Authentic, Dr Post And Ny Traffic Headline Haskell Stakes Field

Monmouth Park hosts the Grade I Haskell Invitational Stakes on Saturday, with the winner ensured a berth in the Breeders’ Cup and likely the Kentucky Derby.

Who can get over the hump?

Three horses who finished second in their last outings — Authentic, Dr Post and Ny Traffic — are the heavy favorites in a seven-horse field for Saturday’s $1 million Grade I Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park.

New Jersey online horse betting fans can access the action for the Haskell and a star-studded, stakes-filled card that begins at noon via 4NJBETS, powered by TVG.

Post time for the Haskell is approximately 5:45 p.m.

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The lineup for the 2020 Haskell

Authentic, who finished second to Honor A.P. in the Santa Anita Derby, is the 4-5 favorite in the 53rd edition of this race and drew post 2.

Dr Post, runner-up to Tiz the Law in the Belmont Stakes, drew the rail and is 5-2.

Ny Traffic, second in the Louisiana Derby and Matt Winn, gets the outside post and 7-2 odds.

Rounding out the field are:

  • Jesus’ Team at 15-1 from post 3
  • Ancient Warrior at 20-1 odds from the 4 post
  • Fame to Famous at 30-1 from post 5
  • Lebda, breaking from the 6 post at 20-1

Authentic eyes the competition

Hall-of-Fame trainer Bob Baffert, whose eight Haskell triumphs are the most in this event, addressed select media members Wednesday. Baffert has Authentic, who was beaten as a 1-2 favorite in the Santa Anita Derby.

Authentic bore out badly out of the gate and lost perhaps 3-4 lengths in that race. The Bay Colt was then outgunned in the stretch by Honor A.P.

“He had a rough trip,” Baffert said. “He was wide, a little rank. It did cost him. We like to make excuses for our horses, just like our children,” he laughed.

Baffert is central to one of the signature Haskells in Monmouth Park history. Five years ago, he brought Triple Crown-winning American Pharoah here, drawing more than 60,000 fans.

American Pharoah, the first winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 37 years, was a prohibitive 1-9 choice for the Haskell. He won easily.

It was American Pharoah’s first race since the Belmont Stakes and the first time Monmouth Park ever showcased a reigning Triple Crown champion.

“I was nervous that day,” Baffert told NJGamblingSites. “You don’t want to get the Triple Crown winner beat. I’ll never forget this exciting visual. When the horses were all going into the gate, somebody told me, ‘Look at the rail.’ I saw something I had never witnessed before. The jockey room was empty. All the jockeys that were there to run had come out to watch this race.

“It was also a memorable day because the Monmouth Park fans were unbelievable, they got behind the horse 100%. I told Victor Espinoza (the jockey) not to win by too much, just let him roll into the stretch. He could have broken the track record that day.

“I also loved the race call saying ‘The party continues’ as he crossed the line.”

Baffert’s record eight Haskell victories came in 2015 (American Pharoah), 2014 (Bayern), 2012 (Paynter), 2011 (Coil), 2010 (Lookin at Lucky), 2005 (Roman Ruler), 2002 (War Emblem) and 2001 (Point Given).

He almost made it nine last year when Mucho Gusto made a spirited all-out move and nearly defeated the winner, Maximum Security. He was just shy and finished second.

“The Haskell is a prestige type of race for me,” Baffert said. “People ask me my secret, and it’s just that I brought my best horses there. I have never been able to win with the horse that wasn’t the best.

“Last year, Mucho Gusto ran the best race of his life, but Maximum Security could have gotten around there twice and not given up the lead. We just were not going to get by him.”

Ironically, Baffert now handles Maximum Security, whose previous trainer, Jason Servis, was indicted in March for alleged doping of horses. Then ownership brought in Baffert.

Rivals for the Haskell crown

The chief rival for Baffert in this year’s Haskell is Dr Post, trained by Todd Pletcher. Dr Post was made the 5-2 second choice by Monmouth Park oddsmaker Brad Thomas.

Dr Post finished second in the Belmont Stakes on June 20, making a late run to pass front-running horses that had gotten caught up in a speed duel.

Sapphie Joseph, the trainer of Ny Traffic, said his horse has been steadily improving workout by workout. Ny Traffic has run gamely in all of his races. Joseph said that Paco Lopez, who will ride Ny Traffic, revealed that “he was thrilled” with the outside post position.

The remaining horses must improve substantially to be competitive. They have been failing to win in the lower-level competitions.

