06/11/2004 12:00AM

Monmouth nearer to Cup


Breeders' Cup Ltd. has begun more detailed and serious negotiations with Monmouth Park to host the 2007 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at the New Jersey seashore racetrack, according to a senior official of Monmouth.

Bruce Garland, the senior vice president of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, the owner of Monmouth, said that the Breeders' Cup board had authorized the negotiations during a meeting on Friday. The negotiations are the first step in coming to a final determination about whether to hold the Breeders' Cup at a selected racetrack. "This is a positive step, but it's not the definitive step," Garland said. "We're obviously honored to continue to be considered. It's a very positive step."

Monmouth Park officials have been attempting for several years to convince Breeders' Cup that the track could host the World Thoroughbred Championships. Breeders' Cup officials have shown a willingness to branch out to other venues after successful events at Woodbine Racecourse in Canada and Arlington Park outside Chicago.