Arts & Entertainment

Monmouth Park Announces Stakes Racing Schedule

The Haskell Invitational Highlights the 2018 Monmouth Park Racing Schedule. Girvin #7 with Robby Albarado riding, won the 50th running on Sunday July 30, 2017. Credits: Joe Labozzetta/EQUI-PHOTO

When Monmouth Park opens its 73rd race meeting on May 5 — Kentucky Derby Day — both racing fans and horsemen are in for some exciting innovations during the 52 days of live racing.

The $1 million, Grade 1 Haskell Invitational again is the headliner. The mile and a furlong classic will be run July 29 along with four other graded events.

Red Bank attorney Dennis Drazin, the chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, Monmouth's operators, said in a recent announcement, “Our primary goal is to increase field size. The wagering public has made it clear they want full, competitive fields.”

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To that end, Darby Development will offer a bonus of $500 to be paid to the owner of any horse that starts in a non-state bred condition race. Trainers will be receive $300 per horse,

Drazin said, “This new approach, particularly for New Jersey-bred runners who face open company, creates a reward system that benefits all participants while simultaneously enhancing our primary objective of increased field size.”

Monmouth is also relieving the horsemen of a major expense by picking up the tab for workers' compensation.

The New Jersey Injury Compensation Board is on board to issue a blanket policy covering the employees of all trainers stabled at Monmouth.

The May 5 opening is but one adjustment in the calendar that will benefit the horsemen.

In addition, the Monmouth stable area will open April 30 and remain open until Oct. 31.

Drazin explained, “I've heard from numerous trainers at Tampa (Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Fla.) that any lapse in our two facilities causes great hardship. This new schedule alleviates that dilemma.”

Live racing at Monmouth will be offered from Derby Day through Sept. 9. Thereafter, six all turf cards will be run weekends at The Meadowlands winding up the New Jersey Thoroughbred season on Sept. 30.

For years, Haskell Day at the Jersey Shore has been a day of “bundled stakes,” a day when graded races abound on the card. Drazin, Darby and newly appointed racing secretary and handicapper John Heims have released a stakes calendar that offers five days of bundled stakes.

Racing fans checking their calendars will find the Grade 1 United Nations carded for Saturday, June 30 along with the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin, Grade 3 Eatontown and the Listed Lady's Secret Stakes.

The other multiple stakes dates are May 26, Fathers' Day, June 17, and Sept. 1.

In all, 39 stakes, 13 of them graded, are on the Monmouth fixture card with a total of $4.3 million going out in purses.

Here is the entire 2018 Monmouth Park Stakes Calendar.

Run Date, Stakes Name, Purse Division, Distance

  • May 5Cliff Hanger Stakes; Listed $75,000; 3 and up; 1 mile (Turf)
  • May 12Serena's Song Stakes; $60,000; F & M 3 and up; 1 mile 70 yards
  • May 19Politely Stakes; $60,000; F & M 3 and up; 1 mile (Turf)
  • May 26Monmouth Stakes; G2; $200,000; 3 and up; 1 1/8 miles (Turf); Salvator Mile; G3; $100,000; 3 and up; 1 mile; Boiling Springs Stakes; Listed; $75,000; 3 YO Fillies; 1 1/16 miles (Turf); John J. Reilly Handicap; NJ Breds; $60,000; 3 and up; 6 furlongs
  • June 2Tale of the Cat Stakes; $60,000; 3 YO; 1 1/16 miles (Turf)
  • June 9Ms. Liberty Stakes; Listed; $75,000; F & M 3 and up; 1 1/16 miles (Turf)
  • June 17Pegasus Stakes; Listed; $100,000; 3 YO; 1 1/16 miles; Regret Stakes; $75,000; F & M 3 and up; 6 furlongs; Mr. Prospector Stakes; Listed; $75,000; 3 and up; 6 furlongs; Dan Horn Handicap; NJ Breds; $60,000; 3 and up; 1 1/16 miles (Turf)
  • June 22 Open Mind Stakes; $60,000; 3 YO Fillies; 1 1/16 miles (Turf)
  • June 30 — United Nations Stakes; G1; $300,000; 3 and up; 1 3/8 miles (Turf); Philip H. Iselin Stakes; G3; $100,000; 3 and up; 1 1/16 miles; Eatontown Stakes; G3; $100,000; F & M 3 and up; 1 1/16 miles (Turf); Lady's Secret Stakes; Listed; $75,000; F & M 3 and up; 1 1/16 miles
  • July 4Jersey Girl Handicap; NJ Breds; $60,000; F & M 3 and up; 1 mile (Turf);
  • July 7 Long Branch Stakes; Listed; $100,000; 3 YO; 1 1/16 miles;
  • July 14My Frenchman Stakes; $60,000; 3 YO; 5 1/2 furlongs (Turf);
  • July 21Blue Sparkler Stakes; $60,000; 3 YO Fillies; 5 1/2 furlongs (Turf);
  • July Haskell Invitational; G1; $1,000,000; 3 YO; 1 1/8 miles; Monmouth Cup; G3; $150,000; 3 and up; 1 1/8 miles; Molly Pitcher Stakes; G3; $100,000; F & M 3 and up; 1 1/16 miles; WinStar Matchmaker Stakes; G3; $100,000; F & M 3 and up; 1 1/8 miles (Turf); Oceanport Stakes; G3; $100,000; 3 and up; 1 1/16 miles (Turf); Wolf Hill Stakes; $75,000; 3 and up; 5 1/2 furlongs (Turf)
  • Aug. 4Tyro Stakes; $60,000; 2 YO; 5 furlongs (Turf); Colleen Stakes; $60,000; 2 YO Fillies; 5 furlongs (Turf);
  • Aug. 11Incredible Revenge Stakes; $75,000; F & M 3 and up; 5 1/2 furlongs (Turf)
  • Aug. 18Monmouth Oaks; G3; $100,000; 3 YO Fillies; 1 1/16 miles
  • Aug. 26NJ Breeders Handicap; NJ Breds; $60,000; 3 and up; 6 furlongs; Charles Hesse III Handicap; NJ Breds; $60,000; 3 and up; 1 1/16 miles; Eleven North Handicap; NJ Breds; $60,000; F & M 3 and up; 6 furlongs
  • Sept. 1Red Bank Stakes; G3; $100,000; 3 and up; 1 mile (Turf); Violet Stakes; G3; $100,000; F & M 3 and up; 1 1/8 miles (Turf) Sapling Stakes; Listed; $75,000; 2 YO; 1 mile; Sorority Stakes; $75,000; 2 YO Fillies; 1 mile (Turf)

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