Classified racing is coming to Freehold Raceway in 2014. The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey and Freehold Raceway have jointly announced the change. Designating the conditions of races by ABC classification will go into effect with the 2014 meet that begins on Jan. 2. Opening day entries will close on Monday, Dec. 30, at 9 a.m.
"Our faith in the switch to classified racing at the Meadowlands yielded fuller fields, more competitive racing and increases in wagering,” said SBOANJ President Tom Luchento. "We expect it will work well at Freehold. Sometimes a change is needed to shake things up and make for better racing.”
"I am excited for the changeover from condition racing to classified racing for both the benefit of horsemen and the patrons,” said Freehold's Director of Racing Karen Fagliarone. "We will now have the ability to classify horses based on their performance and not necessarily their earnings. This will benefit our fan base, resulting in more wide open fields and fewer short payouts. I will continue to write claiming races, maiden and non-winners of three pari-mutuel races for the younger horses.”
Freehold's current racing season draws to a close on Saturday, Dec. 14.
When the track re-opens for its 2014 winter meet on January 2, it will continue with a Thursday, Friday and Saturday live schedule through May 17.Additionally, the track is open for live racing on two holiday Mondays -January 20 and February 17. Post time is 12:30 p.m.Horsemen racing at Freehold in 2014 will need to complete an application for the classification of their horses and return it to the Freehold Race Office by December 27, 2013. That application is available on the Freehold website's Horsemen page.--By Carol Hodes/SBOANJ