Monmouth Park Barn Notes - July 19

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With a star-studded field expected to compete in the $1,000,000 William Hill Haskell on July 28, few reserved seats remain to catch the most anticipated horse race in New Jersey. Among the likely competitors for the 46th renewal of the shore classic are Preakness winner Oxbow, Wood Memorial winner Verrazano, Kentucky Derby runner-up Golden Soul, and the Bob Baffert trained Power Broker.

Pricing for reserved seats ranges from $10 for grandstand balcony seats to $17 for reserved clubhouse seating.

The price of admission on Haskell Day, which is not included in the reserved seat price, is $5 to the grandstand and $8 to the clubhouse. Seniors over 55 can enter at a discounted price of $3 and $5, respectively, and as always, children 12-years-old and under are free. Fans will also receive a commemorative Haskell hat with paid admission to the park while supplies last. 

Haskell Tickets can be purchased by calling 732-571-5563, or by visiting the reserved seat booth (2nd floor of the Grandstand) on any live racing day. In addition, fans can pre-purchase Haskell seats directly through




Trainer Pat McBurney is sending his filly Lucky Liberty into Sunday’s Just Smashing Stakes for her first try against stakes company. In her last race, Lucky Liberty prevailed over the field in a six furlong optional claiming event at Monmouth (July 7) when she bested fellow Just Smashing competitor Indian Spell by a half length at the wire. McBurney believes that Lucky Liberty’s performance that day showed that she was ready to attempt tougher competition.

“She bounced out of her last win pretty good,” said McBurney, “so we figured we’d take a shot in a stakes race and get some black type behind her name.”

Lucky Liberty and a strong field of fillies and mares will sprint six furlongs along the main track on Sunday. She will have to best stakes winner Ju Ju Eyeballs, who is coming off of her fourth straight win, and Blueeyesintherein, a Grade 3 stakes winner, in order to claim the winner’s share of the $60,000 purse. Despite the tough competition, McBurney thinks that the race could set up just right for Lucky Liberty.

"It looks like there’s a good three or four horses with speed,” McBurney said, “and she just naturally stalks horses in all her sprint races, so were hoping for a nice hot pace up front and they’ll hopefully come back to us.”

A 3-year-old daughter of Proud Citizen, Lucky Liberty has never finished out of the money in five races at Monmouth, where she has been stabled since May.

“She started her career here last year as a 2-year-old, and she really seems to like it here,” McBurney said. 

Jockey Angel Serpa will be aboard Lucky Liberty for the first time as she breaks from post five on Sunday.




Monmouth Park will host the first-ever Joes vs. Jocks Mini Golf Festival sponsored by Monmouth Medical Center’s “Roll Out The Ribbons” campaign on Friday, July 26 at the new Bluegrass Mini Golf course.  The event will serve as the kickoff to William Hill Haskell Weekend and help raise money and awareness for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. 

Taking place from 6pm-10pm after the races, the Joes vs. Jocks Mini Golf Festival will feature mini golf, food trucks, a live band and much more.

As part of the festival, 36 foursomes will have the opportunity to play 18 holes of mini golf with members of the Monmouth Park jockey colony as well as other racing personalities.  Each foursome costs $100 and also includes unlimited mini golf the rest of the night, a VIP gift bag, commemorative scorecard, souvenir ball, and prizes to the top finishers.

“On behalf of the Monmouth Park jockey colony, I’m very excited to be a part of this first-time event,” said 13-time leading Monmouth Park jockey Joe Bravo.  “I look forward to helping kick off Haskell weekend and being able to play golf with some of the great Monmouth Park fans.  It’s nice to see Monmouth Park come up with such an exciting new event for such a great cause.”

For “walk-up” golfers, wristbands for unlimited mini golf with family and friends will be sold for $20 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under.

Three food trucks will be in attendance for the Joes vs. Jocks Mini Golf Festival:  Jersey Shore staple Max’s Hot Dogs, Pizza Vita – home of award-winning Neapolitan pizza – and Kona Ice Italian Ice. 

The festival’s music will be performed live by the Rachel Allan Band, courtesy of Rockin’ Country Thunder 106.3FM.  Thunder106 will also broadcast live from the event with multiple games and giveaways throughout the night. 

Title sponsor Monmouth Medical Center will also be on-site at the event raising money and awareness for their summer-long “Roll Out The Ribbons” campaign.  More information on that cause can be found at

Those interested in purchasing one of the 36 foursomes to play 18 holes of mini golf with Monmouth jockeys and other racing personalities can find the entry form at  For more information, call Brian Skirka at 732-571-6595 or email at






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