The New Jersey Sire Stakes Program was established by law in 1971 to encourage the breeding of Standardbred horses, the trotters and pacers familiar to harness racing fans. Because the program offers healthy purses for winning Standardbreds sired by registered New Jersey stallions, it gives stallion owners an incentive to locate their stallions and horse farms in New Jersey. As a result, the program has been instrumental in maintaining more than 100,000 acres of scenic open space around the state.
The Sire Stakes program provides a minimum of six races a year for each class of both 2- and 3-year old colts and fillies, trotters and pacers alike. The program includes Sire Stakes Premier Division events, the Sire Stakes’ Standardbred Development Fund Program, and the Renaissance Open and Filly Paces. Total purse money for these events was approximately $3 million in 2020.
To be eligible to the New Jersey Sire Stakes program, an owner must purchase or breed a foal sired by a New Jersey registered stallion. That stallion must have been registered with the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey and must conform to the rules of the New Jersey Sire Stakes. See Standardbred Development Fund section below for eligibility rules for that program.
A foal sired by a registered New Jersey Standardbred stallion must be nominated to the Sire Stakes by May 15 to become eligible for both the Standardbred Development Fund and pari-mutuel programs.
Registration fees are as follows:
For NJ Sired Yearlings - $50 includes Premier and NJ Standardbred NJ Development Fund
For NJ Resident mares* bred to Out of State sires - $100 for NJ Standardbred Development Fund
For Renaissance Pace** - $25 colts, $15 fillies
All payments are due by May 15.
Supplemental yearling nominations can be made up to and including September 15 for a fee of $350 or $400 if the horse was bred out of New Jersey through the transport of semen. After September 15 up until February 15 of the 2-year-old season, the fee is $650 and $700 if bred out of state. The supplemental nomination fee does not include any other fees that may also be due on that date.
*NJ resident mares must have resided 150 consecutive days and foaled in NJ. Mare must have paid the $100 January 31 nomination
**yearlings must be also be made eligible to Premier or SDF
***Nominations submitted without proof of registration must add $25
For information on the Standardbred Development Fund mare registration, yearling nominations, and sustaining payments, see the section titled "Standardbred Development Fund", below.
The Premier Division is contested in the spring and summer with a series of races at The Meadowlands for both 2- and 3-year old colts and fillies on both the trot and pace. The top point winners in each division qualify for the finals.
Payments for the Premier Division program of $300 are due on February 15 for 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds. An additional payment of $500 for 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds is due on April 15. Starting fees in all Premier Division qualifying events are $500. Starting fees for final events at the Meadowlands will be $1,500 in 2021.
Commencing with the foal crop of 2014, the Green Acres Division has been replaced by the Standardbred Development Fund series of races. For 2021, the series will consist of at least two legs and a final for 2- and 3-year-olds of each gait and sex. Eligibility for the Standardbred Development Fund series will be open to all horses sired by New Jersey-based stallions as well as horses that are the result of a breeding between any registered standardbred stallion and a standardbred mare that has spent a minimum of 150 consecutive days in New Jersey inclusive of foaling. Mare nominations should be made no later than 150 days prior to the foaling date and should be accompanied by a payment of $100. Subsequent payments to continue eligibility include yearling nominations, and sustaining payments during a horse's 2- and 3-year-old seasons. Sustaining payments for the Standardbred Development Fund program of $100 and $150 are due on February 15 and April 15, respectively. Starting fees for Standardbred Development Fund races are $200 for qualifying races and $500 for final events.
Sustaining Payment Mail-In Form-NJSS&SDF (17K PDF)
Sustaining Payment Online Form - eCheck Only
Click here for the Mare Registration Form (15K PDF)
Yearling Nomination Form - SDF (20K PDF)
Supplemental Nomination Form For Yearlings
The New Jersey Sire Stakes also administers the Renaissance Open Pace and the Renaissance Filly Pace, both for New Jersey Standard Bred Development Fund eligible 2-year-old pacers. The races have replaced the Lou Babic Memorials. Renaissance yearling nominations will close May 15 and carry fees of $25 for colts and $15 for fillies. The yearlings must be nominated to the New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund. Supplemental nominations can be made until March 15 of the 2-year-old with a fee of $700 for colts and $400 for fillies. The supplemental nomination fee does not include any other fees that may also be due on that date. One sustaining payment of $700 for colts and $400 for fillies is due on March 15 of the 2-year-old year. Starting fees are $1,000 for the open division and $800 for the filly division.
For More Information: Contact Lynn Mathews or call (609) 913-6514 or write the New Jersey Sire Stakes, P.O. Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625.
Sire Stakes Board of Trustees: Michael Gulotta; Nancy Grbelja; Dr. Richard Meirs; Mark Mullen; Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher.