02/11/2016 12:28PM

Harness: Breeders Crown returns to The Meadowlands in 2016

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The Breeders Crown, harness racing’s annual year-end series of 12 championship events, valued at $5.8 million, returns to longtime partner track The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, NJ, for 2016.

For the first time in its 42-year history, the Meadowlands will race Standardbred cards in September and October, setting the stage for optimum dates for the Breeders Crown events. The state-of-the-art grandstand built by Jeff Gural opened in November, 2013 and hosted all 12 Breeders Crown events in November of 2014.  The one-mile oval in East Rutherford, New Jersey will have hosted 91 Breeders Crown races – more than any other single racetrack.

“The Meadowlands has been an extraordinary host to some of the best racing in the world for more than four decades,” said Tom Charters, president and CEO of the Hambletonian Society, which owns and administers the Breeders Crown. “Our partnership with Jeff Gural and his management team and the Standardbred Breeders and Owners of New Jersey continues to carry that legacy forward.”

The Breeders Crown, usually the deciding event in year-end honors, will feature the four open events on Friday, Oct.  28.  The eight freshmen and sophomore races will be held on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Breeders Crown 2-year-old races are the richest offered in the division, with $600,000 finals in each gait and gender. Eliminations for all events, if needed, would be held the prior week.  Payments for the 2016 Breeders Crown program commence February 15, and all information can be found at http://www.hambletonian.org/staking/breeders_crown.html.

“It is always an honor for the Meadowlands to host the Breeders Crown, harness racing’s year-end championship event,” said Jason M. Settlemoir, Meadowlands CEO and General Manager. “We have a very long and positive relationship with the Hambletonian Society and it is only fitting for the Breeders Crown to be raced on the sport’s greatest stage. We are looking forward to hosting two of the most exciting nights of racing and expect to see more performances that will go down in the history books.”

The 2015 Breeders Crown night hosted by Woodbine Entertainment Group in Toronto at Woodbine Racetrack generated a Canadian Standardbred record handle of CDN $5,748,950 for the 13-race card.

Hoosier Park, home of Standardbred racing in Indiana, will host their first ever Breeders Crown events in the fall of 2017. The seven-eighths mile track, which opened in Anderson in 1994, and is now owned by Centaur Gaming, was awarded all 12 championship races, becoming the 31st racetrack to host the “Crown”.

“The Breeders Crown series, the horsemen, owners, fans and racetracks benefit in every way by rotating among the best tracks in North America,” Charters stated.

The 32-year-old series has typically crowned champions in every division for trotters and pacers and has been the deciding factor in Horse of the Year honors since 1984. More than $178 million in purse money has been disbursed over 358 events. Originally conceived and executed as a traveling series, the Crown has traveled to racetracks across North America and been raced as single night or multiple events. 

$5.8 Million Breeders Crown Championships 

Meadowlands Racetrack

Friday, October 28 

$250,000 Mare Trot

$250,000 Mare Pace

$400,000 Open Pace

$500,000 Open Trot

  Saturday, October 29 

$600,000 2-Year-Old Colt Trot

$600,000 2-Year-Old Filly Trot

$600,000 2-Year-Old Colt Pace

$600,000 2-Year-Old Filly Pace

$500,000 3-Year-Old Colt Trot

$500,000 3-Year-Old Filly Trot

$500,000 3-Year-Old Colt Pace

$500,000 3-Year-Old Filly Pace

 

(edited release--Breeders Crown)