Local tracks set hundreds of racing dates for 2008

Two local racetracks will offer a combined total of 343 standardbred racing dates in 2008.

At its November meeting in Trenton, the New Jersey Racing Commission approved 192 dates at Freehold Raceway in Freehold and 151 dates at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, according to a press release from the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey.

Freehold Raceway’s Jan. 1 to June 14 meet will feature 102 programs. There will be no racing on Sundays and Mondays in January and February (except Jan. 21 and Feb. 18) plus dark days on Jan. 2, Jan. 22, Feb. 19 and Feb. 26. From March through May, Freehold will be dark on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays (except May 26, which is Memorial Day) and on May 27.

During the raceway’s 90-date meet from Aug. 7 through Dec. 31, there will be no racing on Sundays and Mondays in August and September (except Sept. 1), with additional dark days on Sept. 2 and Sept. 30. In October through December, the track will be closed on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays (except on Oct. 13, Nov. 11 and Dec. 30). Additional dark days will be Nov. 27 as well as Dec. 24 and 25.

The Meadowlands will host 133 dates starting Jan. 2 and concluding on Hambletonian Day, Aug. 2, plus another 18 dates for its Holiday Meet, Nov. 21 to Dec. 27.

The Meadowlands will be closed for live racing on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays in January; Mondays and Tuesdays in February and March (additional dark days on Feb. 3, March 23 and March 30) and on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays in April through July excluding May 11, June 15 and May 26.

The Holiday Meet at the Meadowlands will feature two weekends in November (Nov. 21-22 and Nov. 28-29) as well as 14 dates in December (Dec. 3-6, Dec. 10-13, Dec. 17-20 and Dec. 26-27).

A combined 147 thoroughbred dates were awarded to three New Jersey tracks. Atlantic City Race Course in the Mays Landing section of Hamilton Township will offer six dates (April 23-25, April 30, May 1-2). Monmouth Park in Oceanport will host 99 dates, with a Friday through Sunday schedule, plus Memorial Day, in May (May 9-11, May 16-18, May 23-26 and May 29-31) and five days a week from June 1 through Sept. 28 (dark on Mondays and Tuesdays).

The Meadowlands will present 42 thoroughbred programs, including four Tuesdays in September (Sept. 9, 16, 23 and 30) and then Oct. 1 through Nov. 15 (dark on Sundays in October and Sundays and Wednesdays in November).

In addition, Freehold Raceway has scheduled 102 harness dates and the Meadowlands has scheduled 343 harness dates, according to the press release.