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Get Serious Wants Firm Turf in Elkwood

Get Serious has become a fixture in Monmouth turf stakes, and the 7-year-old steps back into the spotlight Saturday when he opens his 2011 season in the $75,000 Elkwood Stakes, scheduled as the first grass stakes of the meet.

 

This will be the third straight year that the son of City Zip has kicked off his campaign in a one-mile turf event here, and trainers John Forbes and Pat McBurney are hoping all goes according to plan.

 

Two years ago, Get Serious won the Elkwood to kick off a year that saw him win three stakes events, and last year, the New York-bred used a turf allowance to start him on the road to winning three Grade 3 events here, the Monmouth Stakes, the Oceanport and the Red Bank.

 

“He’s been training well since he got to Monmouth,” McBurney said. “He runs well fresh, and the Elkwood will set him up for the Monmouth Stakes.”

 

The mile and an eighth Monmouth Stakes (G3) will be run on Sunday, June 12, and serves as the main prep for the $750,000 United Nations Stakes (G1) that will be renewed on July 2.

 

Get Serious, owned by the partnership of James Dinan, Jacques Moore and Phantom House Farm, won the Monmouth Stakes last year, but failed in his attempt to carry his speed 11 furlongs in the U.N, where he finished fifth.

He came back to win the Oceanport and Red Bank at shorter distances, taking his career bankroll over $1 million, and then was headed for Kentucky and a possible start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

 

“There was a prep race for the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland that we were looking at,” McBurney said. “But he had tailed off by that time, and he wasn’t training that well. And he’s a non-sweater, so summer knocks him out. He’d had a really good year and we decided to turn him out in October.”

 

Get Serious went to Bright View Farm in Columbus, N.J. until February, and then was sent to the Westhampton (N.J.) Training Center where he began his comeback preparations.

 

“He was up to breezing five-eighths at Westhampton,” McBurney said, “and we’ve stretched him out since we came to Monmouth.”

 

Get Serious comes into the Elkwood off two six-furlong works, and last week breezed an easy seven furlongs in 1:31 1/5.

 

Weather could be a concern for Get Serious, McBurney said.

 

“He only likes firm turf,” the trainer said. “He does not like it soft. It’s been raining all week, so the turf is likely to be soft. He has won on a sealed, sloppy track.

 

“But he really must run here to set him up for the Monmouth Stakes.”

 

He will be ridden again by Pablo Fragoso, who took over the mount in July of 2008 and has now won 11 races aboard Get Serious.

 

 

 

 

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