New Jersey Racing Commission

The Week in Review: Vitali Starting a Horse at Saratoga Is Not OK

The system, whatever that has come to mean, failed badly last week when Marcus Vitali, one of the sport's most controversial trainers, was allowed to start a horse at Saratoga. Then again, should anyone have been surprised? This was just the latest example of this being a sport that is so dysfunctional, its regulatory systems so weak, that it is completely unable to police itself. Help is on its way. Some day, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) will be implemented and a central body led by the U.S....

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NJ Commission Won't Commit to Request for Whip Rule Clarification

The accident and disqualification of the winner in last Saturday's GI TVG.com Haskell S. at Monmouth Park has rocketed to the top of racing's recent controversies, chiefly because of the polarizing role that New Jersey's newly implemented anti-whipping role may or may not have played in the stretch-run spill. Since the start of the 2021 meet at Monmouth, whipping a Thoroughbred has been strictly prohibited, except for the express purpose of ensuring the immediate safety of the horse or rider. As three horses battled for the lead in the stretch...

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Guild to End Insurance Coverage for Monmouth Riders

In a June 7 letter, the Jockeys' Guild informed its membership that, starting July 1, Monmouth Park jockeys will no longer be covered by Guild insurance policies. The Guild has been providing temporary disability benefits, life insurance and Accident, Death and Disability benefits to those who have chosen to ride in New Jersey. The Guild has been adamant in its belief that racing has become more dangerous at Monmouth Park because jockeys are no longer allowed to encourage their mounts with the use of the whip. In the June 7...

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JPMorgan, Four Corners Racing's Anthony Trimarchi Joins Writers' Room

It was an eventful few days for racing in the northeast, and the TDN Writers' Room presented by JPMorgan Private Bank broke down all of the latest developments in the Monmouth jockey standoff and the raids on Parx barns by the Pennsylvania Racing Commission Wednesday morning. Plus, they welcomed Four Corners Racing's managing partner Anthony Trimarchi as the Green Group Guest of the Week to discuss his experiences as a new owner in the game and the economics of racing from a banking perspective. "I was exposed to racing at...

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Battula Banned 2 1/2 Years, Fined $7,500 for Monmouth Drug Confiscation

Aparna Battula, the jockey-turned-trainer who has not started a horse since New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) investigators confiscated 83 injectable medication vials and 36 needles from her Monmouth Park tack room July 29, 2019, had her training license suspended 2 1/2 years and was fined $7,500 in a post-appeal commission ruling on those violations during the board's May 19 meeting. Commissioners voted 4-0 to impose a penalty that was slightly stiffer than the two-year ban and $6,500 fine recommended by a New Jersey administrative law judge (ALJ) after Battula had...

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Jockeys' Guild Denied Stay of New Jersey Regulation

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, denied Jockeys' Guild's motion to stay the New Jersey Racing Commission's Regulation on the use of the riding crop in Thoroughbred racing. Jockeys' Guild sought the stay of enforcement pending a decision on its appeal, which has not yet been decided. "We are extremely disappointed in this decision on our motion for a stay of enforcement. This Regulation prohibits jockeys from using the riding crop as they have been trained, increasing the risk of injury to both the horse and rider," said...

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Audit Reveals $272K in Uncollected Commission Fines

A state audit of the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) that sampled the records of 100 individuals listed as never having paid their fines for racing infractions has revealed that at least $272,000 remains uncollected, with 76% of that money being outstanding for penalties that were imposed by the NJRC as long as two decades ago. The Office of the State Auditor, which probed various aspects of the commission for the period between July 2016 through March 2020, also stated that the commission-produced equine fatality reports "are not always complete...

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Guild's Request to Hold off on Strict Monmouth Whip Rules Denied by NJ Commission

An attempt by The Jockeys' Guild to get the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) to hold off on implementing the most restrictive anti-whipping rules in the nation until an appeal gets decided in court failed Wednesday when the NJRC voted that the Guild couldn't show that not imposing a stay would create irreparable harm or hardship to riders, horses and the public. So when the Monmouth Park meet opens May 28, whipping a Thoroughbred will not be allowed by any New Jersey jockey or exercise rider except for the express...

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New Jersey Fixed-Odds Pilot Program Cleared for 2021

Even as a separate bill to allow fixed-odds wagering on in-state horse races is making its way through the New Jersey Legislature, the state's racing commission voted 4-0 Nov. 18 to give consent for licensees to try a fixed-odds pilot program during 2021 that would be limited to bets on out-of-state Grade I races. The vote was unanimous but not without misgivings, as several commissioners voiced concerns prior to the vote that fixed-odds betting would cannibalize the existing pari-mutuel system and eventually erode New Jersey's racing industry. And one New...

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Jockeys' Guild Begins Legal Action Pertaining to New Jersey Crop Use

In light of the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC)'s decision and applicable new regulation to eliminate the use of the riding crop but for safety purposes in Thoroughbred racing, the Jockeys' Guild has retained the services of Rivkin Radler LLP in Hackensack, N.J., to take legal action. A notice of appeal of the Commission's new regulation was filed on Nov. 5, 2020, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. As the organization representing jockeys throughout the U.S., the safety of both equine and human athletes are paramount and...

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2020 Monmouth Meet Ends on a High

Monmouth Park showed increases in both the daily transmission of its signal and in total average handle compared to 2019 during the combined 44-day meet that concluded Saturday. Monmouth Park's average daily simulcast handle increased 27.09% to $3,604,413 daily compared to $2,836,148 last year. The overall average handle was up 20.81% to $3,807,082 daily compared to $3,151,201 last year. "We are so grateful to everyone for supporting this extraordinary meet and, more specifically, the Governor's Office and the New Jersey Racing Commission for allowing us the ability not only to...

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Monmouth Jockeys Upset Over New Whip Rules

Several of the regulars who ride at Monmouth Park say they were never consulted by the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) before banning the use of the whip starting in 2021 and, if they were, they would have told regulators they were out of touch and creating an untenable situation. "This is a really, really, really bad decision," said Antonio Gallardo, who is fourth in the current standings. "You can't just take the whip right away like that. If they wanted to put in a rule like they have in...

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