Oceanport, N.J. – In the wake
of the recent controversy regarding fees assessed to horsemen who shipped to
Suffolk Downs, Monmouth
Park has announced that an
anonymous “angel” has stepped forward and donated $60,000 to Second Call.
A nonprofit organization founded in 2012, Second Call
Thoroughbred Adoption and Placement is dedicated to New Jersey’s off-track Thoroughbreds.
Serving as the exclusive after care program for Monmouth Park,
the mission of Second Call is to assist and ensure that retired racehorses find
a second calling/profession.
Thoroughbreds accepted into the program are rested, evaluated,
reacclimated, retrained and placed into new homes. Second Call is strictly volunteer driven.
“A very kind benefactor came forward with a very large
contribution because he wanted peace, even though he agreed with our original
policy,” said John Forbes, president of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s
Association. “The money, which was
always earmarked for charity, will go to Second Call and their good work to
place retired horses with new homes.”
Suffolk Downs, which races six days a year without
providing any stabling on their grounds, last raced on Aug. 6 and 7. Horsemen at Monmouth
Park were told in advance that if they
shipped from the Oceanport grounds to race at Suffolk they would have to pay $1,000 per
horse upon return.
“Let me be as clear as possible, the intent was never to punish
horsemen,” Forbes said. “We are here to
promote Monmouth Park and Monmouth racing, period. Suffolk Downs offers nothing in return, no
reciprocity. The only thing they can do
Park expends millions to
maintain a stable area, training surface and provide workers’ compensation
insurance for trainers on our grounds. In
addition we provide a bonus to every trainer who races with us. The overwhelming consensus from the horsemen
on our grounds was an absolute adoption of our policies. Controversy only came to light by those who
decided to ship out, even though they all had advance notice, and were assessed
“Like all racetracks, we do everything we can, and will
continue to do all we can, to ensure that races across all conditions go. Obviously it doesn’t always work out for
everyone and therefore we are adopting a new policy whereby any horse that
wants to ship from Monmouth
Park to Suffolk Downs
will need the approval of the racing secretary prior to leaving the
grounds. It is expected, as it is always
expected, if Monmouth cards a race, horses stabled here are expected in that
race. Anyone that leaves without the
racing secretary’s permission will not be allowed back. It is a straight forward policy and one that
everyone involved should certainly understand.”
Park’s 2016 racing season
runs through Sunday, Sept. 25 after which New Jersey Thoroughbred racing action
shifts north to the Meadowlands for 14 all-turf cards, beginning Sept. 28.