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Get Serious Faces Get Stormy in Monmouth Stakes

Get Stormy with Javier Castekkano wins The Fourstardave Saratoga Springs NY 8.1.2010

Get Serious tries for a repeat victory in the $250,000 Monmouth Stakes (G3) on the grass here Sunday, but faces some challenges this year that weren’t there in 2010.

 

For one thing, the 7-year-old son of City Zip comes into the mile and an eighth Monmouth off one of the poorest performances of his career – ninth of nine in the off-the-turf Elkwood Stakes. In 2010, he won the stakes after taking an allowance event in his seasonal bow.

 

“He’s never really liked a fast dirt track, so we hope that’s what it was in the Elkwood,” trainer Pat McBurney said. “He really needed that race as a prep for this.

 

“He bounced out of that race super,” McBurney said, “and he’s feeling great now. We’re looking for a nice, firm turf course Sunday, and then we hope he shows up.”

 

Get Serious, owned by the partnership of James Dinan and Phantom House Farm, and trained by the partnership of McBurney and John Forbes, is a dedicated front-runner, and the gelding’s been on the lead in all his best races.

 

He drew the rail Sunday – the same place he started from last year – and Pablo Fragoso rides again.

 

“Form the one post he needs to get away clean,” McBurney said. “Then he can do his thing. He doesn’t mind running alongside horses.”

 

The rival he’ll likely have to contend with most of the nine furlongs is Get Stormy, who is coming off two front-running wins in Grade 1 turf events at Keeneland and Churchill Downs.

 

And although Get Serious has recorded 12 of his 13 lifetime victories at Monmouth, Get Stormy has local credentials, too, as the wire-to-wire winner of last year’s Elkwood Stakes.

 

One trainer who is hoping for a hot pace battle is Patrick Biancone, who saddles Nownownow, a dedicated closer.

 

“It would be nice if they set it up for my horse,” Biancone said. “I would be happy to see a little rain, too.”

 

Nownownow, a 6-year-old son of Whywhywhy, has not started since he fell a neck short of catching Get Serious in the Red Bank Stakes (G3) here last Sept. 5.

 

“He has always run well fresh,” Biancone said. “I wanted to use the Elkwood as a prep, but I did not want to run him on dirt. He has been training well, and I expect him to run his race.

 

“But these are older horses who have met each other before,” Biancone said waxing philosophical, “and whoever is the better horse on the day will win.”

 

 

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