OCEANPORT: The first race of the season at Monmouth Park racetrack fielded 5 three year olds on a sloppy track with steady rain keeping crowds away.
The cold day kept the crowd to countable size, the smallest this reporter has ever see at trackside. Still the program was not cancelled and the hearty stuck it out with cheers going to first race winner Here's the Fuego running the $13,000 Maiden Claiming event from a fast lead at the start to a 5 horse finish going away.
At the winner circle Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno held on in the wet wind to present the winner's trophy as raid pelted the track.
Holding her own Jersey Pride, Guadagno, a neighbor from Monmouth Beach one town over, said it never rains on opening day at Monmouth Park Opening, or at least not remembered if at all, she added that the park is in great shape and the season is promising. "I can't wait to see everyone come out".
Oceanport Councilman Joe Irace watched the race under the eaves of the building where he welcomed the Lt. Governor as she made her way to the park lobby. The two towns share a lot in common, including the Atlantic, the track as patrons and the Shore Regional High School.
Some patrons had come from afar as is typical of the track's drawing, including a married couple and a friend who came up from Galloway Township for the Opener.