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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (August 4, 2016) - The Hambletonian and harness racing reached a massive audience when Meadowlands officials helped ring the closing bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square on Wednesday. The ceremony was televised live on several financial television networks, reaching a worldwide audience. In addition, a video highlighting the Hambletonian was aired for one hour on the MarketSite's seven-story video screen in the middle of Times Square. The bell ringing ceremony was arranged through a partnership with ARK Restaurants, a Nasdaq listed company that provides the food and beverage service at the Meadowlands. "I don't know if The Hambletonian or our sport has received this type of publicity in a long time," said Jason M. Settlemoir, COO/GM of the Meadowlands. "I have to thank Justin Horowitz for arranging this whole event and our partners at ARK for supporting our desire to promote harness racing to a worldwide audience." After the bell ringing ceremony, Settlemoir and Horowitz participated in a Facebook Live chat hosted by Nasdaq on its Facebook page that has more than 621,000 likes. The chat focused on horse ownership and the prestige of the Hambletonian. The video may be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2aFX9GY The Hambletonian is also getting attention thanks to a huge billboard in Manhattan at Seventh Avenue & 49th Street. The billboard has visibility from Central Park and should receive more than six million impressions during the week leading up to the Hambletonian. Hambletonian Day is Saturday, August 6 with a 12:00 p.m. post time. Live network televisions coverage of the Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks, and U.S. Pacing Championship will air from 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. About Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment Since 1976, the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ, has been a staple in North American racing, known for events like the Hambletonian and Meadowlands Pace. In November 2013, managing partner Jeffrey Gural and The Hard Rock unveiled the newly constructed Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. The state of the art complex features racing, entertainment, dining and more. Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment boasts year-round horse racing & simulcasting, Victory Sports Bar that doubles as an event space, a tiered dining restaurant Pink, corporate and private events spaces, as well as family-friendly Backyard activities. Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment creates an exciting environment that both racing and non-racing fans can enjoy. For more information on schedules and events, please visit: www.playmeadowlands.com or call 201-THE-BIG-M (201-843-2446). About The Hambletonian The $1 million Hambletonian, and the companion race for 3-year-old fillies, the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, are the richest of their kind currently offered in harness racing, and among the richest worldwide, regardless of breed. The Hambletonian is the first leg of the trotting Triple Crown, followed by the Yonkers Trot on September 3 and Kentucky Futurity on October 9. Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ  - Meadowlands Racetrack officials, along with the harness racing track's partners from ARK Restaurants, will ring the closing bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square on Wednesday, August 3 at 4:00 p.m. The ceremony will help kick off the 91st Hambletonian, which will be raced at the Meadowlands on Saturday, August 6. The partnership between ARK Restaurants and the Meadowlands began in 2013. ARK provides food and beverage services at the racetrack. Live video of the ceremony is carried on major financial television networks. Additionally, a dedicated web stream of the event is available by clicking the following links: https://new.livestream.com/nasdaq/live or http://www.nasdaq.com/about/marketsitetowervideo.asx. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 30, 2016) - The Meadowlands Racetrack will provide free live high-definition streaming of the entire Hambletonian Day harness racing card on Saturday, August 6. Post time for the 16-race card headlined by the $1 million Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks is 12:00 p.m. The live stream will be available at www.playmeadowlands.com. Fans can also watch a free live stream of the Hambletonian post position draw and news conference on Monday, August 1 beginning at 4:00 p.m. The post positions for the Hambletonian eliminations, Hambletonian Oaks, U.S. Pacing Championship, John Cashman Memorial, and the Cane Pace will be drawn at the event that will take place at Victory Sports Bar located inside Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 27, 2016) - The Meadowlands is calling on horsemen to help bring harness racing fans behind the scenes. Any trainer, owner, groom, or driver with a horse racing on Hambletonian Day is asked to send photos or short videos of the horse going through its daily routine in an effort to give fans an inside look into a horse's preparation before the biggest day of the year. Media can be submitted directly to Jennifer Bongiorno at jbongiorno@playmeadowlands.com. The content will then be posted on the Meadowlands social networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. "We have found that whenever we have posted photos or videos like this in the past, we get a tremendous response and some of our highest engagement rates of any content we create," said Bongiorno, who manages the track's social media. "We thought it would be really cool to give fans more of this content to help get them even more excited for Hambletonian Day." The Meadowlands would also like to announce #Hambo16 as the official hashtag of the 91st Hambletonian. Fans are encouraged to tag any posts on social media with the official hashtag in order to better engage with other fans. