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ID: 1665659
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Article: Meadowlands Racetrack
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{{Infobox racecourse
 
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| name = Meadowlands Racetrack
 
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| image = [[File:Meadowlands Racetrack.jpg|200px]]
 
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| caption = Old grandstand, 2011
 
| website = http://www.thebigm.com/
 
| location = [[East Rutherford, New Jersey]]<br>United States
 
| coordinates = {{coord|40|49|6.62|N|74|4|23.69|W|display=inline, title}}
 
| owner = State of New Jersey & Operated by [[New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority]]
 
| opened = {{Start date|1976|09|01}}<ref name="nyt-1976-08-29" />
 
| closed =
 
| channel =
 
| racetype = [[Harness racing|Harness]]<br>[[Thoroughbred horse race|Thoroughbred]]
 
| coursetype = [[Flat racing|Flat]]
 
| notableraces = [[Hambletonian Stakes]]
 
}}
 
The '''Meadowlands Racetrack''' is a [[horse racing]] track at the [[Meadowlands Sports Complex]] in [[East Rutherford, New Jersey|East Rutherford]], [[New Jersey]], United States. The track hosts both [[thoroughbred racing]] and [[harness racing]]. It is known popularly in the region as "The Big M".<ref name="star-ledger-2011-04-23">{{cite news |title=N.Y. developer sees promise in Meadowlands Racetrack to revive N.J. harness racing industry |first=Stephen |last=Stirling |url=http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/04/ny_developer_sees_promise_in_m.html |newspaper=The Star-Ledger |location=Newark |date=April 23, 2011 |accessdate=October 15, 2011}}</ref>
 
   
==History==
 
Opened in the mid 1970s, Meadowlands Racetrack held its first-ever harness race on September 1, 1976, while thoroughbred racing commenced on September 6, 1977.<ref name="nyt-1976-08-29">{{cite news |last=Cady |first=Steve |title=Jersey Complex Opens Trot Track Wednesday |newspaper=The New York Times |date=August 29, 1976 |url=http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0F14FA3B5E16738DDDA00A94D0405B868BF1D3 |accessdate=August 7, 2009}}</ref><ref>{{cite news |last=Cady |first=Steve |title=Meadowlands Starts Flat Racing Tuesday Night |newspaper=The New York Times |date=September 4, 1977 |url=http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70F15FC3C5F127A93C6A91782D85F438785F9 |accessdate=August 7, 2009}}</ref> With the exception of the opening season of 1976, autumn has been dedicated to the [[thoroughbred]]s, while the rest of the year features [[standardbred]]s, or harness horses.
 
   
The [[advertising]] campaign that accompanied the start of thoroughbred racing at the Meadowlands in 1977 was highly sophisticated and well-received, and was chiefly noted for its use of the song "[[Racing with the Moon (song)]]", originally popularized in 1941 by bandleader [[Vaughn Monroe]] (alluding to the fact that the racing was to be conducted at night - a circumstance that still pertains, although afternoon programs during long holiday weekends are occasionally put on).<ref>{{cite news |title=Summing Wins Pegasusu by 2{{fraction|1|2}} Lengths at the Meadowlands |first=Steven |last=Crist |url=http://www.nytimes.com/1981/09/08/sports/summing-wins-pega-sus-by-2-1-2-lengths-at-the-meadowlands.html |newspaper=The New York Times |date=September 8, 1981 |accessdate=June 12, 2010}}</ref>
 
   
More recent advertising campaigns have included a direct and catchy approach to attending live racing -- "It's All About Being Here - The Meadowlands!"
 
With its sweeping curves and wide stretches, the "Big M" has been known for exceptional times for harness racing. Opening night at the track featured the fastest harness mile run in [[New Jersey]] to that time, 1:55{{fraction|3|5}} by [[Rambling Willie]]. The world record for a mile by a standardbred, 1:46{{fraction|4|5}} by Holborn Hanover, in rein to George Brennan, was established at the track on August 5, 2006 in a division of the U.S. Pacing Championship.
 
