It has been a few since The Meadowlands has hosted by Breeders Crown. The annual year-end series will be back in action in 2021, with the anticipated harness racing event coming back to East Rutherford as The Meadowlands chosen as the host. This will be the first time the track has hosted the event since 2016.
The Breeders Crown returning to The Meadowlands is almost like the series coming home. The host racetrack has staged 91 events since the Crown first took place at the track way back in 1987. The championships series features 12 events and it was brought back to the popular track due to work by CEO and managing owner of the track Jeff Gural and the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association.
Gural commented on the decision, stating that The Meadowlands is synonymous with championship racing. He is happy that the Breeders Crown will once again take place at his track. Everyone at the track is excited to see the race back and look forward to hosting events.
The Breeders Crown will begin on Friday, October 29 and feature four freshmen events. On October 30, there will be eight 3-year-old and open races. If any eliminations are needed for any events, they will take place a week before on October 22 and 23.
Since the Breeders Crown took place in 2016 at The Meadowlands, it has enjoyed runs at other facilities. Harrah’s Hoosier Park, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Woodbine Mohawk Park have all hosted events.
Continuing a Legacy
The Breeders Crown Series was first created by the Hambletonian Society in 1984. The Society was one of the most influential sponsors for Standardbred racing in the history of the sport. For decades, champions have been crowned each year with millions in purse money distributed over the many events.
The series was created as a traveling one and it has been hosted at tracks across the United States. In New Jersey, The Meadowlands has struggled as of late, just like other gambling facilities in the state and across the nation. The COVID-19 pandemic closed down gaming venues for quite some time and left months without any revenue earnings.
The Meadowlands has been back in business for quite some time and just a few weeks ago announced an increase of 25% for purses. The bump was provided starting with November 13-14 races and according to Racing Secretary Scott Warren, the purses are now in line with the highest offered among tracks in the industry.
Now is the time of year when the product needs to be attractive to horse players as the competition is tight. With this increase and an adjusted betting menu, The Meadowlands is reportedly set up to maximize betting handle during the winter season.
It will be interesting to see how the current season ends and what life is like once 2021 arrives. Will The Meadowlands have no trouble offering the Breeders Cup next year? Or perhaps the virus will still be a major issue and cause problems with the race taking place or affect crowd size.