Expected rain along the Jersey Shore this weekend has forced Monmouth Park to switch its scheduled turf races to the main track for Saturday's opening day card as well as for Sunday's races. A decision has yet to be made regarding Monday's holiday card, which includes the grade III Jersey Derby at 1 1/16 miles on turf."In the interest of all involved, the horses, horsemen and wagering public, it's good that we can make this decision this early," said Robert Kulina, vice president of Thoroughbred racing and general manager of Monmouth Park. "As always, the safety of our horses and jockeys remains paramount. The opening card is still a solid, competitive day of racing...Obviously the weather variable remains a factor, as it always does. The important thing is that we preserve our turf course as far into the race meet as we can and to disseminate any changes in track conditions as soon as possible."
Coming off the turf on opening day is the $50,000 Gilded Time Stakes, a five furlong sprint, and the grade III, $100,000 Red Bank Handicap, a mile test for handicap horses. (In accordance with the policy of the Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, the Red Bank will be run as a non-graded race and will be reviewed to determine if it should have its grade restored for this running.)