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  East Rutherford, NJ - Horsemen should be aware of the following details as the nomination deadline for the 2020 Grand Circuit stakes at The Meadowlands draws near.   Payments will be accepted with a February 18 postmark as per USTA guidelines, what with the 15th falling on a Saturday and Monday the 17th a holiday.   The conditions for top money winning stakes format has been revised with the top eleven (11) money winners for 2019-2020 (per USTA conversion) accepted and all Meadowlands administered/sponsored stakes raced at the distance of one mile.   It is important to note that The Meadowlands conditions contain specific language regarding eligibility to participate in Meadowlands administered stakes. As you consider nominating your horses, be aware of these two articles: Disputes: All owners, trainers and drivers of horses nominated to this event must be accepted to participate at the Host Track or the nomination/entry may be denied without refund of previous payments. Any change of trainers made fewer than 30 days or within four starts of the date of this race will be reviewed by the sponsor and if not accepted, may result in refusal of entry. Sponsors reserve the right to amend conditions as deemed necessary without liability. Rules: A minimum of seven (7) separate interests may be required in any event or the event may be canceled. All starters are subject to the detention policy of the Host Track. The rules of the Host Track and its state Racing Commission along with the USTA shall govern unless otherwise specified in these conditions. These races are subject to the Stallion Restriction Condition (SRC); see Meadowlands website for details. Any horse nominated to any Meadowlands stakes/event must be in the care of an approved trainer by April 15, 2020 for any stake/event raced during the month of May and by May 15 for all other 2020 stakes/events. In addition, any owner who participates in a Meadowlands Stake or Early Closing event (with added money greater than $25,000) with a trainer who has an outstanding Class 1, Class 2 or TC02 positive test having occurred on or after January 1, 2019 and under appeal in any jurisdiction will be declared ineligible to participate in any Meadowlands Stake or Early Closing event for 12 months following the conviction if such trainer is subsequently found guilty relating to the Class 1, Class 2 or TC02 positive test. Nominator also agrees that any horse paid into any Meadowlands stake/event may be required to be stabled for up to 14 days at an approved facility within a 150 mile radius of The Meadowlands or the Tioga or Vernon Downs stable area or an approved facility in a state that agrees to cooperate in an out of competition testing protocol by the date set by The Meadowlands for that stake/event for the purpose of out of competition testing. Failure to comply with these conditions may result in any agreement created by the acceptance of any stakes payment to be declared void at the discretion of The Meadowlands rendering the horse(s) in question ineligible to race in those stakes/events with no liability to The Meadowlands and no assurance of a refund of payments previously made to the stake/event in question. A nomination to these events is an agreement to the above terms and conditions. Questions regarding the status of any potential nominator or trainer will be answered by the Racing Department at (201) 842-5130.   All pertinent information on The Meadowlands $15 million stakes program including schedules and payments is available on the web.   New Jersey Sires Stakes information may be found here.   SBOANJ stakes information may be found here.   Hambletonian Society administered stakes information may be found here.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands    

