(TRENTON) – Agriculture Secretary Charles
M. Kuperus today encouraged horseracing fans to attend
the Second Annual New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival
on Sunday, August 29 at Monmouth Park in Oceanport.
The festival will feature a full card of races with
$700,000 in purses exclusively for New Jersey bred
The festival’s inaugural season in 2003 drew more than 9,000 people
and many more are expected at this year’s event.
“The festival is the perfect opportunity to spend a day outside enjoying
the excitement of live racing and celebrating the important contributions New
Jersey’s equine industry makes to the Garden State,” said Secretary
Kuperus. “Horse farms make up some of the most beautiful open space in
New Jersey. A successful equine industry keeps these areas green and growing
and helps state agriculture remain diverse and strong.”
The racing card for the festival will feature five stakes races: Jersey
Breeders Turf Highweight, one mile and one sixteenth, for 3-year-olds
and up; The Colts Neck Handicap, six furlongs, for 3-year-olds and up;
The Eleven North Handicap, six furlongs, for fillies and mares 3-years-old
and up; The Jersey Girl Stakes, one mile and seventy yards, for fillies
and mares 3-year-olds and up; and The Pappa Riccio Stakes, one mile,
for 3-year-olds and up.
Equine is the third largest sector of New Jersey agriculture. In 2002,
equine cash receipts totaled $123 million. According to the 2002 Census
of Agriculture by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the
United States Department of Agriculture, there were 3,047 farms with
26,896 horses and ponies in the state.
Besides racing, the festival will include a demonstration by the ReRun
Thoroughbred Group in which rescued former thoroughbred racehorses will
perform dressage, jumps and pleasure.
Other events will include pony rides, face painting, mascot race, tee-shirt
giveaway, informational booths, and displays about the horse racing industry.
Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Post time is 12:55 p.m. Monmouth Park is located
on route 36 in Oceanport.