Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Monmouth Park officials have canceled most of Saturday's sub-map due to an excessive heat warning in New Jersey, displacing Haskell Invitational Grade 1
A formal statement declaring that an abridged card consists of stakes only will continue at 18:00 ET. The post-time for Haskell, led by Maximum Security, is now 8:05 pm.
Two races were delayed without incident, but the governor's office exercised political pressure. Saratoga and other routes on the east coast have canceled their Saturday races due to the weather.
The Oceanport (G3) is the first race back, with the sequence also containing the Molly Pitcher (G3) led by the older top filly Midnight Bisou. For more information about the starting order with remaining mail times: 18:00, 18:25, 18:53, 19:15, 19:40. and 20:05
ORIGINAL: More than 30 minutes after scheduled lunch and first stoppage time in Monmouth Park, Haskell Stakes had not started the day as horses and jockeys the paddock waited.
There was no official word about why races were stopped, but coach Todd Pletcher told TVG that state officials talked to management about temperatures. A section official separately told Horse Racing Nation that a high-ranking New Jersey politician had met the requirements for the card.
A warning of excessive heat prompted a number of other routes on the East Coast, including Saratoga, to cancel tickets on Saturday. According to the
National Weather Service at Belmar-Farmingdale Airport near Monmouth Park at midday it was 93 degrees, the heat index was 106 degrees.
CONNECTED: Free Haskell picks, past performances and more  Shortly before 12.30 pm track announcer Frank Mirahmadi told the public horses that they would be "short" on the track. A call to the post caused a loud roar and the field went straight to the gate for the opener, a 5 1/2 furlong sprint that scraped down to five runners.
The race went without incident. According to the same course officer, Monmouth officials should re-evaluate conditions throughout the map.
Gregg Sacco, a Monmouth Park-based coach who conditions Haskell contender Joevia, said, "there are obvious concerns over the heat," but he added that the track "takes all the necessary steps to ensure that the riders and jockeys and everyone is safe.
"I'm all in favor, and if it means a little delay and takes care of the planning, that's fine.
– Eric Kalet (@erickalet) July 20, 2019
Monmouth Park decided to run it with a set of security protocols, and earlier this week Tom Luicci, the New Jersey track's media manager, announced it would be done on Saturday: • • • • •
"We could also postpone races," Luicci said. "We will do what in the best interests of the horse, the rider and the people here is. If there is a delay, we could postpone races. This is one way to get cooler.
Haskell, the last of six outings in Oceanport, New Jersey, is scheduled for an extra time of 17:47 ET ET NBC has a broadcast window from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.
Should the race go Starting at 18:00, Randy Moss, a handicapper and presenter on air, said NBC would stream his app live.
The Asbury Park Press reported that a group of about 30 people also gathered on Saturday off track to protest the race in general.
added cruelty to an already cruel scenario.
Matt Shifman contributed to this report.