Day At The Track
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VERNON, N.Y. (October 17, 2017) - Vernon Downs will offer a special Wednesday night racing program on October 18 featuring eight $45,000 New York Excelsior Series Finals for 2-year-old and 3-year-old trotters and pacers. Post time is 6:45 p.m. The program was rescheduled following Sunday's cancellation necessitated by a power outage. For fans coming to the races, Vernon Downs will offer sit-down dining options. The Miracle Mile Restaurant will serve its regular menu while the Gold Cup Buffet will also be open and serving food off the Miracle Mile's menu. Reservations are not required, but are encouraged, and can be made by calling 315-829-3217. For more information, visit by Justin Horowitz, for Vernon Downs

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (October 4, 2017) - The Meadowlands Racetrack will be horse racing nirvana on Saturday, November 4 with an all-day and all-night offering of racing and dining at its finest. The afternoon and early evening features the simulcast of the Breeders' Cup World Championships live from the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in California. Fans can watch and wager on the top-class races beginning at 1:10 p.m. and leading up to the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic at 8:35 p.m. The Breeders' Cup races begin Friday with four championship events starting at 5:25 p.m. Pink Restaurant at the Meadowlands will open at noon and offer a premium buffet featuring roasted boneless rib eye, grilled chicken breast with fresh arugula, tomato, and mozzarella, penne pasta ala vodka, and lobster cobb salad wrap. Appetizers include a variety of salads and calamari. Dessert selections include a variety of cookies, cakes, and locally baked babka. The price is $49.95 per person plus tax and gratuity. The excitement builds up to the evening when the 2017-2018 live harness racing season begins with the first race starting at 7:15 p.m. The first 1,000 fans will receive the always-popular commemorative Meadowlands calendar filled with images of the sport's greatest horses and drivers in action from the 2017 racing season. The giveaway begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Players Club Desk. The opening night racing action is highlighted by four $150,000 Kindergarten Classic Finals for the 2-year-olds. Opening night will also mark the debut of the highly-anticipated Pick 10 Survivor Wager beginning on the first race of the season. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (September 26, 2017) - Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment was awarded "Best Visitor Experience" at the 5th Annual Meadowlands Liberty Convention & Visitors Bureau Hospi-tourism Awards held September 26 in Secaucus, New Jersey. Voting was conducted by Destination Marketing Organizations around the state. MRE competed against dozens of area restaurants, hotels, and other entertainment venues. "It has always been the foundation of our business to provide exceptional customer service while paying close attention to detail," explained Jason M. Settlemoir, GM/COO of MRE. "We take great pride in our new facility and our ability to put on a great show for our guests whether they come here for live horse racing or one of our numerous events or parties. We have a tremendous team here that is always willing to go the extra mile for our customers and this award is truly an honor for everyone that works here." For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (September 9, 2017) – Americanprimetime brought the biggest bankroll and biggest credentials into Saturday night’s $15,000 pacing feature at the Meadowlands and he needed all of his class to hold on for a 1:49.4 win over eight other harness racing rivals. Trainer and driver Rick Dane Jr. put the son of American Ideal on the front end while setting honest fractions of :27, :54.2 and 1:21.4 through three quarters. The narrow 2/1 second wagering choice did not face much pressure until the field turned into the long Big M stretch. With longshots Go Big Spinder, Chevals Clivesdale and Change Stride fanned across the track in pursuit, Dane and Americanprimetime held on in a desperate photo finish to post the win. The top four finishers were separated by two noses and a neck on the wire. It is the 18th career win for the 5-year-old Americanprimetime. The Rock & Roll Stable homebred has now earned $453,419. Total handle on the 11-race program was $1,731,348. The September Meet wraps up next Friday and Saturday. Post time both nights is 7:15. