Far Hills Race Association media release:
FAR HILLS OFFERS THANKS TO WAGERING-BILL SUPPORTERS
State to supervise Oct. 15 meet, with wagering to be inaugurated next year
FAR HILLS, NJ—The Far Hills Race Association expressed its gratitude today to New Jersey state and local officials for their tireless efforts to approve pari-mutuel wagering at the industry-leading steeplechase race meet.
While the short timetable will not permit wagering on Saturday, Oct. 15, the meet will be under the supervision of the New Jersey Racing Commission, and Far Hills officials will have the opportunity to assess needs for providing a full menu of wagering options in 2017.
“Far Hills wishes to thank all those who have made it possible for Far Hills to offer pari-mutuel wagering to its on-site patrons and to steeplechase fans around the globe beginning in 2017,” said Far Hills Chairman Guy J. Torsilieri. “This could not have happened without overwhelming bipartisan support in the General Assembly, and we are grateful to Governor Chris Christie for signing this legislation.”
Sponsors in the Assembly were Assemblymen Ronald S. Dancer, John J. Burzichelli, and Jon M. Bramnick. The Assembly’s Republican leader, Bramnick represents the district that includes the Somerset County course. Co-sponsors were Assemblymen Erik Peterson and Robert D. Clifton and Assemblywoman Amy H. Handlin. The Senate sponsors were Republican Leader Tom Kean and Senator Kip Bateman.
Torsilieri said that Far Hills Mayor Paul Vallone and Borough Council members were instrumental in obtaining wide support for Far Hills wagering. “Dr. Vallone and the Borough Council were crucial to our effort,” Torsilieri said. “They had the foresight to see how enhancements at Far Hills will benefit the race meet itself and the community.”
Torsilieri also praised officials of Monmouth Park and the New Jersey Racing Commission for their support of the meet enhancement. “After the legislation was signed, we knew it would be a practical impossibility to push ahead with live wagering this year,” Torsilieri said.
“At its suggestion, the Racing Commission will supervise this year’s meet and provide a preview of what a pari-mutuel meet will entail. That will be a great help to us as we plan for live wagering in October 2017.”
Also attending next month’s Far Hills Races will be Dennis Drazin, adviser to Darby Development LLC, which operates Monmouth for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. He and Monmouth Park executives will be assessing needs for next year. Wagering at Far Hills will be conducted under Monmouth’s license.
Far Hills, observing its 96th running this year at historic Moorland Farm, is the richest race meet on the National Steeplechase Association circuit. Far Hills offers purses totaling $700,000, and its feature race is the $350,000 Grand National (Gr. 1), which is attracting an international field.
Proceeds from the Far Hills Races benefit health care in Central New Jersey, including the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset. Over the years, Far Hills has contributed more than $17-million to the hospital and its Steeplechase Cancer Center.