Monmouth Park in driver’s seat to host 2013 Breeders’ Cup

by | 06.25.2012 | 9:38am

One of the things New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo accomplished with his takeover of the New York Racing Association was elimination of Belmont Park as a likely host of the 2013 Breeders' Cup, according to several insiders tuned in to the selection process for the 30th annual year-end Thoroughbred racing championships.

NYRA last hosted the Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park in 2005, and it was widely believed the event would return to the Long Island, N.Y., racetrack next year after such a lengthy hiatus. But that was before the upheaval created by a takeout scandal rocked NYRA's management, leading to the dismissal of CEO Charles Hayward and the move by Cuomo to reconstruct NYRA's board of directors with political appointees. That NYRA board reconstruction, which has yet to begin, leaves too many questions unanswered about the future of the racing association for the comfort of many Breeders' Cup directors.

Instead of going back to New York, it is becoming increasingly likely the 2013 Breeders' Cup will return to Monmouth Park in New Jersey, which first hosted the event in 2007. That was the first time the championships were held over two days instead of one.

A number of factors point to Monmouth as the favorite.

The Oceanport, N.J., track, built in 1946, is leased for the next five years to the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association after being operated for decades by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The fact that track management and the horsemen speak as one voice is an important factor.

Darby Development, the company hired by the New Jersey THA to operate Monmouth, is led by Robert Kulina, who was general manager of the track when the 2007 Breeders' Cup was held there. Monmouth received good reviews for its handling of the event despite horrid weather that included a heavy rainstorm during the Friday program.

Kulina and his team are anxious for the opportunity to host the Breeders' Cup again. “Our handle figures were very high,” he said. “Other than the bad weather, I'm very proud of what we did.”

The fact that track management and the horsemen's organization speak as one voice is an important factor.

“The 2014 Super Bowl will be held in New Jersey (at Meadowlands Stadium on Feb. 2, 2014),” said Kulina, “If we get the Super Bowl of racing in 2013, that would be big to the economy of New Jersey. From the state's perspective, anything that can boost the economy would be a big factor. The state would be very cooperative. They were supportive last time, and if we were fortunate enough we are hopeful we'll get the same kind of support.”

Part of the horsemen's association lease with the state includes a $5-million loan, part of which could be used as a sweetener in Monmouth Park's bid to get the Breeders' Cup. “We do have the option to take a long-term loan from the state,” Kulina confirmed. “Where we allocate those resources is up to us. The state of New Jersey would be very pleased if we could add the event.”

The 2013 Breeders' Cup will be the first one run under rules adopted last year by the organization's board of directors banning the use of all race-day medications, including the anti-bleeder drug furosemide. Those new medication rules also may be a factor in determining the 2013 host. While the Breeders' Cup may impose whatever regulations it wants to conduct the championships on-site, interstate simulcasting of the races still falls under the guidelines of the 1978 Interstate Horseracing Act , which requires approval of the representative horsemen's organization at the host track for any interstate simulcast.

In 2012, with the Breeders' Cup being conducted Santa Anita, only the races for 2-year-olds will be run under the no race-day medication rules. The Thoroughbred Owners of California has already given simulcast approval for the 2012 races under the new medication rules for 2-year-olds, according to TOC president Lou Raffetto Jr.

But 2013 could be a different story. TOC's official position is that the use of furosemide is in the best interests of the horse, and Raffetto said the owners organization has not determined whether it would support or oppose the new medication rules if Santa Anita Park was given the opportunity to host the Breeders' Cup again in 2013.

The Breeders' Cup also faces a potential challenge to the imposition of its medication rules if the event returns to Churchill Downs in 2013. The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which strongly supports the use of Lasix, could leverage its veto power of a simulcast contract.

That's one reason New York was an early favorite to host the 2013 event at Belmont Park: New York is the only state exempt from the horsemen's consent portion of the Interstate Horseracing Act, and Breeders' Cup would have been able to impose its medication rules without concern that simulcasting could be an issue.

John Forbes, president of the New Jersey THA, indicated his organization would not block the new medication rules should Monmouth Park host the Breeders' Cup in 2013. “We are still opposed to the elimination of Lasix,” said Forbes. “We do think more study needs to be done on the most sensible way to implement medication reform. I'm more concerned with what happens to the horses. That being said, we believe the Breeders' Cup should be able to do what it wants regarding Lasix and medication.”

“The horsemen's policy may or may not be the same,” said Kulina, “but this is a Breeders' Cup event.”

That kind of cooperation is why some think Monmouth Park is in the driver's seat to become host in 2013.

“It's a big deal to us, for whoever is running the track, and it's a big deal for New Jersey,” said Kulina. “Hosting the Breeders' Cup is major. It allows you to have a bounce. Customers across the country pay more attention to your simulcast signal, before and after the event. Our interest is in horseracing. All of our business models are racing. We need to sell bets to be successful.”

One last thing Kulina said he told Breeders' Cup officials about Monmouth Park's 2013 bid. “We didn't put it in writing, but I promised them it wouldn't rain again.”

Craig Fravel, president and CEO of the Breeders' Cup, would not comment on the site selection process for 2013 other than to say he hopes a decision is made by the Breeders' Cup board of directors within the next month.

  • Let me see…..This is probably a trial balloon and wishful thinking floated out there by Kulina and Forbes to see if they get any bites…..Anybody going to the “Shore” in November better bring their parka to cover their bikini because it’s COLD…..

  • TR10

    Would be great to see…Even though Monmouth is a Summer destination, it’s a track with such a rich history that hasn’t been given a fair chance to compete by politicians in recent years.  Hosting the BC would be a great step in the right direction, and a chance to place further pressure on the state to allow slot machines.

  • TR10

    In an ideal world, the Breeders Cup would be hosted on a 4-year rotation of Belmont-Santa Anita-Churchill-Wildcard (Monmouth, Lonestar, Gulfstream, etc.)

