Monmouth Park opened its stable area for its 2010 spring meet April 5, allowing horses to ship in to beginning training for their meeting that begins May 22.
The upcoming meet, which was recently revamped to include fewer racing dates and higher purses per day, will span 71 days from May 22-Nov. 21. The time period from opening day until Labor Day weekend has been termed the Million Dollar Meet, reflecting the projected daily purses of $1 million.
Monmouth’s stable areas should be at capacity as 1,600 horses will call the backstretch home. The first van arrived at 6:30 a.m., carrying a trio of Thoroughbreds trained by Kelly Breen.
“I’ve got horses coming in later this week from Ocala, Kentucky, and Palm Meadows,” said Breen, who was the leading trainer at Monmouth Park in 2005 and 2006. “We’re hoping our horses fit well this meet and have a fun-filled productive season.”
Among others to arrive at the Oceanport, N.J. track were horses from the barns of Gregg Sacco and Joe Pierce Jr. Some new faces stabling at Monmouth Park for the first time include Tom Amoss, Bob Baffert, Bob Hess, Mike Hushion, and Michael Trombetta. They will join such Monmouth Park stalwarts as J. Willard Thompson, Tim Hills, Eddie Broome, Derek Ryan, John Forbes, and Alan Seewald.
“Our new purse structure and schedule has attracted the interest of horsemen throughout the country,” said Monmouth vice president and general manager Bob Kulina. “There’s a buzz about what we’re doing here this year and we’re confident that the changes we’ve implemented will generate the increased field sizes and competitive racing that racing fans have asked for.”
The 2010 racing season will once again be highlighted by the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) Aug. 1. Other graded stakes scheduled include the United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) July 3, and the Philip H. Iselin Stakes (gr. III) Aug. 21, and the Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II) Aug. 29.
Following opening weekend and Memorial Day weekend, live racing will be carded on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays as well as Monday, July 5, and Monday, Sept. 6. After the Labor Day card, Monmouth will host live racing on Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 21. For more information, visit www.monmouthpark.com.