everywhere else on the New Jersey Shore, the first order of business in the new year
for Monmouth Park was to repair the damage inflicted
by Superstorm Sandy last October.
With that $5.7 million project now
complete, the Oceanport track is putting the finishing touches on some new
projects that will greet visitors when Monmouth opens for its 68th
season of Thoroughbred racing on Saturday, May 11.
Tom Newman, a veteran Monmouth employee who took
over as the track’s Director of Operations this year, said that additions to
the amenities this year include two new bars, one in the grandstand and one in
the picnic area.
“We built a bar on the grandstand apron,” Newman
said. “It faces the racetrack, and it will have a deck for better viewing.
“We also added a bar in the picnic area,” he said.
“It will offer draft beer only.”
Another new development this year is a fire
suppression system (sprinklers) in the clubhouse and parterre boxes. This is Phase
2 of the project that started with refitting the grandstand fire suppression
Those fans who visit Monmouth’s extensive and
popular picnic area will also see a new tent that replaces the big top destroyed
by the storm.
Because of flooding in the stable area during the
storm, nine barns had to be completely rebuilt (Barns 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,30). In
addition, the stall office building, which also houses the New Jersey Racing
Commission backstretch office, was completely rebuilt, as was the stablegate
“Of course,” Newman said with a smile, “everything
got painted again. Everything gets painted every year. Plus we added some new
signage and painted the new Monmouth logo in key areas.”