March 19, 2015~$400,000 Hambletonian Maturity attracts 25 The second edition of the $400,000 (est.) Hambletonian Maturity Stake attracted 25 eligibles, including Dan Patch Trotter of the Year, the filly Shake It Cerry and Dan Patch sophomore trotting colt of the year, Father Patrick. Both are trained by Jimmy Takter.
The Maturity moves to Saturday, July 18, a night worth $2.6 million, anchored by the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, will take place at the New Meadowlands Racetrack in Rutherford, NJ.
Created by the Hambletonian Society and the Meadowlands as a racing opportunity solely for 4-year-olds previously eligible to the Hambletonian and Oaks, the inaugural event drew a field of 14 that included the 2013 Oaks winner and Dan Patch Horse of the Year, Bee A Magician and the Hambletonian champion, Royalty For Life. The first edition was won by Your So Vain and Ake Svanstadt.
The Maturity was created in 2011 when the Hambletonian Society saw an opportunity to provide an additional stake event for four-year-olds returning to the races. A total of 25 horses: 14 stallions, nine geldings, and two mares made the February 15 payment. Six of the 11 starters in last year’s Hambletonian remained eligible to the Maturity: Datsyuk, Don Dorado, Father Patrick, Harper Blue Chip, Il Sogno Dream, and Resolve. Shake It Cerry will be joined by Celebrity Artemis as the only two eligible females.
Also paid into the Maturity are top NY Sires Stakes performer Gural Hanover, Indiana star Rose Run Parker, and EL Titan who defeated Father Patrick in the Carl Erskine Trot. Those two stallions will both race and breed this year.
Like the Hambletonian and Oaks, the Maturity racing conditions prohibit the use of Lasix, the only race day medication permitted in New Jersey and entrants are subject to out of competition testing. The distance of a mile and eighth provides a fairer shot for the possibility of 16 starters in the race.
All starters in the race will receive money, with the winner receiving 50% of the purse. One percent of the total purse will be paid to the owners of those finalists finishing 6 through last. The remainder of the purse for the Maturity will be divided 50-24 -16-10% for the horses finishing second through fifth.