MEADOWLANDS RACECOURSE

The racetrack at Meadowlands in the East Rutherford area of New Jersey, opened in the second half of the 1970’s and racing is administered by the New Jersey Sports Authority. It first hosted Harness racing on 1st September 1976, yet it was a year later before it ran its first thoroughbred races on 6th September 1977. The racetrack is ideal for harness racing with its long straights and sweeping curves. A programme of improvements to the Grandstand facilities is planned, although negotiations are continuing. If this programme is initiated then a Grandstand with the capacity to seat over 2,250 spectators would materialise. Its racing circuit is a mile oval track, but it has a 7/8ths of a mile turf track.

It is most famous for hosting the Hambletonian in August, which is the second leg of the Triple Crown for trotters. The race is named after Hambletonian 10 which is a foundation sire for trotters, and was first contested in 1926, although it was run at the New York State Fair track. It first was run at Meadowlands in 1981 and has been at the track ever since. The latest 3 runnings have been won by Muscle Massive in 2010, Broad Bahn in 2011 and, most recently, Market Share in 2012.

The Hambletonian is part of the Triple Crown of trotting races alongside Yonkers Trot and the Kentucky Futurity.

Its principal races are the Meadowlands Pace, The Breeders Crown Trot, The New Jersey Classic and the Stanley Dancer Trot.

One of the principal thoroughbred races at the track is the Meadownlands Cup, first run in 1977, over about 8.5 furlongs. It was run at Meadowlands until 2010 whence it moved to Monmouth Park and has been renamed The Monmouth Cup. The most recent winner in 2012 was Rule ridden by Joe Bravo. Another highly significant race contested at the track each June is the Grade III Pegasus Stakes for 3 year olds over 8.5 furlongs. The most recent 2012 winner was Le Bernadin ridden by Mike Luzzi.

If you have badges, racecards, pictures of the racecourse or further details about the course, including your memories, then email johnslusar@fsmail.net