The Meadowlands' 33-date 2006 season opens on Sept. 29 with a giveaway that pays off for the rest of the year. The first 7,000 paid admissions will receive a free grandstand/clubhouse pass valid for the remainder of the meeting. Guests on opening night will see the $75,000 Somerset Medical Center Stakes (NSA-II) for jumpers, a 2 1/2-mile course of fences on the turf. The race is the final prep for the $250,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I), the richest jumping event in the country on Oct. 28 in Far Hills, N.J. The 2006 Thoroughbred meet runs through Nov. 11. Day racing is on Tuesdays plus Monday, Nov. 6; night racing takes place on Wednesdays through Saturdays.
Two handicapping tournaments are on tap during the meet: a Horseplayer World Series qualifier on Oct. 6 and a DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Challenge qualifier on Oct. 28. The centerpiece of the $2.7 million stakes schedule is the $500,000 Meadowlands Breeders' Cup (gr. II) for 3-year-olds and up on Oct. 13.