Day At The Track

New format for Final Four at Big M

02:24 AM 20 Oct 2020 NZDT
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M1 Q Start Opening Night.jpg
East Rutherford, NJ - The 2020 Grand Circuit stakes season at The Meadowlands will conclude on Saturday, November 21 with the $1 million TVG finals for older horses and $1.5 million Freshman Fall Final Four (Goldsmith Maid, Three Diamonds, Valley Victory & Governor's Cup).
 
While it seems a lifetime ago, when the live racing dates for 2020 were awarded by the NJRC last November they included the legislated right for Monmouth Park to run a Fall meet on the main track at The Meadowlands from October 2 through December 5, eliminating any possibility of a Fall harness meet.
 
Those dates were eventually revised through negotiations to end on November 21, the reason being to accommodate the Final Four and TVG finals. The issue remained that the earliest date the Standardbred meet could begin and those stakes raced would be November 28.
 
With such a late date for the Final Four and the fact that of the four stakes only the Three Diamonds required eliminations in 2019, a top money winning format was implemented for 2020. The conditions were amended to read "The eleven (11) highest 2020 money winners (USTA records) that are declared will race at one mile" . So, there will be no eliminations, just a single race composed of up to eleven horses with a provision for a consolation if enough are declared to warrant one.
 
Among the many COVID related changes this year was Monmouth's decision to not race at The Meadowlands at all, which has allowed the Standardbreds to continue through the Fall and the above mentioned stakes to be raced a week earlier.
 
The final two preliminary legs of the Kindergarten Classic Series will be raced the next two Fridays leading up to the $800,000e finals on Saturday, November 7. The current standings and conditions are available on the web.
 
Contact the Racing Office at (201) 842-5130 with any questions.
 
From The Meadowlands
 
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