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Koch On Big M Race Dates, Stakes Switch

Published: October 24, 2008 8:56 am ET

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Trot Insider has spoken with the Meadowlands Racetrack's incoming director of Racing, Peter Koch, regarding proposed race date changes for 2009 which include moving the dates of the Hambletonian, Woodrow Wilson and Sweetheart.

Koch stated that the proposed opening date for the Meadowlands in 2009 is January 1, with the closing date being either August 21 or 22.

"The Hambletonian will take place Saturday, August 8 and it will take place an hour later than what it currently has been," Koch told Trot Insider.

"We are looking to hold eliminations for the Woodrow Wilson and the Sweetheart on Friday, August 14, with the final to take place Friday, August 21. The dates for elims and finals of those two stakes could be moved forward to the Saturdays, though, depending on possibly conflicts with football scheduling."

Koch explained to Trot Insider that one of the reasons for moving the date of the Hambletonian is because of conflicts with television scheduling, which has always been an issue. He said that in regard to the two-year-old stakes, horsemen have asked for years that those stakes be raced as late as possible.

Koch stated that that the proposed movement of the two-year-old stakes would make timelines tighter for juveniles also looking to compete in Mohawk Racetrack's Shes A Great Lady stakes and Metro Pace. Koch confirmed that he would be in contact with Barry Hewson of the Woodbine Entertainment Group to discuss the matter.

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