Barn Notes

Historic Monmouth Park Racetrack Opens 2012 Season Under the Stewardship of Darby Development

Posted Tuesday, May 8, 2012


OCEANPORT, N.J. – Monmouth Park Racetrack, a storied name in American Thoroughbred racing, will open for the 2012 season on Saturday, May 12, under the auspices of Darby Development LLC, the management company representing the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. 

Dennis Drazin, an advisor to the horsemen in negotiating the lease of the track from the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, will continue in that role. Bob Kulina, a long-time Monmouth Park executive, will serve as president of the management company. 

John Forbes, president of the NJTHA, said the horsemen were eager to get the new meeting underway. 

“Everyone is looking forward to this meeting and all it means to the New Jersey horse racing industry,” Forbes said. “We’ll take what we know worked in the past and couple that with some new ideas. 

“Our 2012 meeting 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 at the track and provide our fans with world-class Thoroughbred racing.” 

Drazin said Darby Development is looking forward to the challenges presented by the 2012 meeting. 

“It’s exciting that the horsemen will now control their own destiny,” Drazin said. “We look forward to working with the NJTHA to build a long-term, sustainable racing industry in the Garden State.” 

The NJTHA won a five-year lease of the facility from the NJSEA, with options for three, 10-year extensions of the lease. 

Under the terms of the lease, Darby Development will also operate the off-track wagering facility in Woodbridge, N.J. Plans call for the creation of several more OTW sites in the state, and Drazin said that they are expected to be up and running by January of 2014. 

The NJTHA also has exclusive rights to open up to a dozen Easy Bets outlets in bars and restaurants throughout northern New Jersey. 

Drazin said that Darby Development will retain a site planning manager to determine the best use of the Monmouth Park property in Oceanport. 

“While Thoroughbred racing will always be our core business,” Drazin said, “we need to explore alternative revenue sources that enhance the operation and prove popular with locals and shore visitors.” 

Monmouth’s 2012 racing schedule includes a 65-day meet at Monmouth Park, plus 10 days of turf racing at the Meadowlands.  

Monmouth Park’s meeting opens on Saturday, May 12, and runs through Oct. 7. The track will race on Saturdays and Sundays for the first three weeks. Fridays will be added to the schedule in June, and three holiday cards will be run on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Monmouth will also run four Thursday twilight cards in August, with a first post time of 4 p.m. 

The first two turf days at the Big M were held on May 4-5. The final eight will be run on Fridays and Saturdays from Oct. 12 through Nov 3. 

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