The 2012 Championship Meet at the Meadowlands Racetrack will end with a bang – literally - on Friday, August 17. Fireworks, live music, eight stakes races, the Vernon/Meadowlands Drivers' Championship and unbelievable prize drawings are in store at the track's Summer Finale. The evening kicks off at a special 6:35 p.m. post time and concludes with a spectacular fireworks show after the last race.
The action on the racetrack includes the William R. Haughton Memorial and Golden Girls for older pacers; Moni Maker and Miss Versatility for trotting fillies and mares; and a quartet of New Jersey Sire Stakes Championships for 2-year-olds.
Fans can cheer for their favorite driver in round one of the Vernon/Meadowlands Drivers' Championship. Nine leading reinsmen - Tim Tetrick, Yannick Gingras, Brian Sears, George Brennan, Ron Pierce, David Miller, Jody Jamieson, Dave Palone and Jim Morrill Jr. - will compete for points and prize money in the competition, which concludes Sunday, August 26 at Vernon Downs. The leading driver in points after the Meadowlands leg will take home $10,000 and be in the best spot to land another $25,000 at Vernon Downs. Fans who arrive early will receive a commemorative Drivers' Championship poster and the chance to get it autographed outside the winner's circle.
On Summer Finale night, children can catch a glimpse of a harness racing rarity. The first white colt born in 14 years will make an appearance at the Meadowlands. He will be on display from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the walking ring on the west side of Paddock Park. The colt, owned by Peter Congilose, was born May 6, 2012 at Fair Winds Farm in Cream Ridge, NJ. His sire, Art Major, and dam, Coochie Mama, are both bay in color. There have been 200,000 Standardbred foals born of bay parents since the birth of a white filly named Historically Unique in Ontario on April 30, 1998.
Ten lucky ladies will take home rare jewels of their own at the track's first Diamond Dig. Entries will be taken up until race four at the promotions table outside the winner's circle. Ten contestants will be given a plastic spoon and the chance to dig for prizes (no hands) through one of two sand-filled pools located in the winner's circle. Diamonds and precious stones are donated by "A Buyer of Gold & Silver Coins and Jewelry in Sherrill, NY."
The B Street Band will play the best of the Boss all night long. Plus, five fans will win VIP tickets packages to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band play at Vernon Downs on August 29. Packages include VIP tickets, dinner, parking and hotel accommodations at the Vernon Downs Hotel and Casino. Entry forms are available in the live racing program and at guest service locations. Entries can be submitted every racing night up until the third race on Friday, August 17. Winners must be present at the time of drawing.
The Summer Finale also marks the final night of the Horseplay Car Giveaway. One guest will win a new Toyota Yaris. All summer long, fans have thrown rubber horses into the window of the moving car for the chance to win a $100 betting voucher and be entered into the final drawing for the car. Horses are sold for $1 each, with the proceeds matched by Meadowlands Racetrack and donated to charity each month. Fans can enter Horseplay every racing night now through August 17. Nightly winners must be present on August 17 to be entered into the drawing for the car.