Horse Racing in Asbury Park

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On June 19, 1946, a veritable herd of racing fans?18,724 of them, in fact?galloped through the turnstiles at Monmouth Park Race Track. It was a gathering fit for a historic return, and indeed it was: 53 years separated that moment from the last time the track had hosted a race. Originally opened in 1870 in an effort to increase summer trade, Monmouth Park was immediately popular, earning the moniker ?Newmarket of America," a reference to the famed course in England. Yet in 1894, the state of New Jersey banned wagering on horses, effectively ending the facility's operations. In the 1940s, though, a man named Amory M. Haskell lobbied to have that law reversed. Today, the track honors its legislative savior by hosting the annual $1 million Haskell Invitational, the richest Invitational in America. The1 1/8-mile race limited to standout 3-year-olds in a race ?Where Champions Prove Their Greatness?.

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