MANALAPAN, NJ - July 30, 2014 - Saturday's Hambletonian Day 15-race card at the Meadowlands is loaded with rich stakes worth nearly $3.6 million in purse money, including the $225,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic and its filly companion race, the $100,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey.
The two stakes for New Jersey-sired three-year-old pacers are early in the card - the third race for the Miss New Jersey and the fourth race for the New Jersey Classic - and have the possibility of being two of the most contentious and bettor-friendly events, with no prohibitive favorites.
Racing conditions for the two stakes were amended to eliminate eliminations. The finals are limited to the 10 highest lifetime money-winning horses in the entry box. To further sweeten the pot, even those who do not share in the top five purse distribution will not go home empty-handed. The connections of the New Jersey Classic colts finishing sixth through 10 will receive $1,500 each while the connections of the Miss New Jersey fillies will receive $1,000 each.
"We are very pleased that we have full and competitive fields for both stakes, in fact, 11 entered in each with 10 going postward," said Tom Luchento, president of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey [SBOANJ], which sponsors the two races.
"We feel stallions will return to New Jersey once we have casino-infused purses, a likelihood in the next few years, but for now we are trying our best to make it worthwhile for breeders to support our program and owners to buy New Jersey-sired offspring with the opportunity to compete in such events as the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey," Luchento added.
Post time on Saturday, August 2, 2014 is 12 noon with gates opening at 10 a.m. Admission is $5.
The $1 million Hambletonian [Race 13] and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks [Race 12] and the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot will be featured on the live television broadcast from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network [for Channel Finder - www.cbssportsnework.com]. The program will be hosted by Gary Seibel, Dave Brower and Justin Horowitz.
The fields for the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey with post, horse, sire, driver, trainer and morning line odds:
Race 4 - $225,000 ANTHONY ABBATIELLO NEW JERSEY CLASSIC
1-Doo Wop Hanover -- - - 9-5
2-Western Vintage -- - Nancy Johansson - 5-2
3-Rockeyed Optimist -- - - 20-1
4-Buckwacker -- - - 9-2
5-Sweet Rock -- - Wayne Given - 20-1
6-Dancin Hill -- - - 10-1
7-Rock Out -- - - 15-1
8-Card Shock- Cam's Card Shark -- - 20-1
9-Beat The Drum -- - - 6-1
10-Rocknroll Reality -- - - 12-1
Race 3 - $100,000 THOMAS D'ALTRUI MISS NEW JERSEY
1-Ideal Helen -- - - 10-1
2-Act Now -- - Nikolas Drennan - 3-1
3-Gettingreadytoroll -- - - 2-1
4-My Lady Day -- - - 15-1
5-Surfside Sexy -- - - 20-1
6-Cut A Deal -- - - 20-1
7-Blixtra -- - Ake Svandstedt - 9-2
8-Highland Rockstar -- - Buzzy Sholty - 20-1
9-Rockingcam Park -- - Ron Coyne Jr. - 8-1
10- Kate Can't Wait -- - - 6-1
By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