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
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.