While representatives of New Jersey Thoroughbred horsemen claim they have been aware of the desire of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to sell Monmouth Park and Meadowlands for nearly a year, there are many questions they want answered from prospective buyers, and they believe the timing of the announcement was poor.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority will formally begin the process of selling or leasing Monmouth Park and Meadowlands in June, a move that could put more than $250 million in the financially strapped state agency's coffers, according to published reports.
A Quinnipiac University Poll released April 2 indicates support for the addition of video lottery terminals and/or slot machines at state racetracks, both as a tool for balancing the state budget and to help the state's struggling horse racing industry.
Former Monmouth Park racing secretary Michael Dempsey will return to his old position in place of Sean Greely, who was let go earlier this week.
New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey has signed into law a bill that will reconstitute the membership of the state racing commission.
Though a commission was recently formed to study the feasibility of putting video lottery terminals at New Jersey racetracks, Gov. Jim McGreevey apparently has abandoned the idea of including VLT revenue in the state's 2004 budget.
After months of negotiations, the ink is finally dry on a 2003 dates schedule for Thoroughbred racetracks in the Garden State.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and horsemen will ask the state racing commission for 120 live Thoroughbred dates for 2003 instead of 146, officials said Feb. 27. Monmouth Park would kick off calendar Memorial Day, May 24, if the schedule is approved.
New Jersey announces champions...2003 racing dates set for Finger Lakes.
The American Graded Stakes Committee has issued warning letters to racetracks that present nearly every grade 1 stakes for 3-year-olds, advising them that the races would be downgraded for 2004 unless field quality improves.
New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey has announced the creation of a Video Lottery Study Commission that will investigate the feasibility of video lottery terminals at racetracks and give him written recommendations in 90 days.
One week after a spokesperson for New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey said a bill to legalize video lottery terminals at state racetracks was off the table, the issue apparently is back on.
Robert Kulina, Monmouth Park's and Meadowlands general manager and vice president of Thoroughbred Racing, will be honored at the 67th New Jersey Sports Writers Association Banquet on Feb. 2 for "Distinguished Service to Thoroughbred Racing."
In response to a statement by an official with Gov. Jim McGreevey's administration that a proposal to place video lottery terminals at Meadowlands "is very unlikely," the head of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority said other avenues will be explored in order to keep the state's racing industry viable.
Horsemen and officials at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority are close to sealing a dates deal for 2003 through 2008, but a final racing calendar for the Garden State may not be known for several months.
The president of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said allegations by the New Jersey Racing Commission and a state Superior Court judge that health-care benefits for backstretch personnel have been reduced in lieu of political contributions are "unfounded" and "ludicrous."
A state judge has frozen the assets of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association pending a racing commission investigation into the group' finances.
Legislation to remove the nine members of the New Jersey Racing Commission and reconfigure the agency to require four of the nine members be owners or trainers was conditionally vetoed by Gov. James McGreevey on Monday.
After months of legal wrangling and negotiations, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority is close to presenting the New Jersey Racing Commission with participation agreements between itself and two other racing companies in the state in regard to account and off-track wagering.
Horsemen and management at New Jersey's two state racetracks are close to a deal on a revision of 2003 racing dates.
Secretariat, Suffolk Downs featured on 'Woodie's World'...New Jersey breeders elect officers...National Museum of Racing hosts Horses for the Holidays...Calder's Fan Appreciation Day is Dec. 14.
Horsemen, racetrack operators, and the New Jersey Racing Commission are in agreement on a 2003 Thoroughbred calendar that calls for 151 live racing days. The schedule was approved even though track officials have said the 141-day allotment for this year doesn't make good business sense.
A Nov. 18 hearing by the New Jersey Economic Growth Committee on legislation to authorize slot machines at Meadowlands ended early because the sponsor, Sen. Joseph Suliga, is still in the process of making changes to the bill.
In an unusual twist, management at Meadowlands in New Jersey is expressing its position concerning 2003 Thoroughbred racing dates, and the state of the current meet, in the track program.
Prominent New Jersey owner and breeder Dennis Drazin, who has been accused of accepting inflated legal fees from the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, denied the allegations and called conduct by his accuser "improper."
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.
The executive director of the New Jersey Racing Commission has charged in a nine-page internal memo that the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association has mismanaged hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and contributions. He also suggested the leadership of the organization be removed.
While no specific election in New Jersey on Tuesday figures to have any direct impact on pending slots legislation, New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association lobbyist Barbara DeMarco-Reiche said elections in neighboring states are sure to have "a tremendous impact" on New Jersey racing.
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.
A hearing Sept. 19 by the New Jersey Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee produced a rare show of unity between Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen as representatives from each testified in favor of legislation that would allow slot machines at four New Jersey racetracks.
The New Jersey Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee will devote its entire agenda Sept. 19 to horsemen's issues, including legislation that would allow slot machines at state racetracks.
The New Jersey Racing Commission has overturned a 2001 ruling by stewards at Monmouth Park, but the affected trainer said he was never notified of the hearing.
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.
The U. S. House Judiciary Committee continued to discuss the "Combating Illegal Gambling Reform and Modernization Act" the week of June 10, but it should be status quo until June 20, when the measure is on the calendar again.
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.
The future of Atlantic City Race Course remains in question after the completion of its one-day program May 10, the only live date for 2002.
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.
An agreement was reached Friday in New Jersey between Thoroughbred and harness horsemen over racing dates, simulcasting revenue splits, and purses.
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.
Atlantic City Racecourse, which was granted one day of live racing by the state racing commission in late January, will run seven races all on the turf on Friday, May 10, with the day's purses totaling $110,000.
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.
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.
The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championships, a series of stakes tied together to reward the top horses by division in the region, is on hold pending resolution of racing schedules in Maryland and New Jersey, said Alan Foreman, who created MATCH in the late 1990s. Foreman, chief executive officer of the Maryland-based Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, is hopeful something can be worked out soon.
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.
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.
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