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 23, 2016) – One week after the late Jackpot Super High Five featured a mandatory payout that returned $3,269 to 276 winning tickets, the early Jackpot Super High Five was hit by one lucky harness racing horseplayer for $47,949.90 for a 20-cent wager at The Meadowlands tonight.. The jackpot carryover was $38,241 entering Saturday night. The winning ticket was purchased through 4NJBets.com. The early Jackpot Super High Five had gone unclaimed since April 1 when it was hit for $20,354. Winning Linc, driven by Scott Zeron and trained by Tony Alagna, keyed the winning sequence, winning the fifth race in the final strides at 20/1. He was followed across the finish line by narrow second wagering choice Spicebomb and favored Jann and Dean. Uncle Nicky was fourth at 26/1 and the sequence was rounded out by 63/1 Gotti. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 21, 2016) - The Hambletonian is taking on the bright lights of the big city. Millions of New York City commuters and tourists have been exposed to harness racing thanks to a massive billboard in Times Square advertising The 91st Hambletonian taking place at the Meadowlands on Saturday, August 6. The billboard is at 42nd Street and Broadway, across from the busiest subway station in New York City. It is estimated that approximately two million people will see the billboard leading up to Hambletonian Day. The image was designed by Meadowlands graphic artist Kathleen Estes. The location was secured by the Meadowlands and its media buyer. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com and www.hambletonian.org. Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 21, 2016) - As the driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Bass Pro Shops Toyota, Martin Truex, Jr. knows all about horsepower. But on Saturday, August 6, the Daytona 500 runner-up will experience a new brand of horsepower when he serves as the celebrity trophy presenter at the harness racing 91st Hambletonian, America's Trotting Classic, at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J. Truex is a Mayetta, N.J. native but has never attended Hambletonian Day. He and his girlfriend Sherry are looking forward to spending time at a different kind of racetrack. "The Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Racetrack is like the Daytona 500 in NASCAR; it's the most prestigious harness race in North America," said the 35-year-old Truex. "Sherry and I are looking forward to visiting the track to meet the fans and experience the excitement around the events!" After finishing his qualifying session at Watkins Glen, N.Y. where the Sprint Cup Series races during Hambletonian weekend, Truex will fly down to the Meadowlands. He will appear from 3:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. The appearance will include signing autographs and posing for photos with fans. "We're extremely excited about having one of the top Sprint Cup drivers like Martin Truex, Jr. join us at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Hambletonian Day," said Meadowlands Director of CCTV Sam McKee. "Martin is having a fantastic season, running up front practically every week. He's locked into the Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship and NASCAR fans from around the Tri-State area will have a chance to meet and talk with Martin plus get some autographs. We appreciate him taking time out of his hectic schedule to join us." Truex visited victory lane earlier this season at the Coca Cola 600 and sits seventh in the Sprint Cup Series standings entering this weekend's race at Indianapolis. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com and www.hambletonian.org. About The Hambletonian The $1 million Hambletonian, and the companion race for 3-year-old fillies, the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, are the richest of their kind currently offered in harness racing, and among the richest worldwide, regardless of breed. The Hambletonian is the first leg of the trotting Triple Crown, followed by the Yonkers Trot on September 3 and Kentucky Futurity on October 9. Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 13, 2016) - An extraordinary investment opportunity exists for horseplayers on Saturday night at the Meadowlands when the track will offer a mandatory payout of the Jackpot Super High Five wager on one of its signature race programs - Meadowlands Pace Night. The wager features a jackpot carryover of $267,769 and a 15 percent takeout. For the first time in harness racing history, the high five mandatory payout will be on a top-class stakes event, the $223,150 Golden Girls featuring the top pacing mares in North America. The field features an overflow field of 12 and will be raced at the extended one-mile-and-one-eighth distance. The Golden Girls is scheduled as Race 12 - one race after the $732,050 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace Final. The Pace and the Golden Girls will be featured during a one-hour live broadcast on TVG Network from 10:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. eastern time. The broadcast will also be carried on MSG Plus and Fox Sports Southeast. In June, Mohawk Raceway offered a mandatory payout of its Jackpot Super High Five on North America Cup night. The carryover attracted about two-and-a-half times the carryover amount in new money. Using this ratio, the new money would be $669,422, making the Meadowlands Jackpot pool $937,191. The takeout would subtract $100,413 leaving a net pool of $836,778. Factoring in the carryover amount, horseplayers would be paid out from a pool of $836,778, or 25 percent more than the $669,422 of new money wagered. In other words, horseplayers taking a shot at this wager on Saturday would be playing into a pool with a negative effective takeout rate of 25 percent with the North America Cup night ratio. Furthermore, the horseplayer will still have a takeout advantage as long as the pool is less than $2 million. Low takeout combined with the sizable carryover has created the rarest of wagering opportunities. The Jackpot race will also be the final leg of an all-stakes pick four wager that begins with the $471,800 William Haughton Memorial featuring the next chapter of the budding Ali-Frazier-like rivalry between Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki, the top two ranked horses in harness racing. The duo, along with Indiana sensation Freaky Feet Pete, created tremendous buzz and interest when racing two weeks ago in a legendary renewal of the Ben Franklin at Pocono Downs. Adding further intrigue to the sequel is the race will be contested with an overflow field of 12 at the extended distance of one-mile-and-one-eighth. The three charismatic and fan-favorite horses have the potential to give any of the great rivalries in the history of the sport a major run for their money. As the final leg of Pick Four and Pick Three wagers, horseplayers playing the Jackpot race can also use the posted will-pays for those multi-race wagers to help form an opinion and structure their ticket. Free past performances for the entire Meadowlands Pace card will be available beginning Thursday at 4:00 p.m. on the Meadowlands website at http://bit.ly/1fsiDSY. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com and www.meadowlandspace.com. by Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 9, 2016) - Tom Hill's Racing Hill drew post position four and was installed as the 9-5 favorite for the harness racing $732,050 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace next Saturday, July 16 during the post position draw held this evening. Racing Hill is trained by Tony Alagna, who won the 2013 Meadowlands Pace with Captaintreacherous, and will be driven by Brett Miller. By virtue of being the top seasonal money-earner in the field, Racing Hill elected to take a bye to the final. Earlier on Saturday, Control The Moment ($4.00), driven for the first time by Brian Sears, stormed home with a 26.2 final quarter to win the lone Meadowlands Pace elimination by a length in a lifetime-best 1:49.2. Lyons Snyder finished second with JK Will Power third. Check Six was fourth. "He is a really nice horse and did everything that I asked him to do tonight," said Sears, who won the 2005 Meadowlands Pace with Rocknroll Hanover. "The opportunity knocked to be able to drive this horse and I was really looking forward to it. I know he races well from off the pace and everything worked out well." Control The Moment By winning the elimination, Control The Moment earned the right to draw for post positions one through six and will start from post three. He was made the 5-2 second choice on Dave Little's morning line. The complete field for the Meadowlands Pace is as follows: 1. Another Daily Copy - Trace Tetrick - Nick Devita 30/1 2. Good Living - T.B.A. - Tom Cancelliere 30/1 3. Control The Moment - Brian Sears - Brad Maxwell 5/2 4. Racing Hill - Brett Miller - Tony Alagna 9/5 5. Lyons Snyder - David Miller - Mark Silva 9/2 6. Boston Red Rocks - Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott 6/1 7. Manhattan Beach - Joe Bongiorno - Ron Burke 20/1 8. JK Will Power - Yannick Gingras - Ron Burke 8/1 9. Check Six - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke 15/1 10. Talk Show - Scott Zeron - Steve Elliott 25/1 Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 7, 2016) - Few trainers have dominated the Hambletonian Oaks like Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter. The 55-year-old has won the filly classic five times including the past two editions with Wild Honey and Lifetime Pursuit. Takter will have a contender in both divisions of the $56,486 Reynolds on Saturday night at the Meadowlands, which also features a pair of $250,000 Graduate Series Finals for four-year-olds and a single Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace elimination. Takter's Breeders Crown champion All The Time is the 7/5 morning line favorite in the first Reynolds division which goes as race two on the program. The daughter of Muscle Hill defeated aged horses last week in a conditioned