Tuesday, May 26, 2009


MAREN’S MEADOW GAME WINNER OF MONMOUTH BEACH STAKES


Oceanport, N.J. * Maren’s Meadow returned to Monmouth Park to win the $70,000 Monmouth Beach Stakes in front-running fashion and Sleepless Knight made a big move around the turn to capture the $65,000 Lamplighter Stakes before a crowd of 11,565 at Monmouth Park on Memorial Day.

Ridden by Justin Shepherd, Maren’s Meadow returned $7.40, $4.60, and $3.20 and topped a $35.40 exacta. All Night Labor, who tried the winner in the lane, settled for second, a head behind, and paid $4.80 and $2.80. You Asked rallied for third, a length and half back, and returned $5 to show.


“We were hoping to make the lead, that seems to be her best,” said winning trainer J. Larry Jones, who earlier in the day confirmed Kentucky Derby favorite Friesan Fire is targeting Monmouth’s Haskell Invitational on Aug. 2. “When she makes the front she just relaxes nicely. The fractions today were good for her.”

After going the opening quarter in :23 and the half in :46 3/5, Maren’s Meadow hit the six furlong mark in 1:10 4/5 before stopping the timer in 1:40 2/5. Last season the daughter of Meadowlake captured the Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks. Monday’s stakes win moved her lifetime earnings to $353,725 for owner River Ridge Ranch.

Trained by Kelly John Breen, Sleepless Knight covered the mile and a sixteenth over firm turf in 1:41 1/5 and returned $11.40, $5.20 and $3 in the Lamplighter. It was a length and a half back to Tamborim, who paid $4 and $2.80, and completed a $59.20 exacta. Sal the Barber was a nose farther back, good for a $3.60 show mutuel.

“Wow, this is a nice colt,” said winning jockey Joe Bravo. “The first time I rode him I was thinking Jersey Derby (at Monmouth on Aug. 2), and he’s really developing into the type of colt that can handle it. He’s growing into a professional and is showing his maturity.”

A 3-year-old colt by War Chant from the Cherokee Run mare Dream About, Sleepless Knight increased his record to 2-1-0 from three starts and has now banked $66,650 for owners George and Lori Hall.

Live racing returns to Monmouth Park on Friday, May 29 * first post 12:50 p.m. As always, the racetrack is open seven days a week for simulcast racing from across the country and around the globe.


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