Drazin: No chance Monmouth postpones Haskell card
Photo by The Racing Biz.
With the temperature expected to be over 100 degrees on Saturday in Oceanport, NJ, and a heat index over 115, conditions might be dangerous for horses, workers, and fans alike.
But Dennis Drazin, the chairman and CEO of Darby Development, the operators of Monmouth Park, was vehement when asked Wednesday if there was any chance of postponing the race card.
“None,” Drazin said. “I’ve been asked that question a lot today. I’ve been here at Monmouth on some of the hottest days and we get that ocean breeze coming in. We have to keep the safety of the horses in mind. If we have to, we will delay the races until 6, 7, or even 8 o’clock when it gets cooler. We always care about the horses, the jockeys, the people working on the track. We will have cooling stations for everyone. The fans can come in where it’s air conditioned. I don’t foresee the race being delayed, but we had to have a backup plan in place.”
By the time he was asked the question, Saratoga had already said that it would postpone cards on Friday and Saturday if the heat index goes over 110 degrees. Monmouth’s heat index is supposed to surpass 115 degrees. In the interim, numerous tracks have announced cancellations, including Saratoga, Delaware Park, Laurel Park, and reportedly Parx Racing.
“We’ve had these days where we say, ‘What do we do?'” Drazin said. “But it was never on Haskell Day.”