Posted: Nov. 17, 2017
The New Jersey Racing Commission Nov. 15 approved a total of 58 live racing programs for Monmouth Park and Meadowlands in 2018. The schedule includes four-day racing weeks in August.
Monmouth, operated by Darby Development on behalf of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, will open May 5—Kentucky Derby Day—and wrap up its meet Sept. 9 for a total of 52 days. Meadowlands will offer six all-turf programs from Sept. 14-29.
With the exception of Memorial Day, May 28, Monmouth will race only two days a week—Saturdays and Sundays—through June. In July, there will be live racing Friday through Sunday and Wednesday, July 4.
In August, Thursdays will be added to make for four-day racing weeks. No racing is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 30, but Labor Day, Sept. 3, will make for a four-day week. Closing week will feature racing on Saturday and Sunday.
NJTHA President John Forbes said Monmouth opted to offer more racing in August for several reasons, including the availability of more 2-year-olds compared with late spring and early summer. He also said there is a window in August to attract more entries because Parx Racing in Pennsylvania usually is dark for most of that month.
The number of dates in 2018 is the same as this year. Monmouth in 2017 offered 50 racing programs while Meadowlands had eight. With the recent election of Phil Murphy, who has stated his support for horse racing, as the next governor of the state, the NJTHA is optimistic about growth opportunities for the industry in the coming years.
(Monmouth Park photo by THA)