Updated on 09/18/2011 1:37AM

Breeders' Cup reps tour Monmouth


Officials of Breeders' Cup Ltd. met with representatives of Monmouth Park on Tuesday to discuss the track's preparations for the 2007 event, officials of Breeders' Cup said on Wednesday.

The purpose of the site visit, according to Damon Thayer, Breeders' Cup's vice president of event management, was to review Monmouth's progress in promised renovations for the event, which will be held at Monmouth for the first time on Oct. 27, 2007.

In addition, Breeders' Cup officials sought assurances from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority that a recent announcement of a 20 percent staff reduction would not impact the event. The NJSEA is the owner of Monmouth Park, the Meadowlands, and several sports facilities.

"They assured us that the cutbacks will not affect any operations of the Breeders' Cup," Thayer said. "We were actually quite frank in expressing that concern, but we are confident that the NJSEA will take every step necessary for the proper staffing levels, including taking staff from its other operations."

Among the NJSEA officials who have accepted a buyout, Thayer said, is Chris McErlean, the senior vice president for racing operations.

Thayer said Monmouth has made "good progress" on all its renovations, which include the installation of new audio and video equipment, a new patio terrace, an expansion of the winner's circle, and the pending installation of a new cushion for the main track.

Breeders' Cup officials will likely make monthly visits to the track throughout the next year to check on Monmouth's progress, Thayer said.

Monmouth will host the Breeders' Cup on the last day of a special four-day meet in October.