By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ
MANALAPAN, NJ – August 21, 2014 – When Freehold Raceway re-opens for its 2014 Summer/Fall Meet on Thursday, August 28, there will be a return to condition racing and the introduction of automated morning lines.
“In a mutual agreement with the SBOA [Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey], we are returning to conditioned races when we re-open August 28,” said Freehold’s General Manager Howard Bruno. “We had some success with the ABC classified system, however, the seasonal fluctuations in horse supply made it difficult to maximize its potential.”
The 48-day meet [August 28 through December 13] will occupy Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays each week along with a special Labor Day card on Monday, September 1. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
Overnight purses will average $40,000 daily, according to Bruno.
Automated morning lines, generated by TrackMaster, will debut this meet.
“Several other tracks have begun using the system and the feedback has been positive,” said Director of Racing and Racing Secretary Karen Fagliarone. “We feel the automation will lead to increased accuracy and be more timely than our current system.”
Opening weekend includes stakes action, an opening day t-shirt giveaway, and, on Labor Day, discounted food items, autograph session and a cap giveaway.
The free t-shirt will be distributed with a paid Freehold live racing program [while supplies last] on Thursday, August 28. The opening day feature is the first round of New Jersey Sire Stakes Green Acres for two-year-old trotting colts.
Friday, August 29 spotlights eliminations, if needed, for the Helen Smith Trot for three-year-old fillies which has a $55,000 estimated final on September 5.
Saturday, August 30 will showcase three-year-old pacing colts in Green Acres action.
Two-year-old pacers, both colts and fillies, face off in opening round Green Acres on Labor Day, September 1.
Labor Day is also Back to the Track, a cooperative effort by the United States Trotting Association, its member racetracks, and horsemen from coast-to-coast that combines exciting harness racing and fan-friendly promotions.
Freehold’s Labor Day festivities include a free Back to the Track cap with paid Freehold live program [while supplies last], 50-cent hot dogs, 50-cent sodas, drawings for a season’s parking pass and Back to the Track t-shirts. Additionally, there will be a drivers’ autograph session.
Saturday, September 20 marks the Third Annual Open Space Pace, which starts with a morning parade of horses on Main Street in Freehold Borough, ending at Freehold Raceway where additional events will be staged, including celebrity amateur races, demonstrations, educational exhibits, great food, live harness racing, family fun activities, petting zoo, a concert and fireworks.
In addition to the Green Acres stakes for New Jersey-sired two and three-year-olds, the fall schedule includes the Lou Babic Paces [September 27] and the SBOANJ-sponsored Marion Dancer Trot [September 4], Helen Smith Trot [September 5], Charles Smith Trot [September 12], Harold Dancer Trot [September 25] and New Jersey Futurities [September 6, October 10, October 16 and October 25].
Qualifiers are on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. with declarations due the prior day at 10 a.m. Fourteen baby races and qualifiers are carded for Thursday, August 21.
The opening week draw schedule:
- Thursday, August 28 – Draw on Monday, August 25 [Declare in by 9 a.m.]
- Friday, August 29 – Draw on Tuesday, August 26 [Declare in by 9 a.m.]
- Saturday, August 30 – Draw on Wednesday, August 27 [Declare in by 9 a.m.]
- Monday, September 1 [Labor Day] – Draw on Thursday, August 28 [Declare in by 9 a.m.]
The remainder of meet will follow Freehold’s traditional draw schedule of Saturday for Thursday, Tuesday for Friday and Wednesday for Saturday.
--Quotes and Notes Courtesy of Freehold Raceway