Hambletonian Day at American Dream

Hambletonian Fever Kicks Off at American Dream 

Hambletonian Races to The Meadowlands for 98th Contest

Hambletonian Races to The Meadowlands for 98th Contest

Horses trotted into the Garden Court at American Dream to kick up momentum for the 98th run of the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday, Aug. 5. 

Hambletonian Day at American Dream last weekend surprised shoppers and welcomed children with horse cuddles and photos.

The free event also included horse racing memorabilia, trophies, discounts for the Meadowlands Racetrack and American Dream, plus other connected offers from the Meadowlands Chamber.

The Hambletonian Society and HorseAbility participated in the two-hour event, which also included giveaways for children. 

Countdown to the Hambletonian at Meadowlands Racetrack

Grandstand doors open for Hambo Day at the Meadowlands Racetrack at 10 a.m. with $5 general admission and numerous VIP and dining options. 

See also: Celebrated ‘Chopped’ Alum Chris Burnett is Executive Chef at Meadowlands Racetrack 

The giveaways and activities begin as soon as doors open, starting with a free Hambletonian baseball cap for adults and children. At the Harness Racing Fan Zone Tent fans can get a Hambo flag, driver selfies, trainer autographs and participate in other giveaways.

Over $3.5M on the Line

There will be 16 races topping $3.5 million in stakes purses; the first race is 12 p.m. The Hambletonian – AKA America’s Trotting Classic – has a $1 million purse, the Hambletonian Oaks, $500,000. 

The Hambletonian Oaks is scheduled for Race 10 at 3:38 pm and the Hambletonian Final is scheduled for Race 12, with a post time at 4:45 pm.  

Food Trucks, Rides, & Music

Aside from a full day of racing, the Backyard starts hopping at 11 a.m. with free carnival and pony rides plus games and live music by the Craig Sailer Project.

There will also be numerous food trucks offering something for every palate, a hat contest with a total of $1,000 in prizes up for grabs, and other giveaways and family-fun activities.

Food trucks include:

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Ghost Hawk Brewing is bringing its new Trotter’s Gold 2023, brewed special for the 98th run.

The brewery’s 4.8% abv American golden ale can also be found at the brewery’s Clifton, New Jersey, location at 321 River Rd #6.

The 16 ounce beer can label features 2022 Hambletonian winner Cool Papa Bell and driver Todd McCarthy.

“We love that Trotter’s Gold has become part of the Hambletonian tradition at the Meadowlands,” said Rachel Ryan, Director of Marketing and Onsite Events.  “This year’s beer is the best one yet – a crisp, dry ale, perfect for summer.”

You may also enjoy: Ghost Hawk, Bolero Snort Breweries Off To The Races At Meadowlands Beerfest

Meet Actor Kelsey Grammer

Kelsey Grammer is frequently spotted around the Garden State, shown here as the guest bartender at the Irish Pub, 164 St. James Pl. in Atlantic City. His brewery is located in Margaretville, New York in the Catskill Mountain.

Six-time Emmy Award winning actor Kelsey Grammer is also bringing two specialty brews to Hambo Day and will be greeting fans and pouring beer at the Backyard Bar. Faith American Ale and Blue the hazy NE IPA will be available from his Faith American Brewing Company, the brewery Grammer founded in 2015.  

Gammer is also the celebrity trophy presenter for both the Hambletonian Oaks and Hambletonian. 

A Jersey native, the actor is most known as psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the NBC sitcom Cheers (1984–1993) and its spin-off Frasier (1993–2004). Grammer also won three Golden Globes, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Tony Award. He was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000.

Hat Contest – $1K Total Prizes

Bring your most creative hat for the chance to win the Hambletonian Hat Contest. Sign up at the track level promotions table and make your way to the track before Race 4. 

First place wins $500, second place $250, third place $100, fourth place $50 and the most elegant hat wins $100.

Hambo History

Historically hosted on the first Saturday of August, the first Hambletonian was hosted at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York in 1926. After filtering through many racetracks across the country, the Hambletonian has called the Meadowlands home since 1981. The race is part of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Trotters.

The festivities for the Hambletonian also include its sister race, the Hambletonian Oaks. This race features 3-year-old fillies or female trotters.

The Oaks was originated in 1971 by The Hambletonian Society, Inc. which also operates the original Hambletonian race. Like the Stakes, the Oaks has been hosted in the Meadowlands since 1981. The Oaks features a $500,000 purse with its elimination races holding purses of $40,000 each.

Tyler Iglesias is a production assistant and writer for Meadowlands Media. He is currently studying Journalism and Mass Communication at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.