Cutler Kicks Off Meadowlands Grand Circuit Season

Thursday, May 18, 2023

The Grand Circuit season at The Meadowlands has historically opened with the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial and that will again be the case on Saturday when 11 of the finest older trotters in the land will assemble at to compete for a purse of $155,200.


The stake was launched in 1998 by Meadowlands President Jeff Gural (long before his current role) to honor his dear friend and frequent accomplice to the races who died far too soon. Artie Cutler was a renowned restauranteur in Manhattan who loved food and gambling on the horses with his pals. Many of those friends still assemble at the track on Cutler night to reminisce and celebrate his memory.


The race itself has been a fitting tribute to Mr. Cutler as the list of winners reads like a who’s who of trotting. Ecurie DK set the stakes record and equaled the World Record with his dazzling 1:49.1 triumph in last year’s edition.


The great mare Bella Bellini is the most accomplished of this season’s participants. Dave McDuffee’s homebred has a very long list of accomplishments throughout her $2 million winning career and seeks to add her name to a list of female Cutler winner that already includes champions such as Bee A Magician, Hannelore Hanover, Atlanta and Manchego. Nifty Norman and Dexter Dunn have teamed to guide Bella through her many successes.


It won’t be easy, as the competition is led by the red-hot pair of Ron Burke trotters, It’s Academic and Hillexotic, inaugural Mohawk Million winner Venerate who makes his first start for the Melander barn and Pretender who has come back raging for Nancy Takter.


Saturday’s card is deep with talent, three divisions of NJ sired trotters support the feature along with an interesting assortment of overnights.


The races may be watched live on Fox Sports 2 from 8:00 to 11:00pm.


Free programs may be had here. First post is 6:20pm.