NJSS finals boosted to $200,000
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And there is a slight change from 2008, when the NJSS hosted a “Night of Champions” for 3 year olds, worth a total of $700,000 on one night. This year, the two NJSS trotting finals for 3 year olds will be on the same June 13 program as the $500,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic and the $200,000 Tom D’Altrui Miss New Jersey Pace, making it the richest single night of state-bred racing in New Jersey history at $1.1 million.
There will be a 2-year-old “Night of Champions” at the Meadowlands on July 23 with four $200,000 divisional titles on the line worth a total of $800,000.
In addition, when preliminary legs do not split into multiple divisions, that single race will go for $75,000, an increase from $50,000 last year. There will be two preliminary legs in each of the eight divisions, followed by $200,000 championship finals.
“Due to changes in the Meadowlands racing schedule, the Sire Stakes was able to begin its 2-year-old racing program in mid-July this year, rather than June as in previous years,” said Christopher Castens, NJSS executive director. “As a result, we’re hoping for greater 2-year-old participation.”
Purses for each preliminary leg race, not including starting fees, are estimated as follows: $112,000 for 3-year-old pacers, $106,000 for 2-year-old pacers, $99,000 for 3-year-old trotters and $87,500 for 2-year-old trotters.
A total of 909 New Jersey-sired pacers and trotters are eligible to compete in this year’s program, with the largest number being 2-year-old pacers, 175 colts and geldings and 154 fillies. There are 231 eligible 2-year-old trotters, of which 117 are colts and geldings and 114 fillies.
Among 3-year-old eligibles, there are 182 trotters (93 fillies and 89 colts and geldings), and 167 pacers (95 colts and geldings and 72 fillies). (NJSS)