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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 21, 2016) - Winning 16 of 21 races, trotting the fastest mile in the history of the Meadowlands, and earning a Dan Patch Award as the sport's top aged trotter would seem like the perfect season for any horse. And yet trainer Eric Ell says JL Cruze probably could have been better. "Honestly, I cannot recall a start last year where he did not have gait issues, was not on a line, or was not fighting through some sort of lameness issue," explained the Mid-Atlantic based conditioner who has earned a reputation for his miracle work with troubled trotters. "He has never really been all that smooth, but he is just incredible and as game a racehorse as you will find." According to Ell, JL Cruze has come back a lot better so far in three undefeated starts as a five-year-old. Ell credits a change in the horse's feed that has allowed the son of Crazed - Topcat Hall, by Conway Hall to thrive. "Last year, he was a really picky eater and frequently would go a few days without eating much after his races," said Ell. "We raced him very hard through all of those series that he was winning and he was fighting lameness issues. This year we are really looking forward to being able to manage his season better and giving him really only two races per month." The next main goal for JL Cruze will be the inaugural Elitlopp Playoff on May 8 at the Meadowlands. The $150,000 Free For All Trot is shaping up as a must-see early-season showdown that will award the winner an invitation to The Elitlopp at Solvalla Racecourse in Sweden on May 29. Ell is giving JL Cruze this week off following a stretch of three wins over a 15-day period at the beginning of April. "My plan is to race him at the Meadowlands next week, assuming the race fills," said Ell. "That would then give him nine days to the Playoff, which would be the perfect amount of spacing. And my God, what a great field of horses he will face. There would be no shame in losing to any of those horses." Fans that wish to follow along the road to the Mack Lobell Elitlopp Playoff may visit a special website that will provide the latest news and profiles of all nominated horses at www.elitloppplayoff.com/ and follow along on social media using #ElitloppPlayoff. by Justin Horowitz, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 14, 2016) - The special Mother's Day program at the Meadowlands featuring the inaugural edition of the $150,000 Elitlopp Playoff Trot, will be featured in Sweden's V64, a Pick 6 style wager that routinely handles more than $1 million and guarantees SEK 10 million (Swedish Krona currency) if there is a single winner. The V64 will be comprised of six trotting races on the Meadowlands program and will be the main wager that evening on Sweden's national tote and advanced deposit wagering platform, ATG. A total of seven Meadowlands races will be offered for separate pool wagering in Sweden and Finland. In addition, the Elitlopp Playoff, which awards the winner an automatic invitation to the prestigious Elitlopp in Sweden, will be broadcast live on national television on Sweden's TV4 network. All other Meadowlands races that day (night in Sweden) will be broadcast live on ATG's television channel and shown at all online and brick and mortar wagering outlets throughout Sweden. This will be the first time the ATG has broadcast a V64 race card on its television network from outside Scandinavia. "We continue to be extremely excited for what is shaping up to be a must-see event," said Meadowlands GM/COO Jason M. Settlemoir. "This has been a wonderful show of cooperation with our Swedish counterparts. Jeff Gural and I would like to extend a huge thank you to Sam McKee who has worked tirelessly to help put this event together with officials from Solvalla Racecourse and the ATG." 15 of the premier trotters in North America have been nominated to the Elitlopp Playoff including defending Aged Trotter of the Year JL Cruze, Mare Trotter of the Year and former Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, plus Breeders Crown winner Creatine and TVG Series champions Resolve and Shake It Cerry. Fans that wish to follow along the road to the Elitlopp Playoff may visit a special website that will provide the latest news and profiles of all nominated horses at www.elitloppplayoff.com/ and follow along on social media using #ElitloppPlayoff. ​byJustin Horowitz, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 7, 2016) - North America's leading trainer will have strength in numbers when he tries to add the inaugural edition of the Elitlopp Playoff to his list of major stakes wins. Ron Burke is pointing Gural Hanover, Crazy Wow, and DW's NY Yank to the $150,000 race at the Meadowlands that will be contested on a special Mother's Day matinee program on Sunday, May 8. The winner of the race will also receive an invitation to compete in The Elitlopp, one of Europe's most prestigious events, at Solvalla Racecourse outside Stockholm, Sweden on Sunday, May 29. The Elitlopp Playoff is part of a groundbreaking partnership between The Meadowlands and Solvalla. In addition to the Playoff, other trotting races on the Meadowlands card will be simulcast to Europe for separate pool wagering. "Having competed in The Elitlopp in 2009 with Buck I St. Pat, I know what a great experience it is to race over there in Sweden," said Burke. "It would be especially nice