Prospective Monmouth Park lessee Morris Bailey has reached an agreement with the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, moving the process closer to fruition, the Newark Star Ledger reported June 22.
The lease of Monmouth by a private operator—Bailey is part owner of Resorts Casino in Atlantic City as well as a Thoroughbred owner and breeder—was ordered by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who now must sign off on the deal.
The Star Ledger cited three sources close to the negotiations who indicated an official statement would come from Christie. Monmouth is currently operated by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.
Under legislation making its way through the New Jersey General Assembly, Bailey would operate Monmouth along with the NJSEA until he is licensed by the New Jersey Racing Commission. The co-operation period could extend for not more than two years under the legislation.
Bailey needed horsemen’s approval to race only 71 days instead of the 141 mandated by law. Bailey’s deal with the state would last five years under previous plans announced by Christie.
The New Jersey THA and Bailey were said to have reached a deal June 17, but the Star Ledger reported that talks wrapped up and horsemen voted on the plan June 21.