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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - (March 18, 2015) - Heading into this past Saturday's racing program at The Meadowlands, the last race $.20 cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 sported a carryover of $167,731 and a guaranteed pool of $200,000. The carryover wouldn't make it past Saturday, as one lucky player hit the Hi-5 in the Saturday finale. The total pool which included the above carryover and $22,424 in new money resulted in a total pool of $190,155. The pool was guaranteed at $200,000 and the winner will receive a $200,000 payout, the entire guaranteed pool. As of the time of this release, the winning ticket has yet to have been cashed. However, the bet was placed at the Meadowlands and the cost of the winning ticket was a mere $3.20. "I am so happy to have learned that the winning ticket was placed right here at The Meadowlands," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. "While a massive carryover is a great thing for handle, the fact that one of our own customers is holding this winning ticket for $200,000 is even greater. Plus, there is still plenty of time to build a big carryover for Hambletonian Day. I look forward to meeting the winner and shaking his hand to congratulate him on this historic win." The $200,000 payout was the highest winning payout in Meadowlands history, surpassing a Pick-Six that was hit on February 16, 1987 for $143,963. While the last race carryover will start anew when racing at The Meadowlands resumes on Friday evening, the fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 now moves into the spotlight, sporting a carryover of $53,249.26. That wager is also offered at the $.20 cent minimum and offers the record low eight-percent (8%) takeout rate. Rachel Ryan      

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (February 25, 2015) - The Meadowlands Jackpot Super High 5 continues to prove elusive as it went unclaimed again last weekend. That means a carryover of $133,604 awaits horseplayers when live racing resumes in East Rutherford, NJ on Thursday night. The 9-race card begins at 7:15 p.m. The final race of the night featuring the six-figure carryover has a scheduled post time of 10:08 p.m. Even though the jackpot has gone unclaimed since December 6, the consolation payoff continues to return generous amounts. Last Thursday, the 20-cent wager returned more than $1,900. Thanks to an industry low 8% takeout and a provision that pays 75% of the net pool to the consolation each night, handicappers have even more incentive to take a shot at the wager. Race 5 also features a Jackpot Super High 5 carryover of $28,624. The $25,000 Dash For the "G" Notes Final for mare pacers headlines Thursday's card. Bring Them Home is the 5-2 morning line favorite with Yannick Gingras for trainer Mark Capone. Rachel Ryan

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (February 17, 2015) - A trio of live money qualifying events that will offer a total of six seats to the $50,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship are scheduled for Saturday, February 21 at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. The Meadowlands tournament offers a total of four seats. It requires a $200 entry fee plus the purchase of a $200 betting card. The entire $200 entry fee goes into the prize pool and will be distributed amongst the top ten finishers. Contestants will bet a total of 10 races on the Meadowlands card. Players keep all pari-mutuel earnings and in addition to prize money, the top four finishers will receive a seat in the WHHC Final on April 25. For more information, visit Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs will also offer live money tournaments on Saturday. The contests each require a $40 entry fee that will be used for 10 separate $2 win/place wagers on the 10 designated contest races. The contests will use five races from the Meadowlands and five races from Yonkers. In addition to keeping all pari-mutuel earnings, the top finisher in each contest will receive a seat in the WHHC Final on April 25. For more information, visit or Rachel Ryan

