An American race track for thoroughbred horse racing in Oceanport, New Jersey, United States, just three miles from Long Branch, opened on July 30, 1870, owned by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, operated under a five-year lease as a partnership with Darby Development, LLC.
The innovative ideas of New York businessman John F. Chamberlain, New Jersey Senate President Amos Robbins, and Adams Express Company President John Hoey produced this racetrack. Monmouth Park has been a Shore tradition since 1870, and three buildings have carried the name Monmouth Park in the last 139 years.
It was called “Newmarket of America”, as it became a famous racecourse in England. However, three years after the first Monmouth Park was opened, hardships forced the track to close. Through a syndicate operation under George L. Lorillard, D.D. Withers, G.P. Wetmore, and James Gordon Bennett, the track was reopened. Then because of its overwhelming popularity, a new racecourse was stood adjacent to the existing track, and in 1890 the second Monmouth Park was opened.
However, in 1891, problems surfaced again when the Monmouth Park meet was moved to Jerome Park and Morris Park while state legislation tried to suppress pari-mutuel wagering. Unfortunately, on March 21, 1894, wagering on horses was legally banned. The track was closed, and the land was sold. After 53-year hiatus, the track was reopened for the third time on June 19, 1946, under the new leadership of Haskell, Philip H. Iselin, Reeve Schley, Joseph M. Roebling, Townsend B. Martin, John MacDonald, and James Cox Brady, with a new name Monmouth Park Jockey Club.
The main track is a one-mile (1.6 km) dirt oval with chutes for 6 furlongs and 1¼ mile races. The turf course is seven furlongs in circumference, with a diagonal chute between 1-mile (1.6 km) and 1⅛ miles. Turf races can be run along the hedge or with the portable rail out 12 feet (dubbed the “Haskell Course”), 24 feet (“Monmouth Course”), or 36 feet (“Lennox Course”).