Monmouth Boosts Stakes Purses for 2005

(from Monmouth Park report)
The 2005 Monmouth Park stakes schedule features $4.45 million in purses, highlighted by the $1 million Haskell Invitational (gr. I) on Aug. 7.

There are 20 stakes races on the program, 14 of them graded.

In addition to the Haskell for 3-year-olds, other features of the 2005 season, which runs from May 14 through Sept. 25, include the $750,000 United Nations (gr. IT) on July 2, and the $300,000 Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) on July 9.

"It's really just the tip of the iceberg," said Robert Kulina, vice president and general manager for Monmouth Park. "In addition to the major stakes that we're announcing today, the overnight stakes schedule will bring the total number of stakes purses to more than $8 million.

"With overnight purses set for $325,000 per day, the highest ever for Monmouth Park, the meet should attract the highest quality runners from coast-to-coast."

Eight stakes got a purse increase of $50,000 to $150,000 for the 2005 season: Red Bank Handicap (gr. IIIT) on May 28, Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIIT) on July 3, Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) on July 4, Long Branch Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) on July 16, Salvator Mile Handicap (gr. III) on July 24, Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Aug. 7, Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IIIT) on Aug. 7 and the Sapling Stakes (gr. III) on Aug. 20.

Also getting a $50,000 increase to $250,000 is the Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) on Aug. 28, which was captured last year by Breeders' Cup Classic winner Ghostzapper.