Monmouth Status as BC Host Site Threatened

A complaint filed by the New Jersey Racing Commission against the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association could lead Breeders' Cup to nullify an agreement it has with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to host the 2007 World Thoroughbred Championships at Monmouth Park.

The Asbury Park Press reported March 25 that the dispute, currently in New Jersey Superior Court, has Breeders' Cup looking for alternate host sites for 2007. Breeders' Cup said it wants the situation resolved by April 9.

The racing commission has accused the horsemen's group of fiscal mismanagement. The two parties have been negotiating, but a judge set a trial date of Oct. 24.

"As I understand it, there's very little if any chance that there's a resolution in sight," Breeders' Cup president D.G. Van Clief Jr. told the Press. "Barring a resolution (by April 9), we will officially commence a search for an alternate site."

An August 2004 memorandum on the deal for Monmouth to host the Cup calls for the NJSEA to help "resolve in an expedited fashion the pending legal action and related disputes," the newspaper reported.

The New Jersey THA and the NJSEA, after years of fighting, are operating under a five-year agreement for everything from racing dates to purses. The issue on the table now is between the horsemen's group and the racing commission, but commission executive director Frank Zanzuccki said he doesn't understand how it could impact whether Monmouth hosts the Cup.

The NJSEA said it hopes to have assurances to the Breeders' Cup by the April 9 deadline.