The Opening Weekend at Monmouth Park didn’t get on to an ideal start, with bad rainfall and some jockeys boycotting the event due to riding cop restrictions affecting the enthusiasm of both the spectators and horse betting handle.
Even though most of the jockeys were out of action due to the new restrictions, the actual numbers showed that Oceanport thoroughbred track did a respectable business.
Track officials had to make a number of adjustments, including moving 13 scheduled turf races to the main track.
2020’s figure of $408,677 cannot be compared as the Racing didn’t commence until July, when the COVID-19 pandemic had suspended significant team sports, and gamblers struggled to find an action.
Amid the overcast weather and the fear of jockeys’ boycott didn’t affect the event significantly as there is some good news coming their way.
Paco Lopez, the seven-time Monmouth Park riding champion, is likely to make his debut on Saturday, while 2018 winner Jose Ferrer took a slight lead over many other senior jockeys over the long weekend with five winning mounts.
Leading riders like Joe Bravo, Antonio Gallardo, and Jorge Vargas have not dedicated themselves to race. As they oppose the riding crop restrictions rule.
The Restrictions have been a lot in talks ever since the racing commission passed it.
According to them, the decision was taken due to public sentiment.
Mike Farrell, a seasoned New Jersey horse racing writer, said that the modified whips do not harm, and the newly introduced plastic cops make more sound and work less like punishers.
He also said that Racing has no one but themselves to blame to allow regulators to step in in the first place.
On Friday, the event continues with a six-race twilight card starting at 5 p.m, with Saturday and Sunday cards starting at 12:15 p.m.
Interestingly Saturday’s slate also includes a “human Race “ but with no legal betting.