Meadowlands race secretary Peter Koch said as of Tuesday, Dec. 20, there has been a solid response to the track's winter late-closing races. Nomination fees were dropped for several races this year to make sure the embattled track has a good supply of horses for its winter meet.
"In a few races we are down, but in some we are up significantly in nominations, and we'll still have a few trickle in through the mail," said Koch. "For example, nominations for the Clyde Hirt (for 4 year olds, n/w of three races or $75,000) are up to around 60 from 47 last year, and the Exit 16W (for 4 year olds, n/w of three races or $100,000) are up from 49 to 61."
Nominations to other series are either up by a couple of horses or down by a couple of horses. The Presidential for free-for-all pacers, which gets underway Jan. 14, is about on par this year, Koch noted, with Foreign Officer among the nominees.
Koch said he plans to have his first condition sheet ready on Dec. 29, when the first qualifiers are scheduled to be held in preparation for the 2012 meet, which opens on Friday, Jan. 6. The entry box for the Dec. 29 qualifiers is Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 9 am.--harnessracing.com