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands is releasing pertinent information on its 2020 harness racing stakes which will offer total purses in the neighborhood of $14 million. The marquee Grand Circuit stakes for older horses will have an important change in the racing conditions. The number of top money winning horses in 2019-2020 accepted for those events will decrease from twelve to eleven and the distance will be kept to one mile regardless of the number of starters. The races affected by this change are the Arthur Cutler, John Cashman and Dr. John Steele Memorials on the trot and the WR Haughton and Sam McKee Memorial FFA paces, Golden Girls and Lady Liberty FFA mare paces and Mistletoe Shalee for 3-year-old filly pacers. The Kindergarten Classic Series for freshman trotters and pacers will also race five legs for an increased purse of $20,000 each, all at The Meadowlands starting in July with the $250,000e finals set for September 18. The Reynolds and Tompkins-Geers Grand Circuit stakes for 2-year-olds have been moved from Tioga Downs to The Meadowlands in 2020. The dates for the freshman New Jersey Sires Stakes have been moved to later in the summer with the finals set for August 21.   The Tompkins-Geers pacing stakes for 3-year-old pacing colts and fillies will also be raced at The Meadowlands and have been placed to provide a start between the Meadowlands Pace and Cane Pace.   The popular Miss Versatility series for older mare trotters will offer five $40,000 legs this season. The stakes series will launch at Woodbine Mohawk Park in late May then shift to The Meadowlands for the other four legs from July through September. The $100,000e finals will again be on Jug Day at the Delaware, Ohio County Fair. The Meadowlands Standardbred Championship Meet will close on September 19 due to the Fall Thoroughbred Meet taking over use of the main track from October 2 through November 21. The Standardbreds will return on November 27 with the TVG Championships and Freshman Fall Final Four slated for Saturday, November 28 on a night boasting $3 million in purses. All staking information is available on the Meadowlands website. Please call the Racing Office at (201) 842-5130 with questions. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands 2019 handle was a mixed bag. The amount bet on Meadowlands harness racing was up significantly while the wagering on imported signals at the facility continued to decline. The amount wagered on The Meadowlands exported signal swelled to $216,983,907 over 90 dates for an average of $2.4 million, a 26% increase over the 2018 total of $172,445,226 (86 dates / average $2 million) resulting in a revenue gain of slightly less than $2 million year over year. Per race handle was up 6% at $186,573 vs $175,071.  The 2019 handle on Meadowlands live races bet in the building was at $17,554,967 (average $195,055), a 7% increase over the 2018 figure. It is clear that the catalyst was increased purses, spurred by a $6 million supplement endowed to The Meadowlands by New Jersey legislators, resulting in more horses to race and in turn more races and fuller fields. The number of races (1163 / 12.9 per card) increased by 15%, up 178 over 2018 (985 / 11.5). The number of horses that raced at The Meadowlands in 2019 was 10,330 (up nearly 20% over 2018) for an average field size of 8.88 vs 2018 totals of 8,307 horses or 8.43 per race. However, the wagering on imported signals continues to trend downward. The 2019 total bet on imports of $127,579,985 was 9% lower than 2018 over a like number of dates. Unfortunately, that 9% dip offset the gains made on the Meadowlands live races. The import decline is largely as a result of bettor convenience. Each passing year, a larger percentage of the simulcast wagering is drawn to the various Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) platforms and other remote options rather than traveling to The Meadowlands to bet on the races. The Meadowlands has been granted 92 race dates for 2020 featuring nearly $14 million in stakes purses. This season will present differently with live racing continuing through September 19 then dark until the Fall/Winter meet begins on November 27.  2020 is off to a promising beginning with the first $3 million handle card already in the books. It is our hope that the trend on live will continue to grow.  by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands is announcing important details on the 2-year-old harness racing stakes that the track will host in 2020 with significant changes to both the Kindergarten Series and the Fall Freshman Final Four. The big Kindergarten news is the doubling of the purse for all legs from $10,000 to $20,000. The entry fee for the legs will remain at $250. The Kindergarten will also undergo a schedule change in 2020 with all five legs at The Meadowlands beginning on July 10 with the rich finals on Friday, September 18. The "Fall Freshman Final Four" is comprised of the Valley Victory and Goldsmith Maid for trotting freshman and the Governor's Cup and Three Diamonds for 2-year-old pacers. Those four stakes offer great value to nominators, boasting total purses of nearly $2 million for 2020. The stakes immediate future came in doubt with the prospect of no Standardbred Fall meet at The Meadowlands in 2020 due to Monmouth Park exercising it's legislated right to convert and race on the main track from October 2 through December 5. Fortunately, an agreement was reached to end the Thoroughbred meet on November 21 allowing the Standardbred meet to begin the next weekend. This change will provide a date for both the "Final Four" stakes and TVG Championship of Saturday, November 28. The late date will necessitate a change from the previous elimination and final format to racing the top eleven money winners with the possibility of a consolation if the number of entries is sufficient. Upon review, the past few seasons have seen a scarcity of elimination races. In 2019 only the Three Diamonds required a single elimination while the other three all went straight to the finals. The Meadowlands has shaped the 2020 schedule to provide a 2-year-old stake over the mile track every week beginning July 3. With this in mind, both the Tompkins-Geers and Reynolds 2-year-old Grand Circuit stakes have been moved to The Meadowlands from Tioga for 2020. The Kindergartens will fill in as needed and eventually wrap things up with the September 18 finals. The freshman New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) legs will be raced on July 21 and August 14 with the finals on August 21. This placement will afford those NJSS participants that have dual eligibility in the Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) that don't make the NJSS final the opportunity to race in two of the three KYSS legs. Even those that do qualify for the NJSS final can still race in the last KYSS leg on September 7. It is an exciting prospect for those owners and trainers who invested in the future at the 2019 yearling sales. Schedules and staking information will be available on The Meadowlands website shortly. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands is proud to announce its 2020 stakes schedule which will total approximately $14 million over the course of the 92 program meet.   The Meadowlands Standardbred meet will have a different look in 2020 due to Monmouth Park exercising their legislated right to race Thoroughbreds on the main track from October 2 through November 21, thus eliminating the possibility for the customary Fall harness meet.   Live Harness Racing will begin January 2 and race primarily on Fridays and Saturdays with an occasional Thursday thrown in through September 19; then pick back up on November 27 racing three days per week through year's end.   Hambletonian Day will once again headline the Championship Meet with more than $3 million in stakes purses offered on Saturday, August 8. The $1 million Hambletonian will return to the elimination format with the finest 3-year-old trotters competing for ten final berths on August 1 to return for Harness Racing's most sought after prize the next week.   The Hambletonian Oaks will follow the same course and lead the customary cast of supporting stakes that include the $300,000 Cashman FFA trot, $225,000 McKee FFA pace, $175,000 Steele FFA mare trot, $200,000 Lady Liberty FFA mare pace and the Haughton & Doherty Memorial stakes for freshman colt and filly trotters.   The $700,000e Meadowlands Pace will lead a parade of top stakes on Pace night Saturday, July 18 the includes the $400,000 Hambletonian Maturity, $400,000 WR Haughton FFA and $200,000 Golden Girls for pacing mares.   The TVG Championship Stakes and Fall Freshman Final Four are slated to open the winter meet on Saturday, November 28 headlining a $3 million card.   The longer than usual summer meet presents an opportunity to delay the start of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for 2-year-olds to mid-July with the finals on August 21. The later start to the NJSS races offer three more weeks to prepare for the enriched NJ program, a welcome benefit to both the horses and the horsemen that manage them. Those dates have recently been adjusted to race the finals two weeks earlier than originally planned in an effort to accommodate those horses that qualify to race in the Kentucky dual-eligibility program.   While on the topic of 2-year-olds, The Meadowlands schedule provides a racing opportunity for the freshman crop every week from July 3 through September 18. The Tompkins-Geers and Reynolds stakes, previously raced at Tioga Downs, have been brought to The Meadowlands with the 2-year-old divisions of those stakes blended in with the Kindergarten and NJSS to reach that goal.   The 3-year-old Tompkins-Geers trotting and pacing divisions and Reynolds trotting stakes are all at The Meadowlands and have been placed where they best provide preps for some of our major stakes.   The Graduate Series returns in the customary time frame to provide transitional races for 4-year-old pacers and trotters before they must face the top older stakes horses. The $250,000 finals will again be a part of the Meadowlands Pace elimination night card on July 11.   The Miss Versatility will offer five legs to trotting mares beginning on May 28 at Woodbine Mohawk Park then race at The Meadowlands four times before the $100,000 finals at The Little Brown Jug.   All stakes information will be available on The Meadowlands website in early January.   by Nick Salvi, for The Meadowlands        