to go over there this year with the major upgrade in shipping they have set up. Rather than it taking 19 hours or more to get over there, now they are providing a direct flight from the East Coast to Sweden." Four-year-old Crazy Wow, who won the Colonial, Matron, Erskine, and Empire Breeders Classic during his millionaire sophomore season, leads the Burke trio. He is one of only two four-year-olds amongst the 15 Playoff nominees. "Crazy Wow was the only aged horse I sent down to train in Florida this winter," explained Burke. "He trained so well down there last year that I sent him down there again. We have him staked to everything this year and with the injury to Mission Brief, he is the best four-year-old in our barn." Crazy Wow is entered to qualify at the Meadowlands this Saturday morning to kick off his Playoff preparations. Gural Hanover won just once last year during his four-year-old season, but was competitive against the sport's top trotters including a runner-up finish in the Cashman Memorial and a third place finish to close out the year in the Breeders Crown. He has since returned in 2016 with two wins and a third place finish in Open events. "He has come back awesome," said Burke. "Horses always make a jump from their four-year-old season to the five-year-old season and I think that jump will be even bigger for this horse." As for DW's NY Yank, who won a $25,000 Winners Over trot this week at Harrah's Philadelphia, the Playoff will be a chance to score a signature stakes win in a hard-hitting career that has the modestly-bred seven-year-old just $15,015 away from $1 million in lifetime earnings. "This spot is a bit of a reach for him, but most of the other horses in here will not be fully cranked up this early in the season and we are hoping we can get them while he is sharp and they aren't at their absolute best," said Burke. Fans that wish to follow along the road to the Elitlopp Playoff may visit a special website that will provide the latest news and profiles of all nominated horses at www.elitloppplayoff.com/ and follow along on social media using #ElitloppPlayoff. by Justin Horowitz, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (April 7, 2016) - The Meadowlands blew the doors off of its 2015 numbers in the first quarter of 2016 as the betting pools spiked to their highest levels in years. Per race handle has grown each month so far in 2016, rising from $214,437 in January to $229,270 in February and $234,271 in March. The trend continued into the first weekend of April with a total of $6,422,614 wagered on the two cards, an average of $267,609 per race. This represents a total increase of $1,176,689 over the corresponding weekend in 2015. Comparing the 23 nights of racing in 2016 to the same 23 nights in 2015, The Meadowlands posted a 12 percent increase in live handle through the first quarter of the year, a total increase of more than $7.7 million. The numbers were especially strong for the eight nights of racing in March with handle increasing more than $2 million compared to the same eight dates in 2015 despite five fewer races this year. "The rising popularity of The Meadowlands right now is unquestionable," said Meadowlands COO/GM Jason M. Settlemoir. "We have succeeded in significantly growing our audience. We also understand how much it means that an owner or horseplayer that cannot make it to the races now has the opportunity to go to a restaurant or pub with their friends and watch their horse win at The Meadowlands on national television. TVG has made that extraordinary social experience possible. The international TVG audience elevates the stature of not only The Meadowlands, but the state of New Jersey and the entire sport." Further breaking down the wagering trends by pool, it should come as no surprise that the low takeout wagers continue to be extremely popular with horseplayers. So far in April, the Late Pick Four has averaged $78,341 per night while the Early Pick Four ($50,025) and the Pick Five ($49,111) are also among the top five highest handling wagers. All three wagers offer the low takeout rate of 15 percent and a base wager amount of 50 cents. The vertical wagers have also grown in size in April. The exacta pools averaged more than $76,153 per race while the trifecta pools averaged $59,444. The straight win players have also been getting in on the action, as the average win pool grew to $48,413 last weekend. 10-cent and 20-cent wagers are also growing rapidly. The 10-cent superfecta pools have grown to $39,970 per race in April, while the 20-cent Jackpot Super High Five offered on the final race of the night currently boasts harness racing's largest carryover of $164,858. The race office has continued to card full, competitive fields that offer the largest pools in the sport, even in the face of growing competition from regional tracks that offer purses supplemented by alternative gaming revenue. The percentage of winning favorites continues to be a respectable 38 percent, putting the Meadowlands right in line with the top three thoroughbred tracks currently racing (Aqueduct - 38 percent; Gulfstream - 35 percent; and Santa Anita - 37 percent). Meadowlands live racing takes place Friday and Saturday with 7:15 p.m. post time each night. Free past performance pages are available each night for the Late Pick Four on the Meadowlands website. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. by Justin Horowitz, for the Meadowlands

