As the legislature works out the details, Monmouth Park prepares for the first day of legal Sports Betting in the Garden State. Peter Ackerman Steve Edelson
Two-Year-Old Sports Betting #5 with Paco Lopez riding broke his maiden at first asking in the 1st race at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey on Sunday June 10, 2018 for OwnerBreeder Dennis Drazin. Ryan DenverEQUI-PHOTO
Sports Betting came to Monmouth Park on Sunday.
It really did. Or more accurately, he really did.
While Monmouth Park had hoped to become the first facility in the state to take advantage of the sports betting bill approved by Trenton lawmakers on Thursday, Governor Phil Murphy has yet to sign the bill into law.
But while the Oceanport racetrack’s $2.5-million William Hill Sports Bar remains closed, it was a 2-year-old colt named Sports Betting, agen sbobet owned by Monmouth Park president and CEO Dennis Drazin, making his debut a winning one in the first race on Sunday.
Trained by Jason Servis, Sports Betting went off as a heavy favorite and didn’t disappoint in the $36,000 maiden special weight race, leading every step of the way in posted a two-length victory, turing back a challenge by Babbo Babbo Babbo down the stretch.
Ridden by Paco Lopez, Sports Betting is the a Kentucky-bred son of Shanghai Bobby, out of the Smarty Jones mare Smarty Bull.
The hope had been that sports betting, considered an important alternative revenue stream, would make it to the track before the young colt. Drazin was one of the driving forces in New Jersey’s seven-year legal battle that resulted in the Supreme Court of the United States ruling that the law banning sports wagering was unconstitional.
At least on this day, however, there was Sports Betting at Monmouth Park.
Stephen Edelson: sedelsongannettnjm; SteveEdelsonAPP
“There is no basis in law for this threat,” said Ray Lesniak, the former state senator who sponsored the 2014 repeal bill. “It’s an abuse of government power and should be withdrawn. It’s frightening that a state government agency can threaten a legitimate business like this.”
Lesniak also said that in a 2014 filing in the federal case, Zanzuccki had certified in writing that the Racing Commission would have no role whatsoever in regulating sports betting.
When I asked Murphy spokesman Dan Bryan whether Dr. Murphy had prescribed that poison pill, he said “That wasn’t from us. It was physically from the Racing Commission.”
Yes, but who was it from mentally? When I called Sweeney Friday he said, “I don’t know why it’s being played this way, but it’s the governor’s call.”