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New Stakes Conditions For Gural's Tracks

Published: August 11, 2011 11:34 am ET

Last Comment: August 16, 2011 5:33 pm ET | 4 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

It has been announced that in an effort to keep the sport's stars racing longer, the Meadowlands Racetrack, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs will change their stakes conditions to make horses sired by four-year-old stallions ineligible to participate.

Via a release from the Meadowlands Racetrack, beginning with the foals of 2013, nomination to stakes and early-closing events at the three tracks will require that the sire of any nominee be a minimum of five years of age at the time the nominee is bred (the Hambletonian and all sire stakes-funded races are excluded). Stallions meeting certain criteria, such as a career-ending injury, may be granted a waiver regarding the clause. Waiver conditions will be made available on the Meadowlands website.

The format is being implemented as a pilot program and will be evaluated after a few years to judge its effectiveness in keeping the sport's top horses on the racetrack and sparking fans' interest in its champions. Other stakes sponsors have been asked to join the initiative, and efforts will be made to work with other tracks to create early season events for four-year-old horses so they will not have to start their campaigns racing against the best older horses.

For the 2012 racing season, there also will be a reassignment of several Grand Circuit stakes. The entire slate of two and three-year-old races for both the W. N. Reynolds Memorial and the John F. Simpson Memorial will move to the Meadowlands summer meet.

The Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial three-year-old open and filly trots will move to Vernon Downs in 2012. The Zweig will be raced in an entirely new format, much like the Colonial Trot. The added money has been increased three-fold to $150,000 and the estimated purse for both races is $700,000. The top nine money-winning horses will compete in the main event, with consolations offered.

The first leg of harness racing's Pacing Triple Crown, the Cane Pace, and its filly companion race, the Shady Daisy, has already moved to Tioga Downs for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

(With files from the Meadowlands)

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August 16, 2011 - 5:33 pmLet the owners of these

carlo renon SAID...

Let the owners of these horses manage their business. there are other ways to achieve this such as having exclusive stakes with rich purses for 4 year olds

August 15, 2011 - 8:35 pmNorm, the Meadowlands did

Norm Brunet SAID...

Norm, the Meadowlands did not welcome her entry it was refused and then a trip to the Judge of New Jersey forced them to take the entry. The purse is beeing witheld by the Big M till the legal procedings are heard.

It's not a perfect world but this is the price the industry needs to pay to prosper. No sense in breeding horses if the industry is non-existent. Donato Hanover, Deweycheatemnhowe, Muscle Hill and Somebeachsomewhere would all draw crowds.
It's nice to say that breeding and racing at 4 would be good BUT nobody is doing it .

August 11, 2011 - 10:07 pmThe Meadowlands will welcome

norm files SAID...

The Meadowlands will welcome a horse suspended for 3 months in Ontario, but wont accept a horse sired by a 4 yr old stallion?

Whats next ,breeders wont allow foals of their sires participate in races with a purse of less than $20,000??

August 11, 2011 - 1:03 pmWe have some great fillies

James Carr SAID...

We have some great fillies racing this year and they are also capable of creating fan interest in the sport.


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