East Rutherford, NJ - Entries were taken at The Meadowlands this morning for the Fall Freshman Final Four Grand Circuit stakes. With ten or fewer horses declared in three of the four races, eliminations became unnecessary for those and all horses that were entered in those harness racing stakes will move directly to the final.   Only the Three Diamonds filly pace with a dozen declared will require a single elimination. The stakes conditions call for byes to be offered the the leading money winners and the connections of Lyon's Sentinel and Looksgoodinaromper accepted direct passage into the final.   The remaining ten fillies will race in a $20,000 elimination on Saturday night with the top eight finishers in the official order of finish joining those that accepted the bye in final.   Those finals will be raced on Saturday, November 23 along with the TVG Finals as part of a $2.8 million stakes card.   Here are the horses entered for all divisions of the stakes, listed alphabetically.   The $411,000 Three Diamonds Final (12): Baby Your The Best Hen Party JK Finendandy JK First Lady Looksgoodinaromper* Lyons Sentinel* Marloe Hanover Perfect Storm Rapunzel Blue Chip Rocknificent Shouldabeenatd The Bethinator *Accepted bye into the final   $401,850 Governor's Cup (6) Captain Groovy Cattlewash Father Nuno Lake Charles Mac's Big Boy Papi Rob Hanover   $475,100 Goldsmith Maid (8) Common Sense S Hall Of Am S Musclesandmascara Queen Of The Hill Senorita Rita Sister Sledge Tricky Sister Winter Olympics   $505,000 Valley Victory (10) Amigo Volo Book Seven Chestnut Hill EL Ideal Moveoutofmyway K Patriarch Hanover Ready For Moni Rome Pays Off Southwind Fulton St Martins   by Nick Salvi, for The Meadowlands  

