NJ Dates Awarded; Big Changes Expected

Published: November 10, 2010 06:04 pm EST

The New Jersey Racing Commission awarded dates for 2011 but massive changes are expected before those dates are finalized by the end of this year


The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority’s General Counsel Ralph Marra asked that the award of dates be tabled until the completion of legislation which would result in a restructuring of racing at the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park.

But Racing Commissioner James Aaron said that racing was “in such a state of flux and uncertainty that it would send out the wrong message if we approved some dates and adjourned other dates.”

Marra thought it was best to wait for the legislation, which he expected to move this week, was in place but the Commissioners, meeting on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at their Trenton offices, rejected the request to table action.

In presenting the racing dates for the Meadowlands, Senior Vice President for Racing Lennon Register said he hoped for legislation that would reduce the standardbred dates to 101 in 2011. Instead, he presented a schedule for 141 dates, currently required by legislation, which would include 81 dates from January 7 through August 20 and another 60 dates from October 1 through December 31.

Freehold’s General Manager Howard Bruno presented that track’s request for 168 dates – January 1 through June 11 and August 18 through December 31. He noted that he “reserved the right to amend them.”

These 309 standardbred racing dates were approved by the Commission.

As for thoroughbred dates, Atlantic City Racecourse was awarded six dates [April 28 to 30 and May 1 to 3] and the NJSEA was okayed for 141 dates – 104 Monmouth dates from May 7 to September 30 and 37 Meadowlands dates to be run at Monmouth from October 1 to November 20.

Register noted that the NJSEA reserved the right to amend this with a reduction in days and/or change of venue.

The NJRC’s next meeting will be held on either December 16 or 17, and it is anticipated that with the necessary legislation in place there will be significant changes in the award of dates for 2011 at that meeting.