East Rutherford, NJ — When requests for racing dates were submitted to the New Jersey Racing Commission in October, Monmouth Park applied for live racing on the main track at The Meadowlands from Oct. 2 through Dec. 5, 2020.
The New Jersey legislation regarding live racing at The Meadowlands grants the Thoroughbreds the right to race live in the fall, should they choose to do so. The past several years they have confined their live racing to short, turf only meets that allowed us to race a Fall Standardbred meet, but their plan for next year is to convert the main track and race a longer Thoroughbred meet.
As a result, The Meadowlands is currently working out the details for the 2020 live racing season without a Fall live meet.
Live Standardbred dates applied for in 2020 will number the same (90) as in 2019, will begin Thursday (Jan. 2) racing on Friday and Saturday (with a few Thursdays added along the way), ending on Sept. 19.
The absence of live racing in the Fall will affect the stakes schedule. That situation is currently being addressed with the focus on continuing all existing stakes with minimal conflict and racing the TVG and Kindergarten finals on closing weekend in September.
There will be a consistent, weekly schedule for 2-year-olds to race over the mile track, starting the first week of July and continuing right through mid-September. That will include the Kindergarten legs and final, the Grand Circuit Haughton and Doherty Memorials and the New Jersey Sires Stakes. The later schedule will allow for the NJSS to be raced after the Hambletonian next year.
It is our intention to use the revenue (added money) not being spent on the Fall Freshman Final Four to increase the purses for the Kindergarten legs to $20,000.
We are hopeful that the Fall Freshman Final Four will find a temporary home in 2020 and are confident that can be accomplished.
At present there are no plans to offer Late Closers during the 2020 racing season.
The Meadowlands will continue to offer updated details on the 2020 live racing and stakes season as they develop.