New Jersey

Op/Ed: That Burton Sipp is Still Racing is Indefensible

Take the time to read colleague Dan Ross's extensive and detailed story on the sordid career of trainer Burton Sipp and you might conclude that, in horse racing, enough is never enough. The story is about a lot more than the many controversies that have shadowed Sipp throughout his career, it is about how racing somehow always let Sipp back in, to give him a third chance, a fourth, fifth chance. It is about the sport's inability to police itself and its failure to permanently ban someone who has no...

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Far Hills to Name Race For John Forbes

The Far Hills steeplechase race meet will honor the late John Forbes--a fixture at Monmouth Park where he trained for 40 years--with the first John Forbes Memorial Race during its six-race program Oct. 15. The 101st Far Hills Race Meeting will offer $575,000 in purses for the six races at Moorland Farm in Far Hills, N.J., highlighted by the $250,000 Grade 1 Grand National. The John Forbes Memorial, the only flat race on the program, will be contested at two miles on the turf. It will go as the final...

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Monmouth Names John Brennan the 2022 Handleman Winner

New Jersey's Monmouth Park honored John Brennan of as the winner of the 2022 Bill Handleman Award for outstanding coverage of last year's GI TVG.Com Haskell S. Brennan covers legalized gambling and horse racing in New Jersey. "John's blog is a must-read for people interested in horse racing in New Jersey, specifically at Monmouth Park, and throughout the legalized gaming industry," said Dennis Drazin, Chairman and CEO of Darby Development, LLC, the operator of Monmouth Park. "We're pleased to formally recognize John's coverage of horse racing at Monmouth Park...

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$1.5m Zayat Settlement to Make Small Dent in Overall $19m Debt

The trustee in Ahmed Zayat's personal bankruptcy case has negotiated a $1.5-million settlement to be paid by the debtor's brother, Sherif Zayat, that a court document stated will "resolve all claims and causes of action" related to the multiple mortgages on Zayat's home. The motion for approval of that settlement, if so ordered by a judge in a New Jersey federal bankruptcy court July 6, doesn't mean the end to the complicated, now 21-month-long Chapter 7 petition by the allegedly insolvent former Thoroughbred owner and breeder. But it does mean...

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First Foal Out of Paola Queen Makes Impressive Debut

4th-Monmouth, $56,925, Msw, 6-4, 3yo/up, 6f, 1:10.94, ft, 4 1/4 lengths. PASS AND STOW (c, 3, Medaglia d'Oro--Paola Queen {GISW, $431,490}, by Flatter) was hammered down to 3-2 favoritism for this unveiling and ran to the money with an impressive debut score. Away alertly from his rail draw, the Don Alberto homebred seized the early advantage, dueling through a :22.86 opening quarter and :46.18 half-mile. Opening up on his foes turning for home, the bay strode clear with ease down the lane to graduate by 4 1/4 lengths. Peter Brant's...

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New Wagering and Dining Options Debut at Monmouth

Monmouth Park opens its 2022 meet May 7 with new wagering and dining options. The New Jersey oval will offer fixed odds wagering, allowing bettors to retain the odds at the time of their bet as opposed to tote wagering. "We are excited to finally be able to offer this new wagering opportunity to our fans," said Dennis Drazin, CEO and Chairman of Darby Development, operators of Monmouth Park. "We believe this is just the start of what will be an extremely popular wager. For the first time, bettors can...

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Fleming Wins Buddy Raines Award

Millie Fleming, president of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association of New Jersey, has been named the 2022 recipient of the Virgil "Buddy" Raines Distinguished Achievement Award, Monmouth Park announced Thursday. The Raines Award is presented annually just prior to Monmouth Park's season opener, which is coming up May 7. "This means the world to me. I know the elite company I'm in," said Fleming. "I'm the first breeder to receive this award so it truly is special to me." Fleming is still active as an owner and breeder. She also taught...

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Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

GARDINER, NY-A 30-year-old gelding you surely never heard of who never did anything that special on the racetrack is scheduled to be put down Friday at his home, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation farm at the Wallkill Correctional Facility in upstate New York. It happens. They all get old and, for Renaissance Bob, it is his time. This is not pressing news. Far from it. But it will be a sad, bittersweet day for me. I saved Renaissance Bob's life, plucking him out of a kill pen on Nov. 23, 1998...

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Purse Increase, Dates Added at Monmouth

Officials at Monmouth Park have announced an across-the-board increase in purses to begin on 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...

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Monmouth Handle Down; Are Whips To Blame?

Because of the pandemic in 2020, six-race cards on Fridays and a run of rainy weather to start this year's meet, apples-to-apples, year-over-year handle comparisons aren't easy to come by at Monmouth. But all indications are that the Jersey Shore track has gotten off to a poor start, and that raises an important question--are bettors staying away because of the new rules that prohibit whipping? Sunday's card was the first of the meet where all the scheduled races were run on the turf and there was not an abundance of...

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Monmouth Seeks New Partner to Keep Exchange Wagering Alive in New Jersey

In the wake of last week's news that Betfair intends to pull the plug on its exchange wagering platform in New Jersey on Oct. 1, Dennis Drazin, the chairman and chief executive of Darby Development LLC, which operates Monmouth Park, told the New Jersey Racing Commission Sept. 16 that his track is actively seeking another partner to continue the bettor-versus-bettor style of wager-matching that is popular in other parts of the world but hasn't quite caught on in America. "Although they want out of business, we do not," Drazin said....

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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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