Monmouth Park welcomes first to backside
Trainer John Stephens guides Summer Tune off the van and onto the grounds of Monmouth Park. Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO.
Slightly after 6 a.m., on a journey that started nearly 18 hours prior in Ocala, Fla., trainer John Stephens was the first to pull through the Monmouth Park stable gate on Monday, June 1 as a van of three Thoroughbreds completed their trip to Oceanport, NJ.
First to set hoof in the stable area was Summer Tune, a 3-year-old colt by Summer Front, who will be among Stephens’ nearly 20 runners ready to compete this summer when Monmouth Park kicks off its 75th season of racing on Friday, July 3.
“For the first time in many years we anticipate a full stable area,” said John F. Heims, Director of Racing/Racing Secretary for Monmouth. “The demand for stalls this year has been overwhelming with more than 2,600 applications looking to fill approximately 1,500 stalls.”
The Grade 1 TVG.com Haskell Stakes will again highlight the summer season, when it’s renewed for the 53rd time on Saturday, July 18. In a first for the Haskell, the top four finishers will earn points (100-40-20-10) for the Kentucky Derby, which is set for Sept. 5.
Five other stakes will have a home on Haskell Day including the Grade 1 United Nations, Grade 3 Monmouth Cup, Grade 3 Molly Pitcher and Grade 3 WinStar Matchmaker Stakes.
The racing schedule will go from Friday, July 3 through Sunday, Sept. 27. Post time on Fridays will be 5 p.m. (except Sept. 4 – 12:50 p.m.). Saturday and Sunday post will be 12:50, except Haskell Day when the first race goes at noon.
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