  • Ida Lee

    If the BC comes to Monmouth Park, my girlfriend in NY will be impossible to live with. She practically lives in Monmouth Park.  Now, about NYS losing such a prestigious sporting event…They needed this pretty bad considering the sad state of the NYS economy. But even though I’m not exactly a fan of Gov. Cuomo, I think it’s best if the mess with the NYRA is cleared up first.

  • riverracer

    First off their going to need lights.  Not a big problem but certainly a mandatory requirement.  Plus I think they have a conflict between the NY marathon and the weekend of the Breeder’s cup.  Not a good situation to host a big event and make hotels rooms scarce and even more expensive than normal. 

    More importantly the last experience with the BC at Monmouth was horrible.  Started off with the trains out of NYC running late.  Got worse, while you can’t control the weather you can control how you handle a crowd.  The security lines were a joke, took forever to get in the track and all the while standing in mud. 

    I’m going to need some convincing that this time will be better before I give Monmouth another try.     

  • Swamp Fox

    …..and wet. But we already know that from the last time.

  • voiceofreason

    I thought Cali owned the Breeders Cup.

  • Smittyhorse101

    and as always either the TCO or CBRH completely fumbled the opportunity. Can’t deal with this states failures.

  • Mystical Song

    Cuomo The Corrupt strikes out again, and so does New York.

  • The Cubs are in last place Ray

    Hopefully if the Breeders Cup is listening to this, I have 2 suggestions for the debacle last time (not counting the monsoon which was out of their control).

    1.)   Security needs to be at the entrance points to the higher-priced seats to prevent “squatters” who paid the $15 GA price from sitting in the seats that are for $120.   This is on thing NYRA does well at the Belmont.  There’s nothing worse than sitting next to someone in mesh shorts and a tanktop who paid $15 sitting in the same section as you.

    2.)  If you make the seats after the finish line between the line and the  7 1/2 furlong pole $125, you might want to get something other than $2 plastic seats you can buy at Dollar General which end up being all out of line and a complete mess.

  • Cougar Paisley

      As a long-time patron of Monmouth Park since the late 50’s, I can tell you that if the BC event was to be held tomorrow, it would be a total disaster, regardless of weather.
    Kulina and his management group would need 5 years just to get it up to par of what 2007 was like. 

     For example, this year they didn’t want to pay the local police to handle the normal traffic control as they usually did. They did away with the previous security force and replaced it with a bunch of kids making $10 an hour. No uniformed State police presence, either.
     From a mutual teller aspect, Kulina cut their pay and reduced the staff in half. This has resulted in long lines at the windows and the inability to place a bet. Just look at the per capita handle numbers for this year on their high attendance days, so far.

     Then, there is the track’s ability to handle a large crowd from a food and beverage standpoint. Kulina and Darby Development bought out Aramark, a large sports arena and event food provider, of their ten-year contract and replaced them with a local catering company. Nothing, but long lines and running out of food early in the day. They run to local liquor stores to replenish their liquor stock. It’s gotten so bad, that they let the customer’s serve themselves their own beer and wine at the party and picnic locations. Any underage kid can help themselves, if they choose.

     Finally, Governor Christie said all along he wanted the taxpayers of NJ to get out of operating horse racetracks, yet Kulina and Dennis Drazin want to take out a long term debt loan from the State and use it as they see fit. I see nothing but a big party for their well-connected, well-heeled friends and co-horts. 
     The Breeders Cup committee should hold off their decision until they can witness this year’s Haskell at Monmouth. I say these comments not because I don’t want the BC at Monmouth, I just don’t want them to embarress this lovely institution on the world stage.


  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    This would be nice to see, although still wish it would come back to Belmont.  I was there in 2007 and probably one of the only ones (with my father) who braved it out in those plastic seats right by the finish line throughout the card.  Other than the weather, the only other problem I found was with the parking and bus system they had.  No one seemed to know where the busses were supposed to go and there were no dedicated bus route…so they were at the mercy of traffic.  I thought Monmouth did the best they could considering the monsoon that hit NJ that weekend.  Would love to go back to the shore for the BC. 

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    You raise a lot of good points that I did not think of since the takeover of Monmouth.  I will be going to Haskell this year and it will be interesting to see how it plays out, especially with the cast that is lining up to run in it.

  • Al

    Stuff like this makes you wonder if the BC’s relationship with TOC/SA and CDI has soured in recent months.

  • Big Red

    I hope they get it.
    Yes, there were a few minor problems however it wasn’t anything different I encounterd at the Belmont this year. You simply can’t make everyone in a crowd of 100,000+ happy.
    They seem to handle the Haskell crowd with no problem ??
    Just hope for a sunny day.

  • Anderson5999

    You hit the nail on the head, CP. Couldn’t have written it any better myself.

  • Anderson5999

    It’s already hosted the Breeders’ Cup, and what good did has it done? The track still sank into a political abyss that I predict still has yet to be settled. As long as Christie is in office, there won’t be slots outside of Atlantic City.  

  • I like Gulfstream the best :) Nice weather & a beautiful track. Sunny Florida in the fall is AWESOME!!  

  • J_Dinks

    I’d like to see Hialeah become the permanent home to the Breeders’ Cup.

  • brussellky

    As opposed to the tropical paradise up the road in Long Island?

  • Turnbackthealarm

    Very thoughtful post.

    I thought the ticket allocations were most disgraceful in 2007.  A great many of us had the advance ability to buy early through the BC website and no one was able to purchase any of the more expensive seats.  The lottery assigned all of us (like about 50 of my friends) the worst locations on the grounds.  Then, miraculously, it was advertised in the Asbury Park Press, a couple of days before the event that “seats” had opened up. The lines were ridiculously long.  They wouldn’t let you turn the lousy tickets in.   It was a debacle and insulting.  

  • brussellky

    You are overlooking a minor detail.  Where would you put 50,000 people, on the roofs of the restaurants and bars?  The permanent seating is tiny.

  • wallyhorse

    This is truly a surprise.  I’m guessing there is enough pressure to have the BC in the New York metro area again.  I never considered Belmont a serious player because of laws that forbid nighttime thoroughbred racing to protect the harness tracks that would need to be changed, with lights needing to be installed at Belmont and now Monmouth if it gets the 2013 BC.

