11/03/2014 10:16AM

Meadowlands: New series for 4-year-olds in 2015

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On Monday (11/3), the Meadowlands announced the $1 million Graduate Series, a new initiative designed to provide racing opportunities for four-year-old trotters and pacers in 2015.

While the schedule will not be finalized until the December stakes meetings, the series will offer three legs tentatively beginning in late May with $50,000e legs at Tioga Downs, continue through June at The Meadowlands with the purse increasing to $75,000e then $100,000e for legs two and three. The Graduate Finals will be raced at The Meadowlands in early July with the purse for each gait guaranteed at $250,000.

Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural has been vocal in his advocacy of keeping the equine stars of the sport on the track beyond their sophomore season and spoke on the intent of the series.

“I consider keeping the best horses on the racetrack a priority to generate fan interest in racing. This series will provide what the connections of those horses have indicated a need for, a chance to race against horses of their own age until mid-season, when they will graduate into the open stakes,” said Gural. "I appreciate the support of Tommy Luchento, Leo McNamara and the New Jersey horsemen in recognizing the importance of creating races that will appeal to our customers by bringing back recognizable names that hopefully will attract new younger customers while appealing to our regular customer base as well."

-edited release (Meadowlands)