Monmouth Park To Innovate By Pairing Race Betting With Other Sports


New Jersey regulators on Friday gave Monmouth Park horse racing officials another reason to be excited about Sunday’s card, giving the go-ahead to some new types of bets.

Sunday is the $1 million Haskell Day, the biggest of the year at the venerable Oceanport track. It also is the first Haskell Day since sports betting went live in the state, meaning patrons can wager on a wide variety of sporting events as well as the horse races.

And those two worlds are about to collide in a unique way. Track operator Dennis Drazin told NJ Online Gambling that the one multi-sport parlay that’s being offered has bettors asked to pick the winner of the 10th, 11th, and 12th races — as well as the winner of the Chicago Cubs-St. Louis Cardinals nationally-televised Major League Baseball game on Sunday night.

Drazin said details are being worked on, but it would include something like multiplying the odds of each race winner and whether the slight favorite or the slight underdog won the game.

The race within a race

“We’ll also have 10 head-to-head bets — all on the Haskell,” Drazin revealed.

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That means you’re placing a bet on one of two specific horses to beat the other. So you might be picking between the horse considered third favorite and the horse considered the fourth, for instance. It’s a handy option when a bettor thinks a horse will outperform expectations — and a more popular horse — but isn’t sure if that longshot will finish in the money.

“You wouldn’t have many bets with the favorite, since that’s the most popular horse already,” Drazin said.

Don’t look for this to be a “one-off” — especially if the newfangled betting proves popular this Sunday.

Gates open at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, with the first race kicking off at noon.

A look at the Haskell field

Good Magic, the reigning 2-year-old champion male horse, is the 6/5 morning line favorite in the field of eight. He took second in the Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness.

Triple Crown winner Justify is not attempting to repeat American Pharoah’s 2015 run of that success plus a win at The Haskell, as Justify already has been retired.

Bravazo is 3/1, Flavien Flat is 4/1, and Lone Sailor with legendary Monmouth Park jockey Joe Bravo is 5/1.

New Jersey is no stranger to unique race betting options. It is the only U.S. state with “exchange wagering,” whereby bettors can create their own market and odds during a race. It’s similar to the distinction between traditional stock market analysis and day trading — the latter a lark for some and a business for others.

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John Brennan

John Brennan has covered NJ and NY sports business and gaming since 2002 and was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2008, while reporting for The Bergen County Record.

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