Jesus’ Team ran a game second to Sole Volante in an allowance optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park. However, Sole Volante would later run out of the money at the Belmont Stakes.

Ancient Warrior is winless in four trips this season at allowance optional claiming.

Fame for Famous has not finished in the money in four races this season, including a dull effort at Monmouth Park.

Lebda won a couple of races at Laurel Park but finished sixth in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby in June.

Official draw for Haskell 2020

Dr Post  Todd PletcherJoe Bravo5-2
AuthenticBob BaffertMike Smith4-5
Jesus' TeamJose D'AngeloNik Juarez15-1
Ancient WarriorJerry HollendorferTrevor McCarthy20-1
Fame to FamousJohn P. McAllenJose C. Ferrer30-1
LebdaClaudio GonzalezAlex Cintron20-1
Ny TrafficSaffie Joseph Jr. Paco Lopez7-2

What the Haskell winner earns

The Haskell ensures the winner a berth in the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland and most likely the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs.

Toward that end, BetMakers, in partnership with Monmouth, is offering a $1 million bonus to the connections of any horse that wins the Haskell, Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Saturday’s card at Monmouth features five other stakes, four graded. They include:

  • $250,000 Molly Pitcher Stakes (G3)
  • $300,000 Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3)
  • $300,000 United Nations Stakes (G1T)
  • $150,000 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes (G3T)
  • $75,000 Wolf Hill Stakes

Betting Apps Help Horse Racing Gallop Toward Haskell Day

With the Haskell Invitational Stakes a week away, Monmouth, Meadowlands and horse racing in general rejoice at online horse betting.

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.

Monmouth, Meadowlands Prep For Reopening Racetracks To Eager Horse Betting Fans

Two of New Jersey’s racetracks, Monmouth and Meadowlands, will reopen to fans July 2. And just like at Atlantic City casinos, there are safety procedures.

For the first time this summer, New Jersey bettors will have two live tracks open.

While the Meadowlands harness racing program continues Friday and Saturday at 7:15 p.m., the big news of the week is the return of Monmouth Park.

The storied Oceanport facility opens its 75th live-racing thoroughbred campaign on Friday, July 3.

New Jersey online bettors can access the action at 4NJBETS, powered by TVG. They can also attend the track, which is operating at 25% capacity.

It is likely the track will be able to accommodate several thousand fans most days, but details on live attendance are still being worked out.

Here is an overview of Monmouth Park operations for bettors and the public, broken into a couple of areas.

Know before you go: Health and safety guidelines at Monmouth

The track released a set of protocols on Monday for attending fans.

Parking and admission will be free every day. That does not include Haskell Day on July 18. Haskell ticketing details will be announced in the coming days.

All fans must enter through either the main Grandstand or Clubhouse entrances. Advance tickets are not required.

Prior to entry, all in attendance will receive a health check screening consisting of a temperature check and brief health questionnaire. Masks are required to enter.

There will be no outside food or beverage of any kind allowed in during the 2020 racing season.

Speaking of food, the track received some unexpected bad news Monday on the indoor dining front.

Gov. Phil Murphy paused the resumption of statewide indoor dining, which had been scheduled to start Thursday. Murphy cited coronavirus spikes in other states.

Monmouth has an indoor-outdoor restaurant, Blu Grotto, which will presumably only be able to utilize its outdoor operation. Like many COVID-19 regulations, this one is subject to change later.

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What about the William Hill sportsbook?

Monmouth Park will open its gates to fans at 11 a.m. daily starting Thursday, July 2.

That’s when simulcasting wagering and the William Hill Sports Book will be available for the first time since the track was shut down on March 16. The sportsbook will be following all guidelines in terms of capacity limits and social distancing.

Oceanport Centennial Stakes kicks off at Monmouth

At Monmouth, the live horse racing season begins Friday and runs through Sept. 27.

It will operate on a Friday–Sunday schedule, with the Friday first post at 5 p.m. (except Sept. 4 – 12:50 p.m.). Saturday and Sunday posts will be 12:50 p.m., except the Haskell, July 18, when the first race goes at noon.

Friday’s card will be headlined by the initial running of the $75,000 Oceanport Centennial Stakes.

Awesome Anywhere, who dominated in a starter allowance race at Oaklawn Park on March 1, will be the most noted of eight older horses.

