Monmouth Park Weathers Hurricane Irene Just Fine

Monday, August 29, 2011


OCEANPORT, N.J. – Monmouth Park Racetrack was reported in fine shape following two days of cancellations as a result of Hurricane Irene, which passed over the 65-year-old facility.

             “We were extremely lucky,” said Bob Kulina, vice president and general manager of Monmouth.  “A couple of downed trees and some branches, but that’s it.  Our preparations and the great work of the staff here led to little damage to our property and the safety of everyone that calls Monmouth Park home.”

            Those preparations included setting up the Monmouth Park Grandstand as a shelter for backstretch workers.  Anyone who resided in barns one through six were forced to evacuate in advance of the storm, while all other backstretch residents were under a voluntary evacuation.

            The detention barn was to be used for horses whose stalls may have flooded, but no horse had to be moved as a result of Irene.

            In addition, the movement of over 100 umbrella tables that dot the picnic area, as well as hundreds of televisions being covered or moved helped to minimize or eliminate potential damage.

            “There were 250 plus backstretch workers that came over to the Grandstand,” Kulina said.  “The food that would have fed the groups here on Saturday was instead used to feed those who weathered the storm in the Grandstand.   

“I truly couldn’t be more pleased with the effort put forth by everyone here at Monmouth.  From security to the caterers, everyone stepped up in advance of a situation that could have been far worse.  Yes we were lucky, but just as important, we were prepared.”

As previously planned, the racetrack was closed for training on Monday morning to ensure that all debris was removed.  Training will resume on Tuesday morning.

Monmouth Park opened as scheduled for simulcasting on Monday with live racing to continue as planned on Friday, Sept. 2 for a four-day holiday weekend.  Gates will open at 11:30 a.m., with first post set for 12:50 p.m.

The 2011 racing season runs through Sunday, Nov. 6.