Breeders Crown Announces Host Track Schedule Through 2017
Hoosier Park Will Host in 2017; Woodbine Entertainment Group, Meadowlands Return to Rotation
The Breeders Crown, harness racing’s year-end series, has awarded the 12 annual championship events through 2017 to two longtime partners: Woodbine Entertainment Group and The Meadowlands, along with a new Breeders Crown host track, Hoosier Park in Anderson, Indiana. Securing Breeders Crown sites in the long-term has been a top priority of Charlie Keller, chairman of the executive committee of the Hambletonian Society, which owns and services the Breeders Crown races.
“It’s better for everybody to do so,” said Keller. “For the horsemen and owners making payments, trainers planning their schedules and for tracks to prepare for a night as big as this. We want to give them as much lead time as possible.”
The Breeders Crown will return to Canada in 2015 after a two-year hiatus. Woodbine Entertainment Group, which recently posted its highest ever harness racing handle of $5 million, will host all 12 events in October of next year.
The WEG-owned tracks of Greenwood, Mohawk and Woodbine have staged 155 Breeders Crown events since 1984, and have been one of the most consistent and constant venues, featuring at least one Breeders Crown race in all but four years of the 30-year run.
In 2016, the championships will return to The Meadowlands, the site of this year’s Breeders Crown Festival on Friday, Nov. 21 and Saturday, Nov. 22. The Breeders Crown returns after a four-year absence while the track assumed new ownership under Jeff Gural. The one-mile oval in East Rutherford, New Jersey will have hosted 79 Breeders Crown races – more than any other single racetrack.
Hoosier Park, home of Standardbred racing in Indiana, will host their first ever Breeders Crown events in the fall of 2017. The seven-eighths mile track, which opened in Anderson in 1994, and is now owned by Centaur Gaming, was awarded all 12 championship races, becoming the 31st racetrack to host the “Crown”.
“Hoosier Park is a world class racetrack and has been a solid supporter of Grand Circuit and stakes racing since they opened,” said Tom Charters, president of the Hambletonian Society. “We are delighted to add a new track to the Breeders Crown roster, especially one as celebrated, and as accommodating to fans, owners, and horsepeople as Hoosier Park.”
The Breeders Crown series, the horsemen, owners, fans and racetracks benefit in every way by rotating among the best tracks in North America,” Charters continued.
The 30-year-old series has typically crowned champions in every division for trotters and pacers and been the deciding factor in Horse of the Year honors since 1984. More than $164 million in purse money has been disbursed over 346 events. Originally conceived and executed as a traveling series, the Crown has traveled to racetracks across North America and been raced as single night or multiple events.