YESTERDAY’S NEWS: NJ Thoroughbred Festival results
In a day dedicated to the best runners bred in the Garden State, Jersey Blues, Bustin Out and Chublicious all captured stakes events as Monmouth Park celebrated the 14th annual New Jersey Thoroughbred Festival before a Sunday crowd of 10,266.
The highlight of the card was the $60,000 Charles Hesse III Handicap which saw Jersey Blues stalk the early pace of We B Jammin before moving by that foe in the lane and drawing away to a 2 ¼ length victory under Monmouth’s leading jockey Paco Lopez.
Dispatched the second choice at 7-2 in the field of five geldings, two colts, a mare and a filly, Jersey Blues went the mile and a sixteenth over a fast main track in 1:43 2/5 and returned $9.40, $4.60 and $4.20. Fuzzy Muzzle, last year’s Hesse ‘Cap winner rallied to complete the $53.20 exacta and paid $5.60 and $4. It was nearly another length back to Don’s Marsh, who paid $7.20 to show.
“He’s a big horse who’s a funny traveler, but he can run,” said winning trainer John Mazza, who conditions the Hesse winner for Holly Crest Farm. “Paco rode a great race and I guess we got lucky today. It feels great to win such a race at my home track on Jersey-bred Day.”
A 5-year-old gelding by Eddington from the Caller I.D. mare Sinful Seduction, Jersey Blues has four wins from 12 starts with earnings of $139,934.
In the $60,000 Eleven North Handicap, Bustin Out busted out of the gate first and never looked back, drawing away to an impressive three-length score after going the six panels in 1:09 1/5.
Ridden by Jose Ferrer, who booted home five winners on the card, Bustin Out returned $3, $2.10 and $2.10 as the 1-2 favorite in the field of five fillies and mares. Let’s Parlay, who got within a length of the leader around the turn, held second paying $3.20 and $2.20 and completing the $7.20 exacta. She’s Hot Wired was another half-length back in third and returned $2.10.
“I was so confident going in,” said winning trainer Chuck Spina, who trains the filly for Joseph and Gayle Ioia. “She’s doing so well. When I saw the opening quarter (:21.99) I knew she’d be tough. We’ll look for an allowance race here for her next.”
A 4-year-old by Bustin Stones from the Disco Rico mare Disco Shaker, Bustin Out sports a record of 6-3-4 from 14 starts, good for earnings of $248,012.
Earlier in the day, David Gruskos’s Chublicious, who was exiting a Grade 1 event at Saratoga, sat off the early speed of stablemate Visionary Ruler, before moving around the turn and opening up to a 3 ½ length score, stopping the timer in 1:08 3/5 for six furlongs over the fast main track in the $60,000 New Jersey Breeders’ Handicap.
Trained by Jorge Navarro, the top conditioner at the meet, Chublicious returned $2.80, $2.10 and $2.10 as the heavy favorite in the field of five colts and geldings. Green Gratto rallied to complete the $4.60 exacta and paid $2.20 and $2.20. Play It Again was nearly another two lengths back in third, good for a $3.20 show mutuel.
“He doesn’t really like to get dirt in his face,” said winning rider Antonio Gallardo. “If he’s between horses and not getting too much he’s great. I know this horse well and rode him like he was the best in the race. I knew the speed would be out there for us and I just waited until I pushed the button and he took off.”
A 5-year-old gelding by Hey Chub from the Arch mare Sassy Broad, Chublicious has won eight of 16 lifetime starts, good for earnings just north of $300,000.[su_divider top=”no” style=”double” size=”9″]
BY THE NUMBERS: HANDLE
- Monmouth Park: $4,383,986
- Timonium: $528,563
TODAY’S RACING ACTION
- Tracks in action: Delaware Park
A full field, including three on the also-eligible list, is set to contest Delaware Park’s seventh race, a 7 1/2 furlong test on the turf for two-year-old maidens. Mr. Grey (3-1), a Christophe Clement trainee who was a good second on debut over the strip, figures to be favored at off time with Trevor McCarthy in the irons. But there are a lot of ways to go in this one: Smokinwatchstopper (8-1) finished just over a length behind Mr. Grey last out; Brahms Secret (5-1, part of entry) was second in the $50,000 Strike Your Colors Stakes on the main track last out; and a number of firsters here may be promising runners…
Sweet On Smokey (8-5) has won three stakes thus far in 2016 for trainer Claudio Gonzalez, including mounting a late rally to get up for a head victory in the Dashing Beauty at Delaware Park on July 9. Today, in race eight at Delaware, the Successful Appeal filly drops out of stakes company — to face starter allowance foes — for the first time in nine starts. Sweet On Smokey was thrashed last out in the Shine Again at Saratoga — which was won by 2015 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint champ Wavell Avenue — but figures to get back on track here. Julian Pimentel will ride.