Atlantic City: Don't Count on Extended 2002 Meet

Despite talk to the contrary, Atlantic City Race Course, which will conclude its 10-day, all-turf meet Tuesday afternoon, doesn't plan a longer meet for 2002, track president and general manager James Murphy said. In addition, talk of an imminent sale is just a rumor.

"There's nothing different today than yesterday," Murphy said Monday. "We've talked to prospective buyers the last few years, but there's nothing definitive."

Murphy also put to rest rumors that the South Jersey track would apply for up to 30 dates in 2002 to take advantage of the void that Garden State Park will leave on the New Jersey racing calendar. The final live race at Garden State was run May 3.

"There's no truth in that," Murphy said. "Our 'Turf Festival' is working out very well. This 10-day meeting works for us. Our fields are full and our simulcast signal is being well-received. When you start stretching it out too far, you also start stretching out the purse money.

"I seriously doubt you'll see a longer meet in our future. Besides, our turf course can't take more than 10 days of racing."

Atlantic City, which distributed about $150,000 in purses per day, did not share in the $11.7 million allocated by lawmakers to boost purses in the state. That money went to two state-owned venues -- Monmouth
Park and Meadowlands. Atlantic City's purse money is generated by year-round simulcasting.