A few significant reductions have been made to the cost of nominating and sustaining pacing colts to the Meadowlands Pace for 2014 and beyond. Recognizing the high cost of staking and the increased opportunities that exist for the 3-year-old pacing colt division, the nominating and sustaining payments for the 2014 Meadowlands Pace have been reduced by nearly 20 percent. Chief among these cuts is the price to nominate having been slashed in half, from $1,000 to $500.
Another new wrinkle for 2014 is a tiered declaration fee, dropping the cost of entry in the elimination races from the single declaration fee of $6,000 to $2,500 for the elimination and then $5,000 to go in the final (if eliminations are not needed, the cost to race in the final will be $7,500). It will cost $5,000 less than 2013 for a horse to put his nose on the gate in a Meadowlands Pace elimination. This should allow more owners to take a crack at one of the classics and a chance to earn the cost of the final declaration fee while racing in the elimination.
The purse for the 2014 Meadowlands Pace is estimated to be $750,000 with the eliminations to go for $50,000.
Looking ahead, the Meadowlands Pace is being transitioned from an Early Closer, which requires no nomination until the year in which the race will be contested, to a stake with payments due in prior years. To begin, a 2-year-old nomination payment of $400 on the foals of 2012 to race in the 2015 Pace is due on March 15, 2014. After this initial fee, the nominated horse will be eligible to be sustained to the 2015 Pace by making a $2,000 payment on Feb. 15 and a $2,500 payment on March 15. The total payments then represent a further reduction of 25 percent versus the cost in 2014.
"The Meadowlands Pace is the signature event at The Meadowlands,” said chairman Jeff Gural. "These 3-year-old pacers have a lot of options now, more than ever before, and we feel it is important to make this event as affordable and attractive as possible. It's what the horsemen deserve and it's what he Meadowlands Pace deserves. I truly hope the horsemen respond with their nominations.”
"This is a big step for the Meadowlands Pace,” said director of racing operations Darin Zoccali. "Our team in the racing department has been working on this concept for a year. I want to thank Peter Koch and Nick Salvi for their creativity and ingenuity in coming up with a game plan that we all believe will make the Meadowlands Pace better than ever. We have strong confidence that these changes will yield more nominations, more horses sustained throughout the payment process and more horses entered in the Eliminations. The end result will be a deeper, more competitive field and a higher purse, which is in the best interest of the horsemen and the Meadowlands Pace itself.”
An announcement regarding the 2016 Meadowlands Pace and beyond along with its payment schedule will be made public in the near future. (Meadowlands)