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Monmouth Park Meet Called "Game-Changer"
In New Jersey, “there is a buzz around Monmouth Park, which opens tomorrow (May 22) for an experimental meet during which purses will average about US$1 million-a-day” (the highest in North America) reported bloodhorse.com. The 50-day spring/summer meet “could very well determine the future structure of racing in the state”. Thoroughbred dates at 2 New Jersey tracks have been cut from 141 last year to 71 this year, while the new schedule “features daily purses that triple the US$331,000 paid out last year”. Monmouth will race Saturday & Sunday on the opening weekend, before starting a 3-day schedule (Friday through Sunday) except for holiday weekends; in the past, Monmouth raced 5-days every week in the summer. New Jersey Sports & Exhibition Authority (which runs the tracks) president Dennis Robinson declared: “This is a game-changer, not just for racing in New Jersey, but for the entire region. The longevity of the racing season is nearly identical to what it has been the past several years. With fewer dates & the highest purses in the country, we’re more than a little optimistic that significant gains in attendance, handle & field size are quickly on the horizon.”