New Jersey Racetracks are Gearing Up for Kentucky Derby Day

New Jersey Racetracks are Gearing Up for Kentucky Derby Day
By Lou Monaco

The greatest two minutes in sports — the 147th Kentucky Derby — is back to its rightful place on the first Saturday in May and the three racetracks in New Jersey are all looking forward to the big race day with promotions and added attractions to bring people in.

Sportsbooks are also available at the tracks for sports betting.

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Here is a sampling of what bettors can expect at the New Jersey tracks on Derby Day:

Derby Day Details

Meadowlands Racetrack (East Rutherford)

Guests will have their temperature checked and must complete a brief health questionnaire before entering the clubhouse entrance. No one with a temperature exceeding 100.4 will be allowed in. Guests can download and complete the required questionnaire to help speed up the check-in process. All must wear masks when not eating or drinking at their table.

Racetrack doors open at 9 a.m. The first Churchill Downs post is at 10:30 a.m. Live harness racing kicks off at 6:20 p.m. and the Kentucky Derby post time is set for 6:57 p.m.

As an added convenience for the wagering public because of the reduced racetrack capacity, the Meadowlands will offer a walk-up teller window on both Friday (Kentucky Oaks) and Saturday (Derby). The walk-up window is in Lot M off of Berry’s Creek Road. Tellers will be available for wagering from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Lounge dining is sold out and because of the limited attendance capacities and COVID-19 protocols, onsite attendance is limited to the following:

  • Café table seating
  • Backyard BBQ & Grill seating
  • West Deck & Promenade dining
  • 500 hundred pre-paid general admission indoor Grandstand tickets
  • 3,000 Backyard only general admission

Monmouth Park (Oceanport)

Gates open at 10 a.m, COVID-19 protocols will be followed with masks required and you can’t bring your own beverages.

Monmouth will also host its annual dress to impress contest for the chance to win a $100 Derby bet in the Best Hat Contest.

Freehold Raceway (Freehold)

Free parking and admission with a live harness racing card starting at 12:30 p.m.

Full simulcasting of the Kentucky Derby card from Churchill Downs will be available.



Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media ( in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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