The Meadowlands Racetrack opens this Thursday, Oct. 1, with a nine-race program that attracted a total of 88 entries. The 47-day meet will run through Dec. 5.

Thursday’s opener gets underway at 1:10 p.m. Racing at the Big M will be conducted at 1:10 p.m. for the first seven cards (Oct. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 9) before moving to a regular schedule of day cards on Mondays and Tuesdays, and night racing on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Dark days will be Sundays and Wednesdays plus Thursday, Nov. 26, Thanksgiving Day. All day cards will start at 1:10 p.m., with night racing getting underway at 7:00 p.m.

Four graded events will highlight the racing calendar, topped by the $300,000 Meadowlands Cup (G2) on Friday, Oct. 16. The Cliff Hanger Stakes (G3), on Saturday, Oct. 3, will be the first graded event of the meet and carries a purse of $125,000. The Violet Stakes (G3) also carries a purse of $125,000 and will be contested on Friday, October 16. The Pegasus (G3) on Friday, Nov. 6, will be the final graded stakes of the 2009 racing season.
Admission on live racing days will be $1 for the Grandstand and $3 for the Clubhouse.

MEADOWLANDS 2009 THOROUGHBRED MEET AT A GLANCE

* Racing Dates: Thursday, October 1 through Saturday, December 5
* Post Times: Monday - Tuesday, 1:10 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 7 p.m. Dark Wednesday and Sunday. Special 1:10 p.m. post time: Oct 1, 2, 3, 8, & 9.
* Admission: General admission - $1, Grandstand Reserved Seats - $1.50, Grandstand Box - $3, Raceworld Teletheater - $2 per session additional or $4 day/night additional, Clubhouse - $3, Clubhouse Teletheater - $2 additional, Pegasus - $5
* Parking: General parking - FREE; Clubhouse and Pegasus Valet - $10
* Simulcasting: Dark Sundays due to New York Giants/Jets home games (except Sunday, Oct. 4). Watch and wager at Monmouth Park, Favorites at Woodbridge, or via Internet or phone through New Jersey Account Wagering.
* Graded Stakes: Sat., Oct. 3, $125,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes Gr. III, 3yo and Up, One Mile & One Sixteenth (Turf); Sat., Oct. 10, $125,000 Violet Stakes Gr. III, F&M, 3yo & Up, One Mile & One Sixteenth (Turf); Fri., Oct. 16, $300,000 Meadowlands Cup Gr. II, 3yo and Up, One Mile & One Eighth; Fri., Nov. 6, $150,000 Pegasus Stakes Gr. III, 3yo, One Mile & One Eighth
* Meadowlands Racing Insider -- The weekly online broadcast hosted by Mike Curci features interviews with trainers and jockeys and handicapping insights into the weekend stakes. Click http://www.meadowlandsracetrack.com/insider.asp.
* Live video streaming available for every racing program on http://www.meadowlandsracetrack.com.
* Online Survival Handicapping Contest - http://www.meadowlandsracetrack.com. Free online game, which runs the length of the meet, October 1 through December 5. Highest accumulated [mythical] bankroll wins the Grand Prize, an entry in the 2010 Horse Player World Sears at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
* Opening Day, Thursday, October 1 - Gates open 11 a.m. First race: 1:10 p.m.
* Grandstand Admission Pass Giveaway, Thursday, October 2 - All paid admissions receive a free Grandstand pass valid for the entire Thoroughbred meet. Gates open 11 a.m. First race: 1:10 p.m.
* DRF/NTRA Qualifier, Saturday, October 3 - Top three finishers earn entry into the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship at Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Payouts to the Top 10. Download the brochure at http://www.meadowlandsracetrack.com or call 201-842-5015 for more info.
* B Street Band Tailgate Party in the Park, Saturday, October 3 - Before the Bruce Springsteen concert at Giants Stadium, tailgate in Paddock Park with the premier Bruce cover band, The B Street Band. Music: Noon to 4 p.m. Live Thoroughbred Racing: 1:10 p.m. $1 general admission includes concert.
* Meadowlands Cup, Friday, October 16 - The 32nd running of the Grade II $300,000 Meadowlands Cup for 3-year-olds and up.
* Oktoberfest, Saturday, October 24 - $48 per person includes unlimited beer samplings, all-you-can-eat buffet, track admission, racing program, $5 betting voucher and handicapping seminar. (Excludes tax and gratuity).
* Halloween Party, presented by WDHA 101.5 FM, Saturday, October 31 - Costume party from 7 - 10 p.m. in Pegasus Restaurant, featuring complimentary appetizers, drink specials, Rock Band and Wii games. Prizes awarded for best costume, plus, partygoers can compete in a free handicapping tournament for cash and iPods. On the track, the annual Grey Ghost Handicap features a phantasmal field of all grey horses, while the wickedest fillies will fly in the Witches Brew Stakes.
* Breeders’ Cup Simulcast, Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7 - Catch $25 million in Breeders’ Cup World Championships from Santa Anita Park. Special Pegasus/Terraces dining options; check http://www.meadowlandsracetrack.com for menus.
* Holiday Bash, Friday, December 4 - Celebrate the start of the holiday season with live music, food and drink specials, Rock Band and Wii Games, free handicapping contest and more in Pegasus Restaurant.