Meadowlands Sets 2010 Stakes Schedule

Published: December 9, 2009 04:48 pm EST

The $1 million Meadowlands Pace and $1.5 million Hambletonian are the cornerstones of a $17.3 million stakes schedule for the 2010 harness racing meet at

Meadowlands Racetrack.

The meet begins with 7 p.m. cards on Friday, January 1 and Saturday, January 2 and runs through Saturday, August 21. The New Year's Day opener features a special $25,000 event open to 10-year-old pacers, one of several exciting changes to the annual harness stakes schedule.

Most significant among the modifications is a 30 percent decrease in nomination and sustaining fees for the $1 million Meadowlands Pace on Saturday, July 17. Nominations are due Feb. 15 for the track's signature event for 3-year-old colt pacers, which will feature a $100,000 guaranteed consolation race. The Meadowlands Pace will top $2.2 million in stakes to be raced on July 17. A quartet of $200,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Championships for 2-year-olds and the $300,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial Trot will also share the marquee.

Racing's greatest day is set for Saturday, August 7 with the sport's premier events for 3-year-old trotters, the $1.5 million Hambletonian and $750,000 Oaks for fillies, forming the centerpiece of a $4 million card. Sharing the spotlight are the $525,000 Merrie Annabelle, $523,000 Peter Haughton Memorial, $400,000 Mistletoe Shalee, $325,000 US Pacing Championship, $300,000 Nat Ray Invitational, $246,000 Lady Liberty, $230,000 Oliver Wendell Holmes and $100,000 Perretti Farms Matchmaker.

The meet concludes Saturday, August 21 with a quartet of stakes topped by the $688,000 William R. Haughton Memorial for free for all pacers, which moves from its previous July time slot. Co-featured that night are the track's premier events for 2-year-old pacers, the $450,000 Woodrow Wilson and $440,000 Sweetheart, and $200,000 Golden Girls for free for all pacing mares.

The schedule includes two new series for 3-year-old trotters that will debut in May, the Mr Muscleman for colts and Windylane Hanover for fillies, while the Blossom, Robert J. Suslow, Father Foley and SNY (formerly Fox Sports Net) series have been discontinued.

The track will follow a Wednesday - Sunday racing schedule through March. Post times are 7 p.m. Wednesday - Saturday and 1:10 p.m. Sunday. In addition, a matinee card will be raced at 1:10 p.m. on President's Day, Monday, February 15.

The schedule shifts to three-day weeks, Thursday - Saturday, in April, May and June, with the additions of Sundays, April 11 and 18, May 9 (Mother's Day), June 20 (Father's Day) and Monday, May 31 (Memorial Day). Beginning June 30, the track returns to a Wednesday - Saturday schedule through August 7, and the summer meet concludes with weekend-only cards August 13-14 and 20-21.

The 2010 harness calendar also includes five dates in December, with weekend cards Dec. 10-11 and 17-18, in addition to Wednesday - Friday, Dec. 29-31. The December 31 card will be raced as a matinee. Dates and post times are subject to change.

The full stakes schedule is available here in PDF format.

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