The New Jersey Sire Stakes Board of Trustees has announced purses will be increasing by 20% for Premier Division races at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford for the 2022 season.
This means purses for the Premier Division races will be $240,000 for the finals and then $30,000 for the legs in each of those divisions. The increases take effect for full fields, according to a a press release from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
“This is exciting and important for the racing and breeding industries of New Jersey for so many different reasons,” Sires Stakes Board of Trustees Chairman Mike Gulotta said.
“It is going to once again encourage people to breed to New Jersey sires, to stand their stallions at New Jersey farms, and get people excited about purchasing New Jersey-sired yearlings,” he said.
The number of Standardbred horses bred in New Jersey has risen from 279 in 2017, to 435 in 2018, to an expected nearly 800 in 2021, according to the press release.
According to the latest data from the New Jersey Horse Racing Commission, New Jersey remains a leader in harness racing with well over $300 million in wagers handled in 2019.
The additional funds will also benefit the agricultural businesses in the equine industry, which include the growing of hay, straw and other farm products, as well as support services, according to the press release.
“With thanks to Gov. Murphy, Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher, the legislators of the Garden State, and the breeders and owners of these amazing horses, we are proud to make this announcement,” Gulotta said.
The New Jersey Sire Stakes program was established by law in 1971 to encourage the breeding of Standardbred horses – the trotters and pacers familiar to harness racing fans.
Because the program offers healthy purses for winning Standardbreds sired by registered New Jersey stallions, it gives stallion owners an incentive to locate their stallions and horse farms in New Jersey, according to the press release.
As a result, the program has been instrumental in maintaining more than 100,000 acres of scenic open space around the state.
Sires Stakes races will continue at Freehold Raceway on Fridays or Saturdays beginning on Aug. 27 and running through Oct. 23, with the Standardbred Development Fund finals to be held on Oct. 16 and Oct. 23.
For more information about the Standardbred Breeders Association of New Jersey, go to http://www.sboanj.com/
For more information about the Thoroughbred Breeders Association of New Jersey, go to http://www.njbreds.com
To learn more about the New Jersey Sire Stakes program, go to www.jerseyequine.nj.gov