April 2017
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Reminders:
2017 RACE DATES

MEADOWLANDS - Post Time 7:15pm
March 17 - August 5, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays

September 8 - September 16, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays

November 17 - December 2, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays

December 7 - December 30, 2017
Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays

FREEHOLD - Post Time 12:30pm
March 31 - May 6, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays

September 1 - December 9, 2017
Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays
Special Race Day Monday September 4, 2017

December 28 - December 30, 2017
Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays



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2016 HAMBLETONIAN DRAW

-- Meadowlands Media Relations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- August 1, 2016 -- Southwind Frank will start from post 5 in the second of two Hambletonian eliminations while Bar Hopping has the rail in the other elimination at the Meadowlands for the 91st edition of harness racing’s premier event for 3-year-old trotters.

The Hambletonian format calls for eliminations on the same day as the $1 million final. A total of 18 horses entered this year’s event, requiring a pair of nine-horse eliminations with the top five finishers in each advancing to the final. The winner of the final is crowned Hambletonian champion.

CBS Sports Network will air live coverage of the Hambletonian from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT). The U.S. Pacing Championship and Hambletonian Oaks also will be featured during the 90-minute broadcast. First race post time on Hambletonian Day is noon.

Southwind Frank, with regular driver Yannick Gingras in the sulky for trainer Ron Burke, was made the 4-5 morning line favorite in his elimination. Bar Hopping is the 9-5 choice in the first elim.

The season-long favorite to win the Hambletonian, Southwind Frank enters the event off a 1:52.1 victory here in the slop Saturday night in the Reynolds Memorial Stakes. It was Southwind Frank’s fifth win in six starts this season and his 16th in 18 lifetime races. He is owned by the Southwind Frank Partners, a group that includes Burke, and has earned $1.20 million in his career.

In 2015, Southwind Frank received both the U.S.’s Dan Patch and Canada’s O’Brien awards for best 2-year-old male trotter.

Southwind Frank, a son of 2009 Hambletonian winner Muscle Hill out of the mare Flawless Lindy, gives Burke a top Hambletonian contender for the second consecutive year. Last year, filly Mission Brief won her elimination and finished second to Pinkman in the final.

Burke also will send Make Or Miss to the Hambletonian.

Trainer Jimmy Takter is going for an unprecedented third consecutive win in the Hambletonian, and is one shy of the stakes record of five held by fellow Hall of Famers Bill Haughton, Stanley Dancer and Ben White.

Takter will send five horses to the Hambletonian: Bar Hopping, Lagerfeld, Love Matters, Jimmy William, and Reigning Moni.

Bar Hopping holds the distinction of being the only horse to beat Southwind Frank. Bar Hopping won a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes last year when Southwind Frank went off stride. In June, he defeated Southwind Frank by a neck in their elimination for the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial. Southwind Frank rebounded to win the Beal final, with Bar Hopping third.

Also a son of Muscle Hill, out of the mare Cocktail Hour, Bar Hopping has won three of 17 career races and hit the board a total of 12 times. He heads to the Hambletonian off a win in the Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial on July 24 at Vernon Downs.

“Of course, Bar Hopping is my best chance,” Takter said. “I think this year is very open. Southwind Frank stands out a little bit more. I think I have Bar Hopping on the right plan, and I’m really happy with how he’s progressing.”

Marion Marauder, another son of Muscle Hill, has won four of five races this year, including the Goodtimes Stakes and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial, going 5 for 18 while earning $476,891. He is trained by the husband-and-wife team of Mike Keeling and Paula Wellwood and is owned by Marion Jean Wellwood and Devin Keeling.

Last year the colt finished second to Southwind Frank in the Breeders Crown and William Wellwood Memorial. The Wellwood is named in honor of Paula Wellwood’s late father, who was a renowned trainer-driver and is enshrined in the Canadian and U.S. halls of fame.

Other trainers with multiple entries in the event are Julie Miller (Milligan’s School and Sutton) and Ake Svanstedt (Mavens Way and The Royal Harry).

In the other stakes drawn Monday afternoon at the Hambletonian press conference:

--All The Time is the 9/5 favorite from post 6 in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, the companion event for trotting fillies.

Gingras drives for Takter who looks to sweep the both the Hambletonian and the Oaks for a third straight year.

--The “Big Three” are back for another tussle in the $233,000 U.S. Pacing Championship. Always B Miki, winner of Franklin and Haughton in his last two outings, is 3/5 favorite with David Miller at the lines for Takter from post 3.

Defending Horse of the Year, and last season’s Meadowlands Pace winner, Wiggle It Jiggleit is the 3-1 second choice with Freaky Feet Pete third on Dave Little’s morning line at 5-1.

--Resolve is the 2-1 favorite from post 5 for trainer-driver Svanstedt in the $273,000 John Cashman Memorial for older trotters.

--The Hambletonian isn’t the only Triple Crown event on the Hambo Day card. Eleven, including the filly Pure Country, will contest the $320,600 Cane Pace at 1 1/8 miles.

Meadowlands Pace winner Control The Moment is the 2-1 choice from post 4 with Brian Sears driving for trainer Brad Maxwell.

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SONS OF CHAPTER SEVEN CAPTURE DEXTER CUP ELIMINATIONS

Signaling Grand Circuit action is truly imminent, a pair of $24,000 Dexter Cup eliminations were contested on Saturday (April 29) afternoon at Freehold Raceway and two sons of Chapter Seven, Another Chapter and Lord Cromwell, served notice they are prepared for their sophomore seasons as each triumphed in his respective contest ...

LONGSHOTS RULE TO TRIGGER $61,958 LATE PICK FOUR CARRYOVER

Longshots stole the show during the Late Pick Four on Friday at the Meadowlands, triggering a massive $61,958 carryover into Saturday's program. Friday's Late Pick Four attracted a total pool of $97,193, the second largest pool of the year ...

TOP PACERS AT THE MEADOWLANDS ON SATURDAY

Several more stakes stars of last season will make their return to the races on Saturday night at The Meadowlands ...


MEADOWLANDS TO ADD DAVE BROWER AND GABE PREWITT TO BROADCAST TEAM

The award-winning Meadowlands Racetrack television broadcast will have a decidedly different look when the Championship Meet begins on May 5 ...

EI EI O READY FOR DEXTER CUP ELIMINATION

Brian Burton has no idea what to expect in the weeks ahead, but he is looking forward to finding out ...

BIG WEEKEND AT THE BIG M

The Meadowlands has an intriguing and eventful weekend on the horizon, hosting eleven races on both Friday and Saturday evenings with stakes types beginning to populate the card and the $50,000 World Harness Handicapping Challenge final on Saturday ...


ELITE GROUP OF PACING MARES SET TO BATTLE

Mention this year’s group of older female pacers to Mark Harder and the longtime trainer can only shake his head in amazement ...

MEADOWLANDS TO RENAME US PACING CHAMPIONSHIP IN HONOR OF SAM MCKEE

The US Pacing Championship, long one of the signature events on Hambletonian Day, will be renamed The Sam McKee Memorial beginning this August in honor of the track’s Hall of Fame announcer and broadcaster who passed away March 8 at the age of 54 ...

ANDY MILLER SWEEPS FEATURES DURING FOUR-WIN NIGHT

The Meadowlands winner’s circle was painted orange on Saturday night as Andy Miller swept the co-featured upper level paces en route to a four-win night during the 11-race program ...




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