This is a week that demonstrates the genius of mobile betting.

New Jersey bettors, wagering through 4NJBETS, powered by TVG, are immune to the volatile news cycle impacting the tracks themselves.

They are also helping industries such as horse racing stay afloat.

Thanks to New Jersey online betting, Monmouth Park’s weekend schedule, with a 12:50 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, will probably attract good totals.

This unfolds amid another shift from Gov. Phil Murphy, this one reducing spectator size to about 2,000 fans.

Monmouth Park betting pools cleared $3 million last Saturday and Sunday despite the shortage of fans.

Wagering will likely be strong for the Haskell Invitational Stakes on July 18 regardless of how many people are allowed in.

And Meadowlands, a harness-racing giant, realized handle exceeding $4 million last weekend and returns with a Friday–Saturday program at 7:15 p.m.

That’s the beauty of online horse betting.

Monmouth cancels Friday races due to weather

Betting alert: The bad weather that has hit the New Jersey shore area prompted Monmouth Park to cancel its Friday races.

Due to heavy rain and high winds, Monmouth canceled its six-race program slated to commence at 5 p.m. The announcement came early Friday afternoon.

Live racing resumes at Monmouth on Saturday, July 11, with a first post of 12:50 p.m. for the 12-race card.

Monmouth Park was not the only track to make this decision. Yonkers Raceway in New York, a harness-racing establishment, postponed its Friday card because of the weather in its area.

This is a rare summer development for tracks, but they make similar determinations during the winter in the Northeast because of cold temperatures and high winds.

As of Friday afternoon, Meadowlands is still planning to run its meet starting at 7:15 p.m., officials told NJGamblingSites.

Online betting as horse racing’s savior?

And here’s the other thing. There is as yet no end to horse racing options for betting. Until pro sports return in full at the end of July, horse betting will still garner a lot of attention from bettors.

For instance, New Jersey bettors can also plan for the last weekend of wagering at Belmont Park and a bizarre now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t program at Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky this week.

Keeneland, which had its April season wiped out because of the coronavirus pandemic, gained approval for a five-day meet from Wednesday through Sunday.

And you don’t want to miss it, especially Saturday’s terrific stakes-filled card.

Because of NJ online betting, you won’t have to.

This week and others like it reveal the beauty of the PASPA repeal. Two years ago, if this coronavirus had hit, the horse-racing industry would have shut down, and probably the UFC, golf and NASCAR, too.

Even while the MLB, NHL and NBA navigate their returns, mobile wagering has already shown that it can bolster, if not rescue, many sports.

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Monmouth Park weekend of horse racing set

Monmouth Park will have loaded fields for most of the weekend meet.

Friday, the program resumes with four of the six races having eight-horse fields and the final two listing 14 entries. That may not be the final number to run, but both races will likely have double figures.

Here’s a shout-out to anyone in the vicinity of the big payouts in Monmouth’s first weekend.

Fun Prospect was exactly that, winning the third race last Sunday at 35-1 after drifting up from a 20-1 morning line.

Final Ritual, at 15-1, ran second and completed a $1,936 exacta.

Brimstone, 5-1, was third and closed out a $1 trifecta of $6,658.

Monteleone, the favorite, was fourth and concluded a $1 superfecta of $5,587.

That wasn’t the only way bettors cashed in on this longshot.

Race three winner Moe City and race five winner Look at Joyce were both 7-2. Putting the longshot Fun Prospect in the middle of those two choices returned a pick three of $1,967.

That’s a hefty payout for taking a stab with two short-priced horses and one longshot.

On Saturday, Panama Papers had his credentials in order, winning at a whopping 73-1. Gravitas, at 6-1, finished off a $2 exacta worth $1,468. Channel Stuffer, third at 7-2, wrapped up the $1 trifecta worth $4,012. Fame to Famous, at 6-1, finished the $1 superfecta.

What did that pay? How about $11,760?

This is the summer of prices, too.

Big M sees a big handle: $4 million in bets

Racing at the Meadowlands resumes Friday and Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

Betting totals subsided slightly over the weekend, but the track still had more than $4 million in wagering pools over two nights.

Tim Tetrick, Yannick Gingras and Dexter Dunn remain hot as drivers. Andrew McCarthy and David Miller come up with big nights occasionally.

The Meadowlands has two significant events in its upcoming calendar. On July 18, it’s the Meadowlands Pace.

And on Aug. 8, it’s the Hambletonian, one of harness racing’s biggest events.

Keeneland: Hello and goodbye

This is your chance to catch this track. Keeneland has the oddest of race meets, which symbolizes the new normal of 2020 and sports.

It has a five, yes, five-day abbreviated meet.

And it’s this week. Organizers are happy they got anything, because the track’s scheduled April meet was wiped out due to coronavirus concerns.

Nonetheless, you won’t want to miss it. Not only is the Kentucky facility one of racing’s most noted, but it will also host the Breeders Cup in November.

Keeneland packs a wallop into Saturday’s card, with six races paying more than $100,000.

Besides the Blue Grass Stakes, Keeneland showcases:

  • The $400,000 Central Bank Ashland.
  • The $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley.
  • The $250,000 Madison.
  • The $ 150,000 Shakertown.
  • The $150,000 Appalachian.

This appeals to a significant segment of horse-racing bettors who prefer the big races that draw the elite jockeys, trainers and horses. They believe the form cycles for these horses are more predictable. They throw heavy money at it.

This is another luxury of the mobile betting age. There was a time when going to watch nine live races was a lot. If one of them was a stakes race, that was a big deal.

Now, weekend bettors can line up a series of big-ticket races and perhaps nothing else. They can handicap the big events, plan wagers and contribute heavily to betting totals.

The top horses for the Blue Grass Stakes include:

  • Basin, who finished second to Charlatan in one of the Arkansas Derby races in May.
  • Enforceable, the winner of the Lecomte Stakes earlier this year.
  • Art Collector, who was impressive winning a recent Churchill Downs allowance race.

Don’t miss Belmont Park’s final weekend

New Jersey bettors have a passionate love for New York tracks.

One of them is Belmont Park, which scored a victory with fans by being able to run part of its meet this year. It began on June 3. The season concludes Sunday, July 12.

Racing this week runs from Thursday through Sunday at 1:15 p.m. This is a good chance to obtain one final fix of Belmont racing.

The track did manage to unfurl at least one stakes race per day, and it salvaged the Belmont Stakes, a jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown.

Tiz the Law captured the 2020 event on June 20 at 1 1/8 miles to at least keep the Belmont tradition alive. It is hoped, and believed, that the Belmont Stakes will return to its classical 1 1/2-mile distance next year.

Dave Bontempo

About

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.