    If Monmouth does get the BC, I suspect as long as we don’t get a nor’easter like 2007, they will be fine.  It was no one’s fault the BC had problems because of that nor’easter, and Monmouth did as good a job as they could given the circumstances.  I also suspect BC. Ltd would bring in the necessary security for a Breeders’ Cup week to satisfy their needs if they award it to Monmouth.That said, what BC Ltd. may want to do if they award Monmouth the BC is to actually hold it further down the shore at Atlantic City Race Course, leasing the track from Greenwood Racing for the event (with Monmouth still considered the host track).  That would give BC Ltd. months to prepare Atlantic City as they want it to host the BC and re-install lights (even if just temporary) so the BC can go well into the evening (which I suspect will be the case if this year’s hour-long prime time telecast of the BC Classic on NBC gets any pulse of a rating opposite Part 3 of Alabama-LSU on CBS and college football on ABC).  This also solves the potential issue with the New York City Marathon being the same weekend as the Breeders’ Cup, since Atlantic City has tons of hotel rooms that likely would be easily booked if the BC were there without squeezing hotel space in New York.After 2013, I do suspect we will be seeing the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs on a near-permanent basis unless another track capable of racing at night makes a serious enough bid to host the event.

  • wallyhorse

    What I think this is is that there has been pressure to get the BC back to the New York area, and given what has happened at Belmont, Monmouth would make more sense.  That said, if Monmouth gets it, I would actually be looking to swing a joint deal with Greenwood Racing to have the BC at Atlantic City Race Course given a potential conflict that weekend with the New York City Marathon that could put a squeeze on hotel space if that BC were at Monmouth as opposed to Atlantic City, where that would not be a potential issue.

    If they were looking at the BC in the New York area, I would also have been looking to lease The Meadowlands from Jeff Gural for a nine-night BC meeting there given The Meadowlands has lights, which I suspect will be a factor in who gets future Breeders’ Cups.

  • riverracer

    I think there are a couple of really intriguing possibilities for future BC’s.  Delmar and Keeneland have both expressed interest in hosting a BC.  They both would require some significant seating additions (and lighting)  to qualify but both would be great venues to host a BC.

    I’ve been to several BC’s and my two worst experiences came at Monmouth and Arlington.  I love Arlington racetrack but they were way out of their league in hosting the BC.  The temporary seating accomodations were not good and those of us seated up the track felt like outcasts.  No access to the paddock or the general building, etc..  While Arlington is close to my home I would not attend another BC there.  I feel the same way about Monmouth.   

    Interestingly Woodbine did a great job of hosting the BC. They are a venue that also has a smaller number of permanent seats.  So it can be done but it’s apparently not easy to pull off as evidenced by the results at Arlington and Monmouth.

  • Jersey Josh

    Ok folks here I go
    Atlantic city race course is a dump w zero building to house the 5k they get there now it’s not an option
    Slots will never move north as long as the state continues to throw new money after bad
    Best was the numbers from casinos last month, all we’re down year over year and that includes a new casino. Borgata down too

    With kulina in charge NOTHING that the fan or hard core gambler would be available you see lil’ Bobby Kulina has NEVER cared about the fan. You know the ones that really make the show go on.

    I can’t speak to the long lines and the like cOmplaints as I refuse to attend or wager on my home track with these clowns killing the game here.

    The only way they get my money is the fact that I only am allowed to use their ADW. Not allowed to shop my business. Welcome to New Jersey home to the liar and the fat man.

    Not to worth for them. They got paid and we got screwed and sadly no dinner:(

  • Cougar Paisley


     I had the pleasure of attending the Atlantic City Race Course this past May. They would have to blow the place up and rebuild a new facility on the grounds first. I couldn’t be able to describe my experience there, without belly-laughing on the ground first.

     Your idea is a good one, as I use to attend ACRC in it’s heyday. Sadly, the facility today is more reflective of the declining state of New Jersey horse racing.

     It’s a shame it ever got to this point, but then again, this is what happens when NJ politicians are more interested in their own special interests.

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    I’m not sure night racing and lights are the answer for the sport or Breeders Cup.  I often wondered the effect night racing or racing much later has on some of the horses who are more accostumed to racing earlier in the day or late afternoon.  I think in some ways it is more dramatic to be running as the sun is setting than under the lights all the time.  I realize it goes against the idea of getting better ratings and what some of the networks may want, but with horses being creatures of habit…I do wonder if some are thrown for a little bit of a loop running under the lights and later.   

  • wallyhorse

    Woodbine can only hold 42,000 (remember, Woodbine did not have slots when they hosted the BC in 1996), which is below what BC Ltd. would need.  Otherwise, they would likely be a serious player in the BC again.

    Keeneland would be an interesting BC host, but I suspect Churchill as noted could get it permanently beginning with 2014 because of their having lights.

    If they could expand Colonial Downs’ capacity enough to do it, they would make an intriguing host.  It would requiring making sure they can use the lights on the main track (the lighting was re-jiggered this year so turf racing, which makes up the bulk of racing there is under the lights), but that likely would not be an issue and their climate (southern Virginia) in early November is considerably milder than the northeast without it being hot and humid like it can be in Florida.  Colonial has a 1 1/4 Mile main track (with a 1 1/8 Mile chute) and two turf courses that could easily work for a BC.  That is a track quite a few people I know would love to see host the BC.

  • idavis

    I agree, but I don’t think these folks care about the horse…it’s all about the $$$, and that’s why Thoroughbred racing has been going downhill for years…very sad.

  • idavis

    Belmont is by far the better venue…was there in 2005 and at Monmouth in 2007….no comparison.  Belmont takesc are of its fans and have had years of experience doing it.  Additionally, it’s a large park w/great seats and a phenomenally well maintained track.  It’s the best venue for Thoroughbred racing in the East /Mid Atlantic region w/the exception of Keeneland…if they were able to compete for the BC in the future.

