Monmouth Park is a thoroughbred race track in Oceanport, New Jersey. The track
is often referred to as a racing resort due to its unique elegant and carefully-tended
lawns and flowerbeds.
Monmouth Park is home to the $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational, the richest
invitational thoroughbred race in North America. Many Triple Crown contenders
see action in this prestigious race.
Aside from the Haskell Invitational, other stakes events hosted by Monmouth
Park are the Red Bank, the Sapling, the Jersey Derby, the Jersey Shore Breeders’ Cup
Stakes, the Molly Pitcher Breeders’ Cup Handicap, the United Nations
Handicap, and the Salvator Mile Handicap.
Monmouth Park Track Facts
main track is a 100-foot-wide, one-mile oval with 12 inches of
aggregate sand drainage and 12 inches of crushed stone screenings
topped off by a 4-inch cushion of sand and topsoil. The topsoil
is a mixture of silt, clay and loam.
turf course is a 90-foot-wide, 7/8 mile oval which is a mixture
of four kinds of bluegrass and Manhattan 2 rye grass.
and Walking Ring
paddock is located behind the Clubhouse and consists of a 16-stall
oak saddling enclosure leading to the English Walking Ring, where
the horses are paraded for the public. This is one of the most
picturesque and relaxing areas at Monmouth Park.
Major Milestones in the History of Monmouth Park
1870 - Monmouth Park opened on July 30 amid national fanfare. It was hoped
that the new track would usher in fresh wind into the once-bustling shore area
of New Jersey.
1873 - Monmouth Park closed down after encountering severe financial
1878 - A group of four prominent individuals bought the dormant facility
and spent four years rebuilding the track. An additional 160 acres was purchased
to create a bigger track.
1882 - Racing at Monmouth Park resumed.
1893 - Wagering on horses was banned by the state. Consequently, Monmouth
Park was again closed and the land was sold.
1946 - On June 19, Monmouth Park reopened after intense lobbying for
the legalization of pari-mutuel wagering in the state. There was an estimated
18,724 people on hand for opening day.
Oceanport, New Jersey
1950 - Turf racing was held for the first time at Monmouth Park.
1951 - The Molly Pitcher Handicap at was the first race ever to be
televised in color.
1952 - The teletimer was introduced.
1961 - Major renovations were undertaken. These renovations included
the addition of a 400-seat cafeteria, a new wagering pavilion and additional
1967 - A one-eighth mile turf chute diagonally across the infield
was installed allowing patrons a head-on view of horses approaching the stands.
The infield lake was landscaped and the area beautified.
1969 - The first woman to ride at Monmouth Park, Tuesdee Testa, finished
second with horse Verbosity in a race on June 9.
1978 - Jockey Don MacBeth won the first of his three straight Monmouth
riding titles. Mac Diarmida won the Long Branch Stakes en route to an Eclipse
Award as the nation’s best turf runner.
1986 - The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority purchased the
historic Monmouth Park Jockey Club. Many of the historic stakes races were
reinstated; the Monmouth Cup was renamed the Philip H. Iselin Handicap.
1993 - Full card simulcasting took a firm hold, with purses offered
at the highest level in the history of the track.
1994 - For the first time, a daily average of more than $3 million
was wagered on Monmouth races.
1995 - Monmouth’s celebrates its 50th anniversary season.
1997 - A record-setting Haskell Day highlighted Monmouth Park’s
successes as on track attendance grew for the third straight season. The Haskell
Invitational drew a record crowd of 39,219. Wagering on the event hit an all-time
Monmouth Park high of $9.7 million.
2001 - A Haskell Day throng of 47,127 helped raise total annual attendance
to 774,500, the highest annual total since 1989.