The Meadowlands has been a proud host to the Hambletonian for the past 34 years as America’s Trotting Classic has been calling East Rutherford, N.J., home since 1981. This year delivers a new and exciting aspect to the Hambletonian as it will be the first to be raced out of the brand new $100 million facility which opened in November 2013.
Hambletonian week begins on Saturday (July 26) with the eliminations for the Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship and Lady Liberty. The evening will be centered around the theme of “Ladies Night,” including a concert in the Backyard by Lisa Matassa, Macy’s gift card and ladies handbag drawings as well as a special Ladies’ Night cocktail.
Reserved seats and packages for Hambletonian Day (August 2) will be on sale all week at a price of $10 for an outdoor seat. Indoor grandstand seating is already sold out. Please call 201.460.4079 for tickets.
Tuesday (July 29) will feature the post position draw for the 89th Hambletonian. Once again, the Hambletonian will be raced in heat format, with same day eliminations. If 13 horses or less enter the Hambletonian, it will be contested as one dash for $1.2 million. The post position draw will take place at Victory Sports Bar at 4 p.m. After the post position draw, Casino Night will follow in The Lounge and The Gallery, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Casino Night will benefit the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame as well as the Standardbred Retirement Foundation.
Racing begins on Friday (August 1) at 7:15 p.m. The racing program will feature the Townsend Ackerman, Duenna Invitational, Hambletonian Amateur Drivers, Kindergarten Classic and Hambletonian Racing Under Saddle event. Advance wagering on the entire Hambletonian Day program will begin at 12 p.m. on Friday.
Hambletonian Day begins with doors opening at 10:00 a.m, with admission of $5. All paid adult guests will receive a Hambletonian baseball cap, while paid children will receive a Hambletonian lunch bag.
WFAN will be broadcasting in The Backyard from 10 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. For our younger guests, there will be Kiddie Rides, Face Painters and Pony Rides from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. First race post time is scheduled for 12 p.m. Live music will begin at 12 p.m. as well.
The Hambletonian national broadcast will be aired on CBS Sports Network from 4–5:30 p.m. TVG will be on-site and broadcasting live the entire afternoon. The Hambletonian final is scheduled for race 13, with post time at 5:11 p.m. Following the 14th race will be the Horseplay Car Giveaway where someone will drive out of The Meadowlands in a brand new car.
Guests have many options when it comes to dining. Victory Sports Bar will be open at 10 a.m. featuring a buffet at a price of $44.95 per person. The East Apron tent also features a buffet, with a carving station at a price of $44.95 per person. Trotters is members-only for Hambletonian Day and a reservation is required. Lastly, Pink will feature a prix-fixe menu at a price of $49.95 per person.