Early Monmouth Park opener attracts more than 20,000

Monmouth Park this year kicked off its live racing season on Kentucky Derby day for the first time, and track officials said they were pleased with the results.

Attendance for the May 5 opener was reported at 20,736, roughly double the number for the typical mid-May opening days in previous years. Total pari-mutuel handle on nine live races was $3,114,951, of which $691,090 was wagered on track. The latter figure doesn’t include simulcast wagering on the Kentucky Derby card as well as many other tracks.

“It was an enthusiastic crowd that was treated to a great day of live racing complemented by the Kentucky Derby simulcast,” said Dennis Drazin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Darby Development, which operates Monmouth on behalf of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. “Our new racing format certainly proved popular with the wagering public, and opening day was the first of an entire season of race cards we know will be embraced by horsemen and racing fans alike.”

Monmouth this year will race primarily three days a week—Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Thursdays will be added to the schedule in August. The meet runs through mid-September.

(Monmouth Park photo by THA)