Following Public Outcry, Monmouth Park Cancels Many Races, Delays Haskell Start
After days of a loud outcry from the public, Monmouth Park announced plans to adjust today's racing schedule.
The $1 million Haskell Invitational is the park's premiere race each year, and it will now be delayed until this evening. The race was originally scheduled to be run at 5:47 pm (in the height of the day's heat). It will now take place at 8:05 pm.
The park announced plans to hold a full race schedule earlier this week (despite the forecast), and they faced an outcry from the public when announcing their decision as many feared for the safety of the horses (and jockeys).
“We’ve been carefully monitoring the heat for days, including today, and we have a staff of veterinarians and state veterinarians, independent vets and consultants, all of whom tell us it’s safe to run, that we’re below the level required for the recommendation for cancellation," Dennis Drazin, Chairman and CEO of Darby Development (operators of Monmouth Park) said in a statement Saturday afternoon.
As of 2 pm on Saturday, all non-stakes races have now been canceled and the remaining stakes races have been pushed back.
“However, given the heightened concern from the public about the heat, and in the interest of the safety of the horses, we’ve decided to proceed with an abundance of caution, to cancel the remaining non-stakes races and to delay the six stakes races until a later post time starting at 6 p.m., with those races 25 minutes apart," Drazin said in a statement today.
The Haskell Invitational will now have a post time of 8:05 p.m.
“We’re doing this to err on the side of caution," Drazin tells the media.