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Meadowlands Releases 2009 Stakes Schedule

Published: December 18, 2008 7:18 pm ET

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The $1.5 million Hambletonian on August 8 and $1 million Meadowlands Pace on July 18 headline nearly $19.5 million in stakes races scheduled for the 2009 harness meet at the Meadowlands.

The 151-date season kicks off January 1 and runs through August 21, 2009.

The sport’s premier events for three-year-old trotters, the Hambletonian and $750,000 Hambletonian Oaks for fillies, will be contested Saturday, August 8. Sophomore trotting colts also have the $350,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial on July 17, while the fillies have the $300,000 Del Miller Memorial on July 17.

In addition to the track's signature event, the $1 million Meadowlands Pace on July 18, three-year-old pacing colts are showcased in the $225,000 Berry's Creek on May 9, $500,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic on June 13 and $250,000 Oliver Wendell Holmes on August 8.

The top older trotters and pacers have plenty of rich stakes opportunities before them, most notably the $1.7 million Breeders Crown Championships on closing night, August 21. The Classic Series also makes a stop at the Meadowlands on May 1 and 2. The season for veteran trotters includes the Su Mac Lad Series, which begins March 20, followed by the $200,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial on May 16, $200,000 Titan Cup on July 4 and $300,000 Nat Ray Invitational on August 8.

The lengthy stakes season for older pacers begins with the three-week Presidential Series on January 10 and continues with the $250,000 Graduate on May 16, $600,000 William R. Haughton Memorial on July 11 and $325,000 US Pacing Championship on August 8.

Pacing mares have a variety of Winter Series engagements on their dance cards, as well as the $50,000 Thomas Strada Memorial on April 11, $100,000 Matriarch on May 10, $225,000 Lady Liberty on June 27 and $200,000 Golden Girls on August 1.

In addition to the Breeders Crown and Classic Series, their trotting counterparts have the $100,000 Perretti Matchmaker on June 21 and first leg of the Miss Versatility on May 10 [The two subsequent legs of the Miss Versatility will be raced at Vernon and Tioga Downs, while the final will be contested at Delaware, Ohio during Little Brown Jug Week].

The premier events for three-year-old pacing fillies are the $375,000 Mistletoe Shalee on August 8, $200,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey on June 13, $150,000 Tarport Hap on July 25, and $68,000 Historic Ladyship on July 3.

Two-year-olds take center stage in a quartet of stakes during the last two weeks of the meet. The $475,000 Peter Haughton Memorial and $475,000 Merrie Annabelle for trotters will be contested on the Hambletonian Day card on August 8. The $400,000 Sweetheart and $350,000 Woodrow Wilson for pacers will move to closing night, August 21. The top of New Jersey’s freshman class will compete in a quartet of $200,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Championships on a single night, Thursday, July 23. Rounding out the stakes schedule for two-year-olds are the Historic Series, the week of July 1, and the Countess Adios and Niatross, on August 6 and 7, respectively.

The 2009 harness meet runs Thursday, January 1 through Friday, August 21 with live racing Wednesday through Saturday evenings [7 p.m.] and Sunday afternoons [1:10 p.m.] through April 5. A special Presidents’ Day matinee [1:10 p.m.] will be run Monday, February 16; the track will be dark Wednesday, February 18.

The schedule shifts to Wednesday through Saturday evenings beginning April 8, with matinee cards on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10; Memorial Day, Monday, May 25; Father’s Day, June 21; and Hambletonian Day, August 8 [11:30 a.m.].

[Dates and post times are subject to change].

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