East Rutherford, NJ - When requests for racing dates were submitted to the New Jersey Racing Commission in October, Monmouth Park applied for live racing on the main track at The Meadowlands from October 2 through December 5, 2020.   The NJ legislation regarding live racing at The Meadowlands grants the Thoroughbreds the right to race live in the fall, should they choose to do so. The past several years they have confined their live racing to short, turf only meets that allowed us to race a Fall Standardbred meet, but their plan for next year is to convert the main track and race a longer Thoroughbred meet.   As a result, The Meadowlands is currently working out the details for for the 2020 live racing season without a Fall live meet.   Live Standardbred dates applied for in 2020 will number the same (90) as in 2019, will begin Thursday, January 2 racing on Friday and Saturday (with a few Thursdays added along the way) ending on September 19.   The absence of live racing in the Fall will affect the stakes schedule. That situation is currently being addressed with the focus on continuing all existing stakes with minimal conflict and racing the TVG and Kindergarten Finals on closing weekend in September.   There will be a consistent, weekly schedule for 2-year-olds to race over the mile track, starting the first week of July continuing right through mid-September. That will include the Kindergarten legs and final, the Grand Circuit Haughton & Doherty Memorials and the New Jersey Sires Stakes. The later schedule will allow for the NJSS to be raced after the Hambletonian next year.   It is our intention to use the revenue (added money) not being spent on the Fall Freshman Final Four to increase the purses for the Kindergarten legs to $20,000.   We are hopeful that the Fall Freshman Final Four will find a temporary home in 2020 and are confident that can be accomplished.   At present there are no plans to offer Late Closers during the 2020 racing season.   The Meadowlands will continue to offer updated details on the 2020 live racing and stakes season as they develop.   From Nick Salvi, at The Meadowlands    

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs has an action packed harness racing day set for Sunday with the Grand Circuit stakes Roll With Joe FFA pace, Artiscape FFA pace for mares, Miss Versatility for trotting mares and the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for New York sired 3-year-old pacing colts and fillies. Stakes purses on the day total more than $800,000. The $170,000 Roll With Joe (race 7) features 2018 Horse Of The Year McWicked who when he look down the starting gate from post six will be pleased not to see this season's division leader Lather Up among the competition. McWicked at the ripe old age of eight can still make his own luck, remains a formidable opponent for anyone and will likely be the public's choice here. Brian Sears has the drive for trainer Casie Coleman and owner Ed James as SSG Stables. The $137,000 Artiscape (race 5) saw only four rivals drop in to take on the current "Queen of the Course", Shartin N. While her story may by now be familiar to racing fans, Shartin's ability is clearly extraordinary. She became the fastest female Standardbred ever via her 1:46.4 win at The Meadowlands in the Lady Liberty, the 12th success in 13 tries this season for Shartin N and owners Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney-King and driver Tim Tetrick. Jim King, Jr is the trainer. The $40,000 third of four Miss Versatility legs (race 4) offers eight solid mare trotters with last week's Joie De Vie stakes winner Custom Cantab right back at Tioga to take on seven worthy rivals. Custom Cantab overcame a bad post, slight interference early on and a first over move into Atlanta to win impressively at long odds last Sunday. She will not offer that type of value this time around as she begins from the rail for Dave Miller and trainer Chris Beaver who owns her in partnership with Don Robinson and RBH Ventures. Zero Tolerance (Dave Miller) is clearly the girl to beat in the $232,700 EBC filly final (race 8). She has ruled the NYSS scene all season and raced competitively in Grand Circuit stakes as well. Joe Holloway trains Zero Tolerance for Val D'Or Farms and Ted Gewertz. The $238,200 EBC colt final (race 9) could be a showcase for a small town colt with big talent to shine. There may be no defense strong enough to thwart Hickfromfrenchlick who starts from post 1 for Matt Kakaley. Since paired with Kakaley, the "Hick" is shooting 100% from the field while needing no assists or picks as he's taken it right down the floor from the word go each time. The money is on the line here and it's a chance to show just how clutch the Ray Schnittker trained colt is under pressure. Nolamaura Racing, LLC and TC Spatorico share ownership with Schnittker. First post on the Sunday card is 1:00pm. More information may be found on the web. by Nick Salvi, for Tioga Downs

