This weekend, racing fans are being treated to a lot of stakes races at various tracks. At the Meadowlands, Friday night brings us a quartet of stakes races in the Dickerson Cup (3yoct), Coaching Club (3yoft), Ladyship (3yofp), and Debutante (2yofp) with Saturday night featuring the Titan Cup (FFA trot), and the Jersey Cup (3yocp). Yonkers Raceway has eliminations for the Hudson Trot and the Yonkers Trot on Saturday night. Northfield Park has the Battle of Lake Erie (Invitational pace). Sunday afternoon (July 4) features the Betsy Ross (FFA Mares) at Chester Downs. I hope to be able to provide my thoughts on as many of these races as possible.
With the holiday weekend, some tracks have altered their racing schedule. This week Tioga Downs is dark on Friday, but they will race Monday, July 5 in the afternoon. Their usual Sunday afternoon card will be raced at night instead. Monticello Raceway adds a rare evening card on July 3 which features a fireworks display afterwards. Vernon Downs adds afternoon racing on Monday.
Of course, for those who wish to go back in time, there is racing at Historic Track in Goshen this weekend from Friday through Monday afternoon. Of course, Historic Track does not offer pari-mutuel racing.
The one disappointing thing for bettors is the Friday night card at The Meadows. While they highlight the fact they are racing an all-stakes program, bettors are not interested in a race card that is solely comprised of fifteen races for two year olds. Serious bettors despise two year old races, even more so the early part of the season due to the fact they are unpredictable. Rather than racing all fifteen two year old events in one evening, management would have been better advised to split up these races over several cards if at all possible.
This week's Eye on Harness Racing episode features the upcoming induction of Dave Palone into the Hall of the Fame and a recap of last week's North America Cup. Dave Palone certainly deserves his induction as does his co-inductee Hal Jones, who is being inducted for his contribution to the breeding industry by introducing artificial insemination for standardbreds.