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    I agree completely, and have heard that one of the reason that BC was balking at coming back was because unlike Santa Anita and even Churchill, there were not enough places to wine and dine the elite at the track…and that appeared to be a big stumbling block for Breeders Cup to get over.  Oiously showed that with todays new marketing strategies or the young people Breeders Cup is bringing in, it was more important to them to have the popular people satisfied than the people interested in the actual racing product.  After all…Belmont is great for the fan and those who love the races…but I am sure there are a lot of celebrities out there who would not set foot in a place that did not have a spa or 5 star restaraunt…

  • Victoryhaven

    I thought the 2007 Cup at Monmouth was a disaster even without the miserable weather. The Cup should never be held at a venue that is not conducting live racing at that time or has none in the immediate area. It was lousy for fans like me who enjoy coming in ahead of time and watching live racing and seeing the city. I’m sure I won’t be the only one who attended the 2007 event and won’t go back for another one at Monmouth.

  • Don Reed

    INSANE.  Absolutely insane.

    There is ZERO possibility of Monmouth Park ever competently hosting a Breeders’ Cup.

  • Don Reed

    HELLO?  Doesn’t ANYONE remember New Jersey Account Wagering –

    Despite having been given FIVE TO SEVEN YEAR’S NOTICE that they’d have to upgrade their computers in order to handle a BC average daily handle ($$$ bet) –

    CRASHING during the first hours of the betting on the FIRST day of the 2007 BC?!!

    Ditto the second day.

    It destroyed the 2007 BC handle.

    REPEATED FOR EMPHASIS: It destroyed the 2007 BC handle.

    The state of N.J. lost MILLIONS of dollars running that Breeders Cup!!!

    I believe on the 4th day (counting from day one, on Friday), NJAW finally could present electronic statements of bets made and payoffs on winning bets (which normally are available instantaneously).  It might have been Day Five, Tuesday.

    That was five years ago.  Since that time, NJAW’s technical capabilities have degenerated.  The system is an absolute joke, a 1980s Radio Shack Time Capsule museum. 

    The only reason why it is still in business is that somehow, they still enjoy a legal monopoly for N.J. residents.

    I could easily deposit $2,000 in my account each time I reload to bet.  The system is so incredibly unreliable – so technologically retarded – I limit the deposits to $100.00. 

    It’s a matter of depositor trust, as in everyday banking & investing. 

    After about seven years of consistently witnessing their incompetence, who in their right mind would have anything to do with them, other than to use as a plaything?

  • Asburyjim

    For those of you that talk about lack of hotel space for Monmouth due to the NYC marathon: If the lack of hotel space in NY is an issue, remember NY is over an hour commute to Monmouth, about the same as Atlantic City. The fans can just as easily stay at the AC hotels to get to Monmouth as they can the NY hotels. NJ would just have to make sure that they line up the gambler buses with routes to get them to the track. Not sure how this would go over with the casino owners though as their cooperation with racetracks for the good of the state as diminished in recent years.

  • DC

    Horses are generally adaptable, you get used to working nights and so do they.

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    Its the “used to” part that I am talking about.  Sure…if they train and race and maybe for a few weeks bring them in and alter their routine as far as when to race then yes….but to bring them in a few days before the big race..and then through them under the lights…I just think it would make things a little harder on them..

  • DC

    I see what you are saying, and I suppose it could, but I think hauling in, just a few days before the race might too, don’t give them much time to settle in, but once again they are pretty adaptable, I am sure there are some it would upset a bunch, first time under the lights can throw a wrench in it. Guess it just depends on the horses.

  • sittin’ chilly

     Don, it’s your old buddy The Donald, and you are spot on. NJ Bets is less advanced than the average 12 year old’s blog. It can’t update races, time to post, odds, etc. on a normal day. On a big day, forget it. You better get down somewhere else. Open it up to competition and online handle would soar.

  • Chris Lowe

    Woodbine might not even be around after this year…

  • Chris Lowe

    The Meadowlands has run, what, one all-turf day since 2010 for thoroughbreds? That idea is ridiculous.

  • Chris Lowe

    Then, BC will return to NY in, maybe 2099?

  • Harry

    It is absolutely absurd to even consider Monmouth to host 2013 Breeders Cup. In 2007 getting in and out of the track on those 2 days was ridiculous. There are not enough hotels in the area to accommodate such crowds. You have to stay 20-50 miles away from Monmouth in order to attend Breeders Cup. Yes in 2007 it rained cats and dogs but Monmouth holds the record for the lowest handle Breeders Cup Day. Lets see Belmont had 85,000 Belmont Day when last time Monmouth even had 50,000. Arlington Park would be much better to handle Breeders Cup with a beautiful track and great accommodations. Again New York is being avoided with the LAME excuse new management will affect the Breeders Cup planning. Absurd in every sense of the word.

  • Robb

    As much as I like Monmouth, they should not have racing after Labor Day, let alone the Breeders’ Cup.  It is a summertime track.  The 2013 Breeders’ Cup should belong to Belmont Park, regardless of the management issue.  It seems like a convenient excuse for Breeders’ Cup Ltd. not to hold it in New York.  

    The Breeders’ Cup, after nearly 30 years, should be much more prestigious than it is.  It should be a defining event on the level of the Triple Crown, but it has been so poorly managed over the years that it has more of the equivalent of an all-star game than an actual championship event.  Part of the reason it lacks luster is because of petty political nonsense like the constant avoidance of Belmont Park as a host site.  New York is the biggest stage of them all; Monmouth Park is nice, but it’s not New York.  If Belmont Park can’t be the permanent host of the Breeders’ Cup, it should be part of a five-track rotation with Santa Anita, Churchill Downs, Arlington Park and Hialeah Park.


    Your 1,000,000% right in all aspects. Kulina & his ideas are archaic. until they get someone similar to a Tim Ritvo in Gulfstream, a new eager person with its finger on the pulse of todays gamblers & patrons in general to take over Monmouth it will continue its downward spiral to obliviance!!

