first_imgStronach Stables’ Lord Justice led all the way to win the $70,000 Spend a Buck Stakes, and Edith R. Dixon’s Smart Enough was a facile winner in the $60,000 Wolf Hill Stakes on turf before a crowd of 8,365 at Monmouth Park on Saturday. In the Spend a Buck Stakes for 3-yearolds, Lord Justice used his good speed to secure an early lead, and then had enough left to hold off the late charge of Santana Six to score by a half-length. It Happened Again, the 2-1 favorite in the field of eight, was third, three lengths farther back. Lord Justice gained command soon after the start and cut out fractions of :22 3/5, and :45 4/5. He turned into the stretch with the lead after six furlongs in 1:10 and opened a clear lead at the eighth pole. Santana Six cut into the margin, but was no real threat to the winner. This was the second win of the year in three starts for Lord Justice, a bay colt by A.P. Indy Buy the Sport, by Devil’s Bag. It was the first stakes win for the Stronach homebred. “I was surprised and worried when I saw the fractions,” said Anthony Sciametta Jr., Pletcher’s assistant at Monmouth. “This horse has been training really well in the morning, and he showed it today.” The winner, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Chris DeCarlo, raced the one mile and 70 yards over a fast main track in 1:39 4/5 and paid $15.60, $8 and $4.20 across the board. Santana Six, second choice in the betting at 3-1, completed the $75 exacta and paid $5 to place and $4 to show. It Happened Again paid $2.80 to show. “I was told to hit the half in 48 seconds and I went in 45,” DeCarlo said. “The horse was just going so easily that it didn’t seem that fast. He was comfortable the whole way and very relaxed on the lead. He had his ears pricked the whole way around.” Earlier in the day, in the Wolf Hill, Smart Enough was the 4-5 favorite and ran that way as he scored by nearly two lengths. He took command out of the gate and was never threatened as he hit the line in 1:01 for the about five and a half furlongs over a turf course rated “good.” Smart Enough, trained by John R.S. Fisher and ridden by Eddie Castro, returned $3.60, $2.60 and $2.10 across the board. Atticus Kristy, an 11-1 chance, closed for the place, paying $7 and $3.40 and completing the $26.20 exacta. Awakino Cat, second choice in the field of seven, paid $2.80 to show. This was the first win of the year in two starts for Smart Enough, a 6-year-old son of Horse Chestnut who improved his record at Monmouth to four wins in five starts here. “He’s back to himself,” said Fisher. “For him to run that fast over this course was impressive. He’ll go next in the Highlander at Woodbine (June 21). That’s six furlongs, but he can do that no problem. “We’ll probably be back here later this summer. We love coming to Monmouth. It’s just such a wonderful place to race.” Highlighting Sunday’s action at Monmouth Park, John Petrini’s Love That Dance took command at the bell and never looked back, posting a 3-length win in the Open Mind Handicap. “She’s a lot like her stable mate (referring to multiple stakes winner Joey P.),” said winning jockey Joe Bravo, of Long Branch. After the first jump, the race was over. “She’s a very fast filly and awesome to ride. Right out of the gate she landed on the front end and relaxed for me.” Trained by Ben Perkins Jr., Love That Dance carved out fractions of :22 2/5 for the quarter and :45 1/5 for the half before reporting home in 1:09 2/5 for the six furlongs over a fast main track. The filly by Not For Love returned $14, $5.80 and $4 across the board and topped a $226.80 exacta. Love For Not, the longest shot in the field of six fillies and mares, returned $16.60 and $6.60. It was another length and three quarters back to Open Skies, who paid $4.20 to show. Way With Words, sent off the odds-on choice, never fired and finished fifth. Sunday’s win marked the fourth lifetime and first this year for Love That Dance. She has now earned $154,549 for her connections. Musket Man Back At Monmouth, Will Train Up To Haskell Eric Fein and Vic Carlson’s Musket Man, third in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, is back at Monmouth Park after a brief break, and is now preparing for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1) on Aug. 2. Trainer Derek Ryan said the Yonaguska colt, who won the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) and Illinois Derby (G2) coming into the Kentucky Derby, was scheduled to start galloping yesterday after jogging at the Oceanport track earlier in the week. Ryan said he does not plan to run his charge before the Haskell. Instead, he plans to work the colt in the afternoon between races as part of Musket Man’s preparation for the big event. After running third behind Rachel Alexandra and Mine That Bird in the Preakness on May 16, Musket Man returned to Monmouth and then was sent to a nearby farm for a two-week vacation. Ryan said the colt returned to his barn last week. Monmouth Park’s website (www.monmouthpark. com) has been completely redesigned for the 2009 season, and was set to launch on Monday. The website now contains several new features, including a My Racetrack account, and a Monmouth Park blog written jointly by Brad Thomas and Brian Skirka. Web users will have the opportunity to sign up free for their own personal My Racetrack account. Within My Racetrack, fans will be able to access free race replays, post discussion boards, comment on news stories, and upload photos of their day at the races. The daily Monmouth blog by program handicapper Thomas and marketing department writer Skirka will cover a variety of racing subjects, including stakes analysis and behind-the-scenes information. The site also includes an expanded biography section on jockeys, owners and trainers, complete with video and photos; extensive photo galleries featuring areas of the track rarely seen by the public, such as the jockeys’ room and stable area, and a direct tie to Monmouth Park’s web 2.0 marketing efforts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Monmouth starts five-day racing schedule this week. Yesterday marked the start of a five-day racing week at Monmouth, with live programs scheduled Wednesday through Sunday each week through August, with six days of racing slated from Sept. 2 through the Labor Day weekend. The track goes back to four days a week (Thursday through Sunday) from Sept. 10 until closing day, Sept. 27. First post time every racing day is 12:50 p.m., with gates opening to the public at 11:30 a.m. The only exception will be Haskell Invitational Day on Sunday, Aug. 2, when first post is noon, with gates opening at 10 a.m.last_img

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