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (February 4, 2015) - A field of eight harness racing mare pacers has been entered in the opening leg of the Burning Point Series at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment on Friday night (February 6). The field is headlined by Worldly Beauty champion Witch Dali, trained by Tony Alagna, and Worldly Beauty runner-up Donttellruss, trained by Ron Burke. Burke will also send out Southwind Serenity as part of a coupled entry. Witch Dali returned in November from a 13-month layoff necessitated by an injury. Since her return, she's won six of seven including wins in the Niagara Series at Woodbine and the Worldly Beauty. Her only loss during the streak came courtesy of Donttellruss. "Witch Dali has had a nice week and trained back well on Tuesday," said Alagna. "I always knew she could race from off the pace and I think she showed everyone else that new dimension in the Worldly Beauty Final. It was nice for her to finally get a trip like that after having rough trips in her previous starts." Alagna will also send out Hello My Dream in the Burning Point. She makes her first start for Alagna after spending her first two seasons of racing in Illinois with trainer Mike Brink. She's won 10 times from 42 lifetime starts with a mark of 1:51.1 at Balmoral. "Hello My Dream is owned by Ed Teefey who has had horses with my mom for 30 years back in Illinois," explained Alagna. "She had a really good year and Mr. Teefey wanted to give her a shot in the series." The Burning Point headlines Friday's 13-race card at the Meadowlands that also includes a wide-open edition of the Dash For The C-Notes Final for trotters and the 2015 debut of Shebestingin, the fastest female pacer of all-time. Rachel Ryan

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (December 16, 2014) - This holiday season will be a little brighter for hundreds of area children thanks to a massive donation to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program by Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. Hundreds of toys were collected during the past three weeks by the employees and customers at the Meadowlands. The Meadowlands has participated in the Toys for Tots program for more than a decade. "I am so proud of all of our employees and guests that made donations this year," said Jason M. Settlemoir, GM/CEO of Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment. "You can't help but smile when you think about all of the children who will have a special holiday season that otherwise might not have received any gifts." Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment hosts live harness racing Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 7:15 p.m. General admission and parking is free. by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (December 5, 2014) - Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will host more than 130 military veterans for a special night at the races on Saturday, December 6. The event is being organized in conjunction with Horse Ability, a Long Island-based organization that offers a wide range of horse-related programs to children and adults with special needs, including special opportunities specifically for veterans. The Saturday night event will begin with a private screening of the powerful documentary by Academy Award nominee Robin Fryday and Peter Rosenbaum, "Riding My Way Back." The veterans will then be treated to a buffet dinner sponsored by the Meadowlands Racetrack and Chairman Jeff Gural. Retired United States Marine Corps Seargeant Walker Potts will appear on the Meadowlands pregame show at 6:45 p.m. He will also be one of two veterans to help lead a post parade with horseman Robbie Siegelman, a Meadowlands trainer and major supporter of Horse Ability. Several veteran-related groups will also be involved in winner's circle presentations during the night. Live harness racing takes place Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 7:15 p.m. Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment offers free admission and general parking. by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will be hosting a Nuthouse Wine Dinner this Friday December 5th in Pink, the venue's tiered dining room. Guests can enjoy a 4-course prix fixe menu along with a selection of Argyle Nuthouse Wines. The menu consists of a first, second, main and fourth course, each properly paired with a different Nuthouse Wine. The four wines featured are Nuthouse Chardonnay 2012, Nuthouse Riesling 2012, Nuthouse Pinot Noir 2012, and Argyle Brut Sparking N/V. The dinner is $69.99 per person (excluding tax & gratuity). For reservations call 201-460-4079. Click here for a full menu. When: Friday December 5, 2014 Where: Pink at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment 1 Racetrack Drive East Rutherford, NJ 07073 by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (November 25, 2014) - Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is proud to once again serve as an official Toys for Tots donation site. Patrons, horsemen, and employees can donate a new, unwrapped toy beginning Friday, November 28 through Saturday, December 13. Following the collection period, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program will collect the donated toys and distribute them as holiday gifts to needy children in area communities. Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment has participated in the Toys for Tots Program for more than a decade and has helped collect thousands of toys for children. by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - Join Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment for the return of live harness racing on Friday, November 14th and Saturday, November 15th. Opening weekend features contests and giveaways to celebrate the first racing nights of the season. On Friday, November 14th watch the elimination races for the $5.4 million Breeders Crown Championships. Post-time is 7:15pm. Beginning at 6:00pm on Friday, the first 2,500 people to arrive will receive a scratch card for the chance to win the $100,000 Scratch, Match & Win. Each card will contain 6 numbers, the winning numbers will be announced through a video after races 3 & 6. If your card matches all 6 numbers you win $100,000, matches 5 you win $1,000, matches 4 you win $500. If none of your numbers match, participants can complete the back of the scratch card for the chance to win a $100 betting voucher. Beat the Boss Handicapping Contest will also begin on Friday and continue through the season, as participants test their handicapping skills for the chance to win a $250 voucher. There will be 6 designated races to choose from each week, only one selection permitted in each race, and each selection receives a $2 win wager. The winner's name will be posted at the Players Rewards Track Level Desk the following Saturday at 6:00pm. Later that night, guests can head upstairs to enjoy World Free Poker in The Gallery starting at 7:00pm. On Saturday, November 15th post-time is 7:15pm and features additional eliminations for the Breeders Crown Championships. Beginning at 6:30 pm the first 1,000 guests will receive a 2014-2015 commemorative calendar filled with images of the sport's greatest horses and drivers in action from the 2013-2014 Meadowlands racing reason. For the first time in the 31 year history of the Breeders Crown, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will host all 12 championship races November 21-22. The $5.4 million Breeders Crown is harness racing's year end championship event. by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - After keeping each other company on the sidelines for the past several months, driver Andy Miller and his world champion trotting mare, Perfect Alliance, are nearing an official return to the races. After fracturing a pair of lumbar vertebrae in an accident at Yonkers Raceway on April 15, Miller returned to the races Tuesday (October 14) morning to drive the mare to a 35-length victory in 1:54.2 in a qualifying race at Harrah's Philadelphia. "I felt very good this morning, obviously I'm still feeling the injury a little bit but it's not bothering me," said Miller. "I plan to ease back into racing. I'm not ready to drive 10 horses a day, but my plan is to be fully back by the time the Meadowlands opens on November 14." Perfect Alliance was also off-track for more than a month this summer. Beginning in June, she spent six weeks recovering at Allerage Farm in New York after battling sickness and other health issues upon returning from racing in Canada. The 4-year-old mare stormed to an 11-race winning streak earlier this season, including a win in the Miss Versatility Series at Woodbine in a world-record time of 1:51.2 "She came back from her time off and looks super," said trainer Julie Miller, who is also Andy's wife. "She put weight on and she's been feeling great. We took her with us to Lexington last month so we could work with her every day. All along, we've said we would let her tell us when she was ready." With few racing options in the immediate future, Team Miller says the plan is to have Perfect Alliance qualify for racing once again next week. Her first race back is scheduled to be the $148,000 Muscle Hill Mare Trot at Vernon Downs on November 1 followed by the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands. Perfect Alliance is owned in partnership by Jeff Gural's Little E LLC, Jason Settlemoir, Dave Stolz and Art Geiger. "We know everyone has a watchful eye on her," said Miller. "The owners supported the decision to give her a rest, especially after she raced so hard over the winter. I think we did the right thing by her. Most of the other top mares have been racing hard straight through the summer and fall and hopefully we can be fresh and pick up the pieces here at the end of the year." Andy has a final checkup with his doctor Wednesday then will plan his official return to the races. While he's looking forward to the return, his wife is taking a more cautious approach: "If it were up to me, he'd only drive our own horses at first. I've gotten used to having him around all the time during his injury. It was nice to see him so much," stated Julie Miller. Andy Miller has won more than 8,000 races in his career with purse earnings of more than $100 million. by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - The first Meadowlands WHHC Qualifier will be a