New Jersey Racing

Monmouth Post Time Change for Remaining Fridays of the Meet

Monmouth Park is moving its first race post time to 3 p.m. for the next two Fridays of live racing, starting with the 10-race card Friday, Aug. 27. The new Friday post time will also be in effect for the Sept. 3 program that kicks off the four-day Labor Day weekend of racing. The following three Fridays in September--Sept. 10, 17 and 24--will then shift to a 12:15 p.m. first race post time. Prior to the change, Friday post time had been 5 p.m. First race post time remains at...

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Breen Celebrates Milestone

Trainer Kelly Breen celebrated a milestone Saturday at Monmouth, sending out his 900th winner when Act of Valor (American Freedom) won the day's sixth race. The 2-year-old maiden went off the 6-5 choice and was claimed out of the race by Anthony Margotta. A native of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, Breen operated a small stable in the early 90s before going to work as Ben Perkins's assistant, and went back out on his own in 2003. He won the 2011 GI Belmont S. with Ruler on Ice. "It's a great...

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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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NJ Horsemen Settle With Sports Leagues for $3.4M, Far Below Sought-After $150M

The years-long bid by New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NJTHA) to seek $150 million in alleged damages from the four major team sports leagues and the college sports regulatory body (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and NCAA) ended Jan. 11 with a far lesser settlement approved by a federal judge, who wrote that the case has been "amicably resolved" among the parties. According to the three-page "stipulation and order" signed Monday by United States District Court (New Jersey) Chief Judge Freda Wolfson, in exchange for ending its legal pursuit for more...

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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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Bill to Authorize Fixed-Odds Wagering Introduced in New Jersey

New Jersey moved one step closer to becoming the first state in the country to allow fixed-odds wagering on horse races when a bill that would authorize that form of betting was introduced in the New Jersey Legislature Thursday. The bill was introduced by New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal and an identical bill has been sponsored by Assembly Gaming Committee Chairman Ralph Caputo and Deputy Republican Leader Assemblyman Ronald Dancer. With the bill enjoying bipartisan support, expectations are that it will pass and will be signed into law by...

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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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New Jersey Enacts Nation's Most Stringent Whipping Ban

Starting at next year's Monmouth Park meet, whipping a Thoroughbred will not be allowed by any New Jersey jockey or exercise rider except for the express purpose of ensuring the immediate safety of the horse or rider. Spanning three new rules covering prohibition, allowable usage for safety, and whip construction, the trio of regulations were voted in 4-0 by the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) at its Sept. 16 meeting, making the state the first in the nation to ban whipping beyond protection in an emergency situation. If a jockey...

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New Jersey Budget Proposal Cuts Out Racing Subsidy

A $32.4-billion budget proposal announced Tuesday by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy does not include a $20-million annual subsidy that has been split between the state's Thoroughbred and harness industries. The story was first reported by the website njonlinegambling.com. The subsidy was signed into law in 2019 as a way to help New Jersey's struggling tracks, the only tracks in the region that did not benefit from revenues from casinos. The bill called for $100 million in subsidies to be paid out over five years but also had a provision...

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Bill Filed to legalize Poker at NJ Tracks

A stand-alone bill that would specifically authorize New Jersey's horse tracks to conduct poker games for the first time was filed in the state's legislature July 2. According the explanatory statement included in the one-page Assembly Bill No. 4365, "This bill authorizes poker to be played in poker rooms at horse racetracks in this State. The bill states that the Legislature finds and declares that the card game poker is a game of bluff and skill and is not restricted by the gambling provisions of the State Constitution." The poker...

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Monmouth to Allow Owners On Track for Weekend Workouts

A day after announcing that it will be open to a limited number of fans when its racing season commences July 3, Monmouth Park announced Tuesday that owners will be permitted to watch their horses work from a designated area from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Fridays through Sundays starting Friday, June 26. Monmouth Park has been closed to all but essential personnel since March 16, when restrictions were put into place to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Under a special permit that allows for re-purposing of restaurants...

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Letter to the Editor: Robb Levinsky

As a New Jersey-based owner, the FBI indictments of 27 people including Monmouth Park leading trainers Jason Servis and Jorge Navarro resonated particularly strongly with me. I put together my first racing partnership in 1981, as a teenager in love with the horses and the sport. As is the case in any endeavor involving people and money, there have always been and will always be those who attempt to come out ahead by dishonest means. The difference between thoroughbred racing and other sports - businesses, is that our industry has...

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