Horse racing is one of the great pastimes for many people and in New Jersey, there are a number of top rated tracks where one can go to observe races and even place bets on certain races. In New Jersey, some of the best racing tracks in the country are available and here we offer some insight on these tracks.
The horse racing industry in the state is regulated by the New Jersey Racing Commission and the commission conducts regular monitoring and required investigations to ensure that all tracks are meeting state requirements. Get ready to discover some of the great NJ horse racing venues and learn how to start enjoying this amazing sport. The first three horse racing tracks are actually in NJ and after that, one can learn about other major racing tracks where NJ residents can place real money wagers on races.
Freehold Raceway is one of the oldest harness racing tracks in the nation and it is located in Freehold, NJ. Established in 1853, the track offers like Standardbred harness racing and is open 7 days a week to offer endless horse racing action. In addition to hosting amazing harness races, the race track also offers simulcast races from various tracks in the US. The race track offers an oval shape with 8 starting positions and is half-mile in length. With a stretch width of 80 feet, Freehold Raceway provides a 480 foot home stretch.
The Meadowlands is one of the more popular horse racing tracks in NJ and it offers two tracks on the property that features thoroughbred and harness racing. Located in East Rutherford, NJ, the track is easy to get to and supports all types of horse racing bets. Since the mid 1970s, The Meadowlands has been offering thrilling harness racing and thoroughbred racing was introduced in 1977. This NJ racetrack has been the site of the Hambletonian, which is the first leg of the Trotting Triple Crown, since 1981. In 2015, the track became home to the Cane Pace, which is the first leg of the Harness Racing’s Pacing Triple Crown. This NJ horse racing venue offers a 1 mile track of turf and is fully equipped to offer races at night. The middle of the track features an appealing lack that was built to resemble the state of NJ.
Located in Oceanport, NJ, Monmouth Park is the home to the Haskell Invitational and also hosts the Hersey Derby. This NJ horse racing track offers thoroughbred racing and has been open since 1870. The main track offers a dirt oval layout that can host 6 furlong and 1 ¼ mile races. There is also a turf track that is 7 furlongs and turf races can be run using a hedge border or with portable rails. For the first time in its history, the track hosted the Breeders’ Cup in 2007. Over the years, Monmouth has hosted many great racing events, which have included the United Nations Stake, Jersey Shore Breeders’ Cup Stakes, Long Branch Stakes and a number of other Grades 1, 2, and 3 Stakes.
The Triple Crown is a prestigious award that is given to the three-year-old thoroughbred that wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. These three races are run in May and June each year and in the history of the Triple Crown, 13 horses have won all three of the races. As of 2018, the only living Triple Crown winners that remain are Justify and American Pharoah. The time record for each of these main races is still held by one of the greatest horses in racing history, Secretariat. The Triple Crown winner for 2018 was Justify, who was ridden by Mike Smith and trained by Bob Baffert.
The Kentucky Derby, held each year in May, is the first race of the Triple Crown and it is a Grade 1 race for thoroughbreds. It is a 1 ¼ race that is run at Churchill Downs and is referred to as “The Run for Roses”. Since 1875, this race has been run every year and is known as one of the most exciting horse races in the United States. This year, Justify won the race with a time of 2:04:20.
Held on the third Sunday of May in Baltimore, Maryland, the Preakness Stakes is the second race of the Triple Crown and is a Grade 1 race that has a distance of 9.5 furlongs. This race was first run in 1873 and is known as “The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans” due to the blanket of flowers that are draped over the winning horse. In regards to equestrian events, the Preakness is the second ranked in terms of attendance, falling short to the Kentucky Derby. This year marked the 143rd running of the race which was won by Justify with a time of 1:55:93. The Purse was $1,500,000.
This final race of the Triple Crown is held on the first or second Saturday in June and is run at Belmont Park in New York. It attracts many race enthusiasts from NJ and is one of the top races for NJ bettors. With a 1.5 mile long track, the Belmont Stakes draws millions of viewers each year. This year was the 150th running of the race, which was held on June 9, 2018. Justify was the winner and was the second horse in just four years to win the Triple Crown. This race is traditionally known as “The Test of Champions” because of the length, which is the longest of all three Triple Crown races. It is also the longest first-class race in the country that is run on a dirt track.
The Breeders’ Cup is one of the top rated horse races run every year and this year, it is being held at Churchill Downs and will be run on November 2 and 3. The Friday Card will be referred to as the Future Stars Friday and it will feature five different races for two-year-olds. The Saturday Card will be the Distaff. In each of the 14 races, there will be a maximum of 14 starters. There are different ways in which a horse can qualify to run in the Breeders’ Cup. One of by winning a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Race. The second will be based on a points system, where horses will be ranked on performances in major races throughout the year. A final way to gain entry is to be selected by the experts. Of the 14 horses that are entered into the race, 7 of them will come from Challenge Races and points systems and the other 7 will be selected by experts.
Known as the richest two days in horse racing, the Breeders’ Cup pays out $30 million in awards and purses over the course of the two day event. The winnings will be paid to owners, which will share that amount with trainers and jockeys. On Friday, there will be five events, which include the Sentient Jet Juvenile, Juvenile Turf Sprint, Juvenile Turf, Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka Juvenile Fillies. Saturday is filled with excitement as the following events are held: the $6 Million Classic, $4 Million Longines Turf, $2 Million Longines Distaff, $1 Million Dirt Mile, $2 Million Twinspires Sprint, $2 Million Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf, $1 Million Filly & Mare Turf, $1 Millions Turf Sprint, and the $2 Million Mile.
The Grand National
The Grand National is one of the major races that is not held in the US. It is a UK horse race held in Liverpool that attracts the attention of race fans from all over the world and it is one of the races that also attracts many bettors. Even though this race is not a popular one for residents of NJ, it is an event that can yield some amazing payouts for those that engage in sports betting. The 2018 Grand National was run on April of this year and was the 171st running. This is a jump race that is run for more than 4 miles and includes jumping over 30 different fences. Known as the most valuable jump race in Europe, The Grand National offers a prize fund worth millions.
This year, The Grand National had 105 initial entries and on April 13, the final field of 40 runners was announced. Two contenders withdrew from the race, leaving just 38 started, which was the smallest field in the event since 1999. This year was also the first in 30 years where three female jockeys were in the race.