Originally published July 28, 2011
By Neil Schulman
Oceanport — The Oceanport Task Force on Monmouth Park Racing met last week with Morris Bailey, the new manager of the racetrack.
At Thursday’s Borough Council meeting, officials said the meeting went well, and they are looking forward to working with Bailey in the future.
The Oceanport Task Force is composed of local officials, residents, and experts on the horse industry. Its mission is to help Monmouth Park, Oceanport’s largest taxpayer.
Bailey took control of the racetrack in June, leasing it from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. He outlined both his long term and short term goals to the Task Force.
“He’s a businessman,” said Borough Administrator Kim Jungfer. “It’s very obvious he wants to make the track work.”
She said some of Bailey’s goals include increasing the amount of off track wagering, and making Monmouth Park a year round attraction, not just for racing season.
Mayor Michael Mahon reminded residents that the Haskell, the track’s biggest race of the year, will be held Sunday, July 31. It will be preceded by the Oceanport stakes. Both will be televised, but he urged residents to attend and support the event.
“That will help Mr. Bailey,” Mahon said.
In other track news, Mahon reported that a monument has been built to commemorate the Armed Forces Day celebration held at the racetrack last month. The day featured tributes to troops, exhibits of military equipment, and even an aerial display.
The organizers of Armed Forces Day would like the monument, which Mahon said is about 18 inches high, placed either in Monmouth Park or in front of Borough Hall, by other tributes to the military.
In more track news, Mahon reported that when the Oceanport First Aid Squad sent out their fundraising letters recently, there were no plans for its annual circus. The circus is held on Monmouth Park property, and until recently it wasn’t clear who would control it.
Since then, Bailey has given permission, and the circus will be held in mid-August.