New Jersey legislators have unanimously approved legislation to allow pari-mutuel wagering at the Far Hills Races, and the bill now awaits Gov. Chris Christie’s signature.
The state Senate approved the legislation by a 38-0 vote on Monday, and the Assembly unanimously passed the bill on June 2.
The Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Kip Bateman and Sen. Thomas Kean Jr. “I’ve attended the race for more than 30 years and am glad that we can make this great New Jersey tradition even stronger,” Bateman said in a news release. “It’s a rare piece of legislation that benefits healthcare, charity and the environment, but this bill checks all of those boxes.”
The 96th running of the Far Hills races at Moorland Farm is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15. This year’s Far Hills program will feature seven races with purses totaling $700,000, highlighted by the $350,000 Grand National (Gr. 1).
Proceeds benefit Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset and health care in central New Jersey. Far Hills has raised more than $17-million for the health center, and the hospital’s Steeplechase Center in Somerville is named in honor of Far Hills’ contributions.
“The Far Hills Race Meeting has a long history of supporting charitable causes in the region,” said Kean. “Allowing wagering will boost interest in the event, support New Jersey horse farms, and ensure continued support for local health-care facilities.”
Far Hills offers the largest purses of any National Steeplechase Association race meet, and the Grand National winner has been voted the Eclipse Award as North America’s champion steeplechase horse in five of the last six years.