Freehold, NJ – Freehold Raceway concluded its 47-day winter/spring meet on Saturday, May 29, with gains across the board.
Total handle on the season was $22.3 million, up about 31% from the $17.04 million wagered on the 2019 winter/spring meet. There were 544 races held, an increase of 20.8% from the 450 conducted in 2019. Handle per race was $41,083, an increase of 8.45% from 2019’s figure of $37,881.
In 2019, eight cards handled at least $500,000, and none cracked the $600,000 mark. In contrast, 2021 saw 20 cards handle more than $500,000, with six days handling at least $600,000. The high-water mark of the season came on January 2, when $701,670 was wagered on a 13-race card.
Favorites won at a 44.49% clip, down significantly from the 50% win rate in 2019.
The meet also saw a marked increase in participation from trainers and drivers. There were 224 trainers who had at least one starter at the meet, the most since 2016. There were 149 trainers who won at least one race, 100 won multiple races, and 39 won at least five races. By contrast, at the winter/spring meet in 2019, 208 trainers had at least one starter, 130 had at least one win, 74 had multiple winners, and 25 won at least five races.
Mike Posner was the leading trainer, with 16 wins from 92 starters. Scott DiDomenico and Edwin Quevedo were right behind, winning 15 races apiece. Izzy Estrada, Bill MacKenzie, John Urbanski, Williams Hernandez, Paul Fusco, Ken Tisa, Ann DePietro, Tom Fanning, and Kelvin Harrison all won at least ten races.
Buoyed by the weekly American Harness Driver’s Club amateur trotting series, 104 drivers competed at the Freehold meet. Austin Siegelman was the runaway winner of the driving title, with 101 victories from 453 drives. He became the first driver with 100 wins at the winter/spring meet since Eric Abbatiello in 2016.
Jim Marohn Jr finished second, with 67 wins.
The winningest horses of the meet were trotters Lionhead, trained by Terry Morgan, and Keystone Orion, trained by Julie Miller, then Edwin Quevedo, and pacer Momma’s Artist, for trainer Bill Height. They each won six times.
The fastest pacer of the meet was Shadow Cat, who went in 1:52.1 on March 20, for trainer Tom Fanning. Smalltownthrowdown had the best trotting mark, going the mile in 1:55.1 on May 21 for trainer Mike Terpolilli.
Freehold is open for simulcasting and sports betting in the Parx Sportsbook every day this summer. Live racing resumes on Friday, August 27.