OCEANPORT - With Triple Crown winner American Pharoah expected to race in Sunday's Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park Racetrack, the borough of Oceanport is preparing for the tens of thousands of people expected to attend.
Officials with Oceanport and Monmouth Park say they are ready to handle the crowds and the potential traffic nightmare that may come with them.
"The planning for this began right after [the Belmont Stakes]," says Oceanport Mayor Michael Mahon. "It will be gridlock from traffic light to traffic light, but they'll be faster green and manually controlled by police departments."
Approximately 60,000 people are expected to attend the Haskell race this Sunday. That is about 20,000 more than usual attendance for the race.
The major concern will be the traffic on Route 36 heading into Oceanport.
Many roads in town will be closed, detoured or changed to help with the traffic patterns. Monmouth Park purposefully raised parking fees to encourage people to carpool or take mass transit.
New Jersey Transit will add additional trains to the schedule and Summer Shore Express trains to New York Penn Station will also stop at the track.
NJ Transit says riders should buy roundtrip tickets in advance because there are no ticket vending machines at the racetrack train station.