friday and Saturday. Post time is 6:30 p.m.

Hoosier Park in Anderson, Ind., will play host to the 2020 edition of the Crown, harness racing’s year-end 12-race extravaganza for horses of all sexes, ages and gaits. Nine of the events will require eliminations this weekend. Three races – the Open Pace, Open Trot and Mare Trot – will not require elims and go directly to finals next week.

More than $6 million will be on the table, as Friday, Oct. 30 will see the four Crown finals for two-year-olds, before a Saturday, Oct. 31 eight-pack that will include four championships for three-year-olds and four more for open types. Post time each night is 6 p.m.

Many Breeders Crown performers will no doubt be at The Meadowlands on Nov. 21 for Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night.

That evening, two-year-olds will be in the spotlight as the Governor’s Cup (colt pace), Three Diamonds (filly pace), Valley Victory (colt trot) and Goldsmith Maid (filly trot) makeup the Fall Final Four, with total purses of about $1.8 million.

Year-end divisional honours – as well as Horse of the Year – could be determined by what happens in the four TVG Finals, which are the Mares Trot, Open Trot, Mares Pace and Open Pace, a fabulous foursome which will see just over $1 million get doled out.

DON’T FORGET THE RUNNERS: Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., is the site for the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will begin with five events on Friday, Nov. 6 and conclude on Saturday, Nov. 7 with nine more races, the last of which is the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The first Breeders’ Cup race on Friday is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., while Saturday’s opener goes at 12:02 p.m. The Classic has a post time of 5:13 p.m.

FREE PPs: For free past performances of Meadowlands races, go to, where one can access races nine through 13 for both Friday and Saturday’s programs. Those races include the 20-cent Late Pick-5, 50-cent Late Pick-4 and 10-cent Late Pentafecta, not to mention the Late Daily Double.

THE FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT: The newest member of the Meadowlands’ TV team is off to a good start. Last weekend saw Andrew “Shades” Demsky give out both of his best bets on top and added one Pick-4 on Saturday night for good measure.

This week, Demsky will be giving commentary on TVG Friday night and serve as co-host alongside Dave Brower on the in-house live simulcast presentation on Saturday.

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

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.

CHECK OUT THE SHOW: As always look for the “Racing from The Meadowlands” live in-house simulcast show every Friday and Saturday night. It begins at 6:42 p.m. First race is at 7:15 p.m.

If you want to watch all the action at home, go to to catch every race live.

GET WORLD SERI-OUS: Get into the World Series at The Big M, by watching and wagering on every game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays in the FanDuel Sportsbook.

The Dodgers remain a solid favourite to win their first championship since 1988, as with the series tied at a game apiece heading into Friday night’s Game 3, Los Angeles is -200 to win the series while Tampa Bay is +165.

In addition to baseball’s “Fall Classic”, you can watch and wager on all the NFL and college football action, as well as other sports. The book is open for business from 10 a.m. – midnight Sunday through Friday and from 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. on Saturday.