race in a lifetime-best 1:52.3 over a sloppy track. It was a major bounce back effort after a defeat as the 1/5 favorite in the New Jersey Sire Stakes Final in early June. "That was really something weird that happened in the Sire Stakes when she was off in her right hind leg," explained Takter. "She basically raced on three legs that night and still finished second. But she has since come back very well and I think is a big contender on Saturday night and in the Oaks." Takter added that she compares very favorably to his two most recent Oaks winners. As accomplished as All The Time is, Takter's other Reynolds starter is a virtual unknown. Unica Steed makes just her second North American start after compiling a perfect three-for-three record racing in Italy for top French trainer Fabrice Souloy. Unica Steed is by 1998 Hambletonian winner Muscles Yankee and the first foal out of the $1.6 million earning mare Premiere Steed, who set a world record on a five-eighths mile track of 1:52 when winning a race in Finland in 2009. "She is a beautiful looking filly and I like her a lot," said Takter. "I got her about six or seven weeks ago and she was really good in her second qualifier with Yannick driving. I thought she was handled too carefully last week in her first race at the Meadowlands. Time will tell how well she fits because it's hard to tell off of her two-minute wins in Italy, but she shows ability." Unica Steed is a homebred owned by Ecurie Ab Trot. Takter explained that the filly really had nowhere to race in Italy and the owners decided to send her to North America to compete. After the Reynolds, she is also eligible to next weekend's Del Miller Memorial ahead of the Hambletonian Oaks on August 6. Saturday's Graduate Pace features a highly-anticipated matchup between Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit and Indiana sensation Freaky Feet Pete who headline the full field of ten. "Having these two superstars compete in the Graduate Final is exactly the reason I think it is so important to keep our stars racing on the track," said Meadowlands chairman Jeffrey Gural. "Obviously, Wiggle It Jiggleit is a gelding, but both he and Freaky Feet Pete built tremendous fan followings last season and it would have been a major loss for the fans and our sport if they were retired. Now we are treated to matchups like this one and hopefully another showdown with Always B Miki next week in the Haughton." Post time for Saturday's 13-race card is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. by Justin Horowitz, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 5, 2016) - The Meadowlands late Jackpot Super High Five carryover has been frozen at $267,769 until a mandatory payout of the pool on July 16, Meadowlands Pace Night. This will produce an extraordinary wagering opportunity for horseplayers on one of the track's biggest nights. The card features seven stakes finals with purses totaling more than $2.5 million. The combination of the jackpot carryover and the wager's low takeout rate of 15 percent swings the advantage to the player, a very rare occurrence in pari-mutuel horse racing wagering. Here is how the advantage works. If the wager's final pool is $1 million, the player will have an edge of 21 percent. In other words, the amount of the carryover will exceed the amount of money taken out from the new money wagered, thus creating a negative takeout scenario. A final pool of $1.5 million yields an advantage to the player of 11 percent. Incredibly, the mathematics of this wager indicate there will still be negative takeout if the final pool is under $2 million. This is truly a rare and possibly sizable advantage to the horseplayer. The mandatory payout race is scheduled as Race 12 - one race after the $732,050 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace Final. The Pace and the mandatory payout race will be featured during a one-hour live broadcast on TVG Network from 10:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. eastern time. The broadcast will also be carried on MSG Plus and Fox Sports Southeast. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com and www.meadowlandspace.com. by Justin Horowitz, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (June 28, 2016) - The Meadowlands Racetrack is pleased to announce a horseplayer's dream with the mandatory payout of the last race Jackpot Super High Five on Meadowlands Pace night, Saturday, July 16. The current jackpot stands at $267,769. The harness racing wager will not be offered until the mandatory payout night to ensure it is not hit before then. "We think the opportunity for horseplayers to wager into possibly a negative takeout pool that we expect to be well into the seven-figure range makes Meadowlands Pace night an even bigger 'must-see' night of racing and wagering," said Meadowlands GM/COO Jason M. Settlemoir. "With the success Mohawk had with the mandatory payout of their Jackpot Super High Five on North America Cup night, we believe the wagering public will tune in and wager accordingly." A separate Jackpot Super High Five is offered on the track's fifth race each night. That jackpot has been hit four times since the meet began in November. The fifth race wager will continue to be offered with a jackpot amount of $21,976 heading into the next night of live racing on Friday, July 1. The early Jackpot Super High Five requires a