Racing fans in New Jersey could have more to cheer about in 2002, that is if Meadowlands and Monmouth Park are granted the 141 Thoroughbred dates requested for next year. The combined 309 days of planned Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing is the most offered at the two tracks since 1994.
Changes in New Jersey's legislation prompted a change in the Thoroughbred calendar at Monmouth. In the past the track did not open until Memorial Day. The proposed calendar for 2002 starts the Monmouth meet on May 11, then goes through Sept. 1. New for next year are six-day racing weeks, totaling a request of 88 racing dates for Monmouth. The track asked for 72 racing days for 2001.
Meadowlands' proposed calendar opens Sept. 2 and closes Nov. 2, with racing Monday through Saturday. The total Thoroughbred dates requested is 53, with Standardbreds competing from Jan. 4 through Aug. 3, then again from Nov. 8-Dec. 7.
Both tracks are owned and managed by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.
The New Jersey Racing Commission will consider the applications during its Nov. 20 meeting in Trenton.