As July dawns, Monmouth Park embraces a blockbuster slate of thoroughbred horse-racing news.
It starts with a $1 million bonus surrounding the July 23 Haskell Stakes.
And NJ horse betting fans received some exciting news this week regarding the “BetMakers Bonanza” Bonus.
BetMakers, the Australian technology giant, is tying the promotion into any horse sweeping the Haskell, the Aug. 27th Travers at Saratoga and the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup.
Monmouth Park also appears well-positioned to implement requirements for the newly-enacted HISA (Horse Racing Safety and Integrity Act) which became national law on July 1. It’s designed to install uniform safety and medical standards across the entire industry.
Here’s a closer look at the latest Monmouth Park news.
More about that Haskell Stakes, BetMakers bonus
The partnership between Monmouth Park and BetMakers continues to flourish.
In its latest move to bolster the industry, BetMakers, which helped launch fixed odds betting nationwide. announced its $1 million bonus.
This marks the third-straight year BetMakers is offering the incentive. In terms of it the bonus has ever been paid out, the answer is yes. Authentic earned $1 million for winning all three races in the COVID-19 altered racing schedule two years ago.
“We are always happy to get behind an initiative like this,” Dallas Baker, the head of international operations for BetMakers, told PlayNJ.
“This was really born out of COVID two years ago. We were trying to do something when it looked like the Triple Crown was up in the air. We thought we would create our own type of Triple Crown Circuit.
“So, when we made ours the Haskell, the Breeders Cup and the Kentucky Derby, we created something with a little spark.”
Baker said BetMakers was happy to pay the bonus to the connections of Authentic and hopes that another horse owner can cash in this year.
Authentic won the Haskell Stakes, followed by victories in the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic. And he later notched Horse of the Year honors.
Even without the bonus, the Haskell gains extra accreditation. The centerpiece of the Monmouth Park meet, will be contested for the 55th time and offers the added inducement as a “Win and You’re In Classic Division” reward for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“We need to invest in the horse-racing industry. For what amounts to some TLC, what you get back is greater than what you put in,” Baker said.
“A healthy horse racing industry is better for all the companies involved in it. We think that by adding this bonus, we will probably get at least one or two additional entries into the Haskell.”
Will Monmouth Park offer fixed odds wagering for 2022 Haskell Stakes?
The short answer to this question is yes.
Baker said plans are flowing smoothly for the Haskell event to offer fixed-odds wagering.
The public will likely be able to obtain odds around the time of the draw or at least a couple of days before the event.
Under the pari-mutuel rules that govern horse racing, most gamblers don’t receive final odds until the race starts.
Baker said the reception for fixed-odds has been positive at Monmouth Park.
“I think the punters (gamblers) are happy that 70 percent of the time, the fixed odds price is better than the tote price,” Baker said. “And sometimes the odds are 2-3 times better, so that’s a lot more money back in the pockets of the players.”
BetMakers continues to use Monmouth Park to get the bugs out of the system.
However, more tracks will eventually be added via simulcasting at the Oceanport facility. And there is explosive growth waiting when the Monmouth Park-fixed odds launch is extended into the online space.
There is no hard timetable for an online launch or the addition of tracks offering fixed odds wagering to Monmouth Park.
The sense is it will all happen. And when it does, expect it to be a game-changer.
Drazin shares Monmouth Park, Haskell Stakes news
Dennis Drazin, head of Darby Development, which operates Monmouth Park, tells PlayNJ the track won’t be certain of the Haskell field until the draw. But he confirmed that Jack Christopher, an early Kentucky Derby contender, is considered a likely Haskell participant. This is according to industry talk.
Jack Christopher is 4-for-4 in his career. He won on Kentucky Derby Day in the Pat Day Mile and on Belmont Stakes Day in the Woody Stephens.
“He is exactly the type of horse who could win all three races,” Drazin told PlayNJ. Jack Christopher is listed as probable for the Haskell and possible for the Travers on horse-racing sites.
“You don’t want to talk up any horse too early, but from what I am hearing the horsemen are talking about the fact he could be the one to catch in the Haskell.”
Jack Christopher toyed with the Woody Stephens field and, at 1-5, routed them while covering seven furlongs in 1:21.18. Monmouth is a speed-favoring track. His style fits.
Cyberknife, who won the Arkansas Derby before flopping in the Kentucky Derby, is also listed as a Haskell probable.
HISA implementations set
The national safety measures taking effect Friday include:
- Jockey safety (including a national concussion protocol)
- The riding crop and how often riders can use it during a race
- Racetrack accreditation
- Reporting of training and veterinary records.
Everyone in horse racing had to register with the new safety agency by the end of June.
Anti-doping measures, which incur a cost, go into effect Jan. 1, 2023 They figure to be more costly on the industry.
Drazin said these changes, which could cost Monmouth Park anywhere from $1-$2 million next year (that won’t be known for several months), will not affect bettors.
The cost will be borne by owners and trainers and is likely to come out of a per-start bonus Monmouth Park pays them. However, other options may be considered.
The decision will be a relief to gamblers, who already pay a higher takeout percentage in this sport than gamblers do at the casinos and at NJ sportsbooks.