Led by a $10,000 donation from Meadowbranch Farm, the Meadowlands will be sending a check for $18,440.95 to the Florida Standardbred Owners & Breeders Association to benefit the harness racing victims of a deadly barn fire that killed 12 horses and injured 11 more. The money was raised through a combination of drivers and trainers pledging a percentage of their earnings the past two weekends plus donations from other members of the industry including the Meadowlands, which is contributing $5,000. The Meadowlands would like to extend its appreciation to the following people who contributed to the relief effort: Ivan Axelrod Ginny & George Berkner Jason & Lori Settlemoir Joe Bongiorno John Calabrese Meadowlands Farm Patti & Rob Harmon Andrew Harris David McDuffee Andy & Julie Miller Al & Tim Nash Chris Ryder Kyle Spagnola For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz  

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is pleased to announce the hiring of veteran racing journalist Dave Little as the harness racing track's new morning-line oddsmaker and track handicapper. Little comes to the Meadowlands with four decades of experience as a racing writer, announcer, and handicapper, most recently working as the racing editor at The New York Daily News. Little's main responsibility will be to create the track's morning-line odds and write the handicapping comments that appear in the racing program and on the Meadowlands website. Little will also appear on the Meadowlands television broadcast and fill in as the on-site host on TVG Network in addition to writing news releases and features for the media relations staff. "I enjoyed my many years in the newspaper industry, but was looking for a change," said Little. "To get the chance to work at the Meadowlands, and take on the challenge that comes with morning-line odds making, is something I am looking forward to." "Adding a talent at the Meadowlands the likes of Dave Little is a huge benefit," said Meadowlands CEO/GM Jason M. Settlemoir. "Dave has been around harness racing forever and adding his level of expertise will only enhance our already strong racing product. Little will begin making the morning line and writing the handicapping comments for this weekend's racing programs. Live racing takes place Friday and Saturday nights with a 7:15 p.m. post time. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

The Meadowlands and its harness racing horsemen will continue to accept donations and pledges for victims of a barn fire at the South Florida Trotting Center last week that killed 12 horses and injured 11 others. Pledge forms will be available in the Meadowlands paddock during live racing on Friday and Saturday for drivers and trainers that would like to donate a percentage of their earnings. The form is also available on the Meadowlands website by clicking this link. Other members of the harness racing community or general public are also invited to donate. Those people are invited to write a check made out to "New Meadowlands Racetrack" with "Florida Fire Fund" in the memo. Checks can be mailed to: Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment Attn: Jennifer Bongiorno 1 Racetrack Drive East Rutherford, NJ 07073 Earlier this winter, the Meadowlands and its horsemen raised more than $30,000 for the victims of another barn fire in Ontario that killed 43 horses. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

Thirty harness racing fans have been given all the thrills of racehorse ownership, without any of the costs, thanks to the "Own A Horse" promotion at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. Beginning in January, 10 fans were randomly selected from entries taken on the Meadowlands website and through targeted ads on social media. The fans were assigned one of five horses that regularly compete at the Meadowlands. The new "owners" received 10-percent of the horse's earnings during the month, provided the "owner" attended the races in person when their horse was racing and "checked in" at the Meadowlands on their personal Facebook or Twitter page. In addition to the financial benefits, the new owners also were given access to meet their horse in the paddock, speak with the trainer and driver, and for some, take their picture in the winner's circle. During the first month, the Meadowlands paid out $2,358 to the fans. Five winners attended the races at least once and four attended all four weeks. The biggest winner was Jennifer Dalton, who earned $851. Remarkably, this contestant became a real horse owner a month later when she claimed her horse from the contest, UF Fast Feelin, for $10,000. 10 new contestants were selected during February and collectively were paid out more than $1,500. The biggest winner was Julie Klikus, who earned $781.60 thanks to her horse, Intheblinkofaneye. The promotion proved to be so successful that 10 new contestants were selected in March. Six of the new owners have attended the races and one new owner, James Santin, has earned nearly $1,200 thanks to his trotter World Cup. "We all know how badly our sport needs new owners to experience the thrills of racehorse ownership while also giving breeders more potential customers for their yearlings," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeffrey Gural. "This promotion has already given 30 people an insider's look at being a horse owner and has been so successful that we have even turned one of these contestants into a real racehorse owner." The promotion will continue into April with 10 more owners selected. Sign-ups for April are open and the new batch of owners will be selected Saturday night (March 26). To sign up, visit the link here. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

