Officials at Monmouth Park have announced an across-the-board increase in purses to begin on TVG.com Haskell S. day July 17 and have added three live September dates on Fridays to the calendar.
“We're thankful to Gov. Philip Murphy and to the leadership in the state Senate and Assembly who continue to support racing in New Jersey,” said Dennis Drazin, the Chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, the operators of Monmouth Park. “A supplemental appropriation was passed and signed into law, and with rain preventing us from writing more races during the early stages of the meet, we have $5.5 million to spend on purses to support the Monmouth Park product as a result.
“We believe it was important to make the announcement at this time, so horsemen can plan for the balance of the meet. We feel these increases will further strengthen what is already a quality product.”
A 20% increase will be applied to all maiden special weight and allowance races, while claiming races run for $12,500 tags or higher will see a prize money increase of 10%. The purses for lower-level claimers will be raised by 5%. Open stakes races that are currently listed at $75,000 will be contested for $100,000, while state-bred stakes will run for $85,000, up from $75,000.
Other stakes races will receive more significant bumps. According to the release, the Sept. 26 Nownownow S. for 2-year-olds at a mile on the turf, will see the largest boost from $150,000 to $500,000. The race in named in honor of the winner of the inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf held at Monmouth in 2007 and will serve as a stepping-stone to this year's race at Del Mar Nov. 5.
The Sapling S. (Sept. 5) and Sorority S. (Sept. 6.), for 2-year-old males and females, respectively, see their purses doubled to $200,000, while the GIII Monmouth Oaks and GIII Iselin S. are each to be raised by $50,000 to $250,000.
Monmouth's original schedule called for weekend racing only during the month of September, but the track will now hold live programs Friday-Sunday and will conduct live racing on Labor Day, Sept. 6.
Officials also announced that after a one-year hiatus owing to the coronavirus, the Monmouth-at-Meadowlands meet will return in 2021. Nine all-turf programs will also see significant purse increases. That schedule will be announced at a later date.