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Jun 09, 2017

Monmouth Park: The Shore’s Greatest Stretch

For a unique day of entertainment that’s close to home, with fun and exciting options for both kids and adults alike and a variety of special events held throughout the season, head to Oceanport…where it’s off to the races! That’s where you’ll find the beautiful and historic Monmouth Park, long known as “The Shore’s Greatest Stretch” since it was first established in 1870. Monmouth Park is one of the nation’s grand old ladies and one of the most beautiful ways to spend a summer day. The nation’s top horses, including Triple Crown contenders, compete here. It is the home of the $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational Race and has hosted racing’s most prestigious event, The Breeder’s Cup.

Watching champion thoroughbreds race at lighting speed around the pristine track is a certainly thrill all its own, but there is a lot more to see and do. Reserve a picnic area for a party. Bring a cooler. Eat in one of many eateries and restaurants on the grandstand and clubhouse levels. Enjoy a full calendar of special weekend events. Watch simulcast races from other leading tracks. See the racehorses close enough to touch. Marvel at the hall of honor and photos of top horses and jockeys. Come watch the red-coated bugler blow the call to the gate. Hear the bell ring, the slam of the opening gate, and the announcer call “they’re off,” and maybe, if lady luck is on your side, come home a winner.

Monmouth Park’s 2017 live racing season kicked off on Saturday, May 13 and continues through Sunday, September 10. As always, it promises to be a thrilling season of entertainment and dining options not found at other race venues, including:

Family Fun Days are held every Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day, plus special event days, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. Free activities include pony rides, face painters, clowns, and a bounce house. Grandstand admission is $5, but children age 12 and under are always admitted free.

The popular Dawn Patrol takes place on Saturdays and Sundays at 8:00 a.m. from June 24 through August 20 (except for Haskell Day on Sunday, July 30). On this free tour (reservations required), guests of all ages get an inside look at what racing is all about, all day long. Visit the backstretch, starting gate, and jockey’s room, and learn about the life of a thoroughbred horse, including training programs and equipment, feed programs, and other topics.

A different kind of fun is offered at Bluegrass Mini Golf, open Fridays from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m., Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., weather permitting. Prices are $8 for adults, $7 for children age 5-12, and free for children age 4 and under when accompanied by an adult.

Mark your calendar! Monmouth Park’s remaining 2017 calendar of featured events and festivals will include:

June 11 – 47th Annual Irish Festival

June 18 – Father’s Day

June 24-25 – Wine & Chocolate Festival

July 9 – Classic Car Show & Oldies Day

July 15-16 – Surf & Turf Seafood Festival

July 29 – Ladies’ Day

July 30 – Haskell Invitational

August 5 – Italian Festival

August 20 – Tu Sello Latino Fest

August 27 – NJ Thoroughbred Festival plus Giveaway

September 2-4 – BBQ & Craft Beer Festival

September 9 – Food Trucktoberfest

And once you’ve worked up an appetite, check out the tempting new age of food and beverage service at Monmouth Park. They’ve brought the offerings in-house and partnered with numerous local eateries, including Max’s Famous Hot Dogs, Strollo’s Lighthouse Homemade Italian Ice, and NJ Craft Brew & ‘Que, and are highlighting new menus, drink specials, and dining venues to appeal to every guest’s palate.

Blu Grotto, located on the grounds of Monmouth Park, brings fine dining to one of the Jersey Shore’s best entertainment destinations. Featuring a beautiful, all-glass conservatory dining room and three large decks, Blue Grotto offers both modern and classic adaptations of regional Italian favorites. New for the 2017 season and destined to be a new summer hot spot, the Beer Garden at Blu Grotto will be open Thursdays through Sundays, featuring 20 draft beers, live entertainment, and delicious food options.

The tiered Dining Terrace restaurant is located on the third floor of the clubhouse and offers a great view of the racetrack, with an a la carte luncheon menu ranging from crab cakes to pasta. Proper attire is required.

The Lady’s Secret Café is located outside the clubhouse, with a picturesque view of the Paddock and English Walking Ring. The umbrella tables provide a perfect setting for a cold drink from the outside bar, and the tiered area is the ideal outdoor venue for a beautiful summer day at Monmouth Park.

With more than 100 umbrella tables extending nearly the entire length of the stretch, the Picnic Area is one of the most popular locations, where kids can play on the large playground while adults tend to the barbecue. Three Picnic Plans are available for hosting private parties for groups of 45 or more.

For more information on all this and more, go to or call (732) 222-5100. Monmouth Park is located at 175 Oceanport Avenue, Oceanport, NJ 07757.