OCEANPORT – Monmouth Park will switch to a 12:15 p.m. post time during live thoroughbred racing on Saturdays and Sundays while continuing to offer free parking and admission when the track’s 76th season gets underway on May 28.
Post time on Fridays throughout the 53-day meet will be 5 p.m., according to a press release.
The lone exception to the new 12:15 p.m. post time, as well as to the free parking and admission policy, will be July 17, when the $1 million TVG.com Haskell Stakes will be contested for the 54th time.
Monmouth Park’s live racing schedule runs through Sept. 26.
“With the overwhelming response from horsemen for stall space and fans able to return in greater numbers, there is a renewed sense of optimism and excitement for this meet, especially after the challenges we faced a year ago due to COVID-19,” said Dennis Drazin, chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, operators of Monmouth Park.
“I think everyone is looking forward to what should be a very special year of racing at Monmouth Park. All of the indicators are that it will be,” he said.
Opening weekend will feature four straight days of live racing from Friday through Monday over the Memorial Day weekend that starts on May 28. Starting in June, and running through the end of August, live racing will operate on a Friday through Sunday schedule, according to the press release.
In a continuation of the policy from 2020, no outside food or drink will be permitted.
Monmouth Park will offer 46 stakes races worth $6.15 million in 2021, including 10 graded stakes. There are 10 stakes races restricted to New Jersey-bred horses, with the highlight for state-breds being the 19th annual New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival on Aug. 29.
Haskell Day will again feature six stakes races, including the Grade 1 United Nations, which will see a purse boost from $300,000 to $500,000. Horse of the Year Authentic won the Haskell last summer, eventually going on to win the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Classic.