Decathalon Stakes Leads Monmouth Park 2014 Opener

Racing will get underway at Monmouth Park this weekend and the coastal venue will run through September 28. A total of 17 graded stakes races will take place during the spring/summer meeting, with a few major races on the calendar.

July 27 will play host to the signature race of the meeting, the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1) that always attracts some of the top three-year-old runners across the nation. Also on that Saturday is four other graded stakes races -- $200,000 Molly Pitcher S. (G2); $200,000 Monmouth Cup S. (G2); $150,000 Oceanport S. (G3); and the $150,000 Matchmaker S. (G3).

The United Nations H. (G1), the other Grade 1 race tabbed for the meeting, will take place on July 6, and be accompanied by the $150,000 Salvator Mile (G3).

The opening weekend feature is the $75,000 Decathlon S. on Saturday at six furlongs.

Monmouth Park 2014 Racing Season Stakes Schedule:

Led by the Grade 1, $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational on July 27, Monmouth Park has announced a total stakes schedule of $5.8 million, including 17 graded events worth $3.55 million for the 2014 racing season.

Topping the list of notable changes to the stakes calendar is a new date for the United Nations (G1) which, for the first time since 2001, will be run on a Sunday.  Monmouth’s premier turf event – along with the Salvator Mile (G3) – will be broadcast live July 6 on Fox Sports 1 as part of The Jockey Club Series.

Also being repositioned for the 2014 meet is the Jersey Shore Stakes (G3) – run on July 4 in past years – but moved to Aug. 16 for this season.

Returning to the Monmouth Park graded stakes calendar after a year hiatus is the $100,000 Violet (G3) and $100,000 Boiling Springs (G3).

As it did in 2013, the Red Bank Stakes (G3) will kick off this season’s graded stakes schedule when contested on May 17.  Haskell Day will yet again play host to six stakes events including five graded contests.

Monmouth Park 2014 Racing Season Information:

Dates:  May 10 - September 28
Monmouth Park horse racing schedule:
Post Times: first post is set for 12:50 p.m. ET every day except Haskell Day, when gates will open at 10:00 a.m. ET and first post will be 12 noon ET.
Monmouth Park wagering may include: Win, Place and Show, Daily Double, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Pick Three, Pick Four, Pick Five, Jersey Shore 6

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Monmouth Park Racetrack Information:

Main track (dirt): 1 mile, oval
Width of track: 100 feet
Composition: 12 inches of aggregate sand drainage and 12 inches of crushed traprock screenings. The cushion is five inches of Racetrack B Mix, composed of 83 percent sand and 17 percent loam.

Turf course: 7 furlongs with two chutes - one for five and a half-furlong races, and the other for 1 1/16-mile and 1 1/8-mile races
Length of stretch from last turn to finish line: 990 feet
Width of horse racing track: 90 feet wide its entire circumference, with the chutes each 100 feet wide
Banking: 2 percent on the straightaways and 5 percent on the turns
Composition: Mixture of four kinds of bluegrass and Manhattan 2 rye grass

About Monmouth Racetrack:

Monmouth Park Racetrack, located in Oceanport, New Jersey, is touted as the "The Shore's Greatest Stretch".

Monmouth is home to the $1 million Haskell Invitational, the richest invitational thoroughbred horse race in North America. The annual race attracts the finest jockeys and Triple Crown horses in the country. The course includes a lavish paddock, located behind the clubhouse, and consists of a 16-stall oak saddling enclosure leading to the beautiful, tree-shaded English Walking Ring. In the ring, horses are paraded to the public and jockeys receive last-minute instructions. This is easily one of the most picturesque and relaxing areas at Monmouth Park.

The backstretch not only houses approximately 1,600 horses in 38 barns, but also serves as a small community for the horsemen and track employees. Located in the center of the backstretch, in an area called "The Quadrangle", is the Frenchman's Kitchen, where the motto is "Eat your betting money, but never your eating money."

The horse racing track's grandstand is capable of seating 13,000, while the clubhouse can seat 5,000. The track offers a free wagering seminar daily at noon. Monmouth also offers its "Dawn Patrol", a popular tour that occurs on Thursday and Friday mornings from June to August. The two-hour tour includes a tram ride, horse-training session, visit with jockeys and a discussion of the track's history. Monmouth also offers Family Day on Sundays. With clowns, face painting, pony rides, and other activities, children can enjoy the day at the races. Monmouth offers a wide array of dining options, including: The Salvator Bar and Grill, The Dining Terrace, Lady's Secret Café, Paddock Sports Bar, Monmouth Café, The Clubhouse, Turf Club and the Rivalry Room.

Monmouth Park Racetrack played host to the Breeders' Cup World Championships of thoroughbred horse racing on October 26th and 27th, 2007. The 11-race event concluded with the 24th running of the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, where Curlin reigned supreme.