Race of the Week 2017

Summer Schedule in Effect at Monmouth

Beginning with this Friday, June 4, Monmouth Park will pick up its regular live schedule of racing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. In addition, the Oceanport Racetrack will have special holiday cards on Monday, July 5 and Monday, Sept. 6, the last day of the Elite Summer Meet.

Following the Labor Day card on Sept. 6, Monmouth will host live racing on Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 21.

As always, the track is open seven days a week for simulcast racing from across the country and around the globe.


In year’s past, an allowance contest at Monmouth would draw the interest of horsemen and fans alike. This year, with nearly $1 million in average daily purses on the line for the Elite Summer Meet, horsemen and fans have an even greater interest, especially when the purse reads $82,000.

With their eye on that prize this Friday, trainers Gregg Sacco and Phil Oliver have two interesting runners set to contest the 7th race, a mile and 70 yards event. Sacco will saddle Debonair Darling while Oliver sends out Tarheel Girl.

Making her first start of the year is Debonair Darling, who was last seen taking an entry level allowance over this racing strip on June 27, 2009.

“She was doing great after that race,” said Sacco, who conditions the filly for John J. Brunetti’s Red Oak Stable. “It was just after that race, following a workout, that we discovered a small chip in her ankle and had it removed. We sent her to Red Oak in Ocala (Fla.) after that and she rejoined me at Gulfstream this winter.

“She’s been training great, all winter down in Florida and then here. She’ll have to come back at two turns, which is her game, and she should have enough foundation for this race.”

A two-time winner in six career outings, Debonair Darling will be reunited with jockey C.H. Marquez Jr., who was aboard for her wining effort last June.

“She drew well (post 2),” Sacco said. “She doesn’t need the lead, but she’ll be close. She’s got nice tactical speed and she really likes Monmouth Park, so that should help too.”

While Sacco’s entrant may draw the interest of wagering fans looking to play the “fresh horse,” others looking for the breeding angle, should go no further than Tarheel Girl.
On the top side, the 5-year-old mare is by Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Silver Charm and on the bottom you find a nice mare in Contrive, who’s by Storm Cat. While Contrive never raced, she certainly has produced when it comes to making runners.

Her first foal was Folklore, winner of the 2005 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and Champion 2-Year-Old Filly. Just after her daughter’s Breeders’ Cup win, Contrive found herself in the sales ring at Keeneland that November, fetching a handsome price of $3 million.

But it was eight months before the $3 million price tag that brings the story back to Monmouth Park and Tarheel Girl. Born on March 4, 2005, Tarheel Girl was the last foal from Contrive before she found herself on the road to a hefty price tag. Tarheel Girl’s mom was sold in foal to Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect. From the four foals dropped by Contrive that have raced, all are winners.

Tarheel Girl, who breaks from post five on Friday, will have Eclipse Award winning rider Paco Lopez in the irons. The winner of two of her 19 outings will be making her fourth start in 2010 and exits a fourth-place finish over the synthetic Keeneland surface.

A field of nine entered the allowance, optional claiming event, which goes as the 7th of 11 races on Friday.


After a long stand in Red Bank, the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival will find a new home this weekend, Monmouth Park Racetrack.

Featuring dozens of musicians, including John Pizzarelli and Smokin’ Joe Kubek featuring Bnois King, the festival goes from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6. With three stages that spread from the picnic area parking lot to Monmouth Park’s “On the Green,” the Festival will also host numerous food and craft vendors.

Formerly known as River Fest and then as the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival, the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival at Monmouth Park will provide fans with ample parking as well as mass transit to the event. New Jersey Transit’s North Jersey Coast Line, which runs from Penn Station in New York City to Bay Head, N.J., will make additional stops at Monmouth Park Racetrack to accommodate both concert- and race-goers.

Racetrack gates will open at 11:30 a.m., with the first live Thoroughbred race slated for 12:50 p.m. Live racing will continue until approximately 6:30 p.m. with the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival playing until approximately 8 p.m.

For more information about the Festival, go to www.jsjbf.org or call 732-933-1984. For more information about Monmouth Park Racetrack, call 732-222-5100, or visit online, www.monmouthpark.com.



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