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Breeders' Cup 2017

Monmouth Park Barn Notes - August 30

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Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., currently leading trainer at Monmouth Park, will look to add to that lead when he sends out a pair of runners in Sunday’s Grade 3 Sapling and Sorority Stakes, the top 2-year-old races of the summer season.

Up first will be the girls, who go in the $100,000 Sorority Stakes, carded as race nine on the 12-race program.  Team Plesa will be represented in the six furlong Sorority by Flay Mignon and Pray a Novena, both of whom exit the Colleen Stakes, which was run over the turf course at five furlongs on Aug. 11.

“They both came out of it great,” said Plesa, who has saddled 34 winners at the 2013 meet thus far.  “Obviously Flay Mignon took to the turf real well.  I don’t believe Pray a Novena cared for it much.  They’re both coming into this race great and I expect both should make a good showing on Sunday.”

Flay Mignon, owned by Laurie Plesa, wife of the trainer, took the lead soon after the start of the Colleen, was headed around the far turn and then drew off in the lane to score by nearly two lengths under the meet’s current leading rider Paco Lopez.

“She’s the real deal,” said Plesa of his wife’s charge.  “She’s been impressive in both of her starts and hopefully will continue to move forward on Sunday.”

A homebred daughter of Yesbyjimminy from the Forest Camp mare Forest Retreat, Flay Mignon broke her maiden on June 28 when facing fellow New Jersey-breds for a claiming price of $100,000 before going on to her stakes score in the Colleen.

Pray a Novena, who races in the colors of Rick Shanley and Laurie Plesa debuted on July 26, romping home to a 4 ¼ length score.  She was a $62,000 purchase earlier this year in Ocala.

Two races after the Sorority, Plesa will once again be busy in the paddock, this time saddling Yes I’m Lucky and Run for Logistics in the $100,000 Sapling Stakes.  These two colts come into the Sapling off a one-two finish in the Tyro, run at five furlongs on turf on Aug. 4, when Yes I’m Lucky bested his stablemate by nearly two lengths.

“They’ve both run exceptionally well thus far,” said Plesa.  “Yes I’m Lucky is a little more seasoned with three starts under his belt and a trip to Florida in between Monmouth wins, but it’s hard to separate the two of them right now.  Perhaps they’ll do that on their own on Sunday.” 

Yes I’m Lucky, a $105,000 sales purchase earlier this year, broke his maiden here on June 2, getting up in the shadow of the wire by a head.  Less than three weeks later he shipped to Calder where he won the Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes by four lengths before returning home and trying turf for the first time in the Tyro.  Jockey Paco Lopez has the return call in the six furlong Sapling.

Run for Logistics was a first out winner on July 7, drawing off to an impressive 5 ½ lengths win after setting all the fractions.  In his second start, the Tyro, he was up with the early leaders while running between horses, including his stablemate to his inside.  Gabriel Saez will be back aboard on Sunday.




Monmouth Park’s popular BBQ and Craft Beer Festival returns to the racetrack this Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1.

Over a dozen food vendors will be on-hand, as will the popular beer garden.  For $10, fans 21 and over can get 10 two-ounce beer samples from more than 30 local breweries.

The activities go from noon to 5 p.m. both days, with family fun day added to the mix on Sunday, featuring clowns, pony rides, bounce houses and more.




To celebrate Labor Day, Monmouth Park will offer three days of racing this weekend. The track will run live cards on Saturday, Aug. 31, and then on Sunday and Monday, Sept. 1 and 2.

Five stakes races will highlight the racing programs on Labor Day weekend, with the $60,000 Twin Lights on turf and the $60,000 Miss Woodford Stakes on the main track heading the Saturday action.

The 2-year-olds come out to play on Sunday, with the running of the $100,000 Sapling Stakes (G3) for the boys and the $100,000 Sorority Stakes for the fillies.

Monday’s Labor Day program will be headlined by the $75,000 Icecapade Stakes.





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