   
The Meadowlands Racetrack has been the site of the [[Hambletonian Stakes|Hambletonian]], the second leg of the [[Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Trotters|Trotting Triple Crown]], since 1981.<ref>{{cite news |title=Meadowlands' Offer of $800,000 Brings Hambletonian to Jersey |first=James |last=Tuite |url=http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50F10FD3F5C11728DDDAF0894D8415B898BF1D3 |newspaper=The New York Times |date=October 6, 1979 |page=1 |accessdate=November 29, 2011}}</ref> The 2010 Hambletonian was won by Muscle Massive, driven by Ron Pierce, in a time of 1:51.
 
   
Leading drivers in recent seasons have included Ron Pierce, Brian Sears, George Brennan, and Tim Tetrick.
 
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The track is operated by the [[New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority]], also the operator of [[Monmouth Park]].
 
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Sam McKee and Ken Warkentin are the current race callers and announcers for the Meadowlands. Veteran sportscaster [[Dave Johnson (announcer)|Dave Johnson]], the track's lead public-address announcer from its opening until the early 2000s (decade), still does promotional events for the track as its "senior track announcer."
 
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In July 2009, the [[Meadowlands Rail Line]] opened for event service, but is expected to run daily upon completion of the nearby [[American Dream Meadowlands]].
 
 
[[Bruton Smith]], owner of [[Lowe's Motor Speedway]] and other motorsports racetracks, has long had his sights on Meadowlands Racetrack for possible conversion into a short track venue for [[NASCAR]] events in the New York City area. His most recent of several attempts to purchase the track failed in the late 1990s. A report issued in January 2010 by New Jersey Governor [[Chris Christie]] discussed the idea of closing the Meadowlands Racetrack and selling it for commercial development or converting it into a NASCAR facility.<ref>{{cite news |title=As New Jersey Tightens Its Belt, the Racing Industry Holds Its Breath |first=Bill |last=Finley
 
|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/sports/31racing.html |newspaper=The New York Times |date=January 30, 2010 |accessdate=January 31, 2010}}</ref> Governor Christie has considered selling or leasing the racetrack to a private operator or closing it altogether.<ref name="star-ledger-2011-04-23"/><ref>{{cite news |title=Christie Makes Bold and Risky Moves on 2 Fronts |first=Richard |last=Pérez-Peña |authorlink=Richard Pérez-Peña |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/22/nyregion/22casino.html |newspaper=The New York Times |date=July 21, 2010 |accessdate=July 23, 2010}}</ref><ref>{{cite news |title=NJSEA remains hopeful for Meadowlands track despite report of panel organized by Gov. Chris Christie |first=Jerry |last=Bossert |url=http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more_sports/2010/07/22/2010-07-22_njsea_remains_hopeful_for_meadowlands_track_despite_report_of_panel_organized_by.html |newspaper=Daily News |location=New York |date=July 22, 2010 |accessdate=July 23, 2010}}</ref>
 
 
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority currently intends to privatize the racetrack, however a leasing arrangement to Jeffrey R. Gural of [[Newmark Knight Frank]] has been held up in court. The privatization would include $100 million of improvements consisting of a new 2,250-seat grandstand built on the site of the current [[backstretch]]. The existing grandstand would then be kept until at least 2014 so it could be used as an event space for [[Super Bowl XLVIII]].<ref>{{cite news |title=N.J. still can't lease Meadowlands Racetrack to N.Y. developer, judge rules |first=MaryAnn |last=Spoto |url=http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/10/nj_still_cant_lease_meadowland.html |newspaper=The Star-Ledger |location=Newark |date=October 17, 2011 |accessdate=November 2, 2011}}</ref><ref>{{cite news |title=Big M new grandstand plans unveiled |first=Kelly |last=Nicholaides |url=http://www.northjersey.com/news/132219163_Private_investors_to_build_a_grander_grandstand_.html |newspaper=The Record |location=Bergen County |date=October 20, 2011 |accessdate=November 2, 2011}}</ref>
 
