Final preparations for the Oct. 26-27 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Monmouth Park are under way.
Monmouth ended its regular 2007 meet Sept. 2, and now work has begun to construct 25,000 temporary seats, tents, and pari-mutuel facilities and concession areas on the grandstand and clubhouse apron and in the picnic area that extends all the way up the stretch, officials said. The main focus in the stable area will be converting Barn 3 into the quarantine facility.
Other work includes completion of the grandstand cafeteria renovation; construction of an auxiliary press box for about 175 members of the media; installation of a permanent infrared heating system in the parterre boxes; installation of 100 television sets in the box seat section; and completion of the fiber optic communications system.
The turf course, which was used extensively during the 75-day meet, will be renovated for the four-day World Championships meet Oct. 24-27. The grass course will be reseeded, top-dressed and aerated, and then allowed to regenerate for a month. Three of the Breeders’ Cup races will be run on the turf.
Horace “Smitty” Smith, Monmouth’s assistant vice president for operations, said the various projects are on schedule. He said there was significant preliminary work that must be done before the temporary seating is built.
Much of the work on the quarantine barn was completed before the meet began in May, but final improvements will be made to meet United States Department of Agriculture requirements.
“The barn has to be thoroughly cleaned and encapsulated,” Smith said in a statement. “New fences will be put up around the entire barn, and we’ll build a separate horse path that leads from the rear of the barn to the racetrack.”
Monmouth will be a first-time host of the Breeders’ Cup. Three $1-million races were added to the World Championships program this year, so the event was expanded to two days.