New Jersey Horsemen, Racetracks Close to Deal

After a number of meeting the last 10 days, New Jersey horsemen and management of Monmouth Park and Meadowlands are close to finalizing a proposal to determine the amount of Thoroughbred dates for 2002 and beyond.

While both sides wouldn't provide specifics, they indicated the proposal would be revealed early the week of April 8.

"I'm discussing a proposal with Mr. (George) Zoffinger (president and
chief executive officer of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority), and I don't have any specifics yet," said Bruce Garland, senior vice president of racing for the NJSEA.

Dennis Drazin, legal counsel for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, said he could not comment until negotiations were complete.

Horsemen and NJSEA management have repeatedly haggled over racing dates. Earlier this year, the New Jersey Racing Commission awarded 120 days for Monmouth and Meadowlands, 21 less than required by the 2001 law that authorizes off-track and accounting wagering in the state.