two day Breeders Crown Challenge on November 21 & 22. Total Challenge fee is $300 ($150 entry fee + $150 bankroll) and requires players to bet all 12 Breeders Crown races. The Challenge format is Win, Place, Show or WPS wagers with $10 minimum, no maximum wager. The official Breeders Crown Challenge brochure can be downloaded at . On April 25, 2015 the top horseplayers in North America will compete for over $50,000 in prize money* in the 2015 World Harness Handicapping Championship, at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ. The World Harness Handicapping Championship (WHHC) is the partnership between Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment and the United States Trotting Association formed to create the industry's ultimate tournament experience. Standardbred Canada supports the project by facilitating the participation of Canadian racing and wagering outlets. The WHHC Final is a one-day tournament, with a welcome reception the evening prior. Players may earn a seat in the WHHC through a qualifying event at a partner wagering outlet or through direct $800 buy-in. The WHHC contest format requires players to bet 10 races: their choice of seven Meadowlands races, plus three designated mandatory races from partner tracks. Players keep all pari-mutuel winnings. Prize payouts are to the Top 10, with an estimated prize pool of $50,000 * The WHHC Final entry form and complete rules will be available in late February 2015. Registration deadline for the WHHC Final is 10 p.m., Friday, April 24, 2015. Both the Meadowlands and the United States Trotting Association, will be conducting WHHC qualifiers. For more information on how to become a WHHC partner outlet or sponsor, contact Rachel Ryan, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment ( or Kathy Wade Vlaar, Standardbred Canada ( *estimated final prize pool, based on 100 entries by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - July 16, 2014 -- The New Meadowlands Racetrack, the popular racing and entertainment facility located in New Jersey, announced today that it will offer free to play "Real Time" Sports Contests starting September 2, 2014 at its Victory Sports Bar. Players who have registered will be given an account with 1,000 points, enabling them to play every week starting Tuesday morning on any listed football game through the Monday Night game. Each Tuesday, the New Meadowlands Racetrack will award a weekly cash prize of $2,000.00 to the player who has earned the most points from the previous week. At the end of the regular football season, a Grand Prize of $10,000.00 will be awarded to the player who has accumulated the most points. In addition, gifts and prizes from the New Meadowlands Racetrack will be awarded to runners up. Official rules will be announced shortly and posted at the New Meadowlands Racetrack. The New Meadowlands Racetrack contest system is powered by CG Technology, a preeminent technology company based in Nevada, and will utilize real time information and real time results ensuring continual action for the contestants every day. "At the New Meadowlands Racetrack we offer a state of the art facility with a popular Las Vegas themed sports bar," said Jeff Gural, owner of The New Meadowlands Racetrack. "Unlike other sports contests, our free to play "Real Time" Sports Contests offers football enthusiasts the opportunity to play all week long in a luxurious setting. We look forward to offering this product this coming Fall." In addition to the weekly and season long cash prizes, the New Meadowlands Racetrack will offer other contest prizes from properties that utilize CG Technology's platforms. This will include travel and the opportunity to stay at many luxury Las Vegas locations and in the Bahamas. About the New Meadowlands Racetrack Since 1976, the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ, has been a staple in North American racing, known for events like the Hambletonian and Meadowlands Pace. In November 2013, managing partner Jeffrey Gural unveiled the New Meadowlands Racetrack. The $100 million state of the art complex features racing, entertainment, dining and nightlife. The New Meadowlands Racetrack boasts live harness racing and year round simulcasting, Victory Sports Bar & Club, Victory Rooftop Terrace, indoor and outdoor dining options, corporate and VIP events spaces, as well as family-friendly activities. The New Meadowlands Racetrack is an exciting destination that both racing and non-racing fans can enjoy. For more information please visit: About CG Technology CG Technology is a preeminent technology company providing innovative technological products for a variety of gaming-related industries including integrated resorts, cruise lines, and lottery companies. It provides private networks, systems, operations, management services, system licensing, and hardware and software design and development. We are a leader in providing mobile technology in the state of Nevada and internationally, via Androidâ„¢ and Apple® compatible applications. We are passionate about applying best-in-class technology to offer a unique and innovative gaming experience. For more information please visit: by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands        