  • Tony

    I like It.The takeout on the pick4 goes from Belmont 24% to Monmouth 15%.

  • Don Reed

    Thanks.  One example: It would have occurred to a 12 year-old A DECADE AGO that integrating the video screen into the main betting page itself would be an essential component of a competent betting system.

    Instead, with 3 MTP – hopefully, it’s 3 MTP!  Might actually be 1 MTP! –

    If you want to know what the REAL ODDS of the horses are (especially helpful if it’s a small-betting-pool harness race, which practically all of them are now),

    – Here’s how you’re forced to bet:


    1) Look at main betting page (on which bets are made);

    2) Switch to the pre-opened “video” page; find out what THE REAL ODDS are – from the too-small miniature screen;

    3) Switch back to the betting page; drop down the betting box; decide what kind of bet makes sense, now that you have RELIABLE, FACTUAL odds -instead of NJAW Science Fiction Odds – and bet.

    Not sure who the fave is going to be with 1 MTP?  Repeat steps 1-3 at least 3 times.

    B) Or set up two video monitors that run simultaneously into your desk computer, one for the betting page and one for the video;

    C) Or spend (waste) additional money on a TV cable/internet system and watch two screens, TVG or HRTV for the odds (when THOSE idiots feel like displaying them ) and NJAW at your desk to place bets.  

    D) Get a Dick Tracy wristwatch and bet on The Penquin, in the fifth.

    If you’re going with “C” – Get organized early.  FIOS TV lately when first turned on insists that it’s loading new software (OF COURSE!  Your TV might have been hacked while you sleep!).

    If it’s 2 MTP or less, maybe you can make it out to the Meadowlands in time to get the real odds. 

    Pure Rube Goldberg.  And they wonder why the Port Authority newsstands (in Wyoming) have a daily bigger handle than theirs.


    There’s no secret why the MP BC handle was the lowest, EVER. 

    Five years later, MP flunkies keep insisting that the weather was the reason.

    Sounds like the pathetic die-hards who are still blaming Bush, don’t they?

    The handle was DESTROYED when the NJAW system crashed on both days of the 2007 event.

    Bets coming into the site from all over the nation (world) came to A DEAD HALT.  The handle could NOT increase.

    If the sun had been shining brightly, The results would have been EXACTLY THE SAME.

  • Don Reed

    You’re not even close to what a great deal this would be – 15%? 

    NJAW computers crash; you can’t get your bet in; ZERO takeout!

    What a bargain!

    NJAW’s BC 2013 “Pick4” definition: “The first four bettors get their bets in.  Then the system crashes.”

  • RayPaulick

    I won’t argue with you about traffic, since I don’t have first-hand knowledge of any problems people experienced at Monmouth. However, your assessment of handle at Monmouth Park is flat-out wrong. It was a very successful event from a handle standpoint.

    Also, while Belmont Park has had some enormous crowds for the Belmont Stakes, the lowest attended Breeders’ Cup was at Belmont Park, when 37,246 attended in 1995. The best Breeders’ Cup attendance at Belmont (54,289 in 2005) ranks 14th highest of the 28 Breeders’ Cup Saturdays run thus far since 1984. Monmouth Park had 41.781 on the Saturday program with poor weather conditions in 2007.

    Record attendance at Monmouth Park was 53,638 on Haskell Day in 2003.

  • Tony

    I’ll take my chance,you can have the 24%.

  • Don Reed

    Ray, assuming that we’re talking about the 2007 BC, can we get a sworn affidavit from Monmouth Park management, and their independent accountant’s similar testament, as to the “very successful event from a handle standpoint”?

    Sorry, but after that fiasco, literally, no one’s word (my included) is sufficient to resolve the issue.

    The average roads around the Monmouth Park area, aside from the loop R35/36, are very similar to Iron Works Pike outside of Lexington. 

    Imagine the trafic on I-90 south of Chicago; put it on the roads around Rumson & Red Bank; that was the BC 2007 traffic. 

    And coming into MP on R-36 on a normal Saturday after getting off the Garden State Parkway is an invitation to the Indianapolis 5 MPH Speedway, due to the incompetent timing of the traffic lights and the Cro-Magnons who have been given drivers licenses. 

  • Don Reed

    Let’s remember exactly what happened at the Monmouth Park
    2007 Breeders’ Cup.


    The following is from Jennie
    Rees’s Courier Journal, “BC Fans Speak Out,” copied @ November 25,


    “Worst experience was
    leaving the track Saturday.  We bought
    train tickets from MP for the NJ Transit train to & from MP from Penn
    Station…train took 90 minutes each way, stopping at 15 locations…for the
    prices charged ($120/4 tickets, both days)…should have had express service…

    “Trying to get on the train Saturday after BC – nightmare – very dangerous
    situation – 5,000 or more people waiting for trains; no organized queue, just
    NJ Transit employees urging everyone to spread out all the way down the track.  When the 1st train arrived, we all expected
    all the doors to open – wrong.


    “Only the doors on the
    1st two train cars of the first train opened – everyone spread out along the
    length of the train was out of luck…everyone rushed to the two open doors…very
    dangerous crowd pushing & shoving… took @ 20 minutes for people to get on
    the train & walk forward to fill the 15 cars…next train pulled up; again,
    only two doors opened & in a different location than 1st train…everyone
    who thought he/she was in perfect position to get on the 2nd train
    scrambled…more pushing & shoving…by now, it was dark…thank God it
    wasn’t raining.

    “3rd train arrived, same thing happened – only two doors opened in yet a
    different spot; although reduced, crowd still large & very unhappy,
    everyone shoving & pushing to get on the train…NJ state cop showed up
    & told everyone to spread out down the track to use other doors!  Not surprisingly, he was shouted down by hundreds
    who spat venomous words…we finally got on the 3rd train & departed at
    7:15 pm, more than an hour after we had reached the station.

    “NJ Transit had three years to plan for this, & virtually everyone on
    board had purchased the advanced tickets from MP…they knew how many people to
    expect…NJT should have been prepared for everyone to arrive at once…at CD,
    they set up an organized queue for the buses – why didn’t NJT do this?  Why didn’t they prepare to have all the train
    doors open?

