After nearly 20 hours of negotiations over the past several days, New Jersey's Thoroughbred horsemen are close to striking a deal with racetrack officials and with representatives of the standardbred industry on a multi-issue package which includes dates, simulcasting revenue splits, and purses.
Dennis Drazin, legal counsel for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, said that all but one of 15 issues has been settled, but declined to be specific.
"I will say that I'm very optimistic, and there's been a lot of progress," said Drazin.
Drazin said that Monmouth's stable area will open as scheduled on April 1, but that the training track may not be ready for several days. Monmouth is set for a May 11 opening, and will run through Labor Day, a 76-day stand. The first nine days will be run under the auspices of the Atlantic City Racing Association.
Drazin said he did not expect Monmouth's dates to change from what was determined at the last New Jersey Racing Commission meeting earlier this year.