The Meadowlands and its horsemen are teaming up to raise money for the victims of a horrific barn fire in Florida earlier this week. 12 race horses were killed in a fire at the South Florida Trotting Center late Tuesday night. 11 other horses were rescued, but suffered various injuries including two who were listed in critical condition. The fire broke out in a barn shared by harness racing trainers Roman Lopez and Thomas Haughton. "This is everyone's worst nightmare that is involved with horses and we at the Meadowlands knew immediately it was our responsibility to do anything we can to help these horsemen who suffered the loss of their horses," said Meadowlands GM/CEO Jason M. Settlemoir. Drivers and trainers competing this weekend at the Meadowlands are invited to fill out a form available in the paddock to pledge a percentage of their earnings to those affected by the fire. The money will be deducted by the horsemen's bookkeeper and sent directly to the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association. Other owners or horsemen interested in donating are asked to contact Jennifer Bongiorno at the Meadowlands via email at jbongiorno@playmeadowlands.com or by calling (201) 460-4166. Earlier this winter, the Meadowlands and its horsemen raised more than $30,000 for the victims of another barn fire in Ontario that killed 43 horses. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. ***Note, a copy of the pledge form is included with this release*** Justin Horowitz

Two coveted berths to the $50,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship will be on the line this Saturday, March 19 in a qualifying tournament hosted by the Meadowlands. The qualifier features a $200 buy-in that includes a $100 entry fee and a $100 bankroll. Contestants are required to bet a minimum of 10 Meadowlands live races with a minimum $10 wager per race. There is no maximum wager per race. Only Win, Place, Show wagers will be allowed and only one horse per race can be selected. Entry fee includes a live racing program, Harness Eye, and food voucher. The top two finishers in the qualifier will receive seats to the $50,000 WHHC Final to be held on April 30 at the Meadowlands. In addition, contestants keep all pari-mutuel earnings accumulated during the contest plus a $10,000 prize pool will be paid out to the top 10 finishers (based on 100 entries). Walk-up registration will be available from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. on the date of the contest. Advance registration can be mailed to the Meadowlands and must be received by the end of business on Friday. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz  

February was a month for the record books at the Meadowlands as total live handle was up more than $3.4 million over the same four comparable weekends of 2015. The total increase amounts to $485,942 per night. Every harness racing program in February featured total handle of more than $3 million with an overall streak of nine straight nights heading into this weekend's racing. "I just want to commend Pete Koch and the race office on their great job," said Meadowlands CEO/GM Jason M. Settlemoir. "The $3.2 million a night, the $109,000 Pick 5 payout, the $20,000 Pick 4 payout... None of that could not have happened without the ultra competitive races that the race office put together." The formula for success continues to be creating full fields with well-matched horses. That was best illustrated by the industry's lowest percentage of winning favorites, which for the month was just 30 percent. Those wide-open races led to large payoffs for handicappers, especially in the low-takeout multi-race wagers. The Pick Five saw an average return of $21,594 for a 50-cent wager while the two nightly 50-cent Pick Fours returned an average of $4,216. Both wagers feature a low takeout rate of 15 percent. While the multi-race wagers proved extra challenging during the month, the single-race wagers also proved lucrative for handicappers while offering the large pools that horseplayers crave. The average exacta pool was more than $66,000 per race while the trifecta pools averaged nearly $50,000 per race for the month. The landscape will be changing in the next few weeks as more tracks in the Northeast will open for their 2016 seasons. The region's horse shortage will surely stress the race office as it continues to hustle full fields of well-matched horses. The Meadowlands handle undeniably shows that races that are capable of increasing pool size are a major barometer to increasing business. The Meadowlands has reached out to the United States Trotting Association (USTA) to request that they work with the Meadowlands and other major tracks in the region to put together a coordinated schedule that takes into account the horse shortage that already exists and proactively addresses the major horse shortage that is anticipated over the next several years. Meadowlands officials strongly believe that it is not in the industry's best interests to race short fields or be forced to cancel race dates at the last minute as it especially sends the wrong message to the politicians who have the industry's long-term fate in their control. Post Time Change Starting with racing on Friday, March 11, post time will be moved back to 7:15 p.m. This post time change had previously been announced as starting on Friday, March 18 but will be moved up one week earlier. Live racing at the Meadowlands takes place this week on Friday and Saturday nights with 13-race programs beginning at 6:35 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

