07/02/2006 11:00PM

New Jersey still at impasse


Barring a quick resolution to the New Jersey budget crisis, there will be no live racing or simulcast wagering in the state beyond Tuesday afternoon.

"We will keep our horsemen, guests, and employees apprised of the status of live and simulcast racing at both racetracks beyond the July 4th holiday card as soon as we are informed," Dennis Dowd, senior vice president of racing for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, was quoted as saying on the Monmouth Park website Monday. The authority operates Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands.

Gov. Jon Corzine had ordered a shutdown Saturday of what he termed "nonessential state services" after the legislature failed to meet last week's constitutional deadline to pass a new budget. The state's racetracks were to close after racing on Saturday, but Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen obtained a court order to permit racing and simulcasting on Monday and Tuesday. But that order was to expire after Monmouth's last live race at approximately 5:25 p.m. Tuesday.

The Meadowlands schedule called for it to hold a Standardbred card on Wednesday, while Monmouth's next card was scheduled for Thursday.

Budget talks between Corzine and legislative leaders lasted just 30 minutes Monday, with no agreement, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. The major point of contention is Corzine's insistence on a 1 percent increase in the state's sales tax.