Cotolo’s Harness Review
The Kindergarten Classic series for two-year-old trotters has seen nominations and purses increase each year. In 2011, the colt final went for $200,500 and the fillies fought for $182,500.
For 2012, the Kindergarten expands from four to five legs and returns to the Meadowlands for the first two. The series’ legs begin on July 26 and come right back the next week at The Big M. The series resumes at The Red Mile for legs three and four on consecutive Sept. 13 and 20th.
Skipping forward to avoid conflict with The Red Mile Grand Circuit, the last leg will be on Oct. 19 and the $175,000 (est.) on Oct. 26, both at Vernon Downs. A minimum of two leg starts is required to be eligible for the finals.
Racing gets underway for the 47th season at Pocono Downs on April 3. Pocono will race Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from April-June and in July and August, Sunday evening racing will be added. All post times are 6:30 p.m., with the exception of Kentucky Derby day, which will feature an 11 a.m. card and another card immediately following the “Derby.” The first qualifying races will be held on March 27.
One of the changes to the 2012 racing calendar is the move of the Ben Franklin Stake to Pocono. The $500,000 free-for-all pace was created at Chester by former racing secretary Rick Kane, who in 2010 moved to Pocono. The signature event now is set for June 30.