Almanaar, Diamond King lead Monmouth Park's first graded stakes

Almanaar, Diamond King lead Monmouth Park's first graded stakes
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

A pair of turf specialists from the Chad Brown barn are among a field of eight entered for the Grade 2, $200,000 Monmouth Stakes on Saturday as Monmouth Park kicks off its graded stakes program with a 13-race card to open the Memorial Day weekend.

Monmouth Park will offer live racing Saturday, Sunday and Monday in conjunction with the popular Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival that will run all three days.

Projected, who missed winning the Cliff Hanger Stakes by a head on May 4 at Monmouth Park, and Almanaar will represent Brown’s stable in the 12th running of the Monmouth Stakes at a mile and an eighth on the grass.

The Monmouth Stakes headlines the track’s first bundled stakes program of the year, which includes the Grade 3, $150,000 Salvator Mile, the Boiling Springs Stakes and the John J. Reilly Handicap for Jersey-breds.

Projected finished third in the Monmouth Stakes a year ago. Antonio Gallardo is scheduled to ride, with Joe Bravo named on Almanaar.

Diamond King, coming off a second-place finish in the Charles Town Classic (G2), Bal Harbour and Sunny Ridge top a nine-horse field for the 72nd edition of the Salvator Mile.

Trained by John Servis, Diamond King was third in the Ohio Derby a year ago.

Bal Harbour, trained by Todd Pletcher, and Sunny Ridge, the 2018 New Jersey Thoroughbred of the Year, help make up what looks to be a balanced field for the Salvator Mile.

Brown will also saddle Beautiful Lover and Clause in the 42nd running of the Boiling Springs Stakes, which will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. Eleven horses plus one alternate are entered for the Boiling Springs.

The John J. Reilly Handicap, at six furlongs, attracted a field of seven.

First race post time for all three live cards over the Memorial Day weekend is 12:50 p.m.   

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