Vernon, NY - Vernon Downs will host the $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial trot for 3-year-old colts and its $135,000 filly companion Grand Circuit harness racing stakes on Saturday, August 18.   The Zweig (race 9) has drawn the two Hambletonian elimination winners in Greenshoe and Green Manalishi S, both of whom reside in the Marcus Melander stable.   Green Manalishi S (PP#2 Tim Tetrick) has won half of his six starts this season for owner Anders Strom's Courant, Inc. including a 1:50.3 career best when his prevailed after a long uncovered bid in his Hambo elim. He made his way to the front in the final, eventually succumbing to winner Forbidden Trade.   The enigmatic Greenshoe (PP#6 Brian Sears) came into the Hambletonian as the heavy favorite. He won his elim in 1:50.2 and looked for all intents and purposes to be the final winner despite an eventful trip when he trotted boldly up to Forbidden Trade mid-stretch, but did not go by. Greenshoe has amassed $586,500 in seasonal earnings for Courant, Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli.   The $135,000 Filly Zweig (race 8) is a very strong and competitive field led by NJSS final winner Evident Beauty (Dave Miller). She's won four of seven and is leading money winner in the field at over $200,000 this season for owners Mel Hartman, Little E, LLC and R A W Equine. Nifty Norman trains the filly.   Both of the Zweig races will be housed in a stakes barn where they must be checked in by 8:00pm on Friday evening. Call the Racing Office at (315) 829-6825 for details.   The NYSS for 2-year-old pacing colts supports the feature with a pair of divisions racing for a purse of more than $50,000.   by Nick Salvi, for Vernon Downs

Vernon NY - The 2019 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial colt trot has drawn 10 horses (9 to race with the 10th horse to have his 3-year-old payments refunded) that include several of the harness racing sophomore trotting division headliners.   Among those entered are the potent Marcus Melander pair of Hambletonian first heat winners Greenshoe and and Green Manalishi S along with Beal Memorial winner Marseille. They will compete in a single division of the stake to be raced at Vernon Downs on Saturday, August 18.   The companion filly stake drew 14 including NJSS final winner Evident Beauty and 2018 Jim Doherty Memorial winner The Ice Dutchess. There is the possibility of a consolation race to accommodate the fillies that will not draw into the main event.   Further details and the draw for post positions will be available later this afternoon.   Saturday card will also include New York Sires Stakes for the 2-year-old colt pacers.   by Nick Salvi, for Vernon Downs            

East Rutherford, NJ - Although live racing at The Meadowlands is currently on hiatus, the quest to continue to improve the best product harness racing has to offer never sleeps.   Playing a large role in that pursuit of excellence is the competitiveness of the races, which is a compilation of many and various elements. It is obvious that Standardbred racing has evolved into a speed favoring style of racing with horses being able to win from off the pace becoming a far less frequent occurrence.   Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural has long championed a more competitive style of racing and actively seeks answers to the question of how to make the track play more fairly to horses rallying from behind as they head into the stretch.   In a July meeting with the Meadowlands regular drivers, the case was made by several of them that were the track turns banked more steeply it would reduce the momentum lost while racing on the outside through the final bend. European tracks were cited for their elevated turns and it was the opinion of those drivers that a more steeply banked turn may allow the horses racing two to three wide to sustain and even gain speed as they come out of the turn and straighten up into the stretch.   Gural agreed at that meeting to bank the Meadowlands turns to the suggested angle. That task will be undertaken by track superintendent Ryan Napierala and his crew during the dark period and changes will be in place when live racing resumes.   "It's frustrating to see so many races won by horses that make the front early and hold up," said Gural. "I am always wanting the races to be more competitive and horses able to close into a win. The drivers said banking the turns would help, so I'm banking the turns. It should also make it easier on the horses as there won't be the stress on their legs as there is without much bank and maybe they won't tire as badly."   "I'm also hopeful this will remove another reason they use to give each other holes early in the races. Those "professional courtesy" tucks change the complexion of the races completely. The drivers must recognize that they are accountable to more than just themselves and the people connected to the horse; they are also responsible to the bettor to give their horse the best chance to win. Just like everybody says, without the horseplayers there is no racing and I expect them to take this seriously."   The Meadowlands kicks off the Fall Meet on October 11 with legs of the Kindergarten series followed by the TVG Fall Championships and the Freshman Fall Final Four.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

