News & Barn notes

Monmouth Park’s ‘All of the Above’ Strategy to Ensure Longevity

April 22, 2016


            Oceanport, N.J. — Since 2012 the management of Monmouth Park Racetrack has adopted an “all of the above” policy as it relates to new revenue streams and the longevity of Thoroughbred racing in the Garden State.  The addition of exchange wagering, which officially launches on May 10, is just the latest round in what has proven to be an ambitious agenda of creating a broad-based racing and entertainment destination at the Jersey Shore venue.

Leased by the State of New Jersey to the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association on May 4, 2012, Monmouth Park has been under the management of Darby Development LLC since that date.  Since, the track has seen the addition of a 36-hole miniature golf course, the opening of the Hillsborough OTW, expanded festivals, the Blu Grotto Restaurant, fantasy sports website, hosting a Triple Crown winner and exchange wagering. All coupled with the on-going fight to bring sports betting to New Jersey, expand casino gaming outside of Atlantic City with revenues being dedicated to horse racing and adding wagering terminals at bars and restaurants in the northern part of the state.

            “It’s very difficult to compete with surrounding jurisdictions that already have non-racing revenue fueling purses and attracting horses,” said Dennis Drazin, advisor to Darby Development.  “Nevertheless, what we have done at Monmouth is stop the losses that the State experienced under their leadership, all the while, maintaining a world-class racing program and a facility that is second-to-none.  In essence, we’ve managed to do well with fewer resources than our neighbors and have our staff and management to thank for that as well as the fans that continue to make Monmouth Park one of the most attended racetracks in the country.  And while we still have many challenges ahead, I can state with full confidence that Monmouth Park and the Thoroughbred industry in New Jersey will go on in perpetuity.”

            Just last year Monmouth Park shattered records in New Jersey when American Pharoah made the Haskell Invitational his first stop after winning the Triple Crown.  Attendance that day was nearly 61,000, an all-time record for a horse race in the State of New Jersey, and handle topped $20 million, a new record for a single day of racing outside of the Breeders’ Cup. 

            “There have been recent comments by Meadowlands executives declaring horse racing in New Jersey as good as dead if a casino is not built at their facility,” Drazin said.  “I can further assert that they do not speak for Thoroughbred racing and if their belief is that standardbreds will not survive, that is an opinion not shared in the Thoroughbred industry.

            “It’s a fact that 86 cents of every pari-mutuel dollar in New Jersey is wagered on Thoroughbred racing.  It’s a fact that Monmouth Park is set to open its 71st season this year.  It’s a fact just last year we hosted the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.  It’s a fact that Thoroughbred racing in the Garden State is here to stay.”

          Monmouth Park’s 2016 meet kicks off on Saturday, May 14.