East Rutherford, NJ - Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment played host to JerseyFest on this, the night of the New Jersey Stakes Finals. The crowd was large and the atmosphere electric, with attendance estimated to be in excess of 14,000.
This year the event included a competition between seventeen food trucks
competing for prizes and recognition, as well as vendors and artisans from all
over the Garden State on-site sampling and selling their wares. The weather
finally cooperated with a pleasant, dry evening.
The festival began around 5pm Saturday evening and the track apron and
outfield park filled quickly. A portion of the crowd crept into the grandstand
as the evening wore on with many drawn to the racing by the visual displayed on
the high definition infield video screen. The design of the new grandstand
nicely integrates the racing with events held outside with the track and horses
in close proximity to the fans.
An added attraction was the appearance by Victor
Espinosa, the jockey set to ride California Chrome in his date with destiny
next week in the Belmont Stakes as he tries to be the first winner of the
Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing since 1978. Espinosa greeted fans and
signed autographs, joined in a winners circle ceremony that included WNBC
sportscaster Bruce Beck and spoke with Sam McKee about the upcoming race