02/20/2004 1:00AM

Oaks back on Monmouth calendar


Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., has restored the Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks to its stakes schedule in 2004, one year after putting the race on hiatus.

The Grade 2, $200,000 Oaks will be run on Aug. 15 this year, one of 14 graded stakes during Monmouth's 72-day summer meet. Monmouth officials canceled the Oaks last year because of pressures on the purse account.

Monmouth's 14 graded stakes will carry total purses of $3.35 million. The headliner of the schedule is the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap, one of two Grade 1 races that will be run at Monmouth this year. The Haskell is open to 3-year-olds, and will be run on Aug. 8.

The other Grade 1 stakes, the $750,000 United Nations Handicap, will be run on July 3.

Monmouth Park is scheduled to open on May 29. Two graded stakes will be run on opening weekend, the Grade 3, $100,000 Red Bank Handicap on opening day and the Grade 3, $100,000 Jersey Derby on May 31.

The day of the Haskell has always been Monmouth's biggest day of the meet, and this year, two other graded stakes will be run on the undercard: The Grade 3, $100,000 Matchmaker Stakes, and the Grade 3, $100,000 Oceanport Stakes.