03/06/2003 12:00AM

Monmouth Oaks cut from 2003 schedule


Monmouth Park in New Jersey has cut the Grade 2 Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks from its 2003 stakes schedule and slashed the purse of the Philip H. Iselin Handicap. At the same time, the track has given a $250,000 boost to one of its Grade 1 races, the United Nations Handicap.

The United Nations, a 1 3/8-mile race on the turf for 3-year-olds and up, will be worth $750,000 this year, up from $500,000 last year. The race will be run on July 5.

The Monmouth Oaks had a $250,000 purse last year, but it will not be run in 2003. Bob Kulina, Monmouth's director of racing, said that stakes in Delaware and New York for 3-year-old fillies were expected to weaken Monmouth's ability to attract good horses to the Oaks.

The Iselin had a purse of $350,000 in 2002, but the purse has been slashed to $100,000 for 2003. Late last year, the North American Graded Stakes Committee downgraded the Iselin from a Grade 2 to a Grade 3.

Monmouth's other Grade 1 race, the $1 million Haskell Invitational, for 3-year-olds, will be run on Aug. 3.

Monmouth's only Grade 2 race, the Molly Pitcher, will have a purse of $400,000 this year, up from $300,000 last year. The Molly Pitcher, a 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares, will be run on June 28.