East Rutherford, NJ --- The Meadowlands is announcing several schedule and format changes for next year.
The Meadowlands will race live on Friday and Saturday throughout the 2016 season which will begin on Jan. 1 and conclude with Hambletonian Day on Aug. 6. Post time will be moved up to 7 p.m. and a few more races may be added to accommodate the demands of the horse population.
In response to the difficulty horsemen face getting overnight horses raced consistently through January and February and continued poor subscription to the winter late closer program, there will be no late closers offered during those months next year.
The Meadowlands will also race live for three weekends in September next year, with the focus on 2-year-olds featuring Kindergarten legs for both trotters and pacers. The idea here is to provide mile-track racing opportunities to those late-bloomers preparing for Red Mile and beyond.
The September Friday dates are to be raced as blended cards with Thoroughbreds racing on the grass and the Standardbreds on the main track as part of the same program.
Also under consideration is an earlier start to the 2016 Fall Meet, potentially opening two weeks after the Red Mile Grand Circuit meet providing greater continuity to the stakes schedule as well as warmer weather for the Breeders Crown races.
These dates are subject to NJRC approval.
In anticipation of the live racing this fall, qualifiers will be held on Friday (Nov. 6) at 9:30 a.m. The box will close at 10 a.m. on Thursday (Nov. 5).
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