Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., currently leading trainer at
Park, will look to add to that lead when he
sends out a pair of runners in Sunday’s Grade 3 Sapling and Sorority
Stakes, the top 2-year-old races of the summer season.
Up first will be the girls, who go in the $100,000
Sorority Stakes, carded as race nine on the 12-race program. Team Plesa
will be represented in the six
furlong Sorority by Flay Mignon and Pray a Novena, both of whom exit
the Colleen Stakes, which was run over the turf course at five furlongs
on Aug. 11.
“They both came out of it great,” said Plesa, who
has saddled 34 winners at the 2013 meet thus far. “Obviously Flay
Mignon took to the turf real well.
I don’t believe Pray a Novena cared for it much. They’re both coming
into this race great and I expect both should make a good showing on
Flay Mignon, owned by Laurie Plesa, wife of the
trainer, took the lead soon after the start of the Colleen, was headed
around the far turn and then drew
off in the lane to score by nearly two lengths under the meet’s current
leading rider Paco Lopez.
“She’s the real deal,” said Plesa of his wife’s
charge. “She’s been impressive in both of her starts and hopefully will
continue to move forward on Sunday.”
A homebred daughter of Yesbyjimminy from the
Forest Retreat, Flay Mignon broke her maiden
on June 28 when facing fellow New Jersey-breds for a claiming price of
$100,000 before going on to her stakes score in the Colleen.
Pray a Novena, who races in the colors of Rick
Shanley and Laurie Plesa debuted on July 26, romping home to a 4 ¼
length score. She was a $62,000 purchase
earlier this year in Ocala.
Two races after the Sorority, Plesa will once again
be busy in the paddock, this time saddling Yes I’m Lucky and Run for
Logistics in the $100,000 Sapling
Stakes. These two colts come into the Sapling off a one-two finish in
the Tyro, run at five furlongs on turf on Aug. 4, when Yes I’m Lucky
bested his stablemate by nearly two lengths.
“They’ve both run exceptionally well thus far,” said
Plesa. “Yes I’m Lucky is a little more seasoned with three starts
under his belt and a trip to Florida
in between Monmouth wins, but it’s hard to separate the two of them
right now. Perhaps they’ll do that on their own on Sunday.”
Yes I’m Lucky, a $105,000 sales purchase earlier
this year, broke his maiden here on June 2, getting up in the shadow of
the wire by a head. Less than three
weeks later he shipped to Calder where he won the Frank Gomez Memorial
Stakes by four lengths before returning home and trying turf for the
first time in the Tyro. Jockey Paco Lopez has the return call in the
six furlong Sapling.
Run for Logistics was a first out winner on July 7,
drawing off to an impressive 5 ½ lengths win after setting all the
fractions. In his second start, the
Tyro, he was up with the early leaders while running between horses,
including his stablemate to his inside. Gabriel Saez will be back
aboard on Sunday.
CRAFT BEER AND BBQ FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND AT MONMOUTH
Park’s popular BBQ and Craft Beer Festival returns to the racetrack this Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1.
Over a dozen food vendors will be on-hand, as will
the popular beer garden. For $10, fans 21 and over can get 10 two-ounce
beer samples from more than 30
The activities go from noon to 5 p.m. both days,
with family fun day added to the mix on Sunday, featuring clowns, pony
rides, bounce houses and more.
MONMOUTH OFFERS RACING ALL WEEKEND LONG, LABOR DAY CARD MONDAY
To celebrate Labor Day,
Park will offer three days of racing this
weekend. The track will run live cards on Saturday, Aug. 31, and then on
Sunday and Monday, Sept. 1 and 2.
Five stakes races will highlight the racing programs
on Labor Day weekend, with the $60,000 Twin Lights on turf and the
$60,000 Miss Woodford Stakes on the
main track heading the Saturday action.
The 2-year-olds come out to play on Sunday, with the
running of the $100,000 Sapling Stakes (G3) for the boys and the
$100,000 Sorority Stakes for the fillies.
Monday’s Labor Day program will be headlined by the $75,000 Icecapade Stakes.