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.
Although 141 dates for Thoroughbred racing in 2002 were approved by the New Jersey Racing Commission in December, the fact that a purse supplement from the legislature had been severely reduced and, in fact, may be eliminated from the state budget forced the commission to reduce the dates allocation to 120.
Just two days after he took office, New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey has announced he intends to freeze all discretionary spending by the state, which includes a $6-million appropriation for Thoroughbred and Standardbred purses.
Total wagering at the racetracks of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority -- Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands -- exceeded $1.5 billion in 2001.
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.
The New Jersey Assembly tabled a bill Thursday that would have provided $18.2 million to the horse racing industry, including $11.7 million for the Thoroughbred industry. The measure, which passed the Senate and two Assembly subcommittees in December, is expected to come up for a vote Monday, the final day of the session.
Sailor's Warning, a graded stakes placed son of Storm Cat, will stand in 2002 at Sam Fieramosca's Colonial Farms near Colt's Neck, N.J. His fee will be $3,500.
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.
Wade M. Russell, who is accused in the slaying of his stepfather, trainer Bob Camac, and his mother, Maryann Camac, at their farm in Oldmans Township, N. J. last Thursday, was moved from the Salem County Correctional Facility to a the Ann Kline Forensic Psychiatric Facility in West Trenton Wednesday.
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.
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.
Leonard S. Coleman Jr. has been appointed to the Churchill Downs Incorporated board of directors. Coleman, who currently serves as president of the Newark Sports & Entertainment Inc., is best known as the former president of Major League Baseball's National League from 1994-1999.
November will be a critical month for many Mid-Atlantic horsemen as they seek to secure racetrack stabling for the winter.
The next few weeks will be critical for many Mid-Atlantic horsemen as they seek to secure racetrack stabling for the winter. In New Jersey, The Meadowlands concludes its meet Nov. 10 and plans to close its backstretch on Nov. 22, leaving no stabling in the state, while Delaware Park ends on Nov. 4 and will close its backstretch one month later. In addition, the Maryland Jockey Club intends to close Pimlico for the winter, while Hialeah's backstretch also will be closed. That leaves few options for horsemen that don't have the stock to race in New York or at Gulfstream Park.
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.
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.
Thoroughbred racing and simulcasting at major locations in the United States shut down Tuesday due to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Many also planned to close Wednesday. The commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association said it could take a while "to sort out the implications for the country, as well as our business."
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 Racing Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved the sale of Atlantic City Race Course to Greenwood Racing for $13 million.
Pennwood Racing, which owns Freehold Raceway and figures in the mix as New Jersey prepares to launch account wagering and off-track betting systems, is looking to expand its holdings in the Garden State with the purchase of Atlantic City Race Course.
Legislation that would bring off-track and account wagering to New Jersey will be signed into law at Monmouth Park Aug. 5, the day of the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap.
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.
Racing and breeding news and information
International Thoroughbred Breeders, which sold Garden State Park in New Jersey to a real estate development company in November for $30 million, is bracing for a civil action and a probe of "certain current and former officers" by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Legislation to legalize Internet gambling passed the Nevada Senate on a 17-4 vote Monday and was sent to Gov. Kenny Guinn. The Associated Press reported that Internet gaming could be worth $6 billion to the state's casino industry by 2003.
"You've read racing history...perhaps you've seen racing history...now you can own a part of America's finest horse racing history!" reads the brochure that is being distributed by Ken Geyer Auctioneers. The auction
will begin June 22 at 6 p.m. and run through June 26.
Now that live racing and simulcasting has ended permanently at Garden State Park, Pennwood Racing, which owns nearly 10 acres of land at the site, must wait for off-track betting legislation to pass in New Jersey, and gain regulatory approval from Cherry Hill Township, before it begins construction on a planned off-track wagering parlor.
Despite chilly, overcast weather on Saturday, opening day of Monmouth Park's 72-day season, the Oceanport, N.J., racetrack drew a total of 52,349 patrons for its three-day Memorial Day weekend.
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