Monmouth closes with attendance, handle gains
From a Monmouth Park release
The curtain closed Sunday on a successful Monmouth Park season with the racetrack showing across the board gains in attendance and handle for the 50-day meet, which commenced back on May 13.
On-track wagering averaged $424,556, a 7.9% increase over last year’s average when the track ran 57 days. Simulcast handle showed a slight increase to average $3,050,257, which represents .4% more than last year’s average. Attendance was up 7.4%, with an average of 9,234 fans pouring through the gates daily.
“This year’s numbers are indicative that people continue to support racing in New Jersey,” said Dennis Drazin, Chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, operators of the racetrack. “We continue to operate at a distinct disadvantage to our neighbors, who have alternative revenue streams boosting their purses. Nevertheless, fans embrace our product, our determination has never wavered, and people continue to make Monmouth Park one of the top destinations in the state.”
Top training honors went to Jorge Navarro, who captured his record-tying fifth consecutive title. Navarro sent out 65 winners at the meet, besting the all-time record he set last year with 59 winners. Leading jockey was Nik Juarez, who won 75 races en route to capturing his first Monmouth title. Hector Diaz Jr., who arrived in New Jersey in June, was leading apprentice, piloting 30 winners, good for fifth in the overall standings. And, top owner was John J. Brunetti’s Red Oak Stable, who won 13 races this season.
The 2017 season marked the sixth since Darby Development began operations at the racetrack. Since that time, the facility has seen the advent of the very popular Blu Grotto restaurant, the opening of the BluGrottoBeerGarden, Blue Grass Mini Golf and the William Hill Race & Sports Bar.
Operations off-track have expanded to include the Hillsborough OTW and exchange wagering, making New Jersey the only state to offer this innovative form of gaming.
“Our accomplishments have been many, but much work remains to be done,” Drazin said. “We continue to explore new revenue sources and are cautiously optimistic for a favorable outcome when the Supreme Court delivers a final verdict on our more than five-year fight to bring sports betting to New Jersey.”
Live Thoroughbred racing continues in New Jersey at the Meadowlands on Sept. 22 with eight all-turf programs.