Awesome Anywhere shook off a contentious early pace and captured the six-furlong March 1 event in a blazing 1:08.76. His jockey on Friday, Paco Lopez, has six riding titles at Monmouth Park.

The training title will be the most wide-open in several years. Jorge Navarro, who won seven straight crowns, will not return. Nor will Jason Servis, who often finished second to Navarro.

They were both indicted for alleged doping of horses in March. Although they have pleaded not guilty to federal charges, neither is allowed to race here for the foreseeable future.

Six trainers stabled on the grounds have a Monmouth training title to their credit. The list includes:

  • Kelly Breen
  • Jane Cibelli
  • Tim Hills
  • Bruce Alexander
  • Dan Lopez
  • Ben Perkins Jr.

Bettors should keep a keen eye on horses entered by those trainers. Breen and Jose Delgado are the two leading returnees from 2019. Breen won more than $1 million in earnings and Delgado more than $600,000 last year.

Delgado was a sizzling 51–81 in the money last year. This is important for gamblers who bet heavily across the board on key horses in trifecta and superfecta wagers.

Haskell excitement builds

The nominations list for the $1 million Haskell indicates the making of a strong field. There were, as of Monday, 33 nominations for a race that may have one-third of that total at the starting gate.

Santa Anita Derby runner-up Authentic is one of three runners nominated from Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s barn. Cezanne and Uncle Chuck are the others.

Baffert has won the Haskell Invitational a record eight times, doing so in 2015 (American Pharoah), 2014 (Bayern), 2012 (Paynter), 2011 (Coil), 2010 (Lookin at Lucky), 2005 (Roman Ruler), 2002 (War Emblem) and 2001 (Point Given).

Bettors will recognize a few other names in the Haskell portfolio. Several just ran in the Belmont Stakes.

Dr. Post, who finished second, is nominated. So is Max Player, who came in third. Tap it to Win, who led that race until the final turn before fading, is also on the list.

The Belmont also produced Pneumatic, who ran fourth, and Sole Volante, a disappointing sixth, in the Haskell nominations field.

In major races, owners pay an initial fee to nominate a horse. They will pay a second fee close to the time of the race if they decide to actually enter their horse in the event.

Factors influencing that decision include whether a more preferable race has opened up and how the horse is training.

What to expect at the Meadowlands

The Meadowlands, on the other hand, has had live racing at its track since May. The only difference now is it can let fans back in at 25% capacity.

Here’s an update from the Meadowlands on Twitter:

Guests can order from a server and eat and drink outside at the apron tables as long as there is six feet of social distancing between parties.

Outdoor dining will resume on Friday and Saturday nights for live racing.

The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands also reopens this week, with all the proper social distancing measures in place.

Horse racing at the Big M: best bets

The Meadowlands continues its live racing schedule Friday and Saturday at 7:15 p.m. While its well-known drivers have done well, a couple of new forces to be reckoned with emerged last weekend.

Keep your eyes on Andrew McCarthy.

He secured four winners Saturday, all well-priced. Two of them paid 6-1, one returned 9-1 and a fourth was 23-1 — quite a night for anyone with a McCarthy angle.

David Miller, whom we’ve mentioned before as an overlooked veteran star, secured three wins Saturday.

The Big M has also run true to form, with top drivers Dexter Dunn, Yannick Gingras and Tim Tetrick getting their share of victories.

In fact, Tetrick won last Friday with favored Odds on Sarasota. When longshot Duck N Roll finished second, the exacta paid $251.

The Meadowlands pattern has been one of the top drivers performing well, with some races producing nice, surprisingly good payouts.

New Jersey Racetracks Open Gates For Fans July 2, And That Includes Sports Betting

Atlantic City casinos aren’t the only gambling halls reopening. Meadowlands, Monmouth and Freehold will be open at 25% capacity on July 2, too.

New Jersey racetracks are on a roll.

Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands (as well as Freehold Raceway) have been greenlighted by Gov. Phil Murphy to take live bets starting July 2.

The racetracks can take bets in person at their sportsbooks and lounges as long as they follow gathering limits, Murphy said.

And just like Atlantic City casinos, the racetracks can operate at 25% capacity.

Here’s more from Monmouth’s Twitter account:

The timing could not be better for Monmouth, which opens its delayed live-racing season on July 3. By the time the Haskell Invitational dawns on July 18, the attendance capacity may be increased.

It’s also welcome news for the Meadowlands, a harness racing institution that runs Friday and Saturday nights.