Nichols NY - Tioga Downs will be the focus of the Standardbred racing world on Sunday when the "Jewel of the Southern Tier" plays host to a pair of harness racing Grand Circuit stakes as well as the elimination races for the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for pacing colts.   The best older trotting mares currently racing roll in for the $132,000 Joie De Vie stakes (race 9) where the fastest female trotter in racing history by virtue of her 1:49.1 Graduate final win, Atlanta returns after a short freshening.   Atlanta dominated the first half of the season with six consecutive stakes wins before a tight loss in the Hambletonian Maturity. Since then her only public appearances have been on owner Michelle Crawford's social media as she spent a few weeks being pampered at their horse resort in upstate New York. She's back as the favorite to take the Joie De Vie with regular driver Yannick Gingras slated to drive from post six for trainer Ron Burke and partners Crawford Farms, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor.   In Atlanta's absence, one of her chief rivals from last season Manchego has blossomed. After a bit of a slow start, Manchego has caught fire lately for trainer Nancy Johansson most recently a convincing 1:50 win in the Dr. John Steele Memorial setting up an interesting meet between these two queens of the trot. She'll start from post two for driver Dexter Dunn and owner Black Horse Racing.   The eight mare field is loaded with talent and includes; world record holder (set right here at Tioga Downs) and multiple Breeders Crown winner Emoticon Hanover for the Hambletonian winning connections of Determination, Luc Blais and Bob McClure, 2018 Steele Memorial winner Dream Together (stablemate to Emoticon Hanover), International star and 1:49.4 Meadowlands winner Darling Meras S along with her Svanstedt stablemate World Champion millionairess Plunge Blue Chip, the always tough multiple stakes winning Custom Cantab and former KYSS champ Top Expectations.   Six top trotting horses declared for the $148,000 Crawford Farms (race 8) and it is a well balanced, competitive field.   Mission Accepted (PP#4 - Gingras/Burke) won last week's Vincennes trot at The Meadowlands and his sharp gate speed allows him to be in position to succeed for owners Knox Services and David Willis.   Pinkman (PP#1 - Dunn/Per Engbloom) was a good second to Mission Accepted in that race and his story is a familiar one. The ageless 2015 Hambletonian winner perhaps doesn't win as often as he once did but is closing in on $3 million for owners Takter, Fielding & Fielding, Mc Clelland and Liverman and he has the rail.   The balanced of the field includes Ontario star Run Director, Spirit of Massachusetts runner-up The Veteran, former Breeders Crown champ Fiftydallarbill and decorated New Zealand import Speeding Spur N.   Also on the bill are a pair of eliminations for next week's $238,000 EBC finals.   Post time is 1:00 pm on Sunday and more info may be gleaned on the web.   by Nick Sali, for Tioga Downs  

Nichols, NY - Tioga Downs will host the Grand Circuit Crawford Farms FFA Trot and Joie De Vie FFA Mare Trot stakes this Sunday with a matinee post time of 1:00pm.   The $148,000 Crawford Farms drew a field of six that includes the venerable 2015 Hambletonian champ Pinkman as well as winner of last week's Vincennes trot on Hambo Day, Mission Accepted.   Eight top trotting mares will contest the $132,000 Joie De Vie led by the prolific 2018 Hambletonian winner Atlanta who will face the streaking Manchego on Sunday.   Horses for both races are requires to report to the Stakes Barn at Tioga by 8:00 pm on Saturday.   Also scheduled for the Sunday card are the eliminations for the Empire Breeders Classic for pacing fillies and colts.   With just nine fillies declared for the race there is no elimination needed and they will all go straight to the $232,700 final on Sunday, August 18.   They are listed by post position here: 1. JK American Beauty 2. Fool Me Again 3. DD Delicious 4. Zero Tolerance 5. St Somewhere 6. Gia's Surreal 7. Brooklyn Lilacs 8. Hurrikane Norakane 9. Topville Angelina   The colt stake attracted thirteen and that pair of $12,500 elimination races will go on Sunday afternoon with the $238,200 final next Sunday.   Questions may be directed to the Racing Office at (607) 699-7688.   The complete list of entries may be found on the web.   by Nick Salvi, for Tioga Downs  