PACE MEDIA GUIDE & HORSE PROFILES AVAILABLE at Simulcasting Begins: 11 am / Night-time Gates open: 5:00 p.m. / First race: 6:30 p.m. $776,000 Meadowlands Pace: probable post time: 9:39 p.m. - Race 9 Streaming live video on the Meadowlands website, CBS Sports Network Broadcast: 9:00 -10:00 pm Eastern. Check channel listing TVG Network - full race card coverage Wagering Three guaranteed Pick 4 pools - Races 3-6 ($50,000), Races 6-9 ($100,000), Races 9-12 ($50,000) $30,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool - Races 1-5 Race Card $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Finals for 2-year-olds - Races 1, 2, 11, 13 $178,450 Golden Girls - Race 7 $212,150 Mistletoe Shalee - Race 6 $213,500 Del Miller Memorial Trot - Race 5 $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial - Race 4 $463,300 William R Haughton Memorial - Race 8 $776,000 Meadowlands Pace - Race 9 Entertainment T-shirt Giveaway beginning at 5 pm, while supplies last Live music by The Past Masters beginning at 6 pm Rock Wall, 3-in-1 sports game, mechanical bull, giant slide, skeeball in the Backyard The Monster Tour: Rihanna & Eminem Concert Ticket Drawings $1,000 Win Wager Challenge: 2 lucky fans are selected to place a $1,000 win wager on the Meadowlands Pace (pre-registration required) Horse Play Car Giveaway (after race 10) - $1 donation to the Max Cure Foundation gives fans a rubber horse to throw and a shot at winning $100 betting voucher and the chance to come back and win the 2014 Scion FRS on August 2 Pace Night Attendance & Handle 2013 attendance:  12,443                   2013 total handle:  $4,311,546 2013 live handle:  $626,824 Stakes Record 1:47          Art Official                    7/19/2008 Three-Year-Old Meadowlands Track Records  Colt           1:47                Art Official (7/19/08)  Gelding    1:47.4             One More Laugh (7/17/10) by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands  

The Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will be hosting the annual Ms. Hot to Trot Pageant on Friday, June 27th and Saturday, June 28th. Contestants will compete for the title of Ms. Hot to Trot and a Grand Prize of $5,000. All entrants will be evaluated by Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, and the top 30 participants will compete in the preliminaries on Friday. The 30 semi-finalists will participate in a bathing suit competition, and a question and answer segment, and the top 10 will be chosen to continue onto Saturday's finals. The top 10 will participate in formal and casual wear, a bathing suit competition, as well as a question and answer segment. The winner will take home the grand prize of $5,000, and the runner-up will take home $2,500. This Saturday, June 21st is the final day to enter the pageant. To enter, contestants must return the completed questionnaire and current photograph to Rachel Ryan or fax to 201-356-4866. Download Ms Hot to Trot questionnaire here There is no entry fee and all contestants must be 18 years or older to participate. by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands

What: The 3rd Annual Cameltonian and Ostrich Derby will take place on Saturday, June 21st at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. Come watch as these exotic animals race down the track during Meadowlands' live harness racing night. The Ostrich race will begin after Race 4 (approx 8:15pm) and the Camel race will begin after Race 8 (approx. 9:30pm). The night will also include Belly Dancing by Amira Mor of The Amira Mor Performing Arts Center. by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands

DERBY DAY – On the first Saturday in May, the entire country cares about horse racing. No matter who you are or where you live, it is difficult to escape the anticipation and excitement leading up to the Run for the Roses. Traffic was already backed up to the railroad overpass on Racetrack Road by 10 a.m., waiting to get into the New Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment.  By the time I arrived in the paddock for the morning qualifiers, the first and second races had already been contested, as an earlier start was planned to accommodate the anticipated crowd. My first stop was to see the older trotters in race 7.  Shelly Grieco, caretaker for Market Share was less anxious this week as Team Toscano had less than half of the eleven horses they had in-to-go last week.  Markie was his protective self, pinning his ears if I got too close to Shelly.  