Racing at Monmouth Park returns May 11 in Oceanport, N.J., with a 12-race program attracting a total of 117 entries.
Blue skies and balmy temperatures greeted a new era at Monmouth Park May 12 when the track opened its 67th season of Thoroughbred racing with increases in attendance and wagering over last year.
Horsemen and state officials in New Jersey have reportedly reached agreement on dates and purses for the 2012 Monmouth Park meet, ending the question of whether the track would be open next year and under what circumstances.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Dec. 12 the state's horsemen are responsible for a last-minute breakdown in plans for developer Morris Bailey to assume operation of Monmouth Park.
Jockeys who ride regularly in New Jersey could begin receiving an annual grant of $150,000 to help pay for health insurance if a deal is finalized during a December meeting between the New Jersey Racing Commission and the Jockeys' Guild.
The first New Jersey Horse Industry Symposium will be held at Monmouth Park on Sept. 20.
Horsemen in New Jersey will be running for bigger purses starting at Monmouth Park May 29 under a subsidy deal reached between Atlantic City casino and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
A tentative plan for daily purses for Monmouth Park's 20 September dates has been laid out, but according to the Oceanport racetrack's general manager, there is "no deal."
Representatives of the New York Racing Association and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association confirmed they have held discussions about reopening closed Hialeah Park for stabling and a winter race meet, though they differ on the plan's prospects.
After nearly 20 hours of negotiations over the past several days, New Jersey's Thoroughbred horsemen are close to striking a deal with racetrack officials and with representatives of the standardbred industry on a multi-issue package which includes dates, simulcasting revenue splits, and purses.
Although 141 dates for Thoroughbred racing in 2002 were approved by the New Jersey Racing Commission in December, the fact that a purse supplement from the legislature had been severely reduced and, in fact, may be eliminated from the state budget forced the commission to reduce the dates allocation to 120.
Just two days after he took office, New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey has announced he intends to freeze all discretionary spending by the state, which includes a $6-million appropriation for Thoroughbred and Standardbred purses.
In a last-minute move on Tuesday, outgoing New Jersey acting Gov. Don DiFrancesco vetoed and slashed a purse supplement bill which would have given the horse racing industry $18 million.
The New Jersey Assembly tabled a bill Thursday that would have provided $18.2 million to the horse racing industry, including $11.7 million for the Thoroughbred industry. The measure, which passed the Senate and two Assembly subcommittees in December, is expected to come up for a vote Monday, the final day of the session.
After more than a week of meetings, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association have reached a compromise on 2002 racing dates, a horsemen's representative said Tuesday.
Racetracks and Thoroughbred horsemen in New Jersey have been battling for more than a year over details in legislation that would authorize account and off-track wagering in New Jersey. Apparently, there has been a meeting of the minds, and if so, a bill could be passed by this spring. Protection of live racing dates is among the major issues.
Two New Jersey racing commissioners who put together a meeting between horsemen and racetracks have issued statements in light of comments made by the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association.
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