May 08, 2015
AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD-MONMOUTH OPENING
By: JOE GIRARDI
Park opens their doors for the 70th season of racing on Saturday May
9th and runs through September 27th. First post will be
12:50 p.m. Monmouth is coming off back to back years with attendance and handle
records and will look to continue that trend in 2015.
to the Monmouth website, Fans arriving on Opening Day will notice many new
things even before spinning through the turnstiles. Across the street, a freshly-paved parking
lot will greet grandstand parkers. In
the paddock, a darker wood chip will be noticeably different than in years past
as will a new addition to the wagering format.
Monmouth will now have a 50-cent Pick 5 on the first and last five races
on the program with a 15% takeout. If no
one selects all five winners in a sequence, a carryover to the very next Pick 5
will ensue. Perhaps the biggest change won’t come on the racetrack but on the
television set as Monmouth Park upgrades to high definition. A crisp, clearer picture on Monmouth’s export
signal will be coupled with HiDef in-house as Monmouth has added hundreds of
new televisions throughout the facility.
As for what to expect this summer,
a new off-track wagering facility is slated to open in Hillsborough as is the
recently-constructed restaurant just outside the picnic area. Exchange wagering has been approved and the
fight to bring sports betting to New Jersey marches on. Atop the Grandstand, new racecaller Frank
Mirahmadi will call the action and the Jersey Shore Six will move to a 20-cent
When going to the windows at
Monmouth in 2015 let’s take a look at the standings for last year’s meeting.
On the trainers side of things,
Jorge Navarro repeated with a huge meeting with 43 wins, scoring with 27% of
his runners and a very solid 59% of those runners finishing in the money. Eddie
Plesa Jr, who finished second 34 wins and scored with 21% of his runners and
hit with 49% in the money. However, he did finish in front of the top money
earners for trainers with $1,148,802. Jason Servis checked in third with 24
wins with solid percentages of 29% winners and 63% in the money. David
Jacobson, a top trainer from New York also had a good meeting scoring with 26%
of his runners and 68% in the money checking in fourth with 23 wins. Daniel
Lopez who only had 11 wins but only had 47 starters but hit with 62% in the
money finishes. Alan Goldberg, another trainer that has supported New Jersey
racing for many years only started 21 horses but did have 6 wins, and 57% in
the money. Todd Pletcher, one of the top trainers in the country finished with
20 wins but did finish second in the money standings with $923, 476 and expect
him to be very strong as always. When it comes down to the wire, we are looking
for Navarro to have another strong meeting and defend his title, his horses are
usually overbet but with the many exotics offered each day there is always the
opportunity to create value.
On the jockeys side of things, Paco
Lopez dominated the meeting in 2014 with 120 wins more than double the second
place finisher who had 58. Lopez, scored with 28% of his winners and came in
the money 61% of the time. He seems to have lost some business from his steady
client, Eddie Plesa Jr and may make his repeating a more difficult task.
Gabriel Saez, had a solid meeting checking in second with 58 wins, for 17%.
Eddie Castro finished a solid third with 52 wins but he was hurt for a portion
of the meeting and hit at a solid 19%. However, looks like Castro will spend
the spring and summer in Florida. The fifth place finisher last year was the up
and coming Trevor McCarthy who was hurt over the winter but has come back
strong and is primed for a big meeting. Look for him to ride for some of the
bigger outfits and give Paco a run for his money for the jockeys title.
owners title went to Monmouth newcomer White Wabbit Wacing who had a huge
meeting and they expect to be right there again this year. Their main trainer
is Jorge Navarro and if he continues his hot hand expect the Wabbit to be right
there again come September.
you get a chance to come out to Monmouth Park this year, bring the family, it
is a fun track to go to, to watch the races and the fact that it is on the
Jersey Shore makes it a destination spot to hit before the summer is up.
more information about the Monmouth Park meeting visit, www.monmouthpark.com. Good luck!
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