Paco Lopez Wins 2010 Elite & Fall Meets at Monmouth

Click Here to read full article.

The 2010 racing season at Monmouth Park came to a close on Sunday with dramatic across the board gains. With a new racing schedule that consolidated all Thoroughbred racing at Monmouth, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority offered two meets – the Elite Summer Meet, which spanned 49 days and the 22-day Monmouth Fall Meet.

During the Elite Summer Meet, presented by IZOD, Monmouth Park offered the highest purses in the nation, averaging $797,079. Those record purses led to an astonishing 213% increase in average daily handle, as well as a 79% increase in on-track handle, a 47% rise in attendance and a 25% gain in field size.

Monmouth Park’s Fall Meet, which got underway on Sept. 11 and ran through Nov. 21, saw an average daily handle of $3,841,848, on-track handle of $299,778 and attendance of 4,277. By comparison, during the 47 live Thoroughbred racing dates at the Meadowlands in 2009, average daily handle was $1,342,884, on track handle $139,378 and attendance 3,325. Average field size during the 2010 fall meet at Monmouth was 8.81 per race. At the Meadowlands in 2009 that same figure came in at 7.29.

“It’s clear that concentrating Thoroughbred racing at Monmouth Park proved a very wise investment,” said Dennis R. Robinson, president and CEO of the NJSEA. “Not only did we realize dramatic gains in all categories, we substantially reduced our operating costs by shifting all Thoroughbred racing to Monmouth.”

When taking the raw numbers from last year’s 140 Thoroughbred dates at the Sports Authority’s racetracks and comparing them with just 71 live programs this year, a substantial net gain remains in total handle and a near wash in on-track wagering. In 2009, Thoroughbred racing at Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands totaled $354,867,156. In 2010, with nearly 50% less dates, that number reached $477,375,167. Comparing on-track figures saw handle in 2009 at $44,623,515, with 2010 coming in at $44,153,896.