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Monmouth Park Preview 2014

Monmouth Park Turf 615 X  400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
 
It is no secret that the new management team of Monmouth Park has made a plan for the long-term financial future of the track that depends on revenue from casino gambling and/or sports betting. Dennis Drazin, who is an advisor to the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association, which in turn owns Monmouth Park, took time to talk about both those topics at the recent trainer and media kickoff luncheon.

Casino Gambling Revenue

About casino gambling Drazin said, “We are waiting and praying that the Governor and the Legislature sees fit to finally expand gaming outside of Atlantic City. That conversation will probably not take place until some time early in 2016. The Senate President and the Governor had a five-year timetable for the expansion of gaming and we’ll have that conversation, but I’m confident that in the final analysis, gaming will expand beyond Atlantic City and we need to be a part of it. Our purses should grow and our operations should be well-balanced by that time.”

Sports Betting

Monmouth’s partner on the sports betting side is the British gambling company William Hill. This summer in the back of the grandstand, the new William Hill Race and Sports Bar will be open. Veterans of Monmouth Park will recognize that this new facility replaces the old cafeteria. This $1,000,000 renovation has opened with the hopes that sports betting will be legalized in New Jersey sooner then later.

Drazin also talked about the status of the New Jersey’s battle to obtain sports betting, “Right now we are awaiting the US Supreme Court to make a decision whether they will hear the case, assuming that they decide to accept the case, which we should know by the end of June. If the Supreme Court takes the case then we will be successful in winning. If for some reason the Supreme Court decides not to accept the case, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in its written decision has laid out the framework for other options to enable us to take other measures assuming the Legislature and Governor are on board.”

New Faces

On the backstretch the following new trainers will have barns at Monmouth this summer: Wayne Catalano, Hugh McMahon, Christopher Grove, the Gaudets, and David Jacobson. Jacobson could pose a threat to last year’s top two conditioners Jorge Navarro and Eddie Plesa.

Jacobson will have a barn at Monmouth for the first time, primarily for Drawing Away Stable. Sandy Levine, a major partner of Drawing Away Stable, announced on Facebook that they would be running full-time at Monmouth Park, “In addition to our current stable facilities at Aqueduct Racetrack in NYC, we now also have a fully operational stable at Monmouth Park in New Jersey…including training, racing, claiming, and winning in NJ.”

The jockey colony will be a bit different because Elvis Trujillo and Joe Bravo, two of the top riders, will not be at the Jersey Shore. Trujillio is staying in Florida and “Jersey Joe” will once again try to establish himself in the Belmont Park riding colony. Eddie Castro and Julien Pimentel will return to Monmouth. Dylan Davis and Trevor McCarthy are also listed in the first condition book. Four apprentice riders in Nik Juarez, Ivan Perez, Andre Worrie, and Jonathan Zayas are also listed to ride. Of course they will all be hard-pressed to beat Paco Lopez, who has dominated the jockey standings in recent years.

Bigger Fields

There is a new $1,000 bonus for every horse that is entered in which the trainer will receive $300 and the owner gets $700. Drazin said, “We think that will encourage larger fields, which is important to our business.”

First Look at the Haskell

I asked Bob Kulina, the President of Darby Development LLC, the operators of Monmouth Park, if Untapable would be in the field of the Haskell considering trainer Steve Asmussen’s comment that they might try the boys, but not in the Preakness. Kulina said, “We know he likes the race and going from the Acorn [at Belmont on June 7] to the Haskell [July 27] would be a logical progression.” Of course Asmussen won the 2009 Haskell with the filly Rachel Alexandra.

Wagering Menu

New at the Jersey Shore will be 50¢ trifectas. The 10¢ jackpot wager the Jersey Shore Six will be back again this year. Last year its biggest payout was over $160,000. In addition there will two standard Pick 4’s and a Pick 5. Monmouth Park does have a history of listening to the racing fans when it comes to the types of wagers offered at the Shore.

Travis Stone, New Track Announcer

New track announcer, Travis Stone arrived in New Jersey after a 22-hour car drive north from Louisiana Downs. The co-founder of Horse Racing Nation has been the track announcer there since 2006. “We’re excited to have Travis join the Monmouth Park team,” said Kulina. “He’s a talented race caller with passion and intelligence for the game. He will fit in perfectly with Monmouth, and we look forward to his exciting race calls this summer and for many years to come.” 

 

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Older Comments about Monmouth Park Preview 2014...

vodkak, MTH no longer gets any funding from the AC casinos and has not for the past three summers.
Like running your own buisiness,if you are in trouble and on the verge of losing the foundation. Would you turn a deaf ear to a lLEGAL solution that would help bootstrap it. Funny how you hear some complain about the Racinos,but never the Owners. Bottom line,they are what counts.Without them footing the expense,where is the game of Racing.
Exactly, the game would be nowhere without the infusion of casino $$$$
I really enjoy following the races at Monmouth Park. I'm hoping they get all the government issues sorted out and that Monmouth doesn't get the short end of the stick. I also love the selection of Travis Stone as announcer. He's paying his dues and is very deserving of this new position, congrats!
Two comments in a row Vodka. As many have said,Racinos have accounted for most of the purse monies being distributed today. That being the case,forget whether you like them or not. If with all this financial backing and the game is still suffering. Where would it be without them.
If Monmouth wasn't getting funds from the AC casinos you would have nothing but $5000 claiming races here. Without the larger purses this place would die within a year.
The clowns at the lottery here want racing gone the sooner the better for them
IF the front office is racing friendly. OLG are you kidding???? All their "cooperation" was legislatively mandated.
CDI and OLG are ruining racing with their casino's. OLG is doing their best up here to accomplish just that.
Jeff Gural has casino gambling at his NY tracks, but he doesn't short change racing. The instant racing machines have helped Kentucky Downs grow and I believe Oaklawn has them too which has made a big difference. In Ohio, all of the casino gambling has increased the purse money for the Fair racing and has helped top event like the Little Brown Jug. You can't judge all casino companies by the standards set by CDI.
You may not like the Racinos,but how can something that basically saved the game of Racing be considered a cancer. Without Racinos the past 6 or 7 years,how many other venues do you think would of followed Hollywood Park out the rear exit door. Don't judge the game by the crowds and handle it gets from the 3 Triple Crown Race Days and the 2 BC Race Days. Judge it by the other 349 days. Just use your imagination and picture how it would look without the Racino Funding.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town races, on it goes. They are sosmething that IF NOT STOPPED will evetually overtake the entire game. The corporate a-holes, EVEN at Chruchill now boast that the majority of their income is from that tern "gaming" and no longer racing. THese clowns have NO vested interest in racing, just their crappy bottom line
everywhere this cancer has spread, the casino begins to overwhelm and swallow up the racing.
John ,sometime soon after the Belmont Stakes.Planning on heading to the shore. Maybe we'll hook up at Monmouth.
I always worry when a track is dependent on revenue from a casino or other form of gambling. It doesn't seem like a long term strategy for success, but I like Monmouth Park and hope it all works out.
$1,000 bonus for every horse? Very smart. I like it. Congrats Travis on the new digs!
No "Jersey Joe" at the Jersey Shore's "Greatest Stretch"?
Nice to see the fans at my old stomping grounds will have a great replacement for Larry Collmus to listen to ... Congratulations, Travis!

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