Freehold Raceway returns to live action on Sept. 1 for a 41-day fall/winter meet that runs through Dec. 17. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
In September and October, racing will be three days a week (Thursday through Saturday) and drop to a Fridays and Saturdays only schedule in November and December. The exception is being open on Labor Day (Sept. 5) and closed on Sept. 8.
On Sept. 1, there will be a free t-shirt giveaway with the purchase of Freehold program and a special Renaissance Dining Room opening day buffet for $12.95.
The fall stakes schedule begins on Opening Day with the eliminations for the $70,000 estimated Helen Smith (3-year-old filly trot), $80,000 estimated Charles Smith (3-year-old colt trot), the $60,000 estimated Harold Dancer (2-year-old colt trot) and the $58,000 estimated Marion Dancer (2-year-old filly trot). The Smith and Dancer stakes, sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey, have their finals carded on Sept. 9.
The $100,000 estimated Babic Colt and $60,000 estimated Babic Filly for 2-year-old pacers will take place on Sept. 10 with eliminations on Sept. 3.
Two year olds will be in the spotlight in a quartet of New Jersey Futurity events with purses estimated at $50,000 to $60,000. The 3-year-old trot is on Oct. 7, the 2-year-old trot on Oct. 14 and both the 2- and -3-year-old paces on Oct. 15.
With the transfer of the Cane Pace and Shady Daisy to Tioga Downs, all the Freehold stakes this fall are focused on New Jersey-sired horses, including a full menu of the Green Acres division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes which begin on Labor Day. Each age and gait will have three preliminary legs, leading up to $25,000 estimated finals, the first of which will be for the 3-year-old pacing fillies on Sept. 30. Finals for the 3-year-old colt pacers (Oct. 1], 2-year-old filly trotters (Oct. 6), 2-year-old colt trotters (Oct.7], 2-year-old colt and filly pacers (both Oct. 8], 3-year-old filly trotters (Oct. 13] and 3-year-old trotters (Oct. 14) conclude the NJSS competition for the year.
The overnight purse structure will average $25,000 per day.
“We’re going into the meet with an overpayment of $500,000 due to not receiving an anticipated payment of $540,000 from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority,” said Freehold general manager Howard Bruno. “As a result, we’ll have to scale back on overnight purses when we reopen Sept. 1.”
Racing secretary Karen Fagliarone has scheduled the first qualifiers for Friday, Aug. 26, with entries due by 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 25. Qualifiers will be held on Fridays at 9:30 a.m. until further notice.
Entries for opening day, Sept. 1, will be due on Friday, Aug. 26. The draw for Sept. 2 will be on Aug. 30, for Sept. 3 on Aug. 31, for Sept. 5 on Sept. 1, for Sept. 9 on Sept. 6 and for Sept. 10 on Sept. 7. Declarations are due by 9 a.m. on each day. (SBOANJ)