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (September 8, 2017) - The abbreviated four-date September Meet at the Meadowlands got underway Friday night and it was an abbreviated four-horse harness racing field that was the night's spotlight showdown. Millionaire trotting mares Caprice Hill and Broadway Donna faced off against the 1-2 punch of Oho Diamond and PL Jill from trainer Renaldo Morales III. Track record holder Oho Diamond grabbed the lead while her three opponents were content to follow single file through modest fractions of :28.4, :57.4, and 1:26. Into the stretch, 1-2 favorite Caprice Hill tipped out of the pocket and trotted past Oho Diamond. But Corey Callahan had PL Jill geared up and trotting up a storm farther outside and the 4-year-old Kadabra mare kicked home with a :26.3 final quarter to win in 1:53.1. PL Jill paid $7.00 to win. She is owned by Daniel Clements and has now won eight times in 33 career starts for earnings of $94,389. Friday's card also included eight divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The fastest mile of the night was turned in by I'm Trigger Happy. The half-sister to millionaires Heston Blue Chip and Sunfire Blue Chip was gapping the field while sitting fifth through the first three-quarters. Into the stretch Callahan got her into gear. I'm Trigger Happy showed greenness while zigging and zagging, but also showed a huge turn of foot to sweep past her competitors and win in an impressive 1:52.2 for her second win from three lifetime starts. Total handle on the 11-race program was $1,704,153. Live racing continues Saturday with a 12-race card beginning at 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (August 31, 2017) - Live harness racing returns to Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment for an abbreviated September meeting. The four-day meet begins Friday, September 8 and Saturday, September 9 and comes back the following Friday and Saturday. Post time for all four nights will be 7:15 p.m. Horseplayers should take note that there will be a few notable changes to the wagering format. The pair of Pick Four wagers and the Pick Five will still carry their same low 15 percent takeout rate and occupy their same places on the race card. However, they will not offer their regular guaranteed pool size. In addition, the 20-cent Jackpot Super High Five will only be offered on the final race of the evening. As usual, if there is no single winning ticket, 25 percent of the net pool will be carried over while 75 percent of the net pool will be paid out to the multiple winning tickets. Should there be no single winning ticket on the final day of the abbreviated meet, the jackpot will be carried to November 4, which is the first day of the Fall/Winter Meet. Exactas and trifectas will continue to be offered on all races. 10-cent superfectas will be offered on all races with the exception of those that begin the Pick Four wagers and the Pick Five. For more information, visit  MEADOWLANDS SEEKS FEEDBACK FROM HORSEPLAYERS Interested fans can reply to survey question on Meadowlands website The Meadowlands is seeking horseplayer input on potentially moving the Early Pick Four wager to a 1-dollar minimum instead of its current 50-cent base. Fans and horseplayers can share their opinion via the Meadowlands website. The Early and Late Pick Four wagers are 50-cent minimum wagers, but there has been growing discussion of potentially shifting the Early Pick Four to a 1-dollar minimum. Both wagers will continue to carry 15-percent takeout rates. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz  

NICHOLS, N.Y. (August 22, 2017) - In conjunction with the Southern Tier Harness Horsemen's Association, Tioga Downs is announcing that the live harness racing program scheduled for Monday, August 28 will be cancelled due to a lack of available horses to race. Both Tioga Downs Management and the official horsemen's group at Tioga Downs, the STHHA, believe that the decision is in the best interest of the track, horsemen, and the wagering public. Live racing will continue as scheduled on August 25 - 27 with the Sunday, August 27 program highlighted by a trio of $200,000 (est) stakes races for older horses. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

NICHOLS, N.Y. (August 15, 2017) - Fans of horse racing will be treated to a world-class afternoon of harness racing at Tioga Downs on Sunday, August 20 headlined by the $200,000 (est) The Roll With Joe Open Pace presented by Blue Chip Farms and the $500,000 (est) Empire Breeders Classic Finals for the premier New York-sired 3-year-old pacers. Off the track, fans will have a unique opportunity to enter a contest to name a baby horse that will hopefully go on to compete at the sport's highest levels. The foal, a baby horse less than one year old, was bred at Jeff and Paula Gural's Allerage Farms in nearby Sayre, PA. Race fans in attendance on Sunday will have the chance to submit their best name for the filly. The filly is a daughter of the stallion Yankee Glide and her mother is Love Tale. A representative from Allerage Farms will pick their three favorite names and the winner will be the name that receives the most applause from the crowd. The person who submits the winning name will then