The track conducted a nearly unheard-of 18-race card last Saturday and cleared a $4 million all-source handle, according to track officials. The Meadowlands exceeded a $7.5 million handle for the weekend.

That’s WITHOUT spectators. Imagine what might happen now.

The COVID-19 crossover

For both tracks, Murphy’s announcement means allowing several thousand spectators on the properties under social distancing protocols.

The measure ensures jobs for employees at those facilities, along with revenue from food, beverage and handle.

There’s a silver lining in the pandemic cloud, too.

Since March, even more bettors have become familiar — and comfortable — with online wagering. They’re betting on tracks throughout the country from inside New Jersey.

That will carry forward into betting on their apps at live events.

If track patrons see long lines in front of a teller or automated machine, they can turn their phone into a handheld bookie and avoid getting shut out.

New Jersey residents can bet on horses via 4NJBETS, powered by TVG. For all other sports, there are 17 legal NJ sports betting apps to choose from, including William Hill and FanDuel Sportsbook.

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NJ sportsbooks open at racetracks, too

Speaking of which, both racetracks feature large sportsbooks on the property. FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands is consistently the breadwinner of the NJ betting industry.

And the Monmouth Park Sportsbook by William Hill was the first retail book to open, in 2018.

The return of fans means those retail sportsbooks will be open as well. Of course, social distancing and limited capacity rules will be in place. And additional details are forthcoming.

Dennis Drazin, chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, operator of Monmouth, said in a press release:

“We know our fans are as eager to return to Monmouth Park as we are to have them back.”

Monmouth Park’s million-dollar move

Monmouth Park hits the racing spotlight for New Jersey bettors as its live season approaches.

The track made additional news last week by announcing a $1 million bonus for any horse that sweeps its July 18 Haskell Invitational Stakes, the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby and the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The $1 million Haskell will be contested for the 53rd time. The $3 million Kentucky Derby has been rescheduled from its traditional first Saturday in May slot due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $7 million Breeders’ Cup Classic was originally scheduled for the fall, and its Nov. 7 date at Keeneland remains intact.

In 2015, American Pharoah swept the three races en route to his Horse of the Year title.

Linking the Haskell with those events is a smart move for Monmouth Park.

Unlike in past years, the Haskell’s positioning within the major-race structure is uncertain.

The Haskell Invitational normally lures the nation’s top horses with its high purse and ideal placement between the Belmont Stakes and the fall racing season.

But the Belmont ran two weeks later than normal in 2020. Its Saturday winner, Tiz the Law, will be entered in a later race, the Aug. 8 Travers at Saratoga, instead of the Haskell.

That’s why Monmouth made a shrewd move by dangling a bonus throughout the Haskell, Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup races. The track will likely draw at least a couple of additional top horses to its signature race.

New Jersey’s role in historic bonus concept

The 1985 Haskell involved a horse that shook up the horse-racing industry, forcing it to employ a Triple Crown bonus.

The horse didn’t even win the Haskell, but he was the Horse of the Year. His name? Spend a Buck.

Here’s what happened. In 1985, the new Garden State Park announced a four-race bonus worth $2 million.

Any horse winning the Cherry Hill Mile and Garden State Stakes in April, the Kentucky Derby in early May and then the Jersey Derby on Memorial Day would gain the lucrative prize.

It was utterly improbable to capture four significant races in seven weeks. This was considered a nice publicity stunt, garnering attention for the new track.

But then Spend a Buck won the first three legs of the challenge. After he won the Kentucky Derby, Spend a Buck’s handlers did what racing officials considered unthinkable. They skipped the Preakness in favor of the Jersey Derby.

The racing world was aghast.

Spend a Buck’s handlers were called every name under the sun. A Kentucky Derby winner had snubbed the Preakness in an age when the Triple Crown WAS racing. (There had only been one Breeders’ Cup then).

Spend a Buck gets a race named after him at Monmouth

Spend a Buck went on to win the Jersey Derby, collected the Garden State bonus and became an Eclipse Award winner in 1985. His handlers had made the correct call.

When did his run of luck end? At Monmouth Park, in the Haskell.

Spend a Buck finished second to Skip Trial and was never a prominent horse again. But he remained important at Monmouth, which named a stakes race for him.

The racing world ultimately launched a bonus for horses with the most points over the three Triple Crown races. That was designed to ensure that owners entered the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

In 1987, another New Jersey racing official — Atlantic City Race Course owner Bob Levy — won that bonus with his horse Bet Twice.

