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Howe Great Ready for Jersey Derby

Howe Great with Jockey Edgar Prado winning the Kitten's Joy Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Hallandale Beach, Florida. 01-21-2012
Howe Great didn’t win his last race, but his trainer considered the effort a sensational one nonetheless.

“I thought he ran great last time at Belmont (in a second place finish in the Grade 3 Hill Prince,” said Graham Motion. “Summer Front had every chance to get beat and he still got by us. I thought our horse ran a super race. We just got outrun that day. I was very pleased with how he ran. He’s very consistent. A couple of races in Kentucky, he had lousy post positions and that might have cost him a little bit. Again, he still didn’t run bad races in defeat. He’s a very consistent, straight-forward horse.”

Motion was referring to Howe Great’s third place finish in the Grade 2 American Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 4 and his fifth place effort in the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on April 14. On Saturday, the winner of the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes on March 11 at Gulfstream will be the favorite in the $60,000 Jersey Derby.

“We wanted to get him in a race where he would look like the favorite on paper. That’s what we’ve done,” hopefully,’’ said Motion, who added that he thinks Monmouth’s track resembles Gulfstream’s and that his charge best handles this type of  tighter and firmer surface.

Howe Great is the only graded stakes winner in the field for the $60,000 Jersey Derby that includes Kid Sidney, Fire Alarm, Scat About, Broxbourne, and Crafty Union. Raconteur and Purest Form are entered for the main track only.

First run in 1864 as a one-time event at a track in Paterson, New Jersey, since 1942 the Jersey Derby has been held at different distances and on different surfaces at Garden State Parkway, Atlantic City Racecourse and now Monmouth. It will be run at 1 1/16 mile on the turf course on Saturday.  


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