The New Jersey Senate Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee recently approved legislation that would award New Jersey breeders award money following out of state wins. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
The New Jersey racing season has been reduced from a high of 340 days in the mid-1980s to 120 in 2003. The loss of racing days from a full year of racing to what is now six months of racing also means a loss of opportunities to win breeders' awards. Currently, breeders' awards can only be given to horses racing in in-state competition.
The new out of state breeders awards program would be meant to supplement the in state program by providing four additional months for New Jersey breeders to collect breeders' awards. It would not have equal status with New Jersey's in-state breeders' rewards program. It would only take effect after 100% of breeders awards are paid for races held in-state and it will not pay awards to New Jersey-bred horses running in out of state contests while live racing is being conducted in New Jersey. No provision of this proposal would alter the current in-state breeders' awards program.
"This bill will help revitalize the New Jersey Thoroughbred breeding industry and preserve the many acres of farmland and open space it supports," Michael Harrison, president of the New Jersey Breeders Association, said in a release. " For the past few years, the NJTBA has tried to find solutions to address the decline of our industry. We need to five individuals involved in Thoroughbred racing incentives to breed, board, and train their horses on New Jersey farms. This out of state program does this."