Meadowlands going great guns

The Big M, one of the nation’s premier harness-racing facilities, continues to maximize its compact race schedule.

Its seven-figure handle and big fields indicate the backlog of available horses.

And the Meadowlands supplied a whopping first-race payday Saturday.

Ideal Son, at nearly 40-1, shocked the field. The Mighty Marner, Power Dreaming N and Run One Over N completed the first-four order of finish.

The $1 superfecta paid $23,224.50. The $2 exacta was $992, and the $1 trifecta was $4,245.

There is no way to believe that one could have logically nailed that superfecta. But a good betting nugget going forward is to note the conditions.

This was a small-claiming-level purse of $3,500, a 12-horse field and a tepid favorite, according to the track handicappers.

Combine those factors, and you at least know the underlying conditions leading to a big payout. Then, maybe, you get lucky.

The Big M returns Friday and Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

New Jersey Racetracks Are All Smiles As Horse Racing Returns This Weekend

Meadowlands will post its first horse race on Friday, while Monmouth plans to reopen July Fourth weekend. No fans, but horse racing is back at New Jersey racetracks!

It’s post time, New Jersey!

It took mere seconds after an announcement from Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday to change the industry vibe for New Jersey betting.

Murphy allowed horse racing to resume this week, sparking welcome news for New Jersey’s three racetracks.

The Meadowlands saw a quick opportunity.

One of harness racing’s most storied tracks quickly assembled qualifying races the following day. It prepares to open live racing, though without spectators, this Friday at 7:15 p.m.

For Monmouth Park, it signaled a sigh of relief. The Oceanport facility, which has already lost 20 of its projected 56 racing dates, looks all-clear for a July 3 opening.

Freehold Raceway gained confirmation that it can resume its harness racing schedule on or about Aug. 28.

Garden State bettors can access the action online via 4NJBets, powered by TVG. Members get a live-streaming video to enhance the racing experience.

The Big M: Meadowlands reopens on Friday

First up is the Meadowlands, a jewel in the harness-racing community affectionally dubbed The Big M.

In the near term, it is committed to racing on Friday and Saturday, presumably with a 7:15 p.m. first post.

Dave Brower, who sets the official morning line at the Meadowlands, expects a surge of betting support throughout New Jersey.

“People are chomping at the bit,” he told NJGamblingSites. “We are excited to get back. I think betting totals are going to blow people away.”

Brower expects Meadowlands to have 14- and 15-race cards, an increase over previous years, and contain large fields. That combination could produce skyrocketing online handle.

It already bears a psychological effect on Facebook and Twitter.

One social media post was visual, revealing a smiling horse. The other was audible.

“The sound of horses back on the track is like music to our ears,” it read, including a video with horses trotting in unison during qualifying runs.

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Big races at Meadowlands

Meadowlands Racing has been an industry staple since the 1970s. It holds one of the sport’s signature events, the Hambletonian, each year.

The “Hambo” carried a $1 million purse last year. Totals for 2020 were not immediately announced, but throughout the racing industry, stakes race purses have been cut.

The Hambletonian is scheduled for Aug. 8. The Meadowlands Pace, listed at $682,650 last year, is tabbed for July 18, with eliminations on July 11. That makes the race a pleasing spectacle, as bettors can follow the progress of contenders through a qualifying round.

Bettors may not be able to establish insight on more than 100 horses each night, but they can sketch the outlines by following leading drivers. That list includes:

  • Dexter Dunn
  • Yannick Gingras
  • Corey Callahan
  • Tim Tetrick

It is believed the Meadowlands will run into September and conduct a series of thoroughbred turf races in the fall. Like everything else in the sports world, that’s a fluid situation.

“This year, you have to take everything with a grain of salt,” Brower said.

Horse betting at Monmouth Park returns

Two-thirds of a loaf is better than none.

Two-thirds is roughly the percentage of racing Monmouth Park will be able to complete after it reopens July 3.

The revised lineup calls for Monmouth Park to begin racing Friday through Sunday every weekend in July and August, with a Saturday through Monday lineup on Labor Day weekend.

Monmouth then will drop Fridays and run Saturdays and Sundays through September.

This schedule will end a difficult period for the track, which performed a diplomatic soft-shoe with Murphy while 20 of its dates disappeared in April.

Rather than address the situation at intervals, Monmouth decided in April to forfeit the entire May and June portion of its schedule in one announcement. It also backed Murphy’s leading role during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The track banked on a July 3 resumption and Murphy’s support to salvage the rest of its campaign.

