The New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival will be renewed for the 10th time on Saturday at Monmouth Park and racing fans can join the celebration with a chance to win free money.
Everyone coming to the track can enter a drawing for one of 20 total free $500 wagering vouchers, which will be given away throughout the day dedicated to the state-bred racing program. Two vouchers will be awarded before each of the day's 10 races, for total of 20.
As part of the festivities, the inaugural class of the New Jersey-bred Hall of Fame will be inducted in a winner's circle ribbon cutting ceremiony following the first race. Cavalcade, Henry of Navarre, Open Mind and Regret, who have all been previously enshrined in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York, comprise the first class.
Cavalcade won the Kentucky derby, American Derby and Arlington Classic and was the country's top horse in 1934. Henry of Navarre, who was foaled in this state in 1891, was a champion at age 3 when he won the Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes and he repeated as a champion at age 4. Open Mind won the 1988 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and was named the 2-year-old Filly champion. She came back the next year to win the Kentucky Oaks, Acorn, Mother Goose, Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama Stakes on her way to capturing the Filly Triple Crown and the 3-year-old Filly championship. Regret, who swept the series of 2-year-old stakes at Saratoga Race Course,was the first of only three fillies to win the Kentucky Derby (1915) and she was the unofficial 3-year-old champion and the Horse of the Year.
Modern day New Jersey-breds will be showcased in the track's 10 races, which include the $75,000 Charles Hesse III Handicap, the $60,000 Jersey Girl Handicap, and the $60,000 Jersey Breeders Handicap. There are even a pair of races for juveniles, one for 2-year-old colts and geldings and the other for freshman fillies, where the hope for the future will be showcased.
The gates open at 11:30 a.m. and first post for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival is at 12:45 p.m.