horseplayer to predict the first five finishers in order. It carries a 20¢ base wager. The jackpot amount only pays out if there is one single winner. Otherwise, 75 percent of the net pool is paid out to consolation winners while the remaining 25 percent is added to the jackpot. Meadowlands Pace Night features total stakes purses of more than $2.5 million. In addition to The Pace, the card also includes the Hambletonian Maturity, Stanley Dancer Memorial, Golden Girls, Del Miller Memorial, Mistletoe Shalee, and the William Haughton Free-For-All Pace that could feature a rematch between Always B Miki, Wiggle It Jiggleit, and Freaky Feet Pete. For more information, visit www.meadowlandspace.com. Other Wagering Updates The Meadowlands will present an early post time of 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 2. With the earlier-than-normal post time, the track's Pick Five guarantee will not be offered on the sequence which covers Races 1 - 5. In addition, the Late Pick Four wager's guarantee will be $40,000. The Late Pick Four covers Races 7 - 10. The Early Pick Four (Races 3 - 6) will continue to offer a $25,000 guaranteed pool. These changes will only be in effect on Saturday, July 2. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (June 1, 2016) - Anthony Altomonte is one of the most well-known horseplayers at the Meadowlands and is no stranger to big scores betting the horses. He estimates that he has been a part of at least two six-figure winning tickets and even cashed a Pick Four ticket on harness racing at the Meadowlands for about $80,000. But this past Memorial Day will forever be remembered for the score of a lifetime. Altomonte and two partners ticket purchased the single winning ticket on Santa Anita's pick six worth $1,478,942.40. The winning ticket was purchased at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ and cost $2,160. The payoff was fueled by a two-day carryover and a total pool of $2,386,736. "This will definitely be my favorite Memorial Day ever," said Altomonte, who also credits his son Joseph and godson Philip for helping to put the winning ticket together. "They are my young guns and are really sharp handicappers." "Originally our ticket was $4,600 but we really did not want to spend that much," explained Altomonte, who plays the horses professionally and is at the Meadowlands at least five days a week. "So we took a couple of horses out. Sometimes you make the wrong choices in that kind of situation and every once in a while you get lucky and make all of the right decisions." Altomonte's ticket was actually alive to three different horses in the final race of the sequence. The group made a tough decision to leave the race favorite off of their ticket. "We all agreed that the 9 (eventual winner El Super) was the value horse with Richard Mandella and Flavien Prat riding," said Altomonte, "but I was worried about the 10 (race favorite Clear The Way) because Phil D'Amato is one of my favorite trainers in California." Despite being a full-time horseplayer who is one of the largest players at the Meadowlands, Altomonte said he does not play the Pick Six on a regular basis. "Even though I do this every day, I only play them when I really like the sequence," said Altomonte. "I read the Form, use The Sheets, and then my partners and I decide if we want to take a swing." While the winning sequence only had one winning favorite, the highest priced horse was 14/1. Altomonte said even he was surprised by the payoff. "We were alive to three horses that were paying about $147,000 and $211,000 in addition to the $1.4 million. Amazingly, the odds of all three of our horses were fairly similar and yet the actual payoff was freaky high. I would not have been disappointed if we collected $211,000 but this payoff was tremendous." Justin Horowitz  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (June 1, 2016) - In its continuing effort to attract younger harness racing fans to the racetrack and engage them in playing the races, the Meadowlands Racetrack is offering a free handicapping contest exclusively for fans age 30 and under. The contest will take place Friday, June 3 and offers a $5,000 total prize pool, sponsored by Jeff and Paula Gural's Allerage Farms. Last year's inaugural 30-and-under contest featured a field of 52 competitors. "It is essential that we reach out to a younger audience in the harness racing industry," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. "The average age of our customers as a whole continues to grow older. That is a big problem. At The Meadowlands we are in the unique position of attracting a younger audience with many of the amenities we offer including our rooftop terrace, Victory Sports Bar, and our full schedule of special events." Fans may register up until 7:00 p.m. on the night of the contest. There is no entry fee. The contest format requires players to make a mythical $2 "across the board" wager on one horse in races 2 - 11 at the Meadowlands. The winner is determined by the player that amasses the largest mythical bankroll from their selections. All contest participants will also be treated to free hot dogs, hamburgers and other grill items plus soft drinks and water on Victory Terrace, the popular rooftop area at the Meadowlands. Complete contest rules and information can be found by visiting www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

