03/18/2015 4:34PM

Monmouth approved for 58 dates, Meadowlands gets 13 for 2015


The New Jersey Racing Commission on Wednesday approved an amended racing schedule for Monmouth Park’s live meet in 2015 while also approving 13 Thoroughbred dates at the Meadowlands, according to commission officials.

Under the approvals, Monmouth will run 58 total live racing dates in 2015, from May 9 to Sept. 27, with racing on weekends in May and September and racing on a Friday through Sunday schedule in June, July, and August. The 13 live dates at the Meadowlands, which will only feature turf racing, will be held between Sept. 24 and Oct. 31.

Monmouth’s operator, a company controlled by New Jersey’s horsemen, had applied last year for 49 dates at the track in 2015, but the horsemen submitted a new dates proposal to the commission earlier this month after failing to reach an agreement with the owner of the Meadowlands on a 22-day meet at the track. Horsemen were hoping to run on both dirt and turf at the Meadowlands, but the two tracks could not come to an agreement on how to pay for the cost of converting the Meadowlands harness-racing surface to a track suitable for Thoroughbreds.

A separate proposal from the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association to use money in a fund accrued by Atlantic City Race Course was tabled because the horsemen’s group had not submitted the proper paperwork for the commission to consider the request, said Frank Zanzuccki, the executive director of the commission. The Atlantic City fund currently has approximately $1 million in it, Zanzuccki said, and would be used to supplement Thoroughbred purses in 2015 and pay some workers’ compensation costs for trainers.

The owner of Atlantic City closed the track for good in January.