02/15/2017 7:43PM

Monmouth taking stall applications for what could be shorter meet

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Stall applications are now available on the Monmouth Park website and in the track’s administration building for this season’s meet. They are due by March 16.

The New Jersey Racing Commission has approved a 71-day Thoroughbred season for 2017, which includes 56 race days at Monmouth and 15 turf-only cards at the Meadowlands.

Monmouth, however, is the only track in the Mid-Atlantic without an alternative revenue stream from casino gaming and is having difficulty keeping its purse structure competitive with other tracks in the region. Monmouth averaged $3.44 million per day in all-sources handle at its 57-day meet last year, a drop of more than 25 percent from 2015.

The possibility exists that the 2017 season could be shortened if Assembly bill A4246 is passed by the legislature. The bill would reduce the required minimum number of racing days in the state to 50.

The bill passed the Assembly (77-0) and is waiting to be heard by the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

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Michael Campbell, the executive director of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association of New Jersey, posted a memo on the organization’s website Tuesday, alerting the membership to possible upcoming schedule changes.

Campbell pointed out that although the approved Monmouth season is set to open May 13 and run through Sept. 24, the stall application form has the dates listed as May 13 to Sept. 10.

The Meadowlands turf dates are scheduled for May 5 and 6, and Oct. 6 through Nov. 11.