In 2010, it was his
wife Cindy and Just Jenda. A year later,
trainer Larry Jones hopes that it will be Payton d’Oro who will get her picture
taken in the Grade 2, $250,000 Hill ‘n’ Dale Molly Pitcher Stakes.
A Grade 1-placed
5-year-old mare by Medaglia d’Oro, Payton d’Oro will enter Saturday’s race off
a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Ruffian at Saratoga – a race in which she
was placed third via disqualification.
Despite a bit of an
interrupted training schedule due to Hurricane Irene, Jones believes Peyton
d’Oro has remained sharp in the week since the Hill ‘n’ Dale Molly Pitcher was
“She’s pretty sharp
right now,” Jones said. “She was ready
to run last week. We had to alter our
plans in terms of her training due to the storm. There was no training at Delaware on Monday so we sent to gallop at a
private facility where I have a bunch of young horses. She was back at Delaware on Tuesday for her final blowout.”
Over a track that
Jones called “really hard” that final blowout was a speedy three furlongs in
“It wasn’t a bad
work at all, but it wasn’t as fast as it looks on paper,” Jones said. “The track was hard that day. I sent horses out to gallop and they went :35
almost exclusively in stakes events over the past three seasons, this will be
Payton d’Oro’s first trip to Monmouth Park.
“We had Just Jenda
in the same crop as her,” Jones said.
“For now, Peyton d’Oro is doing very well. We’re very happy with her. She’ll jog up to the race and hopefully the
next two days will go uneventfully for her.”
“on-the-board” finish on Saturday, Payton D’Oro will earn something more than
just the corresponding portion of the purse.
This year’s 66th renewal of the Pitcher also features a
stallion season to the top three finishers.
Hill ‘n’ Dale stallions Roman Ruler, Midnight Lute and Zensational are
the offerings, with the winner of the Molly Pitcher having first choice.
Roman Ruler, the 2005 Haskell Invitational winner, stands
for $15,000. A son of Fusaichi Pegasus,
Roman Ruler, who is currently second on the third crop sires list, is the sire
of 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler on Ice.
Midnight Lute ($17,500) is a two-time winner of the
Breeders’ Cup Sprint, including the 2007 edition at Monmouth Park. His first crop of horses are currently
Zensational ($22,500) is the only horse to win three
consecutive Grade 1 sprint races. The
son of Unbridled’s Song entered stud in 2010.
SURPLUS OF STAKES
ACTION ON TAP FOR LABOR DAY WEEKEND
Racetrack will play host to seven stakes races over the Labor Day weekend,
including three graded events.
Saturday’s card, Monmouth will host the Grade 2 $250,000 Hill ‘n’ Dale Molly
Pitcher Stakes for fillies and mares, which has drawn a full field of
nine. Also on Saturday is the Grade 3
$100,000 Sapling Stakes, featuring 11 2-year-old colts.
On Sunday, a trio of
stakes races are on tap, headlined by the Grade 3 $100,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes with
a field of eight 3-year-old fillies on turf.
In addition, the $65,000 Junior Champion Stakes, with 10 entrants, will
host 2-year-old fillies on turf as the eight-horse $65,000 Gilded Time Stakes
showcases 3-year-olds sprinting on the lawn.
A special Labor Day
card on Monday will feature a pair of stakes, with the $100,000 Sorority Stakes
for 2-year-old fillies topping the action along with the $75,000 Omnibus stakes
for fillies and mares on turf.
The 2011 Monmouth
Park meeting runs through Sunday, Nov. 6.
Following Monday’s Labor Day card, the racetrack will host live racing
on Saturdays and Sundays with the addition of Monday, Oct. 10 (Columbus Day)
and Friday, Nov. 4 (Breeders’ Cup).