Without a purse supplement from the state and an average daily purse distribution of less than half of what it offered in 2001, business at the current Meadowlands meet has been called "really bad" by an executive of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns and operates the northern New Jersey track.
After an acrimonious two years of fighting over dates, New Jersey horsemen and the quasi-state agency that runs Monmouth Park and Meadowlands are in the process of hammering out a deal that would reduce the number of live Thoroughbred dates in 2003 in order to maintain or improve the quality of the product.
The push for alternative gaming at racetracks continues in New Jersey.
Trainer Bob Baffert said the decision to enter War Emblem in the $1-million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park Aug. 4 wasn't tied to a $50,000 appearance fee he is to receive from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates the racetrack.
Rainy weather and an earlier-than-normal start to the 2002 season have contributed to nearly 6% across-the-board declines in attendance and handle at Monmouth Park through the first month of racing.
Thoroughbred and Standardbred interests have been bickering for years in New Jersey. But on May 15, the two breeds shared the stage at Meadowlands in a successful promotion.
While officials at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority were celebrating the impending opening of Monmouth Park May 11, they also announced a unique concept for Meadowlands.
After a number of meeting the last 10 days, New Jersey horsemen and management of Monmouth Park and Meadowlands are close to finalizing a proposal to determine the amount of Thoroughbred dates for 2002 and beyond.
New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey presented his 2003 budget in a March 26 speech before state legislators, and among his cost-cutting proposals is a reduction in the operating subsidy for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which oversees Monmouth Park and Meadowlands, by more than half.
- By Tom LaMarra
A New Jersey senator who was instrumental in the passage of legislation that authorized off-track and account wagering in the state introduced a bill Feb. 21 that calls for reconstitution of the New Jersey Racing Commission. If passed, the legislation would allow Gov. Jim McGreevey to appoint all new members to the panel.
New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey tabbed financier George Zoffinger to head of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and criticized previous NJSEA leadership for the way it handled the operation.
An expected purse supplement of $6 million for the New Jersey horse racing industry from the state legislature won't be forthcoming as expected, Gov. Jim McGreevey said Feb. 12. That has raised the question as to whether Monmouth Park and Meadowlands can support even 120 days of Thoroughbred racing, 21 less than required by law.
New Jersey Sen. Martha Bark, who was the co-sponsor of the bill that eventually was signed into law as the Off-Track and Phone Wagering Act, said she is "tremendously disappointed" that the state racing commission reduced the number of live Thoroughbred dates at Monmouth Park and Meadowlands this year from 141 as mandated in the law to 120.
- By Tom LaMarra
For comparison purposes, New Jersey's Thoroughbred horsemen will lose more than 40 racing dates in 2002 if the current schedule approved Jan. 30 by the New Jersey Racing Commission stands.
In a last-minute move on Tuesday, outgoing New Jersey acting Gov. Don DiFrancesco vetoed and slashed a purse supplement bill which would have given the horse racing industry $18 million.
A deal thought to have been struck between horsemen and racetrack management for 2002-2003 racing dates in the Garden State fell apart Dec. 20 during a sometimes-contentious New Jersey Racing Commission meeting. One racing official said the "climate of pettiness" is threatening live racing in the state.
An Assembly committee in New Jersey on Thursday is expected to consider purse supplements for 2002 for the state's racing industry. The measure already passed the Senate.
After more than a week of meetings, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association have reached a compromise on 2002 racing dates, a horsemen's representative said Tuesday.
No resolution of the New Jersey 2002 dates conflict has been reached despite meetings at Monmouth Park between thoroughbred horsemen and management of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority on Thursday and Friday.
New Jersey's 2002 thoroughbred racing calendar remained in limbo Tuesday as the N. J. Racing Commission declined to approve a revised dates schedule submitted by the owner and operator of Monmouth Park and Meadowlands.
The cancellation of racing at Meadowlands for several days following the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center cost the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority an estimated $866,500, according to numbers released Friday, Nov. 16.
Boosted by a 25% increase in average daily wagering, Meadowlands Racetrack concluded its shortest Thoroughbred meet in history with record purse distribution.
At its monthly meeting at Meadowlands Wednesday, the New Jersey Racing Commission said it is prepared to advertise regulations regarding account and off-track wagering, the first step toward implementation since legislation was signed into law in August.
- By Tom LaMarra
In the wake of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority's announcement that it will rejoin the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Jan. 1, 2002, other Mid-Atlantic associations indicated they're not quite ready to follow suit.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and its two racetracks--Meadowlands and Monmouth Park--are rejoining the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, effective Jan. 1, 2002, it was announced by both organizations on Friday.
With a few exceptions, horse racing throughout the United States went on as scheduled Thursday after a virtual two-day shutdown brought on by the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.
Officials from Breeders' Cup Ltd. were at Monmouth Park on Wednesday to assess the New Jersey racetrack's suitability as a future site for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
The New Jersey Assembly on Thursday approved legislation to legalize off-track and account wagering in the state. The measure now moves to the Senate floor.
Purse supplements recently signed into law by acting Gov. Donald DiFrancesco will fuel the $300,000 per day average in overnight purses at Monmouth. Including stakes, the daily average will be $350,000.
New Jersey acting Gov. Donald DiFrancesco signed into law Tuesday
a bill to allocate $18 million to the state's racing industry from the general fund. Of that amount, $11.7 million will go to boost Thoroughbred purses, and $6.3 million will go toward Standardbred purses.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority said Friday there is no plan to suspend racing at The Meadowlands and relocate to Monmouth Park should a NASCAR track be built at the East Rutherford facility. The NJSEA issued the statement in response to an article that appeared in the Star-Ledger newspaper April 6.
April 2 marked the opening of the stable area at Monmouth Park, where things are looking up this year. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority track offers the marquee Thoroughbred meet in New Jersey
After much delay, a bill which would legalize off-track and account,
or phone, wagering in New Jersey has been introduced into the legislature.
- By Tom LaMarra
With crucial issues such as its Oregon wagering hub and board voting structure still unresolved, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association is moving forward with a new 15-member board of directors and a recommitment from a major racetrack that had defected. "I appreciate the ongoing discussions, but we really have reached a make-or-break point," said Fair Grounds president and general manager. "I do think there's a reasonable possibility these things can be worked out."
Racetracks and Thoroughbred horsemen in New Jersey have been battling for more than a year over details in legislation that would authorize account and off-track wagering in New Jersey. Apparently, there has been a meeting of the minds, and if so, a bill could be passed by this spring. Protection of live racing dates is among the major issues.
The sale of Garden State Park to a development company is viewed as the death knell for live racing at the southern New Jersey track, but officials weren't able to say when the last live race will be run. Pennwood Racing, which leases Garden State, is said to have applied for a Thoroughbred meet; the application must be in to the New Jersey Racing Commission by Friday. A previous request from Pennwood to race six days at Garden State in 2001 was rejected by the commission.
New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman conditionally vetoed legislation Thursday that would have allowed off-track and account wagering in the state.
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