East Rutherford, NJ - FanDuel Sportsbook, sports wagering provider at The Meadowlands Racetrack, has fashioned a list of proposition bets for your wagering pleasure on tomorrow's Hambletonian.   They range from the likelihood of trainer Marcus Melander converting one of his four entrants into his first Hambo win to the possibility of Meadowlands' leading driver Yannick Gingras grabbing the gold ring after years of disappointment.   The list of wagers may be found here.   You may wager right at the FanDuel at The Meadowlands Sportsbook if you should attend the "Greatest Day In Racing" live at the track or open an account online if you are within the confines of the state of New Jersey.   A free program for the entire Hambo card, compliments of The Meadowlands and Trackmaster may be downloaded from the track's website.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

Nichols, NY - Horsepersons should be advised that all divisions of the Tompkins-Geers stakes for 2-year-old trotters and pacers will be raced on Friday, August 9 at Tioga Downs.   The draw for that card will be on Sunday, August 4 with a box close of 9:00am.   The Empire Breeders Classic pacing eliminations, Crawford Fars & Joie De Vie Open Trots are all to be raced on Sunday, August 11.   The draw for those stakes is on Wednesday, August 7 with a box close on 9:00am.   Horses for the Crawford Farms and Joie De Vie are required to be checked into the Stakes Barn by 8:00pm on Saturday, August 10.   Condition sheets may be found on the web. Electronic entry is encouraged. The Racing Office may be reached at (607) 699-7688.   By Nick Salvi, for Tioga Downs      

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands will host the $1,200,000 Hambletonian and its $500,000 filly companion Hambletonian Oaks on the "Greatest Day In Harness Racing" Saturday, August 3 with total purses on the card of nearly $4,000,000.   Sixteen horses were entered for the Hambletonian, resulting in two divisions of the first heat with the top five finishers in the official order returning for the $1,000,000 final (post time 5:14pm) which will be featured during the live broadcast on the CBS Sports Network from 4:00 to 5:30pm. The entered horses appear below in alphabetical order. Cantab Fashion Dont Let'em Forbidden Trade Gerry Gimpanzee Green Manalishi S Greenshoe Marseille Mr Vicktor Osterc Pilot Discretion Reign Of Honor Soul Strong Summit In Sight Super Schissel Swandre The Giant The top Grand Circuit stakes on the undercard include; The $230,000e Sam McKee Memorial FFA Pace with a full field of twelve going the route distance of a mile and one eighth (only stake at the added distance on the day) featuring Lather Up who became the co-fastest horse in Standardbred history by virtue of his 1:46 clocking for a mile in the July 10 Graduate final. The FFA Mare Lady Liberty brings out Shartin N who has had her way with the girls all season and currently sits atop the weekly Top Ten polls among the ten distaffers entered. The $300,000e John Cashman Memorial FFA Trot fields ten top trotters with Guardian Angel AS coming in from his Spirit of Massachusetts triumph and the streaking Eurobond facing stakes caliber off his record equaling 1:50.2 last week. The $175,000 Dr. John Steele also has ten to go led by the inimitable Hannelore Hanover, at her best once again facing nine rivals.   The $300,000e Cane Pace pits NA Cup winner Captain Crunch against Bettor's Wish in their continuing rivalry among the eight entered. Its companion filly pace the $100,000e Shady Daisy has the best nine currently racing led by Stonebridge Soul.   Freshman trotting stakes the $324,550 Peter Haughton Memorial for the colts and $310,700 Jim Doherty Memorial for fillies round out the Grand Circuit part of the 16 race extravaganza with post time at noon. The Hambletonian will be drawn live at 2:00pm today on The Meadowlands Facebook page. Check the complete draw later today on The Meadowlands website where you'll also find all pertinent information on the day's racing and all planned activities.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands  

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