Meadowlands 2022 Stakes Details and Information
Friday, December 31, 2021
The Meadowlands is pleased to announce that the sport’s premier stakes program, long the foundation for the world’s greatest Standardbred race track, returns with a very compelling schedule for 2022 offering total stakes purses estimated to be $20 million.
The “Championship Meet” headliners are a pair of the sport’s most sought after stakes. The track’s signature $700,000e Meadowlands Pace along with the supporting card that comprises the $2.5 million “Greatest Night in Harness Racing” is set for Saturday, July 16. The $1,000,000 Hambletonian and $500,000 Oaks are featured on the most anticipated stakes laden program of every racing season, the $3.5 million Hambletonian Day blockbuster on August 6.
New to the schedule is the $2 million New Jersey Classic Series, for Jersey-sired 2 & 3-year-olds in the elimination (if necessary) and final format in September. The 3-year-old races are for trotters only, while the 2-year-olds have trots and paces. There are two levels, designated as A & B, and the payments provide eligibility to either. The the level chosen in which to compete will be made when the nominated horse is declared to race.
A mare division for the Graduate Series has also been added. It will mirror the existing Graduate schedule with 4-year-old mares racing three legs and a $125,000 final. The second leg for all Graduate divisions will be raced at Woodbine Mohawk Park the first weekend of June in 2022.
The Peter Haughton and Jim Doherty Memorial 2-year-old trotting stakes have been enriched with more than double the amount of money added to the purse, from $45,000 to $100,000, thus pushing the estimated purse for each to $400,000 while the payments remain the same. As an added bonus, the winners of the Final of these two stakes may also activate a “Win & You’re In” bonus offered by the Breeders Crown, providing the winner is BC eligible. Those details will be provided by the Hambletonian Society.
The Freshman Fall Final Four stakes will return to the elimination and final format in late November with the Final purses for those stakes in the $400,000 range.
Two of the races for older mares have been retitled for 2022. The connections of Perfect Sting and Six Pack have stepped up to sponsor the stakes previously known as the Artiscape and Joie De Vie, respectively.
The New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) races at The Meadowlands will offer substantially increased purses for 2022. An across the board 20% bump puts the finals at $240,000 which is competitive with other programs in the region.
The $1 million TVG Championships list of Point Earning Races is on the website and for the first time this year will include the Derbies at Hollywood Dayton bringing the total to seven. Payments made to the TVG Championships do not provide eligibility to the Point Earning Races which are separate stakes and require their own nomination and sustaining payments to secure eligibility.
There are a few administrative changes to the conditions for stakes. Beginning with 2022, all 2-year-old stakes at The Meadowlands have new language in the conditions that excludes treatment with Lasix or any adjunct bleeder medication for the race. Be aware that language has also been included in the 2023 Meadowlands Pace conditions.
All Meadowlands administered stakes requiring eliminations will employ a new formula to draw for the Final. This method rewards a higher position in the official order of finish in the elimination with an increased percentage of a favorable post position draw for the final. The hope is to entice more competitive racing in the elimination races. This formula will not be used for NJSS or Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown administered stakes.
The Stallion Restriction Condition (Gural rule) language is available with the affected stallions and the stakes from which their foals are excluded.
Conditions for all Meadowlands stakes will be available soon on the USTA stakes condition page.The future is bright at The Meadowlands as we anticipate another spectacular season of stakes and overnight racing. We welcome those horsemen that desire a level playing field and wish to advance the sport to join us in pursuing that agenda.