Monmouth Park will gain national attention this summer for being the first racetrack in the U.S. to offer daily fixed odds betting — “what you bet is what you get,” it is called.
No longer will someone who bets a horse at 5/1 minutes before a race need to see the price drop if some big-money late wager is also placed on it just before the horses leave the starting gate.
But many visitors to the Jersey Shore summertime meet that opens on Saturday are as much or more interested in the ambience of the Oceanport track and its off-track attractions — and there is good news on that front.
The Summer Wind is a new outdoor dining venue located at trackside on the first floor of the Clubhouse and featuring a full view of the racetrack. It will have seating available this month on a first-come, first-serve basis on Saturdays, Sundays, and on Memorial Day. Starting in June, it will be available for group parties, with a minimum of 50 guests required to reserve the space.
Named after the iconic song by New Jersey’s own Frank Sinatra that ushers race fans to the exits at the end of every Monmouth Park live card, the Summer Wind has a set price of $35 per person. The menu features a buffet-style soup and salad bar and a rotating chef’s choice entrée, and there will also be a cash bar. Cost for children 6 to 12 is $25; kids 5 and under are free.
Operating hours are noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. In June, Friday hours are added from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. (with the same time frame for Monday cards in August).
New board lights up the infield
Meanwhile, a new $2 million infield video board featuring nearly 3,800 square feet of digital LED lighting and offering new camera angles will greet visitors this summer, thanks to an investment by Betmakers.
The new video board will feature three sections — a main screen measuring 94 feet by 26 feet, and a pair of side screens measuring 38 feet by 18 feet.
Those screens will display live racing, in-house handicapping segments, pool information, and both parimutuel odds and fixed odds.
Track operator Dennis Drazin also announced that sometime this summer — likely in late July, after Haskell Day — Caesars Entertainment will break ground on a new $15 million sportsbook near the valet parking area.
Mother’s Day comes one day after opening day, and the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival on the Memorial Day weekend of May 28-30 is followed on subsequent weekends by an Irish Festival, a Cooler Giveaway Day, Father’s Day, and other events such as the July 10 Classic Cars & Oldies Day and an Aug. 13-14 Surf and Turf Weekend.
New this year is the Wine & Pizza Festival on June 25-26 and Around The World — an international food festival on Aug. 6.
Horsemen will notice that the paddock has been renovated and that the backside has been paved, while the stable will be full with over 1,500 horses.
And for each race day, Monmouth Park has resumed a popular tradition — coolers again will be allowed in the picnic area.
Each race date will still feature free parking, as per 2021, but general admission will be $6, with no additional fee any longer to access the clubhouse area.
Photo courtesy of Monmouth Park