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NJ commission asks purse money to be released

June 29, 2011

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The New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) approved a request for $15 million in funds to augment purses but whether the monies will be released will be in the hands of the governor. The commissioner members, meeting at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, NJ, on Wednesday, June 29,  had until the end of the fiscal year on June 30 to make the request to utilize the funds which would come from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.  This derived from a provision of the law which created the new gaming zone in Atlantic City.
The NJRC requested that the $15 million be utilized in 2012 and be split evenly by breed with $5 million to the harness racing license at the Meadowlands, $2.5 million going to Atlantic City Racecourse, $2.5 million to the thoroughbred license at the Meadowlands [which is raced at Monmouth Park], $2.5 million to Monmouth Park and $2.5 million to Freehold.
In the past, Governor Chris Christie has indicated his opposition to the distribution of these funds to the horse racing industry and can veto the minutes of the New Jersey Racing Commission if he so chooses.
In other business, the NJRC approved a request from the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ) to waive the qualifying rules for the balance of the year and extend the period of time for horses qualifying from 30 to 45 days.  The SBOANJ pointed out that due to weather cancellations and fewer racing dates, horses were missing opportunities to race and entry boxes were short on horses. The Commission will consider a petition for a rule change on this matter at subsequent meetings so that it can continue in the future.
The NJRC also ratified the installation of two self-service tote machines in the Paddock at the Meadowlands and approved a multi-state Pick 4 wager at the Meadowlands on Friday, July 15, 2011 which will include races from Yonkers, Northfield Park and Maywood Park. (SBOANJ)
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