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October 9, 2009

Monmouth Park Hurdle Festival

National Steeplechase Association Chief Operating Officer Lou Raffetto Jr. was pleased with the jump racing festival at Monmouth Park and hopes to do it again.

With $230,000 in purses, this was the first time that a major track had six steeplechase races on the card along with their flat races. Monmouth averages about 6,000 spectators, and officials said there were upwards of 10,000 that day.

“I think it was a success,” Raffetto said. “By all accounts, everyone seemed to like it and was really watching the racing. It was more of an upscale crowd too, the kind you would see at the Virginia Gold Cup or Saratoga.”

Jockey Robert Walsh thought the crowd was friendly and took the time to say hello and to thank the jockeys.

“I think they liked us and liked seeing the jump racing,” Walsh said. “It was probably pretty different for them.”

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