 
The old Meadowlands grandstand closed for racing on November 2, 2013. The new grandstand, which cost $88 million to build and can seat 2,200, opened for racing on November 23, 2013 with an estimated crowd of 15,000 in attendance.<ref>{{cite news |last=Brennan|first=John|date=November 23, 2013|title=$88M grandstand opens at Meadowlands Racetrack|url=http://www.northjersey.com/eastrutherford/Meadowland_Matters_New_.html|newspaper=[[The Record (Bergen County)|The Record]]|location=Bergen County|accessdate=November 27, 2013}}</ref>
 
 
==Physical attributes==
 
Like many racecourses in the United States, the main (dirt) track at the Meadowlands has a {{convert|1|mi|m|adj=on|0}} circumference; inside of this is a turf course (used by the thoroughbreds only) which is {{convert|7|furlong|m|0}}. With a span of exactly {{convert|3/16|mi|m|0}} from the top of the stretch to the finish line and a distance of exactly {{convert|1/16|mi|m|0}} from the finish line to the beginning of the first (clubhouse) turn, the dimensions of the track are considered "typical" or "standard" for an American racetrack. The main track is {{convert|90|ft|m}} wide, while the width of the turf course is {{convert|80|ft|m}}. The track is equipped to race at night and most of its races are at night.
 
 
The old grandstand, horse barns and site, was designed by the Philadelphia architectural firm of [[EwingCole]] (now known as Ewing Cole Cherry Brott), who also designed a number of other track facilities around the world as well as [[Citizens Bank Park]] in Philadelphia (with [[Populous (architects)|Populous]]).
 
 
In the middle of the track is a lake, intentioned to resemble the state of New Jersey.
 
 
==TV Personalities==
 
{{col-begin}}{{col-break}}
 
*[[Caton Bredar]] (1995–1998)
 
*[[Brad Thomas (horse racing)|Brad Thomas]]
 
*[[Mike Curci]]
 
{{col-break}}
 
*[[Thomas Cassidy]]
 
*[[Sam McKee]]
 
*[[Dave Brower (horse racing)|Dave Brower]]
 
{{col-break}}
 
*[[Ken Warkentin]]
 
*[[Gordon Richards (horse racing)|Gordon Richards]]
 
*[[Matt Carothers]] (1998)
 
{{col-end}}
 
 
==Racing==
 
Discontinued races at the Meadowlands include the [[Young America Stakes]]. The following [[Graded stakes race|graded]] thoroughbred stakes are run at the Meadowlands:
 
*Grade II - [[Meadowlands Cup]]
 
*Grade III - [[Cliff Hanger Stakes]]
 
*Grade III - [[Pegasus Stakes]]
 
*Grade III - [[Violet Handicap]]
 
 
==See also==
 
*[[Gambling in New Jersey]]
 
 
== References ==
 
{{Reflist|2}}
 
 
==External links==
 
*[http://www.thebigm.com The Meadowlands Racetrack]
 
*[http://www.nj-horse.com New Jersey Horse Enthusiast Web]
 
*[http://www.facebook.com/pages/Meadowlands-Racetrack/181883430558 The Meadowlands Racetrack on Facebook]
 
*[http://twitter.com/themeadowlands The Meadowlands Racetrack on Twitter]
 
 
{{NewYorksportsvenues}}
 
 
[[Category:East Rutherford, New Jersey]]
 
[[Category:Horse racing venues in New Jersey]]
 
[[Category:Gambling in New Jersey]]
 
[[Category:Sports venues in Bergen County, New Jersey]]
 
[[Category:Visitor attractions in Bergen County, New Jersey]]
 
Reason: ANN scored at 0.962348
Reporter Information
Reporter: Bradley (anonymous)
Date: Wednesday, the 21st of October 2015 at 04:37:48 PM
Status: Reported
Wednesday, the 21st of October 2015 at 04:37:48 PM #101580
Bradley (anonymous)

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