    “A mad house…BC, MP & NJ Transit very fortunate no one was hurt or
    killed…this last experience has ‘done me in’ when it comes to any future
    none-CD BC…other venues simply can’t handle it…don’t care enough, or are
    too arrogant…


    “Phil Lynch, Louisville”

  • Don Reed

    Post Note: – MP Vs the Professionals – A
    Comparison (orig. 11/03/07; posted on PR as a reminder, June 25th, 2012)


    final NJAW handle was finally published in the article below:


    Park Press 11/01/07


    system handled $644K in bets Saturday – far below projections – as those trying
    to place bets met with long outages.”


    note: In contrast, Churchill Downs on 11/02/07 effortlessly handled $620K in
    phone-in & web bets – an amount so mundane that it and other amounts are
    buried on a daily basis, in almost indistinguishable type, in newspaper sports
    sections; overall total handle $6.5M.]

  • wallyhorse


    I was at Belmont for the 1995 BC, and most of the problems NYRA had with that BC had to do with a nor’easter that dumped 4″+ of rain late the night before and morning of that BC.  Many basements in the New York area were flooded, and as a result, a large number of people who were supposed to work that BC as I recall were unable to get to Belmont because they had to deal with problems in their homes (this included as I recall a group of tellers who were supposed to come down from Saratoga for that BC that were unable to get to Belmont because of flooding).  In addition, there were requests for people not to drive if they didn’t have to that morning, which also probably cost NYRA 20-25,000 people if not more.  It was remarkable they had 37,246 for that BC, I thought they were going to be lucky to have 25,000 given how bad the weather was that morning.

    The 2001 BC at Belmont was not only the first BC after 9/11, it was also the first international sporting event held in New York after that day.  That BC, which had 53,000 probably lost AT LEAST 15-20,000 people because that was in the middle of an Anthrax scare (that of course we found out years later was caused by one person that had nothing to do with the terrorists of 9/11) that had many people fearful of flying into New York, where most of the Anthrax cases were centered.  In fact, because of that scare, if I were at BC Ltd., I would have immediately awarded Belmont the 2002 BC and moved Arlington, Lone Star and Churchill (which hosted the following three BCs) back by one year each so Belmont could have had a “normal” BC the next year and people who had been afraid to come into New York for the ’01 BC because of the Anthrax scare could have done so a year later. 

    As said in other posts, I never considered Belmont a serious player for the 2013 BC mainly because of the laws in New York forbidding nighttime thoroughbred racing that would in my opinion have to change for Belmont to host another BC, especially with the recent success of the BC going into the early evening, which will be penetrated further this year with the BC Classic in prime time for the first time ever on NBC.  Lights (even temporary ones) may very well have to be installed at Monmouth for a BC there for the same reason I see Churchill becoming the almost-permanent hosts starting in 2014, especially if this year’s BC Classic gets any pulse of a rating on NBC.

  • wallyhorse


    I would agree with you, but at present, Atlantic City only runs the bare minimum six days and 43 races per year to keep their simulcasting permit.  If the Breeders’ Cup did go to Atlantic City, BC. Ltd. might very well have up to a year and a half to get the facility up to the standards they would want to host the BC, and unlike other facilities would have near-complete control in doing so.  

    BC Ltd. could themselves in that scenario lease Atlantic City from Greenwood Racing and take over the six days normally run in the spring now and expand that to a 15-20 day spring meet that could lead into Monmouth, perhaps taking some money out of the two BC days and putting that money to use to severely enhance purses for such a meet (not including races for New Jersey Breds) for BC-nominated horses (which would have the side effect of encouraging more horses to nominate to the BC if they see they can get BC funds outside the BC itself) and another 15-20 day meet after Monmouth in the fall that would conclude with the Breeders’ Cup, using the same enhanced purse structure for BC-nominated horses.  This would allow Monmouth to return to its old Memorial Day-Labor Day meet as well and run fewer days there for considerably bigger purses.

    That to me is something that could very well work.

  • wallyhorse

    Actually, Meadowlands is scheduled to run eight nights of racing in October and BC week in November after the Monmouth meet concludes, the first time T-breds will race a significant period there since we last had a full meet in 2009.  Jeff Gural has been open to letting The Meadowlands be used for thoroughbred racing as long as the track was converted at the expense of whoever wanted to host a meet there as I understand it.  

    The Meadowlands probably can be expanded to hold 50-65,000 if it were needed for a BC, so I don’t think that would be that big of an issue, especially since there is now a train station that would likely be in use for such if it got the BC.  As said, the most likely scenario for a Meadowlands BC would be for there to have a 9-12 night BC meet after Monmouth finishes with the BC concluding the meet.

  • what the hell does the BUSH CRACKER have to do with anything???…

  • Cougar Paisley


      Earlier this month, I posted on one of your stories regarding Monmouth Park stating that they had a record Father’s Day crowd this year. And you should recall that Bob Kulina “boasted” how great this was for MP racing.

     The truth of MP handling a large crowd and expecting that same crowd to put money through the windows is dismal at best. The three (3) largest attendance days so far for the 2012 MP meet were 27,532 on Father’s day, 23,020 on Food Truck Wars day, and 16,236 on Irish Festival Day.

     Now, when we look at the handle on track for each of those days, from a per capita (per person) standpoint it was $39.38 for Father’s Day, $37.77 for Food Truck Wars, and $39.64 for the Irish Festival. All of these three event days were held on a Sunday.
     By comparison, the first three (3) Fridays in June, the attendence were 3,728, 4,762, and 5,028. Respectively, the per capita figures were $66.60, $65.83, and $73.28. (note: All attendence and on-track handle figures are from official DRF charts)

     Having attended MP on these days, I can easily attest to why these figures are the way they are. A high attendence day does not put more money thru the machines because of two simple facts.
     One, you can’t stand in a food concession line for almost an hour and expect to place a bet. That’s at least two races that go by.
     Two, you can’t stand in a mutual teller line for almost forty (40) minutes and expect to get your bet in. More shutouts than you can imagine.

