Oceanport, N.J. – Live racing will return to Monmouth Park on Saturday, May 12, it was announced today by the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA). With a lease from the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority (NJSEA) to the NJTHA expected in early May, the latter will take the operational helm at the historic racetrack for this year’s 67th season of racing.
The 2012 calendar will feature 65 days at Monmouth Park and 10 all-turf days at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford. The Monmouth calendar closely mirrors the 2010 and 2011 schedules, with one notable change: four twilight cards on Thursdays in August, with a first post of 4:00 pm.
“We’re taking what we know worked in the past and coupling it with some new and innovative ideas,” said John Forbes, President of the NJTHA. “It will no longer be business as usual at Monmouth Park. We will not shy from new ideas and events that we hope prove popular with fans and horsemen alike. Our 2012 schedule is the first step in ensuring Monmouth Park’s prominence within the racing industry as we strive to enhance our simulcast appeal, develop a more fan-friendly atmosphere and provide all patrons with world-class Thoroughbred racing.”
Dennis Drazin and Bob Kulina, executives with Monmouth Park’s new management company, expressed optimism for the future of New Jersey racing.
“We’re excited that the horsemen will control their own destiny and look forward to working with them to build a long-term, sustainable racing industry in the Garden State,” the pair said.
Monmouth will race on Saturdays and Sundays for the first three weeks, after which Fridays will be added to the schedule beginning on June 1 continuing through the first week in September. The Saturday and Sunday schedule will return on Sept. 8 and continue through Oct. 7. Three holiday cards will also be offered: Memorial Day on Monday, May 28; Fourth of July on Wednesday, July 4; and, Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 3.
Thoroughbred racing at the Meadowlands gets underway on May 4and 5. Following Monmouth’s last live card on Sunday, Oct. 7, Thoroughbreds will head back to the Big M for racing on Fridays and Saturdays from Oct. 12 through Nov. 3. Thoroughbreds have not raced at the Meadowlands since 2009. All racing dates are pending approval by the New Jersey Racing Commission.