When it comes to horse racing visitors and residents alike have no shortage of choices with three tracks that feature harness and thoroughbred racing at its best.
Freehold Raceway, in Freehold, is the nation's oldest and fastest daytime half mile harness racing track and home to the Cane Pace, which is the first leg in the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers.
Located in central New Jersey, the raceway was established in 1853 and features live standard bred harness races for trotters and pacers.
The raceway’s season runs from August through early June and is open every day and night for year round thoroughbred and harness racing simulcasts from tracks throughout North America.
Freehold Raceway is located at the intersection of Rt. 9 and Business Rt. 33 and is directly across from the Freehold Raceway Mall.
It’s also the home of the $1 million Haskell Invitational that’s held every August. On Haskell Day, admission gates open at 10 am with the first race at noon.
In addition to all the great racing, Monmouth Park hosts numerous special and family events. Every Sunday from noon to 4 pm is Family Fun Day Starting “On the Green” and spreading all the way to the picnic area.
Visitors will find clowns, face painters, live music, pony rides, a bounce house, the park’s mascot Cocoa Puff and more. In addition, there is a playground in the picnic area and an arcade on the first floor of the Grandstand.
Monmouth Park has a variety of food options from casual concessions to upscale dining in the terrace.
East Rutherford is home to the Meadowlands Racetrack, part of the Meadowlands Sports and Entertainment Complex that features the New Meadowlands Stadium (opening summer 2010) and the IZOD Center.
In addition to harness and thoroughbred racing, the complex is the site of major concerts and other family events.
Live harness racing at the Meadowlands, in East Rutherford, began in 1976 before an opening day crowd of 42,133. Nighttime harness racing was an immediate hit in New Jersey and racing was about to change for the better - and for the bettor.
The following year thoroughbred racing debuted at the Meadowlands Racetrack before a crowd of 25,158. The Meadowlands Racetrack is also host to the world’s most famous trotting event, the Hambletonian, which has had a number of different homes and was first held at the Meadowlands on Aug. 8, 1981.
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