Beginning on Saturday, March 22, the Meadowlands will host a six week tournament for drivers that pits the sport's established stars against the emerging new talent. Each Saturday night through April19 (five legs), a point tally determined by each driver's order of finish will be kept over the course of the entire race card and the top point earner for each of those two groups will be awarded $2,000 for their efforts.
The tournament will conclude on April 26 with a final in which the top point earners over the course of the five preliminary legs will compete in a series of races on the card. The winner of the final will be awarded $15,000, second place is worth $5,000, third $3,000, and all other finalists will receive $1,000.
This event is jointly sponsored by Jeff Gural and the Meadowlands with no effect on the purse account.
"During the Levy Series at Yonkers I thought this would be an opportunity to reward those drivers who remain loyal to the Meadowlands and at the same time create an opportunity for the younger drivers to earn some extra money,” said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. "With increased competition for the handle looming we feel the need to generate promotions that will hold the interest of our customers.
"I think this is also a great chance for out of town drivers to show off their skills at the sport's most competitive racetrack during a time when there will be increased opportunity for them to get drives. We welcome those young drivers that would like to try their luck at the Meadowlands.”
There will be no specifically dedicated races for this contest. All drivers will be competing for their own interests, there is no team element other than to determine the top point earners for the purpose of awarding the prizes.
The contest will consist of all races on each of the Saturday programs and the process will remain as it normally is so far as entering horses and driver selections. The trainers will enter their horses listing the driver of their choice. The drivers will make their choices with the judges by scratch time and trainers will be required to call the judges and react to those choices, then name whomever they wish if their first choice has gone elsewhere.
The "Legends” will be comprised of Yannick Gingras, David Miller, Corey Callahan, Tim Tetrick, Andy Miller and John Campbell (who expects to return to the sulky on March 28).
The "Phenoms” will include Scott Zeron, Andy Mc Carthy, Joe Bongiorno, Marcus Miller, Jimmy Marohn, Jr, and Tyler Smith, among others.
Any drivers not listed above who race at the Meadowlands on the tournament Saturdays will compete as members of the "Phenoms” and are eligible for any prize awarded to that group.
The drivers named above and any others will compete of their own volition, as their personal schedule allows. They may compete in as many or as few of the preliminary legs as they choose.
Contact Nick Salvi at (607) 972-5500 with inquiries. (Meadowlands)