East Rutherford, NJ - The opening of the Meadowlands Fall Meet in the brand new grandstand on November 23rd is now just a month away. Looking beyond the balance of 2013, dates for next year are in the process of being finalized, subject to regulatory approval.
The 2014 live racing season at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will be comprised of 81 dates and stay the course laid in 2013. Headlined by the Hambletonian, Meadowlands Pace and the recently announced inclusion of the Breeders Crown championship, purses for next year’s stakes program will be over $15 million.
Racing will get underway on January 2 with a Thursday, Friday, Saturday schedule through March 8 and continues with Friday and Saturday night cards through Hambletonian Day, August 2. The only exception is a Wednesday, January 22 program that leads into the two week break for the Super Bowl at Met Life Stadium. Live racing will resume on February 6.
The Winter Series' have been remodeled to allow for greater regularity in getting the overnight horses raced through that part of the year when fewer tracks are in operation. The reduction in the number of series' also resulted in significant increases to the leg and final purse for some of them.
The first flight of closers includes the aptly named Super Bowl and Charles Singer for trotters which have been opened to include both three and four year old candidates.
The Presidential returns, but a month later than previous seasons (February 15), in a single elimination and final format.
The Junior Trendsetter has been renamed for Hall of Fame driver and longtime fan favorite William "Buddy" Gilmour and the purses for the legs have been increase from $12,500 to $17,500 for Leg 1 and $20,000 for Leg 2. There is an also additional $10,000 added to the Final, bringing the added money from $25,000 to $35,000.
The Horse and Groom trotting series has a leg purse increase from $18,000 to $20,000 and the added money is increased from $30,000 to $35,000 for the final.
Lastly, The Clyde Hirt has a leg purse increase from $16,000 to $20,000 while the added money for the final is enriched by $10,000 from $25,000 to $35,000.
The nominating fees remain the same for all events and the nomination deadline is December 15. Follow this link to download a nomination form. There are more late closers in the works, including the popular Survivor claiming series tentatively set for March. Those will be made available in the near future with a February 15 close.