On Tuesday (May 4) the Meadowlands announced that it will pick up the Graduate Series leg and Miss Versatility leg that were previously scheduled to be raced at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Also, in concert with the SBOA of NJ, The Meadowlands will add races for three-year-olds to the Championship Meet schedule to accommodate horses left with reduced racing opportunities due to stakes schedule changes at Mohawk.
A short series for pacing mares has been placed in late May/early June while Open Trotting and Pacing events for older horses and geldings will be offered when there’s a blank spot in their 2021 harness racing schedule.
Revisions and additions are listed below:
- The leg of the Graduate Series for both trotters and pacers originally scheduled for Saturday, June 5 at Mohawk will be raced at The Meadowlands on the same date.
- The Graduate leg for both trotters and pacers originally scheduled for Saturday, June 26 at The Meadowlands will now be raced on Saturday, June 19 at The Meadowlands.
- The Graduate Series Finals will remain on Saturday, July 10 at The Meadowlands.
- The leg of the Miss Versatility Series originally scheduled for Friday, May 28 at Mohawk will be raced on Saturday, May 29 at The Meadowlands.
- A leg will be added to the Miss Versatility and raced on Saturday, June 12, expanding the series to now six legs.
- The Miss Versatility leg scheduled for Friday, September 10 has been moved to Friday, September 3 at The Meadowlands to accommodate the relocation of the Armbro Flight eliminations on the 10th. The final remains on Jug Day at the Delaware County Fair.
For each Saturday during the month of June, there will be separate overnight Open Pace classes for three-year-old colt and filly pacers for a purse of $50,000 ($35,000 if there are divisions). These races will be written with preference to horses that are eligible to the Meadowlands Pace or Mistletoe Shalee and the North America Cup or Fan Hanover.
The same classes will be written for three-year-old trotting colts and fillies on Friday, June 11 and Friday, June 25. Preference will be given to those horses paid into stakes at The Meadowlands.
A short overnight series will be offered for older pacing mares again with preference given to those paid into Meadowlands stakes. These races are scheduled for Saturday, May 22 and Friday, June 11 to race for $30,000; the top earners will race for $50,000 on Friday, June 18.
Opens for the older horses will be available weekly with the possibility of a few special events along the way. Information will be updated on The Meadowlands’ website shortly.
“It’s clear that many owners and trainers are affected by the situation in Canada. With the N.A. Cup and its companion stakes moved to September, there really aren’t many options for the three-year-olds to get races on a big track that they need to be in shape for our marquee stakes,” said Meadowlands President Jeff Gural. “It seems like the right thing to do.”
“I commend Jeff for recognizing the need for these races and I’m pleased we are able to join together and step up to help our horse people,” added SBOA of NJ President Mark Ford. “It’s a good time to be racing in New Jersey, with our overnight purses at the highest level they’ve been in years. Our members can have confidence that they will continue to have opportunities to race for purses that are as good as any in the business.”