From a Monmouth Park release

The Monmouth-at-Meadowlands Thoroughbred meet is showing double digit increases in handle coupled with higher average field size as the all-turf stand enters its final two weeks of racing in 2015.

“It’s a great, competitive product that fans have truly embraced,” said Dennis Drazin, advisor to Darby Development, LLC, operators of the meet. “We have tinkered with ideas on how to improve the Thoroughbred meet at the Meadowlands and it looks like we’ve come up with a winning formula. We’ll now take what we know works and build on that in the future.”

Through Oct. 17 of this year, average handle on the six-race programs has come in at $1,249,995, a 13.7 percent increase over the average of $1,099,303 through Oct. 17, 2014 when six programs were also contested. Ironically, three live dates were cancelled due to inclement weather prior to the Oct. 17 cards in both 2015 and 2014.


Field size this year has jumped 13.8% to an average of 9.67 starters per race versus 8.5 starters over the same time period in 2014.

“It’s a beautiful facility,” said trainer Gregg Sacco, who has saddled two winners at the Big M this year. “The turf course has been in great shape. Horses are running well over it and coming back good. You’ve got the Jersey guys supporting the meet and shippers from all over. It’s no surprise that turf racing is very attractive. This is the last shot if you don’t winter in Florida to get on the turf.

“The whole operation is run so smoothly. If there were any hiccups from last year, they’ve certainly been ironed out this year. It’s been great and everyone’s done a great job.”

The 2015 all-turf Meadowlands meet hosts live racing on Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31. Post time on Oct. 23 and 24 will be 7 p.m. before shifting to 12:30 on the last two dates (Breeders’ Cup days).