Officials with the Meadowlands Racetrack have announced that the Cane Pace will find a new home in 2015. For the first time, the first leg of the pacing Triple Crown will head to the Meadowlands, as it will join the star-studded Hambletonian Day card on August 8, 2015.
Via release, officials from the track have stated that the move is one that is not only great for the Meadowlands, but for the harness racing industry.
“Having the best three-year-old pacers in the sport competing on Hambletonian Day is going to be great for the Meadowlands and Hambletonian Day,” said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. “The Cane Pace is so rich in its history and it deserves a place on harness racing’s biggest stage and adding it to the Hambletonian Day card will do just that.”
In addition to the Cane Pace, its filly counterpart, the Shady Daisy, will also join the Hambletonian Day program. The Meadowlands will also be adding a ‘sister race’ to the John Cashman Memorial for the aged mare trotters on Hambletonian Day.
“The Hambletonian is a spectacle in itself,” said the track’s general manager, Jason Settlemoir, “but these additions to the Hambletonian Day card means there will be a major [stakes] race for every category of Standardbred that are age three or older. I think these additions to program will make the 2015 Hambletonian Day program the greatest Hambletonian Day card the sport has ever seen.
“In addition, I would like to thank our sister track, Tioga Downs, for being such a great host of this event for the last few years. This move is done with the vision to solidify the Cane Pace as not only an integral part of pacing’s Triple Crown, but also to solidify its status as one of the premier races for the three-year-old pacers each year and Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands provides the platform to accomplish just that.”
There will be some adjustments made to the conditions of the Cane due to its new location on the racing calendar.
“There are an abundance of races for the three-year-old pacers over the course of the summer,” said the track’s director of racing operations, Darin Zoccali. “The major change to the race will be that it will not contest eliminations, which we feel will make the race more appealing to the leading three-year-old pacers. No eliminations will also enhance the purse of the Cane Pace final for 2015. We will provide full details regarding the updated conditions of the Cane Pace in the near future”
The Cane Pace is the first leg of Pacing’s Triple Crown. It was created in 1955 and originally raced as the ‘Cane Futurity.’ The Meadowlands will be the fifth host track of the Cane Pace, joining Yonkers Raceway, Freehold Raceway, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and Tioga Downs as venues that have hosted the first jewel of pacing’s Triple Crown.
(With files from the Meadowlands)