Monmouth Park Barn Notes - May 30

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Saturday’s John J. Reilly Handicap, a Monmouth Park staple, will feature New Jersey-bred colts and geldings travelling six furlongs over the main track.  Among the nine entered in this year’s Reilly is Final Forest, who’s no stranger to the Monmouth Park winner’s circle, having visited it twice in his 11-race career.

“He tries hard,” said trainer Ben Perkins, Jr.  “He’s been running well all year in Maryland and this looked like the logical spot to put him.”

Final Forest captured an allowance event at Laurel earlier this year and has picked up checks in his two subsequent starts.  He enters Saturday’s Reilly off nearly seven weeks rest and sports three works at Monmouth in preparation for this.

"He’s been working well since he got back here,” Perkins said.  “It’ looks to be a pretty evenly-matched race and I suspect he’ll run well again.”

A 4-year-old gelding, Final Forest is New Farm-bred top and bottom.  His sire, Forest Wildcat, was a graded stakes winner and top stallion.  His mother was a multiple stakes winner at Monmouth Park and her father was a multiple Grade 2 winner.  All raced in the New Farm colors.

Elvis Trujillo, who was aboard for an allowance score on May 12, 2012, has the call on Final Forest Saturday.  The pair will break from post position eight.




Trainer Ben Perkins has lots to look forward to in the coming days and weeks.  While he is set to saddle Final Forest in Saturday’s $60,000 John J. Reilly Handicap, the trainer hopes to have much more in store as the summer season quickly approaches.

Among those in the barn nearing a return is The Hunk, winner of last year’s Reilly Handicap.

“We were hoping to have him back in for this year’s race, but he just wasn’t ready,” Perkins said.  “He needs one or two more breezes.  With these older horses, you just let them tell you when they’re ready and take it from there.”

The Hunk, who’s won six of his 16 lifetime starts, hasn’t raced since the DeFrancis Dash at Laurel last October.  The 6-year-old horse breezed four furlongs at Monmouth on May 27, going :48 flat, fifth fastest of 88 on the work tab.

Well Spelled, who captured last year’s Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth, is also nearing a return, having last raced to a victory in the Gallant Bob at Parx on Sept. 22.

“He’s close,” Perkins said.  “He had a really nice breeze the other day, so we’ll be looking for a spot for him soon.  Maybe the Mr. Prospector Stakes (here on July 7).”

And then there’s the undefeated Rainbow Heir, who won here on May 12, going six furlongs in a snappy 1:08 2/5.

“I think he’s something special,” Perkins said.  “We’ll probably go right to the Jersey Shore with him (Grade 3 here on July 4).”

Rainbow Heir will look to give Perkins his third win in the Jersey Shore.  The trainer won it in 1995 with Fort Stockton, when the race was still contested at Atlantic City Racecourse, and last year with Well Spelled.




On Sunday, June 2, patrons can bring any non-perishable food item to Monmouth Park in exchange for free grandstand admission as the racetrack celebrates Monmouth/Ocean Food Bank Day. The Food Bank helps feed over 127,000 people, and distributes over 7 million pounds of food each year to children, the elderly, and families in need.  

Monmouth/Ocean County Food Bank Day will also include live music as Fast Clare performs “On The Green.” Family Fun Day activities will also be on tap with pony rides, face painting, a bounce house and more from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Gates open at 11:30 am, with the first race set for 12:50 pm.




Monmouth’s newest wager, the Jersey Shore Six, will have a carryover of $31,453.91 added to the pool should one person walk away with the lone winning ticket on Friday.

The Jersey Shore Six, which is based on the popular Rainbow Six at Gulfstream, has a 10-cent base wager.  To win the jackpot, a ticket must have the winner of the last six races on the card and be the only one to have done so.  If more than one person has a winning ticket, they split 60% of the net pool with 40% going to the carryover.




Beginning on May 31, Friday racing returns to Monmouth Park and will continue through the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Monmouth’s Friday, Saturday, Sunday schedule will be complemented by two holiday cards – Thursday, July 4th and Monday, Sept. 2 (Labor Day).  Following the Sept. 2 card, live racing will move back to a Saturday, Sunday schedule through Oct. 6.

Gates open daily at 11:30 a.m. with first post set for 12:50 p.m.  The lone exception will be Haskell Day, July 28, when gates open at 10 a.m. with the first race going at noon.




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