Gators N Bears has been named New Jersey-bred horse of the year for 2003. A winner of five races from 13 starts on the year, Gators N Bears won three stakes while also being named the state's champion sprinter and champion 3-year-old male.
Led by the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap on Sunday, August 8, Thoroughbreds will compete for $3.35 million in graded stakes when Monmouth Park opens its 72-day season Saturday, May 29.
The second of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority's Monmouth Park Stakeholders Committee meetings is scheduled for Feb. 11, and the topic is scheduled to be the lease of the racetrack. The NJSEA has said it's exploring the possibility of leasing Monmouth and Meadowlands.
A "master participation agreement" between the three entities that operate racetracks in New Jersey as to how they intend to divide the 15 potential off-track wagering sites in the state will be considered at the Feb. 18 meeting of the New Jersey Racing Commission. Approval of the deal is seen as the first step toward jump-starting the process of getting OTB parlors operational, perhaps by the end of the year.
On Tuesday members of the Monmouth Park stakeholders committee were told that the racetrack could gain future revenue from slot machines and that leasing market is extremely favorable--and that was at its first meeting.
Under a plan being considered by the New Jersey legislature, the governor's office, and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, Thoroughbred and Standardbred purses could be supplemented by revenue from Atlantic City casinos, possibly this year.
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Alexander Lehrer ruled Jan. 5 that the New Jersey Racing Commission's allegations of fiscal mismanagement against the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association were without legal merit, and that the commission cannot amend its complaint to include a claim against New Jersey THA counsel Dennis Drazin, specifically for the legal fees paid to him.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority Wednesday voted to authorize the issue of an offering statement that seeks proposals for a long-term lease of the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park. The investment-banking firm of Lehman Brothers will serve as the advisor to the NJSEA in the development of the statement.
Although the New Jersey Racing Commission has asked a state court judge to levy a large fine against the state's Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, and for permission to take over the finances of the organization because of gross mismanagement, one of its top officers said he is confident that the complaint will be dismissed.
Industry officials, during a preliminary meeting Dec. 2 at Philadelphia Park, discussed testing for erythropoietin antibodies that could be implemented in Pennsylvania and perhaps a few other Mid-Atlantic states in 2004.
- By Victor Ryan
The executive committee of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority declined at a meeting before the Thanksgiving holiday to decide whether formal bids to purchase Meadowlands and Monmouth Park would be accepted.
High-ranking New Jersey politicians and members of the horse racing industry will meet Nov. 12 in Trenton to discuss issues vital to the health of the racing and breeding industry, including the uncertain future of Monmouth Park and Meadowlands.
Michael Moran's McDynamo was installed as the heavy favorite over seven other entrants in Saturday's $175,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I) to be run at the Far Hills Races in Far Hills, N.J.
One Breeders' Cup winner will be decided a week before the Oct. 25 World Thoroughbred Championships--the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase will take place Oct. 18 in New Jersey. The results of the race often have a strong influence on the Eclipse Award voting for top steeplechase horse.
Jockey Joe Bravo broke a vertebra in his mid-back as a result of a riding spill in the ninth race on Thursday night at the Meadowlands.
The favorite hasn't won the Meadowlands Cup since Marquetry in 1993, but trainer P.G. Johnson is hoping to break that trend when he brings Volponi from New York to New Jersey for Friday's grade II test at Meadowlands. The 5-year-old finished second in last year's running of the race.
Dual Classic winner Funny Cide along with Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Volponi top a list of 29 nominations for this year's 26th running of the Oct. 3 Meadowlands Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II).
Five days of racing remain on the 2003 Monmouth Park meet calendar, but the races for leading honors have already been decided. The track's top performers will be honored in a Sept. 28 winner's circle ceremony.
New Jersey-breds will be in the spotlight Sept. 20 at Monmouth Park as the first New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival takes center stage.
National Museum of Racing to honor Peb...NJ holds Thoroughbred Festival Sept. 20...TVG Contestants Can Win a Date with Dergen... More racing programming hits the airwaves in Baltimore...Calder gears up for Festival of the Sun and Horse Fair 2003.
Former racehorses and their new careers will be featured at ReRun New Jersey's second-annual All-Thoroughbred Charity Horse Show on Saturday, Sept. 20.
- By Victor Ryan
Meadowlands has eliminated three of the five graded stakes scheduled for its upcoming meet to help accommodate overnight purses.
This has been a good year for New York-breds racing outside of New York (think Funny Cide), and trainer Terri Pompay hopes to carry on the trend Saturday with Stand on Top in the $100,000 Sorority Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park.
Saturday's $200,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) has come up strong this year with nine solid older horses passing the entry box.
State officials are set to approve a plan to create 15 off-track betting parlors in New Jersey. The plan follows legislation passed in 2001 and a voter referendum approved three years earlier.
A tentative plan for daily purses for Monmouth Park's 20 September dates has been laid out, but according to the Oceanport racetrack's general manager, there is "no deal."
Gary Wilson, who worked at Monmouth park for more than 40 years, died Tuesday in West Long Branch, N.J., after suffering a heart attack.
At a meeting of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association at Monmouth Park Wednesday night, horsemen opposed a proposal to cut September dates at the Oceanport track to 3 days per week in order to keep purses at the current $300,000 level.
As many as eight 3-year-olds are still possible for Saturday's Long Branch Stakes (gr. III), the last New Jersey prep race before the Aug. 3 Haskell Invitational (gr. I).
Woodbine Entertainment Group, which operates Thoroughbred and Standardbred meets, is considering a purchase or lease of Meadowlands, another dual-breed facility, according to a published report.
Monmouth Park racing secretary Mike Dempsey said he expects six fillies and mares for next Saturday's Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II), the star of the show to be Edward P. Evans' Summer Colony.
- By Tom LaMarra
Mid-Atlantic regulators and the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association are scheduled to meet June 12 in New Jersey to discuss medication and drug-testing issues on a regional and national scope.
Monmouth Park will host a day devoted to New Jersey-breds September 20 in an effort to help spur the state's breeding industry. Track officials hope it will become a major event on the New Jersey racing calendar.
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.
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