Monmouth Park Lease Negotiations Continuing

Meadowlands takeover now scheduled for Dec. 5, according to the NJSEA.

Prospective Monmouth Park lessee Morris Bailey and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority continue negotiating a deal that apparently has hit a snag.

The two parties met Sept. 15 at Monmouth, sources told The Blood-Horse. Details of the discussions weren’t immediately available, but the Bergen Record reported talks are continuing on the lease and that there are disagreements.

Bailey is co-owner of Resorts Casino Atlantic City and a Thoroughbred owner. Earlier this summer Bailey said he was moving ahead with plans to lease Monmouth.

A law passed this year granted the state extra time to work out deals with would-be lessees of Monmouth and Meadowlands, now solely a harness track. The NJSEA can co-operate the facilities under the law.

Meanwhile, Meadowlands lessee Jeff Gural, a developer and operator of two racetrack casinos in upstate New York, is expected to take over operations Dec. 5. The NJSEA signed off on the deal, according to Meadowlands officials.

“We asked to extend the date in order to give the New Jersey Racing Commission adequate time to review licensing applications and to address open labor issues,” Gural said in a statement. “Both must be resolved before (the new entity) can take over operations. An extension is necessary to ensure a smooth transition for all parties.”

Gural’s group already has begun work at Meadowlands, including rebanking the racing surface and developing an off-track wagering facility in Bayonne in North Jersey. Gural also plans to build a smaller, modern grandstand on the opposite of the racetrack.