In this tough economy of falling wagers and purses, folks are keeping a sharp eye out on Monmouth Park. The New Jersey racetrack decided to race shorter weeks with higher purses, and the early returns look good. They eliminated their weakest days (Wednesday and Thursday) when their attendance and handle slumped, and increased purses for the remaining three days of the week.

After the first five days, total handle was up 36% and attendance was up 26% over last year.

In the face of declining attendance and handle along with intense competition in the Mid-Atlantic, Colonial Downs may also have to consider a “higher purse/fewer racing days” schedule until a long-term solution is found to increase purse generating total handle.

Monmouth was determined to provide their customers with a “better product,” and it seems to be working. While owners, trainers and breeders want more days and more economic opportunities for their expensive to produce and maintain horses, the core customers – the bettors – want a quality product. Sometimes, in our struggle to make ends meet in this complicated business, we forget the old adage that the customer is always right…

Bob Kulina, VP and general manager of Monmouth Park writes about it in Final Turn – Building Better Racing in June 12 issue of the Blood-Horse.

To read the article, click here.