HRN Monmouth Report: Opening Weekend

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Horse Racing Nation is your source for the $50 million summer meet at Monmouth Park. HRN Editor Jarrod Horak will recap all of the action from the Jersey Shore, including track bias information and horses to watch. This is his first in a series of reports from Monmouth Park.

May 22 (opening day) - The much anticipated opening of the 50-day Monmouth summer was a huge success. More than 17,000 fans filled the stands and an impressive $9.35 million was wagered on the 13-race program.

The main track seemed to play fair. Early-pressing types captured both turf routes.

Hat trick for Carlos Marquez Jr. Chris DeCarlo and John Velazquez both booted home a pair. Rick Dutrow saddled two winners on opening day.

Congressional Page (5th race) sat a patient trip behind Mr. Fantasy and Go Go Shoot and cruised home by 3/4s of a length in the $100,000 Decathlon Stakes. The 5yo gelded son of Orientate ran his record to three-for-three at Monmouth and five-for-five at six furlongs.

Two Notch Road (9th race) smartly nabbed his Allowance turf return despite the fact that his trainer was zero for thirty with horses returning from a 90+ day layoff. He graduated in a local turf Stakes event last year and is definitely worth following on the local green.

Get Stormy (11th race) controlled proceedings throughout in the grassy Elkwood Stakes. The Thomas Bush trainee was making his first start since Nov '09 and was riden to victory by Eddie Castro, who picked up the mount after Garrett Gomez was injured earlier in the day.

Boom Town Sally (12th race) did not threaten wire job winner Myakka City but she rallied to finish a clear second and might get over the hump in her 3rd start off the shelf next time.

The 50 cent pick five with a 15% carryover is one of the best bets in racing. No one had all five winners on Saturday, so $123,029 carries to the Sunday program.

May 23 (day two) - The 11-race Sunday program featured the $100,000 Spend A Buck Stakes, and more than $7 million was bet on the card including over $800,000 in the pick five pool.

Horses with tactical speed held the edge on the main track. A stalker and a closer made up the two turf route winners.

Hat trick for Joe Bravo. Two more wins for John Velazquez, and Garrett Gomez was back in the saddle again and brought home a winner. Cam Gambolati saddled two winners on the afternoon.

Roses For Bailey (2nd race) gamely finished 2nd vs. more experienced rivals in this straight Maiden event for fillies and mares. She was making her first start since July '09 and gave a great account in her initial two turn try. She owns a strong route pedigree (Stephen Got Even-Ferdinand) and should continue to progress.

Cognito just did get up in the 7th and he was clearly much the best. He was checked and squeezed between rivals late and somehow recovered to run down Starship Scott and Machismo. He was claimed by Terri Pompay and can click right back.

The strength of the G3 Withers Stakes was on full display as Ibboyee turned the tables on Afleet Again in Sunday's Spend A Buck Stakes. The latter was fractious in the gate, raced wide, drifted out in the stretch, and was necked out of the place by Our Dark Knight. This race capped off the 50 cent pick five, which paid $2,402.55.  

The second week of the Monmouth summer meet will feature live racing Saturday-Monday (May 29-31). I will return next Tueday with a recap of the holiday weekend action from the Jersey Shore.

Week 2 Stakes races from Monmouth Park

Sat (5-29-10) - The $100,000 Lamplighter Stakes (3yo, 8.5T)

Sat (5-29-10) - The $100,000 John J Reilly Hcp (NJ-bred 3up, 6f)

Sun (5-30-10) - The $100,000 Monmouth Beach Stakes (f&m 3up, 1mile-70yds)

Sun (5-30-10) - The $100,000 Little River Stakes (3yo fil, 8T)

Mon (5-31-10) - The $100,000 Just Smashing Stakes (3yo fil, 6f)

Mon (5-31-10) - The Grade 3 Eatontown Stakes (f&m 3up, 8.5T)




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Older Comments about HRN Monmouth Report: Opening Weekend...

While this all sounds good, Crist wrote a long editorial in Sunday's FORM showing that this level of purses is just unsustainable.

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