Monmouth Park Racetrack concluded its 61-day racing season on
Sunday, sporting across the board gains in attendance, on-track and
Through a lease from the New Jersey Sports and
Exposition Authority (NJSEA) to the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s
Association (NJTHA) signed on May 4,
Park is marking its first full year under new leadership, with Darby Development LLC the operating manager.
“We knew last year would prove a good starting
point,” said Dennis Drazin, advisor to Darby Development and the NJTHA.
“The numbers posted this year prove
that fans across the country have responded positively to our racing
product, while those closer to home enjoyed great racing at one of the
world’s most beautiful racetracks.”
Average attendance came in at 8,986, besting last
year’s average of 8,599 by 4.5%, when Monmouth ran 65 cards. On-track
wagering averaged $510,106, an 8.3%
increase over 2012 as total wagering averaged $4,440,595, representing a
9.8% boost over last season.
“These numbers certainly met all expectations,”
Drazin said. “We were hoping to build off of last year’s start and we
have succeeded in doing so.
“We’ll look to continue this upward momentum as we
strive to meet the goals set forth by ourselves just over one year ago:
bring expanded gaming opportunities
to the racetrack; create new family entertainment; and, provide
world-class Thoroughbred racing at the
The meet was once again highlighted by the $1
million William Hill Haskell Invitational, which saw Verrazano set a new
win margin record, dominating his
foes by 9 ¾ lengths in the Shore’s signature race. Other highlights
included Big Blue Kitten’s impressive performance in the United Nations
Stakes and the thrilling stretch duel between Last Gunfighter and
San Pablo in the Iselin, with the former besting the latter, who was the defending champion.
“As we look to the future,” Drazin said, “we are on
the brink of announcing a new off-track betting facility, we continue
our work to bring sports wagering
to the racetrack and have plans for enhanced on-line gaming
opportunities - all geared at bringing horse racing closer to the fan.
“On-track, we will soon open the William Hill Race
and Sports Bar – a state-of-the-art, Vegas-style sports book, which will
offer free play on top sporting
events. In addition, the entire facility will continue its
transformation into a more fan-friendly, family oriented destination in
the heart of the
Paco Lopez was a runaway winner in the race for top
jockey, booting home 99 winners. It was Lopez’s second Monmouth title,
having taken home top honors
Leading trainer went to Jorge Navarro, who saddled
47 winners, including a record-tying four on Sept. 22, 2013. For
Navarro, a 38-year-old native of
Panama, this was his first trainer’s title at any racetrack.
Red Oak Stable, who has been involved in racing for
decades, enjoyed their first-ever Monmouth Park owner’s championship,
having visited the winner’s circle
17 times, tying them with High Point Thoroughbred Partners, who also
enjoyed their first owner’s title.
Thoroughbred racing shifts north to the Meadowlands
for 10 all-turf live cards, beginning on Friday, Oct. 11. The Big M
will host live racing on Fridays,
Saturdays and Mondays through Nov. 2 with the exception of Monday, Oct.
21, which will be a dark day.