The move paid off and Monmouth retained a big ally.

Dennis Drazin, the chairman and CEO of Darby Development, which operates Monmouth Park, has said the purse money not used in May and June will bolster the remaining cards.

That would ensure bigger fields and meaningful wagering handle.

Haskell Invitational still set for July

The track will also preserve its most cherished event, the $1 million Haskell Invitational. It will take place Saturday, July 18.

On Haskell Day, admission gates open at 8 a.m.; post time for the first race is 12 p.m.

This is the event that gives Monmouth pedigree outside of its borders. It usually involves the nation’s top horses.

In 2019, the Haskell was won by Maximum Security, who later captured the $20 million Saudi Cup, the industry’s richest race.

Other big Haskell champions include Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, top filly Rachel Alexandra and Belmont Stakes winner Bet Twice.

Freehold reopening set for summer’s end

Freehold Raceway initially had 85 racing dates split between January through May, and late-August through Dec. 31 schedule.

Its actual comeback date is slated for the final weekend in August. The track will run Fridays and Saturdays until Dec. 31. Post-time is 12:30 p.m.

New Jersey tracks and bettors are having a winning week and it will only get better.

NJ Bettors Can Watch, Bet On The Super Bowl At Meadowlands, Monmouth This Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is days away. Whether you like the Chiefs or 49ers, the NJ sports betting crowd can wager and watch at two racetracks.

New Jersey horse racing is on hiatus until spring. At the same time, two NJ racetracks are not exactly ghost towns.

Thanks to NJ sports betting, customers are still visiting Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Super Bowl LIV (6:30 p.m. EST Sunday on Fox) will likely attract large crowds to both properties.

And for a good reason. The industry-leading FanDuel Sportsbook calls the Meadowlands home. William Hill NJ operates the retail book at Monmouth.

The latter has the Kansas City Chiefs as a 1-point favorite over the San Francisco 49ers.

The line is 1.5 with FanDuel.

Besides picking a side, sports bettors are looking forward to sitting back and watching the big game. Some may prefer the Atlantic City scene, but it’s not the only option.

Here is a Sunday viewing planner for the Garden State’s other sportsbooks.

New Jersey (and New York City) residents are invited

East Rutherford, home to the Meadowlands Racetrack, is less than a 20-minute drive from Manhattan. It’s been no secret that New Yorkers visit New Jersey regularly to place legal mobile wagers.

So, there are ways for Big Apple residents to bet the Super Bowl online from NYC; however, it just can’t be done from the Empire State.

It’s highly likely that out-of-state bettors will be wagering on the moneyline, point spread or props at FanDuel Sportsbook this weekend.

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Meadowlands Racetrack

Sports Betting Scene: The Meadowlands is No. 1 when it comes to NJ sports betting. FanDuel produces the bulk of the revenue.

The retail location consists of three separate areas, the biggest of which doubles as a sports bar and restaurant. The property has 30 betting windows along with 30-plus kiosks.

Seating and viewing options vary depending on which space the customers choose.

Mobile Apps:

Where to Hang: The Meadowlands is offering three different viewing options.

Victory Sports Bar is the main spot with 50-plus HD TVs (some of which fall under the “massive” category).

Victory opens at 11 a.m. Sunday; seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

There is a $35 minimum purchase per person, with breakfast, lunch or dinner items available.

Also, reservations are available in the lounge area. It features a large central bar with great views of Victory’s 20-foot screens. The same minimum purchase amount applies, and the menu is à la carte.

The gallery, which opens at 4 p.m., will show Super Bowl 54 on a large roll-down projector.

Patrons can take advantage of the $25 tailgate buffet.

Gameday favorites such as wings, mac ‘n’ cheese, mini hot dogs, fries, chili and brownies are all on the menu. Seating is available for those with buffet reservations only.

Monmouth Park

Sports Betting Scene: Monmouth Park is where the first legal sports bet in New Jersey history was placed.

As far as the sportsbook goes, there are two locations (both located on the grandstand level). One is an enclosed sports bar with seating for 100-plus guests along with a food and drink menu. There are more than 50 screens to watch the big game.

The other area is an open space featuring a giant 75-foot LED video wall.

There are 22 live tellers.

Mobile Apps:

Where to Hang: Monmouth Park is not hosting a public viewing party. Bettors will be able to watch on the video wall, as well as the sports bar.

Food will be available for purchase.