11/20/2008 12:00AM

New Jersey Commission approves 2009 dates

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The Meadowlands Racetrack will run a longer meet next season, the only major change in the 2009 Thoroughbred racing dates approved by the New Jersey Racing Commission.

The Meadowlands meet will extend to Dec. 5 next year. In 2008, the Meadowlands compressed 41 scheduled dates into the tight window of Sept. 30 to Nov. 15, racing on a six-day-a-week schedule.

The 2009 meet will start approximately the same time, Oct. 1. But with a later closing date, the Meadowlands will run 47 dates on a five-day schedule.

Monmouth Park will run May 9 through Sept. 27, a total of 94 days.

Atlantic City Race Course will again stage a six-day all turf meet, the minimum the commission will permit for ACRC to continue its simulcast operation. The dates are April 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and May 1.

The commission, when allocating the 2008 dates last year, ordered ACRC to update it facilities to run a 20-day meet in 2009. The track said it could not comply, in the current economic environment.

The commission also approved a hike in riding fees on losing mounts to $100.