Monmouth Park closed out its 2017 racing season Sunday in successful fashion, posting across-the-board gains from the 2016 season. On-track wagering averaged $424,556, a 7.9% increase over last year’s average when the track ran 57 days. Simulcast handle showed a slight increase to average $3,050,257, which represents .4% more than last year’s average. Attendance was up 7.4%, with an average of 9,234 visitors attending the races daily.
“This year’s numbers are indicative that people continue to support racing in New Jersey,” said Dennis Drazin, Chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, operators of the racetrack. “We continue to operate at a distinct disadvantage to our neighbors, who have alternative revenue streams boosting their purses. Nevertheless, fans embrace our product, our determination has never wavered, and people continue to make Monmouth Park one of the top destinations in the state.”
The 2017 season marked the sixth since Darby began operations at the racetrack. Since that time, the facility has seen the advent of the Blu Grotto restaurant and beer garden, Blue Grass Mini Golf and the William Hill Race & Sports Bar. Operations off-track have expanded to include the Hillsborough OTW and Betfair US exchange wagering, making New Jersey the only state to offer the alternative form of gaming.
“Our accomplishments have been many, but much work remains to be done,” Drazin said. “We continue to explore new revenue sources and are cautiously optimistic for a favorable outcome when the Supreme Court delivers a final verdict on our more than five-year fight to bring sports betting to New Jersey.”
The 2017 meet saw Jorge Navarro land his fifth consecutive training title with a record 65 winners, while Nik Juarez took home the jockey’s title with 75 victories. Top owner at the Oceanport oval was John Brunetti’s Red Oak Stable, who won 13 races at the meet.
Live Thoroughbred racing in the Garden State shifts to the Meadowlands Sept. 22 for the first of eight all-turf race cards.