Harness Racing Returns to Freehold Raceway Beginning Friday

Harness Racing Returns to Freehold Raceway Beginning Friday
By Lou Monaco

Live harness racing returns to historic Freehold Raceway on Friday with first post time at 12:30 p.m.

All fans who come out for Friday’s opening day 10-race card will receive a free Freehold T-shirt with purchase of a program.

Bets can be made at New Jersey sportsbooks locations at the track.

Freehold’s 34-day summer/fall meet will have races every Friday and Saturday through Dec. 18.

Winter/Spring Meet Successful

Founded in 1853, the Monmouth County track concluded its 47-day winter/spring meet on May 29, with gains across the board for New Jersey gambling.

Total handle on the season was $22.3 million, up about 31% from the $17.04 million wagered on the 2019 winter/spring meet. There were 544 races, an increase of 20.8% from the 450 in 2019. Handle per race was $41,083, an increase of 8.45% from 2019’s figure of $37,881.

In 2019, eight cards handled at least $500,000, and none cracked the $600,000 mark. In contrast, 2021 saw 20 cards handle more than $500,000, with six days handling at least $600,000. The high-water mark of the season came on Jan. 2, when $701,670 was wagered on a 13-race card.

Mike Posner captured the leading trainer title, with 16 wins from 92 starters. Scott DiDomenico and Edwin Quevedo were right behind, winning 15 races apiece.

More than 100 drivers competed at the Freehold meet with Austin Siegelman taking home the driving title with 101 victories from 453 drives. He became the first driver with 100 wins at the winter/spring meet since Eric Abbatiello in 2016.

The Meadowlands in East Rutherford returns for live racing on Sept. 3 with first post at 6:20 p.m., highlighted by the Breeders Crown on Oct. 29-30. The Meadowlands concluded its last meet with Hambletonian Day in early August.



Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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