Address: 1 Racetrack Drive, East Rutherford, NJ 07073
Meeting: Historically, thoroughbred racing at the Meadowlands was reserved for the fall, while harness racing occupied the rest of the year. However, the thoroughbred meet at the track has been whittled down to just eight dates in October, while it remains a year-round powerhouse in the world of harness racing. The two biggest days at the track take place during the summer. In mid-July, the track’s signature $700,000 Meadowlands Pace headlines a card worth approximately $2.5 million, and in early August, the Hambletonian tops a day of racing worth $3 million. The majority of racing at the Meadowlands is conducted at night.
History: The Meadowlands, affectionately known as “The Big M,” opened for harness racing on September 1, 1976, with thoroughbred racing commencing the following year. The track has been the site of the Hambletonian, the first leg of the Trotting Triple Crown, since 1981. The Meadowlands was recently privatized to Jeff Gural, who took over its operations in 2011 and immediately put in $110 million worth of capital improvements into the facility. In 2018, following the legalization of sports betting in New Jersey, a sportsbook was opened at the track.
Facilities: A new, state-of-the-art grandstand was completed in 2013 at a cost of $110 million, and a new sportsbook was built in 2018. The 180,000 square foot grandstand features four floors and includes a track apron that accommodates up to 10,000 people. Racing at the Meadowlands is conducted on two tracks considered standard for American racing: a one-mile outer dirt track and a seven-furlong inner turf course (only thoroughbreds use the turf course).