receive 1 percent of the horse's earnings during its 2 and 3-year-old racing seasons. For complete contest rules visit The Empire Breeders Classic will feature a deep, and talented group of sophomore pacers. In the colts and geldings division, odds-on favorites Miso Fast and Funknwaffles were narrowly defeated in last Sunday's eliminations by In A Single Bound and Art Scene respectively. In the third elimination, Heaven's Gait was a four-length winner and has now won four straight races and six of his last seven. Heavily-favored Clear Idea and Tequila Monday won the pair of eliminations for the fillies and loom as the ones to beat in Sunday's final. Clear Idea, trained by Blake MacIntosh, has won seven in a row and earned more than $188,000 this year. Tequila Monday won her elimination a full second faster than Clear Idea and has had success on the Grand Circuit this season, winning the Lismore Final at Yonkers and finishing third in the $321,200 Fan Hanover at Mohawk. Post time for Sunday's spectacular program is 1:00 p.m. Besides the three headlining stakes, the card also includes the third leg of the Miss Versatility for the sport's top trotting mares and 2-year-old divisions of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (August 9, 2017) - All-sources handle on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands increased by 4.5 percent versus 2016 including a double-digit increase in separate-pool wagering from Europe and Australia. Total handle on the 16-race program was $7,287,712 up from the $6.9 million wagered in 2016 on a similar 16-race card. Field size was nearly identical to last year (9.7 versus 9.6) with the Hambletonian attracting 19 entries this year versus 18 entries last year. Foreign outlets, which wager into separate pools, showed especially strong growth. All international wagering including outlets throughout Europe and Australia topped $1.5 million, an increase of 14 percent from 2016. "Not only did we see a historic finish to the Hambletonian, we also saw a strong increase in wagering which reflects the continued strength and reach of the Hambletonian and Meadowlands brand amongst horseplayers domestically and internationally," said Jason M. Settlemoir, Meadowlands GM/COO. "We would like to thank the Hambletonian Society, all of the horsemen, fans, employees, and especially the horseplayers for their support of Hambletonian Day." Wagering on the Hambletonian Oaks was also up this year versus last year. Including the two elimination races held a week prior and the final, handle increased an impressive 17.1 percent including a nearly 8 percent increase in the final. Hambletonian Day is traditionally the highest-handling harness racing program in North America. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (August 4, 2017) - Harness racing duo Jimmy Takter and Yannick Gingras will team up to go for their unprecedented fourth straight Hambletonian Oaks on Saturday with morning line favorite Ariana G. The duo tuned up Friday night at The Meadowlands by partnering to win the $50,000 Townsend Ackerman with 7/5 wagering choice Sir John F in a lifetime-best 1:53.4. Gingras, who won four races on the card, steered the Donato Hanover colt to a textbook second-over trip while Snowstorm Hanover cut out the fractions of :27.1, :56.3, and 1:25.3. In deep stretch, Sir John F struck the front while longshots Simply Volo and Thisguyisonfire gave chase. Sir John F hung on with a :28.1 final quarter mile to score his fourth lifetime victory and raised his career bankroll to $108,242 for owners Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, R A W Equine, and Kevin McKinlay. Sir John F In the $30,000 Duenna, Evelyn was aggressively moved to the front by Andy Miller. The Muscle Hill filly, who finished sixth in her Oaks elimination last week, held off the pocket-sitting Decadence (Corey Callahan) to win in 1:52.3. It was her first win of 2017 in eight starts and third lifetime. She has earned $124,666 for trainer Ake Svanstedt who shares ownership with Little E LLC, B Nasstrom, and Silva Stable 45. The ladies starred in two divisions of the Hambletonian Amateur Drivers as Sarah Svanstedt and Hannah Miller score wins with Real DJ Hanover and Danish Durango, respectively. Evelyn Total handle on the 12-race card was $2,629,799 Hambletonian Day is Saturday with a 16-race stakes-filled card beginning at 12:00 p.m. Gates open at 10:00 a.m. The Hambletonian, Hambletonian Oaks, and Sam McKee Memorial will be broadcast during a 90-minute live telecast on CBS Sports Network beginning at 4:00 p.m. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 29, 2017) - The Meadowlands Racetrack is announcing that Lady Shadow, an earner of $1,915,777 and the 2016 Dan Patch Award winner as harness racing champion pacing mare, will be unable to race at the Meadowlands after a post-race test at Harrah's Philadelphia on May 28 came back positive for Clenbuterol. According to the ruling issued by the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission, "Ronald Adams as trainer is in violation of PHRC medication rules and the trainer responsibility rule. Mr. Adams has waived his hearing before the Judges and will appeal the ruling to the Racing Commission. All purse money earned on 5/28/2017 must be returned and redistributed. Transfers of horses must be approved by the Judges at Harrah's Chester or by the PHRC." "As a result of the finding that Lady Shadow was found to have unacceptable levels of Clenbuterol when she raced at Harrah's Philadelphia and the split sample came back positive, the owners have been advised that the horse will not be allowed to race in the upcoming stake at the Meadowlands," said Meadowlands chairman Jeffrey Gural. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 28, 2017) - Eliminations for the pair of signature freshman races at the Meadowlands, the Peter Haughton and Jim Doherty Memorials, were contested on Friday night at the Big M and Jimmy Takter was the human star. The Hall of Famer sent out both elimination winners in the Haughton with You Know You Do (1:56.1) and Samo Different Day (1:54.2). He drove the latter, who scored as a 21/1 longshot. Takter's four other colts all qualified for next Saturday's final, giving him a six-pack in the Hambletonian Day fixture. In the Doherty, Trond Smedshammer's Phaetosive followed behind as S M S Princess rolled through suicidal fractions of :27.3 and :54.4. As that one folded through three-quarters of a mile in 1:24.3, Phaetosive got rolling and drew away to win with ease in 1:53.1. In the second elimination, Takter's Manchego remained undefeated in four career starts with a facile win off a picture-perfect second-over trip in 1:55.2. Takter will send three fillies into next Saturday's final. Nike Franco backed up her powerful win in the Golden Girls two weeks ago with a lifetime-best mile of 1:48 to win the Fillies & Mares Preferred Handicap. She enters next Saturday's Lady Liberty in top form for trainer Jo Ann Looney-King and owner Richard Poillucci. The biggest upset of the night was authored by Canadian invader Lookslikeachpndale who powered up first-over to win the $20,000 Preferred Trot in a lifetime-best 1:51.1. The Luc Blais trainee was winless in seven seasonal starts entering Friday night, but has shown a liking for the Big M surface in the past, finishing third at 24/1 in last year's TVG Free For All Final. He is being pointed to next Saturday's John Cashman Memorial on the Hambletonian undercard. Earlier in the night, the fifth race jackpot super high 5 pool featured a mandatory payout. The jackpot stood at $35,864 and attracted $57,774 in new money, chasing the negative takeout scenario. Second choice King's Cavalier and favorite Nono Lindy finished 1-2 with 80/1 longshot Jazebel De Vie finishing third. That helped trigger a 20-cent return of $2,832.40 to 30 winning tickets. Total handle on the 11-race card was $2,121,251. Live racing continues Saturday with a 12-race program headlined by a pair of eliminations in the Hambletonian Oaks. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit   by Justin Horowitz, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 28, 2017) - The post positions and harness racing morning line odds will be revealed for the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks at the Meadowlands during a live post position draw on Tuesday, August 1 beginning at 2:00 p.m. The event will be streamed exclusively on the Meadowlands Racetrack Facebook page and YouTube channel. Fans should be sure to "Like" the Facebook page or "subscribe" to the YouTube channel in order to view the stream. WFAN and SNY sports talk personality Marc Malusis will serve as the celebrity drawmaster. Post positions and morning line odds will also be revealed for the John Cashman Memorial and the Cane Pace during the broadcast. For more information, visit or Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 26, 2017) - The Meadowlands Racetrack will offer harness racing horseplayers a rare opportunity this weekend with mandatory payouts in the track's two jackpot super high five wagers. The Meadowlands will pay out the jackpot in the Race Five wager on Friday and the jackpot in the last race wager on Saturday. The Race Five jackpot $35,864 while the last race jackpot is $68,933 and will grow into Saturday with one more night of action, assuming it is not taken down on Friday night. Both wagers have a 20-cent base wager and carry a 15 percent takeout. On nights when there is no single winning ticket, 25 percent of the net pool is added to the jackpot amount while 75 percent of the net pool is paid out to the multiple winners. The wagers represent a tremendous opportunity and value for horseplayers. In Friday's mandatory payout race (Race 5), players will be wagering into a zero percent or negative takeout pool with up to $239,093 in new money wagered. In Saturday's mandatory payout race (Race 12), there will be a zero or negative takeout scenario with up to $459,553 in new money wagered. The lower the takeout rate of a wager, the more money that is returned to players holding winning tickets. Friday's mandatory payout race features a full field of 10 trotters racing at the bottom level condition of non-winners of $3,500 in their last five starts or optional claiming price of $10,000. Saturday's last race mandatory payout also features a full field of 10 pacers racing at the non-winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime condition. The Race Five jackpot has grown since May 20 when it was hit for $43,641. The last race jackpot has grown since December 11 when it was hit for $68,028. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 21, 2017) - Six days ago, she finished third at nearly 100/1 odds behind world champion Hannelore Hanover in the Miss Versatility. Tonight, the previously unheralded mare Oho Diamond broke that superstar's track record, winning a conditioned trot at the Meadowlands in 1:50.2, one-fifth of a second faster than Hannelore Hanover's record set in that race six days ago. Oho Diamond, a 6-year-old mare by Ken Warkentin who is owned by Dan Clements and trained by Renaldo Morales III, moved to the front for driver Brett Miller after a :27 opening quarter. From there, Miller had Oho Diamond comfortably on the lead with the talented 3-year-old colt Victor Gio chasing from second. After three-quarters in 1:22.3, Oho Diamond just kept going while comfortably in front, tacking on a :27.4 final quarter to stop the teletimer in the record time. "She has always had a ton of ability but she's been a little fussy," explained Miller. "I got her going and just kept her going. When three quarters flashed up that fast, I kind of smooched at her a little bit because it felt like she was going track record time. Even though she doesn't have as much money on her card as some of those other mares, she proved she can go with them tonight." Oho Diamond has now won 18 times from 56 career starts good for $184,648 in lifetime earnings. She is eligible to the TVG Mares Trot series at the Meadowlands. Miller and Morales teamed up to win in the other division of the featured overnight trot with P L Jill, who also dropped out of the Miss Versatility on the Pace Night undercard. Takter wins three Kindergarten divisions. In second leg action in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds, Jimmy Takter won three divisions with filly trotter Dab Hanover, colt trotter Hill Street, and colt pacer Grand Teton. Takter added another win with Hambletonian-eligible Achille Duharas, to make it four wins on the card. Total handle on the 11-race card was $2,010,474. Live racing continues Saturday with a 12-race program headlined by the Tompkins Stakes for 3-year-old trotters on the road to the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (July 20, 2017) - The life and career of legendary harness racing driver Hervé Filion will be celebrated Saturday, July 22 at the Meadowlands with a series of events to honor the Hall of Famer who passed away last month at the age of 77. "My father always cared for the horse and had a God-given talent to get the most out of the horse," said Andrew Filion, one of three sons of Hervé. "He had a huge, generous heart and always felt like he knew you for years. He always wanted others around him to be happy and successful. He was definitely the Babe Ruth of harness racing and we are so appreciative to be able to honor our dad at the Meadowlands." Race 2 will feature a special salute to Filion and other legends of Roosevelt Raceway. The drivers in that race will wear the colors of many former Roosevelt drivers including Filion. Dozens of horsemen from the Roosevelt Raceway days will also be at the Meadowlands on Saturday as part of the last Roosevelt Raceway reunion. Filion was the longtime leading driver at Roosevelt, the famed racetrack on Long Island that closed in 1988. Race 3 will be a special memorial race to Filion and his former competitors and friends from Roosevelt will stick around to sign autographs and help celebrate his life in the winner's circle. An exclusive cocktail party will take place at the Meadowlands Skybox Suites from 6:00pm - 7:30pm in which guests will have the opportunity to meet-and-greet the dozens of former Roosevelt Raceway horsemen including Carmine Abbatiello, Mike Lachance, Billy O'Donnell, Benny Webster, The Popfingers, and more. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $49 with proceeds to benefit the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. An impressive display of memorabilia will be on display and available for purchase through an online auction by visiting 32auctions/rrr2017. For more information, visit Justin Horowitz  

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