From a Monmouth Park release
Rainbow Heir, winner of the 2013 Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes, goes for his sixth win in seven starts over the Monmouth Park dirt against New Jersey-breds in the $60,000 John J. Reilly Handicap on Saturday going six furlongs over the main track.
“He has been going great over the track lately,” said Ben Perkins Jr., who trains the horse for New Farm. “We had a late start to the winter, but that hasn’t affected him at all.”
Rainbow Heir’s last work was the fastest of any of the nine horses who went five furlongs on May 21, going the distance in :59 1/5 over a fast Monmouth track.
The 5-year-old, by Wildcat Heir out of Rainbow Pride, had a rough going last time out in the Grade 3 Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 3, 2014. He was forced to go four-wide into the turn after being boxed in behind horses down the backstretch and finished fifth behind eventual 2014 Breeders Cup Sprint Champion Work All Week.
“He broke a step slow at Keeneland and was in behind a speed duel up front,” said Perkins. “Last year in this race (John J. Reilly), he had a troubled trip, especially braking from the one post. Hopefully he can get into good position right off the pace and go from there.”
Last year’s edition of the Reilly is the only blemish on Rainbow Heir’s Monmouth Park resume. He won two other stakes races throughout last season’s meet at Monmouth, winning the Teddy Drone and the New Jersey Breeders Handicap, both at six furlongs.
Rainbow Heir will be facing familiar foes on Saturday, coming off a nearly eight month layoff, including Zealevo, runner-up in last year’s John J. Reilly, and Saucy Don, third place finisher in this year’s Decathlon earlier in the meet.
Paco Lopez, winner of the 2014 Monmouth riding title with 120 wins at last year’s meet, will be aboard Rainbow Heir for the first time on Saturday.
Rainbow Heir is the 9/5 morning line favorite in the Reilly, which will be race 11 of the 12-race card.