     So Ray, I ask you. Is it the MP patrons fault that they can’t place a bet or is this a track managerial issue. Those days that I mentioned above were special event days designed with other destination purposes (i.e. Food Trucks and Irish Festivals)
     What is MP going to do when people are there, specifically for world class horse racing? And remember that your references to Monmouth were the years 2003 and 2007.

     Trust me, a lot has changed since those days.

  • Mlmartin

    don’t forget the new track super. i watch monmouth on tv and can’t figure out the watering of the track. the first two paths are dry the next three paths out are wet and the outside is dry again. the turf is like a rock and there are way too many sprints. it’s starting to look like some other local tracks .

  • Jersey Josh

    Sadly your plan is much more than that. There are zero barns at A/C and a completely new grandstand would be needed. I can’t see anyone putting up the money. And I also think that Greenwood should get the hell out of the way so someone would fix the place up and run a boutique meet. Fix the place or move along
    Also there is no way BC puts up any money for purses other than their races. Never gonna happen. They also won’t put any money into a facility. They expect the host to fix the place up just ask MP how much it cost them. Well start with the new turf course and then the following year new dirt. Plus all the grandstand work. New TVs etc.
    Once Kulina finally kills it off Forbes can look in the mirror and ask how did this happen?


    The breeders cup would be foolish to award Monmouth with the 2013 races! Bob kulina & the whole darby development of drazin,Forbes & musto only care about the bottom line & NOT the horses or horsemen. They proved that when the hired a track superintendent.Rather than find someone with experience they hired a trainer with absolutely no clue on how to take care of a track. The racetrack itself is the most important thing there is to the horses & trainers. There’s millions of dollars invested in horses on the backside on any given track & for them to hire a new super with NO experience is a direct slap in the face to all the owners & trainers. The breeders cup should think about that before the make there decision!

  • Cougar Paisley


     You’re 100% correct. The previous experienced track maintenance crew is gone. The new management has gutted the workforce from backstretch personnel to security and everything in between. Many of the unionized personnel left after 20%+ pay cuts, reduced and eliminated benefits, and being forced to work alongside non-union employees.

     Yet, Bob Kulina who invoked these reductions is making close to $300,000  
    for the same job he did for less with the NJSEA (the previous operator). He retired from that position at the end of 2011 and is also collecting a $100,000+ state pension. 

     These salaries are being drawn via a consulting firm that he and Dennis Drazin formed to operate the track on behalf of the NJ horsemen. There are more new LLC’s involved in the entire operation that you can shake a stick at. One would need a scorecard to keep track of the contractual relationships. 

     And now they want to take out a loan from the NJ taxpayers to put on their BC show.
     This should be interesting!

  • Stanley inman

    I’ve run at night for the past decade at mountaineer
    and never saw a single episode of
    Horses bothered by night racing.
    Just think about your speculations-
    How could that track function if what you claim was true

  • Francis Bush

    Another poor choice. The track is difficult to travel to. The last Cup races held there was flooded. Why must fans continue to suffer from such poor choices?

  • Tinky

    It boggles the mind that people complain about the weather when Monmouth hosted the BC as if the same variable isn’t in play at EVERY racetrack (particularly those on the East Coast).

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    Are the horses that routinely run at Mountaineer ones that are accostomed to night racing, as in they are stabled there and most likely mostly race at night?  Or do you get a lot of shippers in too.  I understand what you are saying, and that a lot of horses would have no problem with it.  All I’m saying is that a horse that has never run under the lights or the shadows that it may produce on a track might be slightly affected by it so as to not give their best effort.  I’m sure it is no different that not liking a particular track surface, but it is something that just needs to be considered is all I’m saying. 

  • Stanley inman

    Speaking as someone who ships in.
    Horses could never do all the things we ask of them if they were not highly adaptable.
    Because they are doesn’t mean we are guilty of abuse.
    Not to you personally, brian,
    But there is Way to much theorizing on paulick
    by those who never have been on a horse
    or on the end of a lead shank.

  • Bryan Langlois (ShelterDoc)

    I’m not in any way implying racing them under the lights is abuse, so please don’t think so.  I have spent some time at racetracks working with vets pre-vet school…so I do understand some of their habits.  I appreciate the info though as you answered what I was wondering about as far as horses shipping in.  I suppose it will always be up for debate…

  • Charles Decker

    Perfect idea.  Bob Kulina and staff have run MTH into the ground and now will be rewarded with BC 2013.   You have to give the powers to be of racing credit–they have a knack for making every incorrect decision.

  • Bristling

    Ac woyuldn’t need a new grandstand. The barns are still there but they do need major work done on them. Mostly new roofs.

  • Bristling

    Colonial Downs, do you know how small that grandstand is ?

  • Bristling

    They are tearing down the grandstand to build a much smaller one.

  • Harry

     Ray I hear what you are saying but that was back in the day and not today. There is no way Monmouth Park out handles Belmont Park for Breeders Cup Day. New York racing I agree has had one problem over another but like it or not New York racing is the best racing on the East Coast and deserves better than the Breeders Cup committee is giving. Haskel Day in 2003 record Monmouth Park 53,638 and I believe Churchill Downs had 85,000 when Zenyatta lost the BC CLassic. I am sure Belmont can easily out draw that and he won’t have to wait 2 hours to get out of parking lot???????????????

  • Jersey Josh

    Going back to Ray’s title for the article… New Jersey in Drivers seat…and Driving right off the cliff.  Thanks lil Bobby.

    Also I share Don Reeds thoughts about the ADW 4njbets  I want a CHOICE!!!

  • wallyhorse

    That’s why I said if capacity at Colonial Downs can be expanded.  I know Colonial was built to handle 15,000 or so, they were realistic about the track when it was built.  It would come down to whether or not enough facilities could be built there to handle the overflow.

