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Barn Notes

American Pharoah to Hall of Champions; Tote Board Among the New This Year at Monmouth Park

Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2016

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            OCEANPORT, N.J. – As Monmouth Park gets ready to kick off its 71st season of racing this Saturday, fans will notice a few new items around the racetrack, including a banner for American Pharoah, this year’s inductee into the Hall of Champions. 

            “American Pharoah, the Zayat family and trainer Bob Baffert gave racing fans a day they’ll never forget when they brought their Triple Crown winner to Monmouth Park last year,” said Bob Kulina, president of Darby Development, LLC, operators of the racetrack.  “We saw records fall across the board and are incredibly grateful to the entire Pharoah team for making the Haskell their first stop after winning the Triple Crown.” 

            Honoring the best horses ever to compete at Monmouth Park, the Hall of Champions is located on the first floor of the Grandstand.  American Pharoah’s banner will be hoisted on opening day as he joins his 65 fellow Hall of Champions members. 

            And the American Pharoah banner won’t be the only new thing fans notice right away – a new tote board in the infield will be an easily-noticeable addition to the racetrack.  Featuring two video boards of its own, the new tote board will give fans a crisper view of current odds and wagering pools. 

            Among the not so visible additions is a new roof atop the Grandstand. 

            “That’s just one of the infrastructure projects that needed to be completed,” Kulina said.  “We’ve had quite a few capital improvements made to the facility.  Unfortunately, they won’t be noticeable to the fans, but they’re certainly necessary to ensure the proper upkeep of a facility that’s more than 70 years old.”
            A few new faces, and some returning after a hiatus, will join the Monmouth Park backstretch and jockey colony this year.  Trainers Chad Brown, Nick Zito and John Servis will all have a string of horses in Oceanport, while Butch Reid, who enjoyed success here in the past, will have his horses bedded down in barn 10.

            In the jock’s room, Roberto Alvarado, Jr., who had ridden regularly here in the past, as well as Pablo Fragoso and Pedro Cotto Jr. will be returning.  Joining the rider ranks for the first time this year will be J.J. Gonzalez, who’s been riding successfully in Florida the past several years. 

            Monmouth Park’s 2016 racing season spans 57 days from May 14 through Sept. 25. 

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