The Meadowlands - The final weekend of live racing for the 2017 Championship Meet including Saturday's giant Hambletonian Day extravaganza kicks off on Friday night with a dozen races beginning at 7:15 p.m.
Friday's featured races are divisions of the Duenna and Townsend Ackerman, which are unofficial consolation races for the Hambletonian and Oaks.
The Hambletonian festivities get underway on Friday evening with the Hambletonian Charity Casino Night and Poker Tournament. The proceeds will benefit the Hall of Fame Museum and Standardbred Retirement Foundation. Reservations are available and recommended.
Saturday is, of course, the "Greatest Day in Harness Racing" featuring the Hambletonian on a card with $3.5 million in purses and activities galore. Post time on Saturday is noon and the gates will open at 10 a.m.
With the weather expected to cooperate, the crowd will be a large one with a Hambletonian hat giveaway and plenty of family outdoor activities in the Backyard. Outdoor seating may be reserved and reservations for indoor dining are very limited so call 201-460-4079 right away to inquire.
Of interest to the horseplayer, horizontal wager guarantees are increased on Saturday and a free program for the entire card (courtesy of The Meadowlands and Trackmaster) is available for download.
For those unable to attend, the Hambletonian and Oaks along with the Sam McKee Memorial FFA pace will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Hosts Justin Horowitz, Dave Brower and Gary Seibel will describe the action.