08/07/2004 11:00PM

Breeders' Cup eyes Monmouth in 2007

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - Monmouth Park moved a step closer to hosting the 2007 Breeders' Cup with the signing of a memorandum of understanding among the parties.

It will be the first time the Breeders' Cup comes to New Jersey and the Mid Atlantic region.

Monmouth will host the 24th Breeders' Cup on either the last weekend in October or the first weekend of November, 2007.

Officials from Breeders' Cup Limited, the state of New Jersey and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority signed the document Sunday at a press conference in Monmouth's library.

"It indicates that we have agreed on the major points that will now be incorporated with some finer points into a full-blown contract," said D.G. Van Clief, Jr., the president of the Breeders' Cup.

All signs indicated the full contract could be completed by the end of this year or early next year.

"We think we'll reach a contract fairly soon," said George Zoffinger, the president and chief executive officer of the NJSEA which owns and operates Monmouth. "We don't have many major points that need clarification. We are committed to do what we have to do."

Gov. James McGreevey represented the state and called it "an historic day for the state of New Jersey."

McGreevey, Zoffinger and Van Clief signed the memorandum.

The 2005 Breeders Cup will be held at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30.