Coming to Monmouth Park: New Betting Venue, Haskell Star Power

first_imgDrazin said the increased sports book revenues, combined with subsidies approved by the state Legislature in February that will bring in an additional $10 million a year for purses, helped the park compile a 2019 stakes schedule worth $7.1 million that will run through the end of October. “It would be something more comfortable for the patrons. Right now our sports book is in the grand-stand. This would be located in the clubhouse. It’ll be a little fancier with a little more comfortable furniture. A place to encourage people to come and hang out for an extended period of time.” The bipartisan bill corrected a decision by former Gov. Chris Christie to do away with state subsidies, a decision that crippled a $4 billion revenue engine for the state, one that carries with it 13,000 jobs. “We were on edge the whole time, rooting for Jason the whole time. And I was in shock at the objection to Maximum Security. It made no sense. And when we heard they overturned the result, everyone around me was in shock. People were angry. People were screaming and saying things I don’t want to repeat. It was the wrong decision. In my mind he won the Derby. But as far as the racing world is concerned the winner is another horse,” Drazin said. “The number of things in this bill to ensure that every tax dollar is being used the right way should make every New Jersey taxpayer proud,” Sen. Vin Gopal (D-11) said at Tuesday’s event. “There are rigorous benchmarks that Monmouth Park has to meet and other guidelines. This is not just a giveaway. It’s something that is going to help a billion dollar industry and thousands of jobs here in Monmouth County.” “In our deal with William Hill, they have a contractual obligation to build another venue on site, on the clubhouse side of the park,” Drazin said. “The current thought is this will be a $5 to $10 million venue.” Drazin said he did notwant to interrupt the 2019season schedule with theconstruction and expectswork to begin in the fall fora 2021 launch. Monmouth Park’s 74th season will once again be highlighted by the $1 million TVG.com Haskell Invitational, which is scheduled for Saturday, July 20. Maximum Security is trained by Jason Servis, who began his industry career as a jockey room valet at the Oceanport track, and has developed into one of the sport’s elite trainers. But announcement of a new on-site sports wagering venue drew the most interest. Drazin said Tuesday that phase of the process wasjust the beginning. Maximum Security, who was disqualified from winning the 145th Kentucky Derby, gets a pat on the head by stable hand Edelberto Rivas at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey early Tuesday morning May 7, 2019 after a van ride from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO The sports book’s footprint increased dramatically, expanding into the park’s grandstand. Drazin noted that Omaha Beach is another potential entry for the Haskell. Drazin, who was on hand at Churchill Downs for Saturday’s Derby, said he was crushed by the raw deal served to the local product. OCEANPORT – A powerful field for New Jersey’s most anticipated horse race and a bright future ahead for the local industry were on the docket for Dennis Drazin at Monmouth Park’s annual season-opening luncheon. The event’s headliner is expected to be Maximum Security, the horse that finished first in the field of 19 at Saturday’s 145th running of the Kentucky Derby before being disqualified 20 minutes after the run for the roses on a controversial interference ruling. Drazin also expects Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to enter at least one of his three derby horses – Game Winner, Roadster and Improbable – in the race. Dennis Drazin, CEO of Darby Development, the operator of Monmouth Park speaks at the Opening Day Press Conference & Luncheon at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, New Jersey on Tuesday May 7, 2019. Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO Drazin described a “glitzy” Las Vegas-style sports book and a higher-end clubhouse experience than what is currently offered. Through March of this year, the sports book has collected $5.44 million in combined revenue. Drazin said there are two options on the table for the venue. One is to construct a stand-alone building near the park’s valet parking area. However, the more plausible plan is to attach it to the Lady’s Secret Cafe, an eatery located outside the clubhouse that offers diners views of the park’s paddock and English walking ring. The ruling was appealed and that appeal was denied Monday, which led owner Gary West to remove his bay colt from the May 18 Preakness Stakes in Baltimore and return him to the stables atMonmouth Park Tuesdaymorning. STAR POWER ON HASKELL DAY It’s a race Drazin anticipates will have star power atop the bill. According to tax returns published by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the sports book generated $8.97 million in on-site revenue and another $3.5 million in online revenue from June through December 2018. STATE SUBSIDIES A BIG LIFT Omaha Beach opened asthe 4-1 morning line favoriteahead of the derby, but wasscratched May 1 due to abreathing condition. The colthas undergone a successfulsurgery to correct the issueand has an opening in hisrace schedule on Haskell day. According to Drazin, after leading a historic U.S. Supreme Court victory in 2018 that legalized Garden State sports wagering, he returned to Oceanport and immediately entered discussions to expand the Monmouth Park Sports Book by William Hill. last_img

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