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 second in a series of reports from Monmouth Park.
Wagering continues to be brisk and attendance remains strong through the first five days of the Monmouth meet. The average handle is more than $8 million and what's not to like about full fields and great betting opportunities?
May 29 (day three) - Fast and Firm.
Edge to early-pressing types on the main track. Stalkers and closers nabbed the three turf races but it should be noted that the pacesetter was caught on the line twice.
Hat trick for Joe Bravo. Carlos Marquez Jr. booted home a pair. Edgar Prado and Rick Dutrow teamed up for two wins on the afternoon.
Thunder Brew (9th race) went last to first in the $100,000 Lamplighter Stakes for grassy 3-year-olds. He completed his mile and a sixteenth journey in 1:40.54.
In the John J Reilley Stakes (10th race), Unwritten was aggressively handled in a sharp wire job tally for Prado/Dutrow. Defending champ Joey P. chased throughout and held the place.
Tactical Weapon (12th race) ran too good to lose in the grass finale. The Cam Gambolati trainee dueled from the outset and finally shook clear only to be run down in the final strides by Prado/Dutrow fav Adagio. The runner-up was the only pace player around at the finish.
May 30 (day four) - Fast and firm.
Early-pressing types held the edge on both surfaces.
Paco Lopez, Elvis Trujillo, and John Velazquez each booted home a pair.
Boom Town Sally (4th race) was my first returning Horse to Watch, and she was clearly second best at a flat mile. She's seems better sprinting.
I thought favorite Saintly Cat (6th race) might run out of ground at six furlongs, and that was the case as she broke 11th and rallied for the show.
Strike It Rich (9th race) seized the early advantage and held off In The Rough to capture the $100,000 Little Silver Stakes. The 3-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song completed her one-mile turf journey in 1:33.32 under Garrett Gomez. Christophe Clement was the winning conditioner.
Just Jenda loves Monmouth Park and registered a sharp stalk and pounce tally in the $100,000 Monmouth Beach Stakes. Terry Thompson booted home the winner for Cindy Jones.
May 31 (day five) - Fast and Firm
Horses with tactical speed held the main track edge on Memorial Day. Turf course played fair.
Alan Garcia and Jose Valdivia Jr. both booted home a pair.
I was way off base in the 5-horse Just Smashing Stakes as my two players Midst and Island Time brought up the rear. Funny Feeling was the smart stalk and pounce winner for Alan Garcia and Michael Maker.
Francisco Maysonett is a longshot rider to watch. He guided home upset wire job winner Awesome Son ($30.20) on Sunday, and he came back Monday to light up the tote with The Cognac Kid ($210.20). I remember the competent rider from the Maryland circuit.
Get Serious loves the local green and went all the way in his first start since October 2009. Pablo Fragoso guided home the winner for John Forbes.
The Grade 3 Eatontown was a strange race. There was no pace in the paper race and my top Eye of Taurus carved out the splits and faded to 5th and last. Returning favorite Maram trakced the pace and looked home free but was caught on the line by South African bred import Gypsy's Warning (Valdivia-Motion). The winner is owned by Team Valor International.
The third week of the Monmouth summer meet will feature live racing Friday-Sunday (June 4-6). I will return next Tueday with a recap of the week three action from the Jersey Shore.
Week 3 Stakes races from Monmouth Park
Sat (6-5-10) - The $100,000 Wolf Hill Stakes (3up, 5.5T)
Sat (6-5-10) - The $100,000 Red Cross Stakes (f&m 3up, 6f)
Sun (6-6-10) - The $100,000 Rumson Stakes (3yo, 6f)
Sun (6-6-10) - The $50,000 Malouf Auto Group Starter #1 (3up, 8T)