All-turf Meadowlands meet posts gains in average daily wagering

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Oct. 30, 2017

The Monmouth-at-Meadowlands meet that wrapped up Oct. 29 generated major gains in average on- and off-track pari-mutuel wagering, according to statistics released Oct. 30 by operator Darby Development.

Monmouth Park is under lease to the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and contracts with Darby Development for operations. The all-turf meets held at Meadowlands are an extension of the Monmouth meet.

Several dates were trimmed from this year’s Meadowlands meet in order to maintain purse levels at both tracks this season.

For eight nights of race, total handle on the live cards—six races early in the meet and eight per card in the second half—averaged $1.495 million, which includes $1.34 million off track and $151,422 on track. Average export handle was up 36% from last year, while on-track wagering on live races jumped 82%, officials said.

No racing programs were lost this year due to weather, and field size averaged 9.93 horses per race, up from 9.03 in 2016.

“The stars aligned for good weather and racing fans and horsemen really responded,” Dennis Drazin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Darby Development, said in a release. “It’s no secret that full fields and turf racing are a winning formula, and we’ll look to build on this season’s success next year and for years to come.”

New Jersey racetracks will soon submit applications for 2018 racing dates to the New Jersey Racing Commission. Darby Development has indicated the Monmouth meet will begin as usual in May.

(Meadowlands photo by Tom LaMarra)