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Racing canceled at Big M

July 01, 2006

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Because the state of New Jersey failed to pass a budget Friday night, the Saturday night card at the Meadowlands was canceled and the track shut down at 6 p.m. that night. The Titan Cup for free-for-all trotters will not be rescheduled. The purse was distributed to all finalists. The Haughton eliminations for free-for-all pacers have been postponed until next Saturday.

Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, N.J., conducted its live card on Saturday afternoon, but then closed.

Government agencies such as the racing commission were forced to suspend operations because of the budget impasse.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re forced to close, but it’s the law of the state,” said Dennis Dowd, senior vice president of racing for the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority. “The racetracks are required to have state regulators from the Racing Commission in order to conduct live, simulcast or internet wagering. Without those regulators we were left with no option but to close.\"

“It’s a minute-to-minute, hour-by-hour situation that will hopefully meet an expeditious resolution,” he said. “Should the shutdown continue throughout the holiday weekend the net loss could be around $1 million. In the interest of our fans, the horsemen and employees, we hope this temporary shutdown is just that – temporary,” Dowd said.

Updates on live and simulcast racing will be posted on the racetracks’ websites at www.monmouthpark.com or www.thebigm.com. In addition, fans can get continuous updates by calling 201-935-8500 or 201-THE BIG M.

Monmouth Park’s current live thoroughbred meet is scheduled to run through September 24, while the Meadowlands’ current standardbred meet is slated to continue through August 5.

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