Monmouth Park

Monmouth Park

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Attendance, Handle Gains at Monmouth Park

Average daily attendance rose 4.5% and average all-source wagering was up 9.8%.

Monmouth Park concluded its 61-day racing season Oct. 6 with across-the-board gains in attendance, on-track wagering, and simulcast handle.

Through a lease from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association signed on May 4, 2012, Monmouth Park is marking its first full year under new leadership, with Darby Development as operating manager.

"We knew last year would prove a good starting point," said Dennis Drazin, advisor to Darby Development and the NJTHA. "The numbers posted this year prove that fans across the country have responded positively to our racing product, while those closer to home enjoyed great racing at one of the world's most beautiful racetracks."

Average attendance of 8,986 was up 4.5% over last year's average 8,599 for the 65-day meet. On-track wagering averaged $510,106, an 8.3% increase over 2012 as total wagering averaged $4,440,595, representing a 9.8% boost over last season.

"These numbers certainly met all expectations," Drazin said. "We were hoping to build off of last year's start and we have succeeded in doing so.

"We'll look to continue this upward momentum as we strive to meet the goals set forth by ourselves just over one year ago:  bring expanded gaming opportunities to the racetrack; create new family entertainment; and, provide world-class Thoroughbred racing at the Jersey Shore."

With the successful meet concluded, Drazin said the Monmouth operator was working on other ventures that should enhance the wagering experience.

"As we look to the future," Drazin said, "we are on the brink of announcing a new off-track betting facility, we continue our work to bring sports wagering to the racetrack, and have plans for enhanced on-line gaming opportunitiesall geared at bringing horse racing closer to the fan.
"On-track, we will soon open the William Hill Race and Sports Bar, a state-of-the-art, Vegas-style sports book which will offer free play on top sporting events. In addition, the entire facility will continue its transformation into a more fan-friendly, family oriented destination in the heart of the Jersey Shore." 

Jockey Paco Lopez won his second Monmouth title with 99 winners. Trainer Jorge Navarro's 47 winners secured the first title at any meet for the 38-year-old native of Panama. Red Oak Stable and High Point Thoroughbred Partners tied for the owner's title, with 17 wins, as each was winning its first-ever title.

Thoroughbred racing shifts north to the Meadowlands for 10 all-turf live cards, beginning on Friday, Oct. 11.