With an unprecedented streak of seven straight nights posting all-sources handle of more than $3 million, the harness racing wagering momentum at the Meadowlands is undeniable. February handle shows a year-over-year increase of more than $2.5 million, an average of $518,862 per night and a per-race increase of $22,460 per race through the first three weekends of the month. Over the weekend of February 19-20, the Meadowlands handled more money on its live races than the eight other American harness tracks that conducted live racing combined. The Meadowlands handled a total of $6.488 million over its two-day weekend of racing while the other tracks combined to handle $6.374 million. "We are very proud of the tremendous roll that we are on here at the Meadowlands in terms of our live handle," said Jason M. Settlemoir, CEO/GM of Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. "The fact that the Meadowlands represented more than 50-percent of all American harness racing handle on Friday and Saturday shows how important a healthy Meadowlands is to the health of the entire industry. When you add that in addition to being the most popular nighttime signal in racing, we were the number five track in all of racing on Friday (behind only Gulfstream , Santa Anita, Aqueduct and Tampa Bay). That speaks volumes on how the entire wagering public views The Meadowlands." Large wagering pools, a low percentage of winning favorites, and oversized payoffs continue to be the key drivers of the robust betting numbers. Betting favorites this month are winning at just 29 percent at the Meadowlands. Big fields have also contributed to robust pool sizes especially in the exacta and trifecta wagers. For example, last Saturday's exacta pools averaged nearly $70,000 per race while the trifecta pools were more than $50,000 on average per race. Stringing together a series of winners has proven to be a challenge for handicappers. But for those sharp enough to succeed, the payoffs have been oversized. In February, the 50-cent Pick Five's average payoff is just under $30,000 while the two Pick 4 wagers have returned, on average, $3,393. The Meadowlands has always been home to the sport's top driver colony. While that is still the case, the makeup of the driver colony looks much different this year with David Miller taking the winter off, Ron Pierce mulling retirement, and several other regulars missing time for vacations. That has allowed several "young guns" to make their mark. Based on Universal Driver Ratings, four of the track's top 10 drivers in February are under the age of 30, including Marcus Miller (.275), Scott Zeron (.265), Austin Siegelman (.218), and Joe Bongiorno (.196). Tim Tetrick leads all drivers in February with a UDRS of .280. Live racing takes place Friday and Saturday nights at the Meadowlands with 14-race programs beginning at 6:35 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

A horseplayer in Maine made the score of a lifetime by purchasing the single winning ticket in the Meadowlands race seven harness racing Jackpot Super High Five. The 20-cent wager returned $39,302.52 for correctly selecting the top five finishers: 4/1 winner Ghost Pine, 9/1 winner Thorn In Your Side, 15/1 For a Bettor Time, slight 5/2 favorite Jungle of Terror, and 29/1 Last Dragon. The winning numbers were 7-8-1-3-6. The wager had carried over since it was last hit on December 5, 2015 for $36,414. The Jackpot Super High Five requires horseplayers to correctly select the first five finishers in order. The jackpot amount only pays out if there is one single winning ticket. Otherwise, 75 percent of the net pool is paid out to the multiple winning tickets while 25 percent of the net pool is added to the carryover pool. The Race 14 Jackpot Super High Five wager has a carryover of $102,355. The largest winning ticket ever in the Jackpot Super High Five was for $200,000 on March 14, 2015. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz  

The Meadowlands Racetrack is proud to celebrate the lowest percentage of winning favorites in harness racing. During 2016, post-time wagering favorites have won just 32.26 percent from a sample of 155 races. Not only is this percentage the lowest among American harness tracks currently racing and more than 13 percent lower than the average favorite's winning percentage at American half-mile tracks, it is also lower than the percentage of the three top thoroughbred tracks currently racing: Gulfstream (35 percent), Santa Anita (37 percent), and Aqueduct (38 percent). Large well-matched fields have created vulnerable wagering favorites, leading to large payouts to handicappers sharp enough to solve the puzzles. This was once again on display this past Friday night when the 50-cent Pick 5 wager returned $22,094 and the 50-cent Early Pick 4 wager returned $7,445. While multi-race exotic wagers can often prove difficult to successfully navigate, the single race wagers also paid handsomely. Friday's average win price was slightly more than $18 while the average $2 exacta returned $121.40. Friday's average favorite went off at odds of 8/5 while five favorites went to post at 2/1 or higher. These generous returns prove that being right just a few times per night can be profitable. The average win price and average exacta price were also higher than the 2016 averages at Gulfstream, Santa Anita, and Aqueduct. These strong pari-mutuel statistics are the main driver behind five straight racing programs featuring all-sources handle of more than $3 million, the first time a streak of this length has been achieved at the Meadowlands in more than a decade. February alone has averaged more than $3.1 million per night. "To be perfectly honest, it is pretty cool to see the thoroughbred players stick around and play our track," said Meadowlands CEO/GM Jason M. Settlemoir. "The quality of our wagering product is now capable of creating crossover players and that is driving the handle numbers." While the Meadowlands has long boasted the top driver colony in the sport, as evidenced by four of the 2015's top five money-winning drivers calling the Meadowlands home, this year has shown a deeper level of competition. No regular Meadowlands driver is currently sporting a Universal Driver Rating of more than 300 at the Meadowlands in 2016. Tim Tetrick is the highest rated driver at .294 followed by Scott Zeron at .247, Meadowlands newcomer Anthony Napolitano at .244, fellow newcomer Austin Siegelman at .229 and Hall of Famer John Campbell at .221 to round out the top five. Live racing takes place Friday and Saturday nights at the Meadowlands with 14-race programs beginning at 6:35 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

