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Off to the Races: Monmouth Park

image from bloodhorse.com

Since its inception in 1870, the Monmouth Park race track has marked the beginning of summer for many Jersey Shore vacationers. Great champion race horses such as Alydar and Zenyatta have graced the famed Monmouth track.

Over the years Monmouth Park has evolved into a great family day down the shore. The Monmouth Park meet runs from May 11 to October 6, and every Sunday is family fun day at the park – there is something for everyone! You can enjoy pony rides, face painting, clowns, bounce houses, and live music. This year they even added the Bluegrass Mini Golf Course. The course is open on race days and the last round starts 45 minutes prior to closing. Admission is $8.00 for adults, $7.00 for children 12 and under, and children 4 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Add this to the awesome racing park attractions, and the kids will have a fun day at the track!

Of course, Monmouth Park will still accommodate adults looking for a day at the track as well – you can sit in the general seating area and root your horses into the winner circle trackside! There are 8,000 seats in this section, offered on a first-come first-serve basis. On this level, they have many casual bars and concessions.

If you are looking for a more upscale setting, you can move on up to the Clubhouse. Here, you will get a great view of all the action from upstairs. This area is great if you are looking to watch the races in an air conditioned atmosphere. In the clubhouse area there are also bars and concessions for you to enjoy, with waiters and waitresses who will serve you off of a menu.

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One of Monmouth Park’s most popular places to spend the race day is in the picnic area: you can bring your coolers and use one of the many charcoal grills.These are also on a first-come first- serve basis – and they fill up quickly! If this is what you want to do, get there early or you could get shut out. There are also large fenced off picnic areas that can be reserved in advance for large groups or corporate functions – but they sell out quickly as well.

The biggest day of the racing calendar at Monmouth Park is Haskell day. This year, this Grade 1 race is scheduled for July 28th. The million dollar race attracts the top thoroughbreds from around the country – it also attracts the largest crowds in NJ racing. If you are a racing fan, this is a day not to be missed!

Visiting the track is affordable, too: Clubhouse admission is $5.00, grandstand admission is only $3.00, and general parking is $4.00. If you have children under 12, they are admitted free.

Monmouth Park is not just another day at the races – it is a day for the entire family. If you are at the Jersey Shore, make it a point to spend a day at the track – it will be a day you will not soon forget!

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