Program to Boost NJ Standardbred Breeding

The New Jersey Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee earlier this week approved Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer’s proposal to increase the number of standardbred horses in the state of New Jersey through a program dubbed the Standardbred Development Program…

Dancer noted in an interview that he does not expect there to be any obstacles to the bill being adopted, as it had been drafted after consulting with representatives of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, the New Jersey Sire Stakes Program and standardbred breeding farms. The standardbred industry is strongly in favor of the legislation, and it is anticipated that Standardbred Development Program will save jobs in New Jersey by helping New Jersey horse farms recover from the economic hardships that have affected virtually everyone in the past three years or so.

Established in 1971, the New Jersey Sire Stakes Program promotes the breeding of standardbred horses in the state of New Jersey by, among other measures, offering lucrative purses to winners sired by registered New Jersey stallions. The program guarantees a minimum of seven races per annum for two- and three-years old colts and fillies – trotters and pacers – in each class. Among these events are the prestigious Sire Stakes Premier Division, Sire Stakes Green Acres Program and the Babic Open and Filly Pacers with a combined purse of more than $2.6 million.

Competitors in the New Jersey Sire Stakes Program must have been sired by a New Jersey stallion registered with the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey and is required to conform to the New Jersey Sire Stakes rules. To become eligible for the Green Acres and pari-mutuel programs, a foal meeting the requirements for competing must be nominated to the Sire Stakes by May 15.

Other news for New Jersey horse racing is that Monmouth Park will be opening for its 68th season on Saturday 11 May 2013, having been saved from failing a year ago. The $1 million Haskell Invitational taking place on 28 July has a new sponsor in William Hill – a leading betting and gaming company. In the event of sports betting being legalized in New Jersey, William Hill reportedly aims to develop and operate a sports book at Monmouth Park. The first two weeks of Monmouth’s schedule will feature Saturday and Sunday racing, with a Memorial Day program on May 27 and the rest of the season running on a Friday through Sunday schedule.