Drastic Changes For 'Big M' Stakes Schedule

In addition to announcing that a 30 per cent decrease in nomination and sustaining fees for the $1 million Meadowlands Pace in 2010, the 'Big M' has added, subtracted and altered its existing stakes schedule


Nominations are due February 15 for the track's signature event for three-year-old pacing colts, which will be raced Saturday, July 17. The cost to nominate a colt to the 2010 'Pace' is $1,050, reduced from $1,500 in previous years, while sustaining payments have been adjusted accordingly. The 2010 Meadowlands Pace will also feature a $100,000 guaranteed consolation race.

"We hope the reduction in fees and guaranteed consolation will spark an increase to the number of colts eligible to the Meadowlands Pace," said racing secretary Peter Koch. "Last year's event produced two elimination races, and we hope to increase that number this year."

Two new series for three-year-old trotters will debut in May, the Mr Muscleman for colts and Windylane Hanover for fillies, with conditions restricted to non-winners of three races or $75,000 lifetime to February 1.

The Blossom, Robert J. Suslow, Father Foley and SNY (formerly Fox Sports Net) Series have been discontinued due to reduced participation over the last few years. Another change could be a shift of the four New Jersey Sire Stakes Championships for two-year-olds to Meadowlands Pace Night.

The 2010 harness meet at Meadowlands Racetrack begins the first weekend of the New Year with 7:00 p.m. cards on Friday, January 1 and Saturday, January 2. Morning qualifiers are scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 22. A full stakes calendar will be released after the annual racing secretaries' meeting in December.

(With files from the Meadowlands)

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Well the big m race schedule for 2010 is further proof of the troubled state of the industry. The big m long considered to be the mecca of harness racing is dying a quick death and they will be lucky if they are still around in 5 to 10 years and that is probably being optimistic. In april, may and june this once great race track is down to racing 3 days a week except for the weeks that fall on a holiday where they race 4 times.

The bottom is falling out of there wager and yonkers now has most of the quality horses. It is the beginning of the end for the big m. Not if but when this track closes it will be a blow that the harness game will never recover from.

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