11/04/2004 1:00AM

Monmouth meet starting 2 weeks early in 2005


Monmouth Park will begin its meet on May 14, 2005, two weeks earlier than the traditional Memorial Day weekend launch.

Monmouth's 90-day schedule was part of the 2005 racing schedule approved by the New Jersey Racing Commission on Thursday.

For the third straight year, Monmouth's season will extend beyond Labor Day, to Sept. 25.

The Meadowlands, which, like Monmouth, is owned by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, will race 30 days, from Sept. 30 to Nov. 12.

Atlantic City Race Course will race only four days: April 29 and May 4, 5, and 13. The middle dates will offer all-turf Thoroughbred racing. The first and last dates will be steeplechase cards.

Dennis Drazin, the legislative council for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, called the Atlantic City schedule a "sham meet with no stabling and no facilities" and threatened court action to block it.