The new Meadowlands Racetrack and the famed Solvalla Racetrack in Sweden have announced plans for an Elitlopp Playoff Free-For-All Trot with an automatic invitation for the winning horse to compete in the Elitlopp, one of the world's most prestigious trotting events, on May 29th at Solvalla Racetrack. The Elitlopp Playoff will be contested on a special Mother's Day matinee card at the Meadowlands on Sunday, May 8th. The estimated purse for the race is $150,000. In accordance with the Elitlopp rules, horses in the Playoff will not be allowed to race with either the medication Lasix or trotting hobbles. "We see this as the start of something new," said Christer Haggstrom, a board member of Solvalla. "By cooperating with the Meadowlands, we think we can attract the best North American horses to attend the Elitlopp. We are really appreciative of the cooperation and all of the hard work the Meadowlands team have put in. We think by cooperating internationally it will be beneficial to the entire harness racing world." In an effort to attract even more North American participation, Solvalla is finalizing plans for a direct flight from the East Coast to Sweden, eliminating demanding day-long van rides in Europe which was the norm in past years. Solvalla is also encouraging North American trainers to enter trotters in the supporting stakes races on Elitlopp weekend including the Sweden Cup, the Harpers Hanover, and the Fyaaringselitin, all with purses well over $100,000. Trainers such as Jimmy Takter, Ake Svanstedt, Richard "Nifty" Norman, Ron Burke and several others have all expressed interest in nominating horses to the race including top North American trotters such as World Champion JL Cruze, Horse Of The Year Bee A Magician, and possibly the TVG Series champion Resolve. A large contingent of Swedish horsemen will be traveling to the Meadowlands for the Elitlopp Playoff weekend. Both parties are also working diligently in an attempt to make the Elitlopp Playoff Trot part of the V75 wager in Europe on May 8th which would be an historic ground breaking effort between the two continents. The V75 routinely attracts more than $10 million in wagers. ATG, Sweden's on-line wagering company, is planning on simulcasting the Elitlopp Playoff and other selected trotting events on the Meadowlands Mother's Day card to Sweden for wagering on a separate pool basis. "We are excited about the Elitlopp Playoff idea," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. "Working closely with the Solvalla management on this project is a great step for international trotting. The wagering ideas we are discussing including the possibility of our Meadowlands race in the V75 is very exciting and can help open the doors for even more joint ventures in the future between the two countries." Nominations for the Elitlopp Playoff close February 15th. With the President's Day Holiday, all correspondence must be postmarked by February 17th. For more information, log on to www.playmeadowlands.com or contact the Meadowlands Race Office at 201-THE-BIGM. Justin Horowitz

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will provide horseplayers with one of their first opportunities to qualify for the 2017 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) with a qualifying event on Saturday, February 20. The Meadowlands qualifier will offer three guaranteed seats to the NHC, which recently provided Upstate New York handicapper Paul Matties an $800,000 first place prize for winning this year's event last month in Las Vegas. The Meadowlands qualifier requires a $400 buy-in, with $200 going towards each player's bankroll and $200 going towards the event's prize pool. Players can purchase multiple entries. Contestants must bet a minimum of ten races from Gulfstream, Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, and/or Oaklawn with a $20 minimum per wager. Win, place, show or combination of the three is allowed. The top three finishers will earn seats to the 2017 NHC Final in Las Vegas. They must be NHC Tour members to qualify for the NHC Final. For complete tournament information and details, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

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