An anonymous contribution of $60,000 to their racehorse aftercare program was received by Monmouth Park. The funds will be used to eliminate the current fee of charging $1,000 for each horse that leaves to race at Suffolk Downs and promptly returns. Horsemen will still need to get racing secretary approval before being shipped off to New England. The current Monmouth Park meet ends on September 25th.
The fee was put in place to support the non-profit Second Call Thoroughbred Adoption and Placement, a volunteer-run organization that serves the New Jersey Thoroughbred population.
“A very kind benefactor came forward with a very large contribution because he wanted peace, even though he agreed with our original policy,” New Jersey THA President John Forbes. “The money, which was always earmarked for charity, will go to Second Call and their good work to place retired horses with new homes.”
The policy did have its detractors who voiced their opinions against the shipping policy. It wasn’t put in place to punish horsemen, but rather protect the track’s investment in New Jersey racing.
“We are here to promote Monmouth Park and Monmouth racing, period,” said Forbes. “Suffolk Downs offers nothing in return; (there is) no reciprocity. Monmouth Park expends millions to maintain a stable area, training surface, and provide workers’ compensation insurance for trainers on our grounds. In addition, we provide a bonus to every trainer who races with us.
“The overwhelming consensus from the horsemen on our grounds was an absolute adoption of our policies. Controversy only came to light by those who decided to ship out, even though they all had advance notice, and were assessed the fee.”
Purses at Monmouth this summer have averaged $333,233/day, which is down from last year’s figure of $410,868.