Saturday’s John J. Reilly Handicap, a
Park staple, will feature New Jersey-bred
colts and geldings travelling six furlongs over the main track. Among
the nine entered in this year’s Reilly is Final Forest, who’s no
stranger to the Monmouth Park winner’s circle, having
visited it twice in his 11-race career.
“He tries hard,” said trainer Ben Perkins, Jr. “He’s been running well all year in
Maryland and this looked like the logical spot to put him.”Final Forest captured an allowance event at
earlier this year and has picked up checks in his two subsequent
starts. He enters Saturday’s Reilly off nearly seven weeks rest and
sports three works at Monmouth in preparation for this.
"He’s been working well since he got back here,”
Perkins said. “It’ looks to be a pretty evenly-matched race and I
suspect he’ll run well again.”
A 4-year-old gelding,
Forest is New Farm-bred top and bottom. His
sire, Forest Wildcat, was a graded stakes winner and top stallion. His
mother was a multiple stakes winner at
Park and her father was a multiple Grade 2 winner. All raced in the New Farm colors.
Elvis Trujillo, who was aboard for an allowance score on May 12, 2012, has the call on
Forest Saturday. The pair will break from post position eight.
THE HUNK, WELL SPELLED, RAINBOW HEIR READY FOR SUMMER CAMPAIGNS
Trainer Ben Perkins has lots to look forward to in the coming days and weeks. While he is set to saddle
Forest in Saturday’s $60,000 John J. Reilly
Handicap, the trainer hopes to have much more in store as the summer
season quickly approaches.
Among those in the barn nearing a return is The Hunk, winner of last year’s Reilly Handicap.
“We were hoping to have him back in for this year’s
race, but he just wasn’t ready,” Perkins said. “He needs one or two
more breezes. With these older
horses, you just let them tell you when they’re ready and take it from
The Hunk, who’s won six of his 16 lifetime starts, hasn’t raced since the DeFrancis Dash at
last October. The 6-year-old horse breezed four furlongs at Monmouth on
May 27, going :48 flat, fifth fastest of 88 on the work tab.
Well Spelled, who captured last year’s Grade 3
Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth, is also nearing a return, having last
raced to a victory in the Gallant Bob
at Parx on Sept. 22.
“He’s close,” Perkins said. “He had a really nice
breeze the other day, so we’ll be looking for a spot for him soon.
Maybe the Mr. Prospector Stakes (here
on July 7).”
And then there’s the undefeated Rainbow Heir, who won here on May 12, going six furlongs in a snappy 1:08 2/5.
“I think he’s something special,” Perkins said. “We’ll probably go right to the
Shore with him (Grade 3 here on July 4).”
Rainbow Heir will look to give Perkins his third win in the
Shore. The trainer won it in 1995 with
Fort Stockton, when the race was still contested at Atlantic City Racecourse, and last year with Well Spelled.
MONMOUTH PARK HOSTS MONMOUTH/OCEAN FOOD BANK DAY
On Sunday, June 2, patrons can bring any non-perishable food item to
Park in exchange for free grandstand
admission as the racetrack celebrates Monmouth/Ocean Food Bank Day. The
Food Bank helps feed over 127,000 people, and distributes over 7 million
pounds of food each year to children, the elderly,
and families in need.
County Food Bank Day will also include live music as Fast Clare
performs “On The Green.” Family Fun Day activities will also be
on tap with pony rides, face painting, a bounce house and more from
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Gates open at 11:30 am, with the first race set for
$31,453.91 CARRYOVER FOR FRIDAY’S
Monmouth’s newest wager, the Jersey Shore Six, will
have a carryover of $31,453.91 added to the pool should one person walk
away with the lone winning ticket
The Jersey Shore Six, which is based on the popular
Rainbow Six at Gulfstream, has a 10-cent base wager. To win the
jackpot, a ticket must have the winner
of the last six races on the card and be the only one to have done so.
If more than one person has a winning ticket, they split 60% of the net
pool with 40% going to the carryover.
FRIDAY RACING STARTS THIS WEEK AT MONMOUTH
Beginning on May 31, Friday racing returns to
Park and will continue through the Labor Day holiday weekend.
Monmouth’s Friday, Saturday, Sunday schedule will be complemented by two holiday cards – Thursday, July 4th and Monday, Sept. 2 (Labor Day).
Following the Sept. 2 card, live racing will move back to a Saturday, Sunday schedule through Oct. 6.
Gates open daily at 11:30 a.m. with first post set
for 12:50 p.m. The lone exception will be Haskell Day, July 28, when
gates open at 10 a.m. with the first
race going at noon.