Otherwise, he was content to nibble on his dog chain, which is hooked with a carabiner and dangling from the left cross chain snap. Two stalls down was Dan Patch Horse of the Year, Bee A Magician, who was making her 2014 debut sans the trotting hopples.  She looked as alert and ready as could be, and her caretaker Stephanie Petherick, was happy to pose for the obligatory photo.  I thought that if this was not a qualifier the paparazzi would be everywhere! As I dashed over to the track apron, fans and players were milling around.  They picked their spots while watching live early races from Churchill Downs on the infield teletron.  Richard Gutnick, co-owner of Market Share was taking in all the action from his usual Saturday morning perch in the grandstand.  At that stage, plans for the Elitloppet had not been finalized, citing several pros and cons.  Rumor has it that a decision will be made on Tuesday. The USTA’s Ken Weingartner and DRF’s Derick Giwner were in their respective positions, ready to capture all the highlights.  M1 CEO Jason Settlemoir stopped by to say hello with Marianne Rotella the assistant general manager.  Marianne has been at The Meadowlands as long as I can remember, most recently running Guest Services.  She is a great lady who is right at home managing big events. The main attraction was the 4-year-old and older trot, which was all Market Share.  Not only did he draw off by over eight lengths, winning in 1:52.4, he trotted his last half all alone in :54.4.  For the “Queen Bee” this appeared more like an official Derby Day workout.  Bee settled in fourth and was allowed to trot home at will, timed in 1:56.  She looked great and went clean and comfortable without the hopples. Following that race I went up to the Super Box to see Nick Salvi.  I was impressed by the “super” view of the races from that vantage point.  We discussed several social media initiatives while keeping an eye on the last few races.  Hanover’s Murray Brown brought a bag of NY bagels over from Manhattan while several top owners discussed the sights and sounds of the day. When the races were over, security shuffled us out to make room for a Derby party.  Myron Bell invited me to lunch after qualifiers.  I had to respectfully decline as I had already made plans.  Nick reminded me that they ‘do lunch’ every Saturday so I was could catch them next time.  I most certainly will! Back on the apron, I could not help but notice what an AMAZING TRANSFORMATION occurred in the “Back Yard,” the New Meadowlands equivalent to the old Paddock Park.  Although not complete yet, it had come a long way from the disassembled and dusty construction site it looked like last week. On my self-guided tour children were playing on the freshly rolled sod, and workers were inflating kid-friendly bounce houses.  While peeking inside the new Back Yard Teller stand I ran into John “Red” Fazekas.  He is also a “lifer” at the Meadowlands, starting as a labor foreman in 1977 under John Chevalier.  Now he is the Supervisor of Properties and knows every inch of the front side and the backstretch like the back of his hand.  During the Garden State Sales era, Red could always be counted on to come through in a pinch.  Bitten by the racehorse bug, he even owned and trained a few horses along the way. One of the hardest working people around that facility is Rachel Ryan, Director of Marketing.  She and the incredibly talented graphic artist Kathie Estes were handing out M1 T-shirts that read “Keep Calm and Derby On.”  I have witnessed Rachel do everything from shoot T-shirts from a cannon to carry 6 foot tables over her shoulder.  She always smiles and forges ahead.  Team Gural is indeed fortunate to have Rachel’s enthusiasm and dedication at their facility. During my tour I also ran into Administrative Assistant Jenn Bongiorno.  I told her that I was going to Freehold next, and she said one word, “Sumatra.”  I should listen to her more often! By this time Ken Weingartner was finished uploading all of his shots from the day, so we headed over to Tick Tock, the relatively famous NJ diner on Route 3 in Clifton.  After we ordered the waitress noticed pictures of horses on my iPhone and on my shirt.  The waitress inquired, “Is the Derby over at the Meadowlands today?”  Doing my very best to maintain my composure I explained that the Derby was being held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky but the Meadowlands was having a public Derby Day party—hence all the traffic.  There was also a Bar Mitzvah at MetLife Stadium, but that’s another story. “Oh, right, KENTUCKY Derby” she said.  She was very pleasant and took good care of Ken and I after that.  We broke bread and shared a few laughs, and discussed the best alternate route to Freehold.  