Almost immediately after Resolve crossed the finish line four lengths in front of runner-up Bee A Magician in the inaugural $150,000 Elitlopp Playoff at the Meadowlands, his number "4" began to blink on the infield tote board with the word "Inquiry." Resolve, driven and trained by two-time Elitloppet champion Ake Svanstedt, had just scorched a field of top-class harness racing trotters in 1:51.2, but had clearly gone inside three pylons turning into the stretch. After a lengthy judges' inquiry, Resolve was disqualified and placed ninth while Bee A Magician was elevated to the victory. Gural Hanover finished third and was placed second while long shot Obrigado was elevated to third. The winner paid $7.20 and keyed a $2 exacta worth $46.60. The $2 trifecta paid $882.80. Svanstedt had the barefooted Resolve fired up off the starting gate, racing through the opening quarter mile in 27.2. John Campbell had the favorite, JL Cruze, comfortably away in the pocket, but was not content to follow Resolve. Campbell aggressively moved JL Cruze to the outside and took the lead through a taxing 54.3 half mile. At that point, Svanstedt pulled the pocket and re-took the lead through three-quarters in 1:23.1. JL Cruze offered no resistance, eventually finishing sixth, but placed ninth for his own pylon violation. Leaving the final turn and turning into the stretch, Resolve went inside three pylons before Svanstedt could straighten his course. Resolve finished four lengths in front of Bee A Magician, but ultimately was disqualified. Following the race, Markus Myron, Christer Haggstrom, and Mats Lagerholm from Solvalla Racecourse in Sweden, home of The Elitloppet, presented the trophy and extended an invitation to the race to David McDuffee, co-owner of Bee A Magician. "It is certainly a great honor to receive the invitation and I will speak with the other owners before we make a final decision," said McDuffee during a winner's circle interview. "Resolve went a tremendous mile," said winning driver Brian Sears. "I was very impressed with him. My mare raced well, but I thought she was still a little soft in only her second start of the season." Despite the disqualification, Resolve was also extended an invitation to The Elitloppet on May 29. Justin Horowitz

Former harness racing Maine champion to make seasonal debut in $150,000 Playoff on Sunday, May 8 at the Meadowlands Trainer Paul Kelley will be the first to admit that his star trotter Obrigado has been "a pleasant surprise." Kelley bought the former Maine-bred champion at the 2013 Harrisburg Sale for $53,000 with the hope that he would develop into a nice open trotter at Saratoga. Instead, the six-year-old gelding by Boy Band - Malimony, by Malabar Man has become a top-class stakes horse who earned $405,535 in 2015 with a signature win in the $200,000 Crawford Farms Trot at Vernon Downs and a runner-up finish to close out the year in the $400,000 TVG Free For All Final. Obrigado is part of an all-star field of nine entered in Sunday's inaugural $150,000 Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff at the Meadowlands. The race winner will receive an invitation to the Elitlopp at Solvalla Racecourse in Sweden on May 29. The Playoff is scheduled for Race 1 on Sunday's matinee program with a post time of 12:40 p.m. It will be broadcast live on national television in Sweden and anchors a six-race trotting block that will make up the V64 wager in Sweden. Obrigado spent his winter in Florida with Kelley and posted two winning qualifiers at Pompano Park before shipping north. He qualified last Saturday at the Meadowlands in 1:54.1 with a final quarter in 27.1 in his final tune-up before Sunday. "He had a really good winter and Wally Hennessey was especially happy with his second qualifier," explained Kelley. "He needed a good stiff training mile last weekend because he can tend to be a lazy horse. That effort was good for him to stretch his legs and open his lungs up. I don't know if I have him 100 percent where I want him to be, but if he's up to it, he will be right there on the wire and if not, then he is not quite ready." Kelley shares ownership of Obrigado with Linwood Higgins, Stable 45, and the SRF Stable of Lennart Agren. Agren bought the ownership share previously held by Bill Weaver, the legendary owner and breeder who passed away this past February at the age of 79. Agren is from Sweden and owns 2015 Elitlopp Champion, Magic Tonight. "Mr. Agren is a great sportsman and horseman and I know he would love nothing more than to have Obrigado race over at Solvalla," said Kelley. "I have been fortunate to attend the Elitlopp and it is truly a tremendous event. I am familiar with the whole setup over there and know how difficult it is for an American horse to win, especially this year where Nuncio looks like he will be a big favorite and have the home course advantage." Fans can learn more about each of the horses entered in the Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff by visiting www.elitloppplayoff.com/ and can join the discussion on social media using #ElitloppPlayoff. Wagering Update With the change to the regular Meadowlands schedule by racing on Sunday afternoon, the regular guarantees in the Pick Five and two Pick Four wagers will not be in place. The jackpot amounts in the Super High Five wagers will remain. Justin Horowitz  

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