A legislative proposal that would permit pari-mutuel wagering at the Far Hills Races has been pre-filed by members of the New Jersey General Assembly. The pari-mutuel authorization would be limited to an organization experienced in staging steeplechase races, such as the Far Hills Race Meeting Association, and the race meet must be sanctioned by the National Steeplechase Association.
The legislation was sponsored by Assemblymen Ronald S. Dancer, John J. Burzichelli, and Jon M. Bramnick. The Assembly’s Republican leader, Bramnick represents the district that includes the Far Hills course in Somerset County. Co-sponsors are Assemblymen Erik Peterson and Robert D. Clifton and Assemblywoman Any H. Handlin.
A statement accompanying the legislative proposal noted the popularity of the Far Hills races, held each year on the third Saturday in October, and said pari-mutuel wagering at Far Hills “should benefit both the horse racing industry and the viewing public.”
Approval of one special pari-mutuel permit each year would be at the discretion of the New Jersey Racing Commission. The pari-mutuel provider would be a current running-race licensee. Monmouth Park and the Meadowlands have those licenses for 2016, and Far Hills would be one of the licensee’s authorized dates.
If passed and signed by Gov. Chris Christie, the legislation would take effect immediately.