With all the NJ Turnpike construction around exit 8A, I was advised to exit early and take the back road down to Route 33. Just as were about to leave the Tick Tock, a middle-aged couple approached our table and stated, “We could not help but overhearing, but what is happening with the Derby today?” Ken and I did our best to be good ambassadors of horse racing and gave them as much information as they could handle.  I guess anyone affiliated with horse racing is a celebrity on Derby Day!  If nothing else, a good source of insight. Out and Southbound, Mr. Weingartner was correct--traffic was backed up at exit 8A.  But tie-ups are not uncommon on the NJ Turnpike, just ask anyone who ships from Showplace or Gaitway!  When I finally arrived at Freehold, the parking lot and the grandstand were jammed packed. The Dexter Cup at the Afternoon Delight is the first stop on the road to the $1.2 million Hambletonian.  The event drew several representatives of the Hambletonian Society, as well as Rob Key, who was rooting for his dad’s horse Sarcastic Man.  Members of the Takter family were also on the partly sunny but breezy apron. Brian Sears driving Sumatra from the rail was the prohibitive betting favorite at 30 cents on the dollar.  Not one to disappoint, the White Knight led gate to wire for an elated Tom Fanning, the Hambo hopeful’s trainer.  The early-season powerhouse Ray Schnittker stable picked up the 2, 3 & 4 spots, with elim. winner Sarcastic Man (post 8) grabbing the final check. It was rumored that “The Manager” president of the Yonkers-based Brian Sears fan club, was going to make a surprise appearance at Freehold for the Dexter, however, that never materialized—leaving this scribe with nothing to do but head back North to the Meadowlands to catch the Derby. Upon my ascent to the 4th floor Victory Terrace, amidst the handicappers and the humongous hats, it was clear that the Derby Day event was a success. 8,000 T-shirts had been given out before 3 pm, and it was standing room only on the track level.  The press box was the perfect place to spread out my laptop, camera and program to watch the NBC telecast.  Nick Salvi shared some of his home-made pulled pork, and the party began. Peter Koch joined us with about 20 minutes to post, and we bantered about chalk vs. long-shots.  As horse people, we always enjoy the stories associated with the Derby.  As a former horse auction company executive, the fact that California Chrome was the product of an $8,000 mare and $2,000 stud fee was especially satisfying. I am sure that my father, who often reminded would-be sellers that ‘money does not go lame in the bank,’ would have been aghast over these cowboys turning down $6m for half the horse.  But, hey, I guess he is worth more now that he won the Derby...and is eyeing a shot at the Triple Crown. All eyes will be upon Pimlico in Baltimore on May 17 for the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown.  Fans of harness racing will want to be at The Meadowlands that day as they host the Roosevelt Raceway Legacy Night, with a dozen stars from that iconic era on hand to sign autographs.  Roosevelt memorabilia will also be on display courtesy of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame. Following his T’bred TVG duties, Director of Racing Darin Zoccali joined us in the press box.  He was very pleased with the M1 on-track Churchill handle, which exceeded $1.6m.  In addition, about 12,000 people came to the facility.  All-in-all, it was a good day for horse racing, harness or otherwise. The crowd lingered on the Victory Terrace for some time after the Derby, until a brief thunder storm sent them running for cover.  The rain came and went and the crowd returned to the apron for a great night of harness racing.  The brief thunder-boomer did not slow things down, as five races went faster than 1:50. 3 Brothers Stable’s JK Endofanera won the Simpson and Rockin Amadeaus outlasted Frankies Dragon in the B1/A2 Handicap.  The increasingly powerful Alagna Racing had three wins on the Saturday night card, following 12 in the qualifiers.  With an impressive new webpage and dynamic social media feed, Tony gets it.  He is leading by example in a digital environment that helps inform owners and fans of his stable’s progress, as well as promoting the sport. It would be difficult to think of a big race at The Meadowlands where long-time track photographer Michael Lisa has not captured an iconic image.  For fun, I took his picture along with his brother and fellow photographer Jim, and Paul Capozzi the master of ceremonies for winners circle presentations.  These guys work hard behind the lens and behind the scenes to make sure that the winning connections have everlasting memories of their special night. To cap off the evening, David Miller, who will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in July, captured career win 11,000.  It truly was a great day for horse racing! By Chris Tully, for

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