Monmouth to open with limited number of patrons; owners can view works

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: June 24, 2020

Monmouth Park has announced it will allow a limited number patrons on track when its 2020 race meet begins July 3, and beginning June 26 owners will be permitted to view workouts from a designated area adjacent the racetrack.

The facility actually will reopen July 2 for simulcast wagering and sports betting in the William Hill Sports Book given recent approval from Gov. Phil Murphy. Capacity will be capped at 25% per New Jersey’s Stage 2 COVID-19 restrictions. Officials said details will be forthcoming.

Monmouth has been closed to fans since March 16.

“We’re grateful for Gov. Murphy’s leadership throughout this pandemic and look forward to getting back to some semblance of business as usual in these times of a new normal,” said Dennis Drazin, Chairman and Chief Executive of Darby Development, which operates Monmouth on behalf of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. “We know our fans are as eager to return to Monmouth Park as we are to have them back.”

Monmouth plans a 37-day meet through Sept. 27 with live racing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day weekend. There also will be racing on that Monday holiday. After that, racing will be held Saturdays and Sundays.

First post time on Fridays will be 5 p.m. except for Sept. 4, when it will be 12:50 p.m. Saturday and Sunday post times will be 12:50 p.m., except Haskell Day on July 18, when the first race goes at noon.

Access to owners will be granted 5:30-10:30 a.m. Fridays through Sundays. Under a special permit that allows for the repurposing of restaurants, an all-weather tented section at Blu Grotto restaurant has been construction adjacent the track. Owners with valid ID can enter through the Blu Grotto entrance on Port au Peck Ave; there will be temperature checks and a health questionnaire for all who attend.