With the summer days now ending, the racing calendar will soon switch its focus to the fall and as the nights begin to get much longer, the temperature within the Meadowlands Racetrack will only increase.
That’s because the discipline of harness racing is once again set to appear on the agenda and when it comes to this particular form of equine sporting prowess, then things don’t get any bigger than the Breeders Crown.
The Breeders Crown is the pinnacle of harness racing, while with a $6million prize pot being split over 12 different races, it always guarantees to be an excellent weekend of live action and one that always brings the punters through the turnstiles.
While for those who pay their entry fee, they will be treated to two exciting nights racing at the end of October and with four races being held on the Friday, it will serve as the perfect warmup to Saturday’s larger race card.
The first of these two Breeders Crown race evenings will play host to the richest stakes offered in the division and with $600,000 up for grabs in each of the four races, each of the winners will be handsomely rewarded.
When it comes to rewards, there has certainly been no shortage of these being on offer since the inception of the series and with the first Breeders Crown race taking place in 1984, a total of $209 million has been awarded in prize money since the inaugural event.
Created by the Hambletonian Society – who themselves are one of the most influential sponsors in American horse racing today, the series was initially conceived to be one that visited a range of racetracks each year.
The logic being that with 12 classes on show, a number of tracks could share the ability to play host each year and although there was some merit in this original idea, it was felt that the series had come too disparate.
Instead, it has now morphed into its current guise and one where all 12 races are hosted on a single night or as with the Meadowlands, the dozen high-profile events will be split across not one but two evenings instead.
While for those who like to place a wager on racetrack events, the best betting sites on the market today will be offering a range of odds before and during each of the 12 races that will take place in October.
As mentioned previously, there is a larger card on Saturday and with the eight remaining races set to take place on the Saturday, those who are digging in for a weekend of harness racing action will be largely spoiled.
This particular evening will be the preserve of the 3-year-old and open races, and this means all manner of ages and breeds will be on show, as both the Open Pace and Open Trot events are open to those horses who are at least four years in age.
Of course, horse racing like so many other sports, has felt the full force of a global pandemic and the fact that this prestigious event can take place, is a sign that at least an element of normality is returning to the world as we know it.
While when it comes to its staging, this will be the first time that the Breeders Crown returns to The Meadowlands since 2016 and the third time in which the New Jersey venue has hosted the series outright.
You must cast your mind back to 2010, for the first year in which a sole venue hosted all 12 races and the track that was bestowed this particular honour, was none other than the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.Since then, it is fair to say that the event has gone from strength to strength and although legends such as John Campbell and Bruce Nickells made their mark back in the 1980’s and 90’s, a new generation of harness racers are now coming to the fore.
Which means both the Breeders Crown and harness racing itself can be considered to be in rather good health and with the anticipation building towards the 2021 event, soon that focus will migrate to the goings on of 2022 and beyond.