    Another track many have felt should get a chance to host the Breeders’ Cup is Delaware Park (though they are in the same boat as Monmouth as far as needing lights in my opinion if they try to have the BC there).  Delaware’s grandstand I believe can still seat well over 20,000 (close to how many seats Belmont Park has) and even with slots in the facility probably can handle 50-60,000 without a problem.

    All that said, I suspect unless another track currently capable of racing at night (i.e.: Hollywood Park) makes a serious bid to host the BC, beginning either in 2013 or ’14, Churchill Downs will become the near-permanent host of the BC because of their capacity and ability to race at night, which I do think will be a requirement of future hosts given the success the BC has had in recent years expanding into the early evening.

  • lisa wintermote

    Hallelujah Amen! I nominate this for post of the year! Thank you Mr. Inman! Lisa

  • Sal Carcia

    I am sorry to see Ray still promotes the idea that the NYRA scandal was really a scandal at all. The overcharge was a just an error which falls just as much on all the governments oversight agencies as it does the NYRA and Charles Hayward. Most of the overcharges have been repaid to the bettors.

    Where is the Governor now with respect to having the economy boosting BC be run in NY? Could it be that he does not even know any of this is going on?

  • Hannatiee

    DARBY – Dennis, Ronald, Brian Drazin.  A façade for someone who is not supposed to be running Monmouth because he was state racing commissioner.  And should not be sucking taxpayer money to leverage Breeders Cup.  And should not be placing cronies in figurehead positions while he runs things in background.  

  • If the provincial gov’t here doesn’t complete their mission to kill racing, I’d love to see it come to Woodbine again.

  • Cougar Paisley


     Funny, that you should shed light on an apparantly tainted process. There is nothing in the March 3, 2011 (RFP) Request For Proposals to operate Monmouth Park, that states a potential lessee would have the ability to borrow money from State of New Jersey coffers.

     Section 4.4.6 of the RFP (Financial Viability of the Proposer) leads with “Each Proposer shall provide proof of it’s financial capacity to undertake and successfully carry out it’s responsibilities under the Operating Agreement.

     It will be interesting to see if the agreement will be available for public disclosure and detail the borrowing capabilities for the lessee. 

     One would think that Governor Christie wanted an operator that could stand on his/her on two feet, without a government handout. 

     And any state money put forth to put on the Breeders Cup will not benefit a majority of state residents, but a lot of out of town celebrities. 

  • Don Reed

    “Most of the overcharges have been repaid to the bettors. “

    A) This is a lazy statement.  Exactly how much of the approximately $8,000,000 was returned? 



    And how was the money that had to be turned over to other states/racetracks returned to those bettors?

    B) Regardless of where they bet the NYRA races, people betting at ticket windows (not owning an account) who could have been the beneficiaries of the returned money CANNOT get their money back, NEVER.

    You can only return the money to the people who originally had winning bets.

    When they won, they cashed in their betting tickets, in return for the money.

    They now have no receipts that entitle them to the additional money.

    The money that they are due has been PERMANENTLY stolen.

    Brilliant, Sal.  People were robbed.  That’s not a scandal.

    Here’s the Garcia Scandal Indicator: Winning bettors were paid exactly, by law, what was due to them when they won.

    Call the cops!  NO ONE was robbed!

  • Hannatiee

    We all know these people used a loophole to go around the pay-to-play law and get the award to run the racetrack.  Even though the horsemen are a not for profit group, they obviously are in it for the profits and money which is why darby was formed.  If this happened so blatantly, I’m sure the fix was already in.  To determine if the proposer had financial capacity, they would have had to look at the huge sums of money owed for boarding horses that has never been paid.  I am sure the state did not look at this.  Government handouts sometimes are made to the most un-deserving but those who have the right connections! Any money earned by darby from commercial ventures associated with MP should be paid directly back to the State before more loans are made.  

  • Don Reed

    As per Sal Garcia, below: “Most of the [NYRA 1%]  overcharges have been repaid to the bettors.”

    Sal, I sure hope you’re not working for a CPA tax preparer; if so, there will be a Treasury Department armored car full of IRS agents at your door, soon.

    As per Jerry Bossert, Saturday June 30, 2012 in the NY Daily News:

    “During a 15-month period from Sept. 15, 2010 through Dec. 21, 2011, NYRA was charging bettors an extra percentage point on certain wagers, collecting $7.4 million on what is known as the ‘takeout rate,’ or the amount of a bettor’s winnings kept by NYRA.

    “Of the $7.4 million, $1.1 million was wagered through NYRA, of which $550,000 was returned to gamblers.”

    50% of the money was returned to the gamblers.

    50% of the money CANNOT BE RETURNED to the deserving gamblers (for reasons already explained, below, in my prior post.  We will assume that NYRA, if it had been possible for them to have returned the money, would have already done so).

    FIFTY PERCENT is not “MOST” of 100%.  

    Great math, Sal.  And let’s assume that of the remaining $6.3 million, that it was possible to return about 50% to bettors.

    That means that $3,150,000 was NEVER RETURNED to the bettors.

    In all, the rough estimate of the NYRA & non-NYRA money taken from the gamblers and never returned to them:

    $3,700,000 lost by gamblers betting on NYRA racing – money that they had WON and HAD NEVER BEEN PAID – that they will NEVER BE PAID.

    But according to Sal,  “I am sorry to see Ray still promotes the idea that the NYRA scandal (as Ray states it) was really a scandal at all.”


    Thanks are appreciatively extended to Jerry Bossert for his precise & timely recap of what had specifically happened.

    (Don Reed 06/30/12 6:58 am)

  • I don’t (care) about what any whiners say about Monmouth hosting the breeders cup in 2013….the truth of the matter is,Monmouth Park is heaven on earth…this should be a no brainer for the breeders cup officials…tired of seeing this race constantly run at Churchill & Santa Anita!

  • Lenny

    Leaving out NY & NJ when it comes to breeders cup is the worse thing they can do for racing . Racing needs to be on the big stage New York N New Jersey still offers that .I think the fans who bet should boycott and not bet the Breeders Cup until they return it to both States. 

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