New Jersey horse betting is where it’s at for the month of July and August, as thoroughbreds and harness races will be center stage for Garden State bettors over the next handful of weekends.
Horse-racing enthusiasts will enjoy the $1 million Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport on July 23. Still, first, harness-racing action is set to take place as the $600,000 Meadowlands Pace will headline a stacked event exceeding over $2.4 million at this Saturday’s Meadowlands racetrack in East Rutherford – the epicenter of harness-racing in America.
With consecutive action-filled weekends lined up for New Jersey’s horse-racing scene, let’s take a deeper look into the potential of both events.
The $600,000 Meadowlands Pace is the feature race at “The Greatest Party in Harness Racing,” and the expected payout for the weekend festivities is over $2.4 million. A generous 14-race event will provide an extra nine staked races, but the nationwide attention will undoubtedly be on the 46th edition of the Meadowlands marque race.
Elsewhere, harness racing supporters will find the return of Graduate Final and Roll With Joe, the latter being the lone horse in harness racing history to have ever posted two victories under 1 minute 47 seconds. Joe will partake in the $500,000 William Haughton Memorial. In addition, the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks will lead to the $432,000 Hambletonian Maturity that will pit last year’s top 3-year-old runners against one another.
Avid bettors from the Garden State are showing an early interest in Beach Glass for the $600,000 Meadowlands Pace, as New Jersey sportsbooks were found placing the colt as a 7/5 betting favorite following his five ¼ length victory last time out.
Beach Glass is expected to remain the betting favorite from the field of ten that will battle in the twelve race on Saturday. Bettors aren’t blindly backing this 3-year-old, as his proven ability in his elimination win has additionally been supplemented with the unknown potential this horse has delivered in a mere nine career starts.
“He needed that mile,” said Brent MacGrath, the trainer of Beach Glass. “I hope he has more in the tank since he’s only had nine starts.”
Beach Glass surprised onlookers as he won the elimination by more than five lengths, especially considering that he already ran the early pace in a 25 2/5 opening quarter.
“Mark Macdonald riding Greatest Ending was screaming alongside me and got mine a little too wound up. I had to re-move, but once he cleared, he was nine and relaxed, and when I called on him in the last turn, he took right off.” Gingras said when discussing the colt. “I love this horse, and he keeps getting faster and faster. I think he’ll go even faster in the future.”
However, a race isn’t worth the time without genuine challengers, and most are expecting Night Hawk – the second favored horse by sportsbooks – to give Beach Glass a run for his money, no pun intended. The Brian Brown trained horse under the guidance of driver David Miller, is the son of Betting Line and posted an impressive second-place finish during his Pace elimination.
“Of course, we’d all like to win the elimination; I’d like to win because it gives more confidence to the horse. He’s racing really well, but we haven’t been in the right places,” Brown commented. “I didn’t notice it, but you’re the third person to mention it. David got off the horse, beaming about him. He came home in 25 4/5. I don’t know if he was actually running in or if the horse on the front was running out. You know how The Meadowlands is; every horse on the front comes out, so I don’t know.”
Night Hawk placed second in the North America Cup eliminator but was absent from the final – where Beach Glass was second – after pulling himself from the back of the field. Brown, the trainer of the colt for Leeman Lombardo Stables, Joe Sbrocco, In The Gym Partners, and Acadia Farms, is looking to deliver a new game plan for Saturday; he’s content knowing that challenging decisions are made during the race.
“I think David Miller will be more aggressive; that’s my guess,” Brown stated. “I don’t want to pay the price to be second at the half in 52, but I would like to see him closer and not be sitting sixth, seventh or eighth in a 55 or 56 half. I’ll hand David the lines when I get there, and shut up.”
The highly anticipated Meadowlands event will also see a $75,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 in the fifth race and a $125,000 All-Stakes Pick 4 in the ninth, all leading to the Meadowlands Pace highlight race of the evening.
The action can be viewed live in person for Meadowland locals and attendees; alternatively, you can view every race on Fox Sports 2 from 8 to 11 p.m.
The Haskell Stakes
Meadowlands isn’t the lone New Jersey horse racing spectacle of the summer, as fans and bettors will turn their attention to Haskell Fields. The lead-up to the Haskell Stakes supplies endless intrigue as making predictions of which horses will field the race is always an exciting debate.
The horses chosen for the Haskell Stakes will stem from a long list of the most elite after nineteen were voted.
One horse on the end of most critics’ mouths is Jack Christopher, who currently won four of four during his career and is one of the most likely to gain a position on the field. However, he’s now tasked with a 1 1/8 mile track, but he will still likely be the betting favorite on a track that favors speed.
Regarding Haskell entrants, Mark Baffert’s tipped to return with Taiba, and the Arkansas Derby winner Cyberknife has been under consideration for a while.
Zandon – winner of the Blue Stakes -would be another horse that could add to a thrilling line-up, but many are speculating if this race style suits him.